Quick to agree to a meeting. She explained that they’re having problems with their accountant; their annual accounts always seem to take an age to complete even though she provides them with the necessary info within a week of her year-end, and there are lots of little problems here and there that add up to a poor service overall. They’re not a proactive firm and given the positive direction of the business, they’d like to work with somebody who can help them going forward.
Actively seeking change. He explained they’ve used the same firm for the past 8 years but the partner they used to deal with retired 9 months ago. Since then, the service has been terrible; they’re constantly having to chase the accountant to get simple things done and they’re not responsive. They don’t feel valued as a client and they’ve only just met the new partner who’s meant to be looking after them going forward, who he just didn’t click with.
A family friend completes the accounts at present, but he’s thinking of moving away from that relationship as it’s becoming clear that they’re not set up to be able to provide the kind of support he needs as the company goes through a prolonged period of expansion. He wants his accountant to be more involved with the business, coming in for quarterly meetings and potentially producing management accounts, and ultimately wants to work with someone who’s going to be more proactive and able to give him advice. They also employ a separate bookkeeping firm, although he wants to change that too; he’s open to a holistic review.
Explained that our call came at a good time. The firm he previously used has been taken over by another firm and he’s not very happy with their approach; he keeps getting ad-hoc bills for things that were previously included with the old firm and he feels as though he’s paying too much overall. They’ve been thinking of reviewing their situation for a while and we subsequently agreed on the above date and time. They use QuickBooks at the moment but have been thinking about looking at some alternatives, so would be open to hearing about any specific recommendations you might have. Separate to their accountant, they have a book keeper who comes in once a week, but they’re open to the idea of you taking that on as well, as they’re likely to be retiring in the near future.
Said our call came at a good time as they held a directors’ meeting last week where they agreed they’d like to meet with other accountancy firms. The main problems they have with the firm they use at the moment is that they’re slow to get work done, resulting in a lack of clarity over their tax obligations, and lacking in transparency over their fees. They therefore like the idea of seeing what a more proactive, transparent firm might offer.
Has been using (top 10 firm) for a number of years but his confidence has been rocked by some key members of staff leaving and a resulting drop in service levels. He therefore feels that now is a good time to take some perspective and see what else is out there. He acknowledges that he’s probably a bit on the small side to be using them and that he’d probably benefit from a closer, Partner-led service.
Said he’s been thinking about looking at alternative providers as he feels he’s being charged an exorbitant rate (£771 per month inc vat, plus an additional sum at the end of the year which he said was a further £6k last year). He said all he gets for that is his annual accounts and tax computation, and they’ve recently started doing his VAT returns as well. They don’t even do his payroll – that’s outsourced to another company. Furthermore, he’s hoping to retire in 5 years or so and would like to chat through his options around selling the company.
Has been using (local accountancy competitor) for about 10 years, but has finally concluded that they’re far too big for the business as it currently stands. The level of service is practically non-existent and by the sounds of it he just wants somebody he feels better suits the needs of the company. Furthermore, he believes that they were over-charging him for previous work he was having done with some dormant companies, and as a consequence he’s lost trust in them.
Interested in meeting on the basis that he doesn’t feel as though his accountant is particularly proactive, and he generally feels as though he’s one of many rather than a valued client – “I might be wrong, but it just doesn’t always feel as though they’ve got my best interests at heart”. He’d therefore like to see if you can offer a fresh perspective and any improvements over the current service.
Immediately remarked that we might have called at the right time, as both people he’s used to dealing with at his accountants have very recently retired, so he sees this as an obvious time to take stock of his accountancy setup as it’s been on his mind to review for a while now. The company consists only of him and his wife, and he does everything in-house using Xero, other than the annual accounts and tax return.