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The Practitioner: Problems are par for the course

THERE WAS ME thinking that summer was well and truly over. Granted, it’s not exactly been shorts in the office weather again but it has meant a few more golf days than planned. Golfing with clients is probably the best way to spend a day (or two) in my opinion.

You’ve got the work type chat on the course and then all night to talk like mates. Our summer golf event earlier this year didn’t go as well as in previous years but since then I’ve nailed a few client relationships by taking them on golf days they won’t forget.

I’m lucky enough to have clients who happen to be members at some of the best courses in the UK, and this summer I’ve taken advantage of their generosity on that front.

As mentioned in my last blog, we are now one client less than we were this time last month. We have disengaged, and boy did it feel good. Not such a good feeling was having to let go a member of the admin team, but it’s the right move long term and in the interests of the practice.

Once the summer finally finishes and the nights draw in, we will start to look at ways of growing the practice, hopefully by buying fees in or taking on a smaller practice.

My fingers have been burned in the past going down the merger route, and believe it or not – even though that is more than four years in the past, I received a nice legal letter last week regarding it. The disgruntled partners in question must have nothing better to do than to try to drop bombshells for no reason at all.

There’s no doubt about it, though, that with the right people involved an acquisition of some sort could help take the firm to the next level, and expand the skill base within the firm.

We don’t have a dedicated tax expert and I’m not ashamed to say it, although in the past couple of weeks we have lost a client who has gone to larger firm with a tax department in-house. The irony of it was that in the past when we have needed specialist tax advice we commissioned that firm to do those pieces of work for us.

Who am I kidding? They probably used the ‘larger firm with a tax specialist’ as an excuse and are probably leaving us because I recently beat them at golf.

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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