How do you know if you are paying your accountant too much? This may sound like a trick question, but it was a serious question posed on one of my LinkedIn groups. And, after resisting the temptation to say "don't be daft" (not because it is a daft question, but because I initially thought the question too loaded), I found it quite an insightful question.
Now, what would you say if you were asked such a question? As an accountant having the address the question, I will endeavor to keep bias at bay (but doubt very much if I can be 100% unbiased). To answer the question, I need to rephrase it - "how do I know I am charging enough to my clients?" Well, that question as I have intimated earlier could be both easy and difficult to answer. The easy part is answered by industry stardards and market forces (supply and demand) and what the competition is doing. Or to put it another way - what the client is willing to pay. The hard part is assessing the value the client attaches to the service and whether they think they get the service they want for the price paid.
To answer the question from a client's perspective - the question should be "are you getting the service you require from your accountant for the price you pay?" This then brings it down to individual perspective and the value received - this is what a personal professional service is all about. To give you an example: I have just purchased for myself a beautiful pair of stilletto heeled boots. Now I think the price I paid for these boots (which I won't say incase my husband reads this blog) is well worth it. I have placed a value on these boots because of the pleasure I get from them.
So, how do you feel about the service you get from your accountant? If you don't feel good about it - talk to them. No one wants to lose a good customer, so I am sure they will be only too willing to listen and adjust the service provision to meet your needs better - at least that what I would do. It's all about offering good service for a price deemed to worth the service (or goods - like my new boots!).
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