The Practitioner: Stitch-up means ‘bye-bye client’

I AM ABOUT TO DO SOMETHING that I’ve never done before in my Accountancy career, and that it tell a long-standing client that we no longer wish to provide services to them.

It’s been in the back of my mind for at least a month but now it’s finally time to pull the plug.

Despite the client paying by standing order every month, they have done things recently to knock my trust in them as well as continually racking up more time on the clock than our monthly invoice allows. If I’m honest our relationship has fallen flat ever since they pulled back some shares they offered me in the business.

Our working relationship began a few years back and I agreed to act for a discounted rate in exchange for some shares. I have managed to increase the monthly fee on several occasions since then but only to reflect an increased workload. In the back of my mind I have been happy to let this ride, knowing that I would be in line for a pay-out on sale of the business.

A couple of months ago however I get a call from the client asking me to hand the shares back to the company. I was fuming, but I obviously didn’t want to damage our relationship at that time, so I tried not to let my displeasure show too much.

From that point on however things have been on the slide. I’ve discussed the situation with a few trusted clients and they all agree that both I and the firm have been taken for a ride. Without the carrot of the shares in front of us, all the unbilled time starts to get on your nerves…

So the decision is made, lose the client and cut down the hours of a member of the admin team to balance things out. I and at least one other member of staff will have a great deal more spare time.

It’s time to cut the cord and stop the clock.

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from within their own practice – having left a regional firm in the heart of England


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