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July 11, 2013 | Industry | Posted by Craig Baldwin Craig Baldwin

Accountants: Why Fire a Client?

Accountants are masochists by trade. Seasonality of the CPA and public accounting industries dictate months of our lives to be pure hell. Maybe “pure hell” is dramatic, but let’s just say we dream of beaches often during February, March, and April. While our ability to endure is higher than most professions, don’t let that skew your client service.

One of the first things you read in entrepreneurship books is get rid of your bad clients. “But I don’t want to lose the revenue.” If that’s your answer, you have larger questions to answer. Questions like:

“Why did you think it was okay to take on the client you knew would be trouble?”

“Why is your business in such a pinch for revenue?”

“Are you mis-communicating your value?”

“What precedent are you setting for potential clients?”

Anytime a problem arises in your accounting firm, always step back to a broader context first. That way, you know if your problems are systemic.

Once you’ve figured out that your bad client relationship is not attributable to any of the above factors and it’s pure coincidence. Move forward with the process. Here are some reasons from @PaulSpiegelmen in Inc. on when it’s “okay” to fire the client.

The Client Treats You Badly

Doesn’t Want To Pay Your Price

Disrupts Your Business & Culture

Violates Your Core Values

Committing the above acts will not only make the individual tough to deal with, but lead to systemic threats against your core values as a firm. Protect your culture and values like they’re gold.

You decided to pull the trigger and let the client go. I won’t say congrats, but I’ll commend you for making an extremely tough decision. Below is some advice from others on why it’s “okay.”

That type of client has probably already been bagging you even when you were trying to keep them happy.  It’s who they are – nothing to do with you. – Source FullFocus

It’s important to remember that it’s a client relationship. And the best relationships must involve mutual respect and admiration. It’s up to you to ensure those elements exist on both sides of the coin – so don’t be afraid to speak up when something’s not working, and to walk away if it seems beyond repair. – Source Perkett PRsuasion

What’s done is done. Move forward and continue to build a great accounting practice or firm involving the right kind of client relationships.

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