According to a November 2014 survey, 255 out of 300 accountants said they have dismissed (i.e. fired) clients. Here are the top 4 reasons:
1. Late payment or nonpayment (72%)
2. Unpleasant to work with (54%)
3. Client wanted accountant to do something unethical (45%)
4. Late delivery/non-delivery of client docs, etc. (32%)
We’ve always stressed that for the client-accountant/advisor relationship to be successful, it takes commitment from both sides. Here’s a letter we send out to all new SBS clients:
“Maximizing Your SBS Experience”
We have been working with clients now since 2006, so we have a very good idea of what works and what doesn’t to make this new relationship work. We know this was a big decision for you so you want the maximum return on your investment. For that we suggest you read and follow these recommendations:
• Read your contract carefully. Please make sure you understand it completely. If you have any questions, please contact us immediately.
• If the agreement is for you to provide us information on a monthly basis (ex. Bank statements), please do that on a timely basis. We will try to remind you, but please don’t count on that. It is your responsibility.
• We do the majority of our communication via email so please check your email account often so that no big gaps in communication occur. If you don’t have an active email account, please let us know so we can notate your account.
• When we send you your financial statements, tax returns, and other prepared documents, PLEASE review them for accuracy and ask us any questions you may have. If we don’t hear from you, we’re going to assume you’ve read the information and agree with it.
• Pay your invoices on time. If for any reason you don’t feel like you can, please contact the office immediately so we can work something out. If we don’t hear from you, we don’t know your intentions and we can’t help you. If you don’t keep your account current, we have the right to stop doing the work until payment is caught up.
• Be proactive. We work with a lot of clients and a lot of deadlines. We wish we could think about you and your account every day, but that’s just not realistic. We need you to uphold your responsibility for this relationship to work. We can’t read your mind, so if you don’t let us know something is wrong, or something has changed with your business, we can’t serve you properly.