Member Since: 1st Aug 2016
28th Nov 2018
Very disappointed with the outcome here, there isn't any excuse because there are a number of steps she could have taken, one being spending 25 pounds to call a tax helpline for a start and checking everything she has doubts about or even her workings on such an important tax return, or admitted to her client she needed more specialist help and gone and sought that out as most clients do respect this as they want it to be done correctly.
I am so frustrated by accountants who are not speaking up when they need help, I can only imagine it's an ego thing but they sleep well while their clients suffer.
Last week a new client admitted her last year's accounts may need another review as there was something the accountant couldn't figure out so they just submitted it, this week I'm having to step in because a new clients accounts are due this Friday and her accountant has just cut all contact for months, absolutely no response so she has had no choice but to look elsewhere and it is just not good enough that accountants think it's ok to treat business owners this way.
If you are not confident that you can not do the work correctly, don't take the work on in the first place!
11th Sep 2018
That would be really helpful as I am really struggling with this at the moment with my clients. I've seen a real rise in emails to me with lots of exclamation marks as well which I find incredibly rude and I know I need to stop being so nice and start being more firmer with them, but this is easier said then done so it would be great to hear how other firms have tackled this issue.
18th Jan 2018
I am a bit torn with this article as technically just make it into the millennial category but never thought as myself as one although am confident, work all hours and built a good social media profile from day 1 of starting my practice but then any person of any age can fit that description to!
I have quite a few millennial clients and most are pretty good clients however many of them expect the world and are very price sensitive, winning them as clients in the first place can be quite a challenge, they are always the first to ask for discounts or tell you your price is to high (believe me it's not) but once on board, they really are not to bad, I've only had one millennial client who literally expected me to answer every email of his instantly, asking questions I'd long ago answered and not being prepared to pay for extra parts he wanted me to do for him and needless to say, he is no longer a client of ours any longer.
I've never thought to identify them from all of my clients and treat them differently as I feel that is unfair to my other clients but I am curious about the book as I do think it is important to look at how to cater for future clients and I think there is opportunity there for firms who do want to attract them.
4th Jan 2018
No it is not a myth but so much of how your January is depends on your client mix, how many staff you have helping you, how many clients you have etc. I have a lot of sole traders and we do tax returns all year round but January is still a nightmare, plus we have more directors returns as well this year to complete. This week alone has been crazy, it's my busiest quarter end for VAT returns and even though I've managed to put off most year end account work till next month, my emails have been going crazy, I've got new client enquiries to squeeze in and I am on my third night in a row working until 11-30pm but we will get them all done as we always have so all I can say, as I do every year, is bring on February!
1st Dec 2017
100% yes - I also do work with schools and there is this perception that if you are good at maths then one of the clear career options is to be an accountant and that's all very good but I then ask them, how are your IT skills as they are just as essential, especially with the growing amount of software accounting firms are using these days.
The sooner the AAT can introduce a cloud accounting software into it's syllabus the better as it will without a doubt make these candidates more attractive to firms, knowing how to navigate around at least one cloud accounting software platform.
3rd Nov 2017
Also use Adobe Sign for onboarding and never had one problem with it plus at £44 a year, it's incredibly cost effective (and like you say, clients are used to it as well).
Not every practice needs pricing software especially at the cost of the leading ones, Facebook group or not. But good to see that those who are with GP do find it worthwhile, well done James.
Great article Glenzy :-)
10th Sep 2017
Also agree with Sarah and Paul - I always send engagement letters with t&c's after successful new client meetings and this has never been an issue - I to do not like being asked to sign up in a first meeting to anything, so I would not ask or expect my new clients to do that while I am in the same room as them as it never gives them a chance to really read the very important document!
Recently I've been telling my clients not to get so caught up with 'hype' and I feel pricing software falls into the category, I admit I was impressed by the idea and thought at first, yes I need that to. However listening to firms real experiences who have lost clients by using these tick a box platforms, helped me realise that it's not something I need to be swept up in right at the moment (or perhaps ever especially where I have a current process that works, that allows me to personalise my quotes as I see fit) and was a good reminder of the advice I give to clients about not just getting something, because everyone appears to be getting it to!
3rd Jul 2017
What would have perhaps bought more value to this article, is looking at firms who have also launched apps for their clients and prospects recently that have not used MyFirmsApp because it's not the only option accountants have if they want to go down the app route.
Our app will be launched this month and we custom designed it for our clients and are quite happy with the simplicity it provides. We wanted it to be a little different to the same format I was seeing with the MyFirmsApp apps.
I am undecided as to whether or not it is a worthy investment but with more and more clients using their smartphones, it is definitely worth a go (however I will be paying close attention to downloads and user numbers over the next 6 months).
28th Feb 2017
Good luck - my husband joined my practice 8 months ago and we have not looked back, was worth the risk even though challenging at times working together!
Would echo previous comments about PM system, we invested in ours last October and are really pleased with it.
Would also agree around niching or at least being selective with clients and find a good accountant who you refer enquiries to for services you don't offer - for example, I don't offer CIC services but met a great accountant who does so I refer those enquiries straight on to her.
29th Oct 2016
Agree with other posters, £500 is far to low to start a practice, even one working from home and it's important any start up realises that to.
I think it's good and important that the article has raised it's not just about the money point, in fact with more clients caring less about whether you are qualified or not, and with more choice out there for them, it's not an easy industry to make large sums of money in especially in the early years if you are starting out on your own.
It's Saturday and despite working full time, I am working on the weekend - again. Yes working from home may be easier and cheaper but it's hard to switch off from work to when it's based at home, this can create tensions with partners very easily, I regularly go back to work in the evenings to and some clients will be put off by being a home based accountant, especially if you are targeting bigger businesses and if you've got family living with you to, I have had to regularly ask my husband if he wouldn't mind taking the kids out so I can meet a new client or sign accounts off with one over a weekend and used to have evening appointments to which are no longer possible now kids are older and noisier! Needless to say an office is on my Christmas list!