When a client approaches an accountant, they are entrusting that professional with their sensitive financial information.
When a client wants advice, that advice could have a positive or negative effect on their finances.
This is why accountants and clients need to be able to trust each other and why relationships between the two are so important. Manchester accountants, Alexander & Co are here to discuss the importance of them.
Client Relationships Matter
With the myriad of accounting computer software available to the public, it has become fairly straightforward for business owners to keep track of their finances and for individuals to prepare their own income taxes. The modern accounting industry has transformed from what it was 20, even 10 years ago. Individuals and business owners now need more from an accountant, who in the past, played an important role in preparing basic financial statements and filing tax returns, all of which they can now do themselves.
High level Business advisors
In effect, with less time spent performing basic duties, accountants can provide quality business advice, hence why trust is such an important factor. Accountants have an almost fiduciary role in regard to their clients, which mean they must act within their client’s best interest, displaying characteristics such as objectivity and integrity. While accountants aren’t always considered to hold fiduciary roles in regards to their client, there are many cases where accountants have held roles deemed to be fiduciary when consulting on business matters, or helping clients manage assets and prepare taxes.
A mutually beneficial working relationship
Positive relationships work both ways, especially for accountants who are self- employed. If clients leave their accountant or accounting firm, there is less revenue coming into the company. That firm’s loss of business is another firm’s gain and ultimately, the more clients an accountancy firm loses can result in more layoffs or closures. This is another reason why a strong relationship of trust is important between all parties.
Forming and maintaining strong relationships
Forming and maintaining a strong relationship takes work. Often, when an accounting firm loses work they blame factors such as costing or fees. In reality, the real problems lie with communication issues. The key to building relationships is to communicate with one another openly and friendly. For accountants, keep your clients informed about everything that is going on at least once a month and Invite them to any events that are being held. It’s all about showing clients that they are not just a number, but you actually care for them.
Take corrective action early
If there are signs a problem is arising, make sure both parties sit down as soon as possible and come up with solutions. Managing expectations is a daily ongoing skill and every interaction you have together is a negotiation, an opportunity to positively influence each other’s perceptions as a trusted client or a trusted accountant.