Let’s talk about working with accounting clients. Yes, it can be a real pleasure. Doing accounting for small business owners can be particularly satisfying when you know that your work helps their business thrive. However, accounting clients are people and that means that they are not perfect.Some seem like they Googled “accounting firm near me in Florida” and popped in to make your day difficult. Whether a particular client is a pleasure to work with or makes you reconsider your career choices they are part of the job. You have to deal with them. In this article, we will look at 5 types of accounting clients that you will frequently encounter and how to deal with them.
To ghost, someone means to gradually cease communicating with them when you no longer want to be involved with them. There are some clients who will leave you feeling like they have ghosted you. They give you work that they want you to do and then seem to disappear. You can never get in touch with them when you need information from them or need to discuss what they want. They might pawn you off on someone who can’t really answer your questions. It is a real obstacle to getting work done.
Dealing with this type of client takes persistence and tenacity. Sometimes they might truly just be overworked and have trouble keeping in touch. When an owner decides to hire an accountant for SMBs they get the accounting off their plate but still get pulled in a lot of other directions as they try to make the small to medium-size business work. However, that doesn’t mean you have to get stuck in a one-way relationship. If it truly becomes impossible to get your work done because your client isn’t communicating with you then you are within your rights to end things.
This is the type of client who lacks organization and simply dumps a garbage pile of receipts and invoices on you. They appear to think that being an accountant means you can magically organize this pile with no trouble and, therefore, they don’t need to bother to be organized or keep proper records themselves. They think your glasses or contacts come with a built-in accounting error detector.
This is frustrating but may be fixable. You can educate your client and explain why they need to organized their records. Many clients might simply need some information about the government requirements for keeping records. Introducing them to smart and easy accounting software can also be a real help. One of the challenges of accounting for small business owners is getting the bookkeeping right. They might just need the right information to make their job and yours easier.
This is the type of accounting client who seems to have Googled “accounting firm near me in Florida” and just wandered into your office. They seem to have no clue about accounting or the services that a CPA has to offer. They are also suspicious of what you charge and not sure about what they are paying for.
The way to deal with this type of client is, once again, with education. If they don’t know a lot about accounting or understand it well then you will have to take the time to educate them. You will have to explain what you do and how it benefits them and their business. Once they have a better understanding of what you do they will be able to appreciate how much more smoothly their business runs when they have a good accountant.
This type of accounting client doesn’t have to be convinced that an accountant can do good things for their business. They know how important accounting for small business owners. They expect results but the problem comes when the results they expect aren’t realistic. They might set unrealistic deadlines or expect you make their tax obligations magically disappear.
The simple fact is that some clients may never be satisfied. It’s not just you. That’s just the way they are with everyone and everything in their life. Some might act like this in a misguided attempt to “get their money’s worth” from you. In the end, you can try to work with this type of client to explain how the work gets done and why it gets done a certain way. That may help to set more realistic expectations.
This type of accounting client wants you to know that they know everything, including how to do your job better than you. They firmly believe that they know all about accounting and want things done their way, even when their way isn’t right. Micromanaging by clients can be one of the real challenges of accounting for small business owners. It’s tough to do your job when someone is standing over your shoulder.
This type of client requires a little bit of tact and a little bit of gumption. You do have to stand up for yourself at some point but you don’t want to be offensive. That is where the tact comes in. Working with this type of client might require that you listen to them but also find ways to offer simple suggestions or information about the right accounting techniques. Contact us today to get a FREE accounting consultation.