Working with clients as a qualified accountant can be tough: you don’t just have to listen to your clients’ needs and concerns, but you also have to be able to analyse your clients’ situations professionally and give advice where needed.
Read this 3-part guide to learn how to develop good working relationships with your clients:
Part 1: While the client chooses you, you also choose the client
You attract clients based on the work that you do, the reputation you build, and the marketing messages you send out into the world. In this way, you have plenty of influence over the types of clients you work with.
If a client requests you to do something that will harm your reputation or compromise your professional integrity, and will not take no for an answer, you are allowed to tell the client that you are unable to fulfil their request, or that you are not willing to retain them as a client.
Part 2: Communication is key
Communication is an essential aspect of building and maintaining successful relationships with your clients. Your clients are placing their trust in you to handle their accounting and other financial matters in a professional manner, and it is therefore your responsibility to make sure that you communicate openly with your clients – let them know exactly what you will be doing, and how you will be doing it. If you are uncertain about something, or if there are important accounting decisions to be made, ask your clients what their preferences are (don’t just make assumptions).
Part 3: Performance matters
What matters most to your clients is how well you perform the work that they hire you to do. This means that you should always focus on delivering the best quality work possible, and that you should do so within the given timeframes. If your work is sub-standard, or if you miss your deadlines, your professional reputation will suffer, and you will not only risk losing existing clients, but you will also struggle to attract new clients.
Using the guidelines outlined above, you should be able to develop successful working relationships with your clients, which will help you establish a good reputation as a professional accountant.
Want to find out more about preparing for a career as a professional accountant?