I made a comment this week on twitter that we had “Taken on another new client today - previous accountants charges beat by over 50%”. Nothing unusual about this you may think......There are lots of firms competing for business so compete on price and win the work......Well if that is your train of thought it is wrong but I will come to that later.
I (through my twitter account) received a comment or two from within the world of twitter and accountancy that I disagree so strongly with that I felt I had to pen to paper (so to speak).
The gist of the replies was that because our fee for completing this work was 50% less than the previous accountant we were not going to provide a complete service or “add value” and that in order to do a good job for our new client we needed to increase our new client’s fees by 50%
As I said, I disagree with this way of thinking and I will try to explain why.
Firstly, I do not see how anyone can comment on what a service should cost if they do not know the full ins and outs of the service to be provided.
Secondly and most importantly I disagree fundamentally with accountants or any other professional for that matter using any kind of jargon to bamboozle clients and I particularly disagree with trotting out the term “ADDED VALUE” as an excuse to increase fees!
These replies got me thinking “What does added value really mean?” The majority of professional firms will use the term (ourselves included) and most will not have a clue what it means to them or their clients. Most will use the phrase because they heard it in a marketing seminar or read it somewhere and will use it because it sounds good in front of clients.
If you complete a Google search of “accountancy adding value” you will come across numerous firms of accountants offering added value services. Some offer to look beyond the basics. Others say that they will offer a personal service and some just say that their service adds value.
As a professional should we not be doing all of this anyway? I think we should.
I believe that we have a duty to our clients to aim to do the best for them. We are being engaged by them as experts and have their total trust. Should they not rest safe in the knowledge that they are getting what they paid for; an expert service from qualified professionals, doing the right thing by them ALL of the time and not just when we see fee earning potential.
Please don’t get me wrong we as professionals are running businesses just like anyone else and need to charge for our services. However our charges should be FAIR.
We don’t use jargon. We don’t bamboozle clients and we don’t charge excessive fees. We just provide a good, honest, professional yet relaxed service aimed at doing the best for our clients. We look beyond the basics as part of our standard service and aim to provide our clients with a personal service that we think is second to none.
It is because of this, because we treat our clients differently from traditional firms, because we respect the fact that each client is different, because we CARE that our clients recommend our services and we are able to convert prospects to clients.
Accountants should go that extra mile as standard and I think we do.
If you would like to see how we can help you please do get in touch.
Crump Pearce & Co Ltd
Chartered Certified Accountants
43 Merstow Green
The views and opinions expressed in this article are not designed to offend nor are they aimed at anyone or any firm in particular.
Member since: 28th January 2011
I am a Chartered Certified Accountant and director of Crump Pearce & Co a local firm of accountants, business advisors and tax consultants.