The Practitioner

Ever been driving into the office in a great mood only for it to turn into a bad mood within 30 seconds of stepping foot through the office door?

The past week has been like this every day. There seems to be a cloud hanging over the office at the moment, and that cloud seems to be controlled by a handful of clients. They are the type of clients who you never hear from for eleven months of the year only for the next month to be full of sarcastic emails and bad tempered phone calls from them.

One particular client seems to take a morbid pleasure from corresponding by email only and has got the sarcasm off to a fine art. He is well versed in all email language, angry face icons, CAPITAL LETTERS, bold text, etc. Some times you just feel like replying back to him in the same manner, but no, this would be a mistake and the excuse he needs.

Is it just me or do you feel that there are particular clients who are actually waiting for you to make a mistake so they can use that as the reason to move to another firm? It is widely known that people tend not to change their accountant very often but, in this price sensitive market, the wrong reply to an email could be the very excuse clients need. I had best remind all staff not to reply to emails in BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS no matter how angry the client makes you feel!

Another client is making the annual nuisance of himself by refusing to sign his company accounts. We have sent three different drafts of the accounts to him and every time he phones up with another adjustment he wants us to make. I think the record was seven different drafts sent to him in 2007.

I wouldn’t mind making the amendments but we have an accounts meeting with him every year and make sure that everything is to his liking there and then.

If only we could charge him for every amendment that we have to make, we would probably find ourselves being able to get rid of him as a client!

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from the coalface of a re gional firm in the heart of England

Related reading