Sometimes, when I talk with accountants particularly small practice accountants I find myself saying “The last time I looked there were only 24 hours in a day and you do need to sleep for some of them.”
Why am I saying this? Well, when accountants bemoan the lack of time and express feelings of overwork to me. It’s my stock answer always followed by “Any accountant can work 24 hours a day and lose money, the clever one works sensible hours and makes money.”
It’s all about time management and most importantly client management, they are the reason why you are working and they are the reason why you are most likely overworking. Not all of them, just some of them.
The ones that make constant demands of you at seemingly any time of the day expecting instant answers yet when the roles are reversed and you ask them a question about their books etc……
The ones that refuse to make any changes to the way they work expecting you to simply “put it all right” and then of course want sets of figures for the bank or vat at the drop of a hat and they believe a deadline is actually the target date.
The ones that believe you should act as a bank and allow them seemingly endless credit.
Accountants know who they are, they don’t need to look up the time records or the debtors list, they know instantly who we are talking about. Now that I point this out, check how much actual money is received on a monthly basis from these clients comparatively against other clients, check how much time is spent on their affairs to receive the money you actually do receive.
The answer is obvious, rid yourself of these clients, free up your valuable time, take away the stress of dealing with clients that don’t actually listen and just think what you can achieve with the time you now have.
Who knows, you might even take a holiday, but seriously you will find that you are working sensibly and achieving much more for the clients that value your help and advice. So I say even in tough times losing a client can be a good thing as long as you lose the right ones.
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