Favourite press release of the downturn so far has to be that from French Duncan who marshalled an empathy driven spin for their flat results.
The Glasgow and Edinburgh said it was helping guide clients through the crisis with lots of uncharged hours that prompted the firm to admit that it had had an effect. Revenues were up by pre tax profits were static.
The cynics out there might see that only as spin. But my guess is that there’s been a large element of this going on across accountancy.
And it chimes with some other observations about the profession that have been amplified by the recession – accountants are terrible at offloading clients that bring poor returns and even worse at collecting their fees. As a result many suffer crippling cashflow difficulties at the very time they’re advising clients on how to improve theirs. The irony is almost too difficult to bear. Literally.
That said if you get it right, see clients through the tough times, they will hopefully come good for you when the economy is in a better state. That must be the calculation that a firm like French Duncan makes anyway.
And OK spin it, we don’t mind. It’s good to see even a modicum of sympathy going on in business. Whatever its motives.
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