January 22, 2020
Even the best systems and processes for completing work in your practice will fall down if you don’t tell your clients what you’re doing, when and why.
You need to allow plenty of time for clients to respond to requests for information. Remember the numbers aren’t always their priority – they have a business to run!
Communicate to them in plenty of time, let them know at the start of May “I’d like to start work on your year end accounts in June; please can I have the following information by the end of May.”
Update your schedule for any delays; bring forward other work to make sure you stay busy.
Yes a lot of this can be automated by a practice management solution but lots of those work from deadlines or year end dates. If you want to personalise your service depending on the individual clients you need to make allowances for them, their circumstances and their requirements. So have a manual override.
You also need to spend time educating clients. If you introduce them to Xero for example, make sure they understand the basics and that you check with them on a regular basis to make sure they’re happy with it.
Help your client avoid mistakes
It’s pretty demoralising when you start what should be a straight forward year end job only to find your client has made mistakes all through the year that could have been easily avoided with a few minutes training.
Education also extends to meetings. In the past I’ve had clients ask for ‘a quick meeting’ and ‘can you call in to discuss X’. I felt into this trap and quickly became inefficient, wasting time in unnecessary meetings.
Before agreeing to the meeting ask the client what it is they want to discuss and perhaps set a time limit for the meeting, you may even be able to answer the queries over the phone or by email.
Be clear with your clients
You also need to be clear with clients what is and isn’t included in the services you provide. If a client wants extra meetings, tell then there will be a charge for it as it falls outside of the services you currently provide, you may then find the meeting isn’t actually needed!
So eager to please you actually do too much?
This may all sound obvious but when you’re starting out and have spare capacity and you’re eager to please you may actually do too much. I made this mistake and it needed a huge effort to change this approach, part of the problem had been my own doing. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake.
I mentioned in an earlier post how technology offers huge opportunities, in the next I’ll talk about how you can use this for your benefit and not the software vendors.
If you’re ready to start or are already running your own accountancy practice, here are 5 ways I can help you run the practice you want, the way you want:
1. Get in touch and arrange a free 30-minute discovery call.
2. Read my e-book about how I transformed my practice.
3. Attend one of our regular Mastermind Events.
4. Join one of our Mastermind Groups.
5. Work with me on a 1-2-1 basis.