The Practitioner: In death comes clarity

IT’s BEEN one of the worst weeks in my life as an accountant that I can ever remember.

I heard the sad news a couple of days ago that long-standing client and friend suddenly passed away whilst out walking. A sudden heart attack.

She had been like a mentor to us, always a cheery voice on the phone, and a shoulder to lean on in times of doubt.

The call came through from another client and I refused to believe it initially.
I had only been on the phone with her an hour before she set off for the walk, and she was busy planning her next big idea.

Financially her business wasn’t a large client, but in terms of personality and friendship she will never be replaced.

A couple of days earlier I had visited a client who confided in me that he was having severe drinking problems, and was on the verge of giving in to it. He was seriously thinking of throwing in the towel, both business-wise and life-wise.

Thankfully he had been to see a doctor the day before and was now taking medication to help.

I was nervous waiting for the next thing to go wrong, as they say things always come in threes. However the week managed to finish fairly strongly, with a few new clients being signed up.

In memory of my lost friend we decided to spend the weekend walking in the Lake District. We took the family and made a weekend of it. While walking, my eldest son, 12 years old, asked me what I did at work. With the week I had I actually found it quiet difficult to explain.

“Is it just adding up?” he asked.

‘No son. It’s much more than just numbers.” I replied.

It really makes you realise that being someone’s accountant is like no other profession. If you do it right you are much more than an accountant to your clients. And clients are much more than just clients. They can turn out to be the greatest of friends.

In memory of T.

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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