"Is my accountant like my hairdresser" I asked this question on behalf of our clients when I sat in the hairdesser's chair completely dissatisfied with the result - and not for the first time. Having gone in with hopes of a hair-do that would transform me into a younger more spritely version of myself (always the desire of women, I have to say), I came out looking like my mother. Ok, my mum is not a bad looking lady for her age, but, well - she is her age, and I am not.
So what's this to do with accounting? Well, as an accountant (now sporting a bad hair-do), I wondered do my clients "sit in my chair" with high hopes of transforming their business into some spritely less-tax-paying version of its former self? (Ok, it's somewhat difficult to use the hairdresser analogy completely, but stay with me for the moment). And do they come away disappointed, and having paid their fees too embarrased to say? It is difficult to tell your hairdresser she has done a bad job, but how will she (or he) know to do better next time? My thoughts after looking in the mirror was "there is no way I am coming back", but having used the analogy on behalf of my clients, I had second thoughts.
It is true that accounting is more of a need (by law) than a want as with a hair-do, but it still remains that as a service provision, the client should get what they want, within the remit of the service provision. All clients want something different from their accountant, and therefore the "hair-do" should suit. If it doesn't then it is right to say so in a manner that will help the accountant meet that need. I think most clients forget that accountants need guidance (outside of the bookkeeping, tax and accounting compliance work) to support them in their specific needs. Yes, it's ok to remind your accountant that they haven't sent the email they said they would or haven't followed up some procedure that was agreed. Like all business people we will attend to the urgent, but the important must not be neglected - which is you - our clients.
So will I go back to the hairdresser? Yes, after writing this blog! Will I tell her she gave me a bad hair-do last time? Well, yes, in a way that will encourage her to give me that snazzy hair-do I was after in the first place.
Nadine believes all businesses should have access to an accountant no matter how small, and has created a unique bookkeeping and accountancy support offer which ensures the service is personal, supportive...