PracticeAccounting FirmsThe Practitioner: The boring profitable client

The Practitioner: The boring profitable client

Even the biggest clients have a shelf life, so keeping the relationship fresh and exciting is vital if you want to hold on to them

TELL ME I’m wrong, but do clients have a shelf life after which you begin to lose interest slightly and start to focus on other clients more?

I guess this is a natural cycle and that I’m not the only practitioner who has ever felt like this. What is slightly tricky in my situation is that the client in question is one of our biggest and most valuable.

To lose the business would be a big blow to the practice and a massive blow to my pride. As the client’s business has expanded from zero to hero, we have been involved all the way, helping him with business plans, obtaining up to £1m in finance over the past five years, building budgets and cash-flow projections and preparing monthly management accounts.

It has been a great story to be involved in, but now I’m starting to feel the need for a new one. I have tried to get other staff members involved to take over the reins on the day-to-day activity, but there is always the fear that the client will see that delegation as a reason to jump ship.

In many ways, I get the impression the client is ready for a change himself. I suspect, however, that he will probably stick with us until he sells out in the next three to five years, so all we need to do is make sure we don’t make any major errors between now and then.

So what can we do to make sure we keep the client/accountant relationship fresh and exciting? One of the most important things is to believe you are still doing a good job – and to make the client believe you are still doing a good job – and the rest will follow.

As soon as negative thoughts come into play then it’s a slippery slide down the slope to losing the client. I always remember a slide from a lecture at university days that said: “You move towards what you expect”. Little did I expect so many years on from that day that I would be an accountant quoting a slide from the lecture.

Related Articles

Top 50+50: Big Four hold steady, shake-up outside Top 20

Accounting Firms Top 50+50: Big Four hold steady, shake-up outside Top 20

2m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Top 50+50: Revenue rises spark rankings shake-up

Accounting Firms Top 50+50: Revenue rises spark rankings shake-up

2m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
New boss and office on the south coast for Smith & Williamson

Accounting Firms New boss and office on the south coast for Smith & Williamson

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
Wilkins Kennedy joins Allinial Global but reaffirms IAPA relationship

Accounting Firms Wilkins Kennedy joins Allinial Global but reaffirms IAPA relationship

1y Stephanie Wix, Writer
Friday Afternoon Live: Xero's 'code of conduct'; British Accountancy Awards; and Top 50+50

Accounting Firms Friday Afternoon Live: Xero's 'code of conduct'; British Accountancy Awards; and Top 50+50

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
Cowgill Holloway concludes sale of film distributor Metrodome

Accounting Firms Cowgill Holloway concludes sale of film distributor Metrodome

1y Richard Crump, Writer
Jeffreys Henry promotes Justin Randall to managing partner

Accounting Firms Jeffreys Henry promotes Justin Randall to managing partner

1y Richard Crump, Writer
UHY Hacker Young appoints new partner in London Office

Accounting Firms UHY Hacker Young appoints new partner in London Office

1y Richard Crump, Writer