MIPs visiting clients

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jilt
jilt Registered Posts: 2,903 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
Just interested to know how many felow MIPs visit their clients for the following, or do you let the client come to you?

Initial meeting

Obtaining clients paperwork

Returning clients paperwork and signing of accounts etc

Suppose it's makes a difference whether you work from home or an office away from home. Any comments would be appreciated.

Many thanks
Jill

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  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I meet all clients at my office now; when I worked from home I exclusively visited clients at their premises. As a woman on my own, I was glad when I moved into an office as you never know!!
  • anniem
    anniem Registered Posts: 1,326 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    It varies from client to client!

    I often go and visit clients for a first meeting, I think it helps to understand what they do in some cases and also it means that they have all their information to hand. I always leave my husband with a note of exactly where I'm going and keep my mobile switched on silently.

    However, if they are reasonably local they will come to my home.

    I work from home, but it's very rural and people are rather inclined to become lost. We don't even exist on satnav!!!!!

    I mainly depend on the post for people's paperwork.
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • Dcollins
    Dcollins Registered Posts: 179 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    I do a bit of both, for meetings and paperwork. I try to do as much paperwork as possible by electronic means.

    It's easier for me when clients come to my office (at home), but sometimes I NEED to get OUT, so that's good too. It does help to understand what they do if you visit them.

    I always make a safety judgement based on a phone conversation, I wouldn't visit someone who'd contacted me only via email, and leave details of where I'm going and what time I'll be back.
  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
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    Initial meetings and accounts meetings vary. Some I visit but most come to me (I still run from home in a separate converted garage with its' own entrance)

    For all paperwork this is done electronically via intelligent PDF's where possible. For those clients not able to or don't do computers then I use the old postal system.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • Anne Boleyn
    Anne Boleyn Registered Posts: 196 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Visiting clients

    Hi Jilt

    As with previous posters, it depends on the client. I work from home and I have some clients that have never visited me and equally some that I have never seen their home. Often it's a case of if the client is passing they'll ring and see if it's convenient to drop in or book an appointment for the next day etc.

    Regards
  • mc25
    mc25 Registered Posts: 232 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Jilt,

    I do a bit of both. It all depends on the needs for every client. Thanks
  • T.C.
    T.C. Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I agree. I do both. It depends on the client and their situation. Just remember to charge accordingly if you have to visit them!
  • jilt
    jilt Registered Posts: 2,903 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Thanks for all your posts guys. I started off working from home which is in South Sheffield most of my clients being in the same area some literally around the corner!

    Just over a year ago we took an office in the Peak District (my husband has his own business and shares the office) and half of my clients are located there. I had stopped advertsiing for clients in Sheffield as we were looking at moving to the Peak District but have decided to stay put for a few years.

    Because of this I looked at advertsing again in Sheffield and checked that my husband was still ok with Sheffield clients coming to the house to drop off/collect/sign paperwork etc.The office is only 25 - 35 minutes drive away depending on traffic but I don't expect my Sheffield clients to go there. Saying that I have one client in London, we manage by post and email, and another in Barnsley, about 25 miles away and they have no problem coming to my house!

    My husband thinks I should visit them more regularly rather than them come to me hence this post. Usually I go to the client for the initial meeting and I do pick up and drop off at some clients if I'm out and about anyway. I said that I thought the majority of accountants who had offices would expect the client to go to them so it was interesting to hear what other MIPs do.

    Thanks again
    Jill
  • jilt
    jilt Registered Posts: 2,903 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    T.C. wrote: »
    I agree. I do both. It depends on the client and their situation. Just remember to charge accordingly if you have to visit them!

    Do you charge for the time spent? I've never thought to charge for meetings except when I guy came in for help with something and took up about an hour of my time and I charged him a consultancy fee.
  • JodieR
    JodieR Registered Posts: 1,002 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Unless there's a specific reason for it I let the client choose where we meet. in my eye it's usually less bother driving to their house than tidying up mine!
  • lorraine
    lorraine Registered Posts: 404 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    JodieR wrote: »
    Unless there's a specific reason for it I let the client choose where we meet. in my eye it's usually less bother driving to their house than tidying up mine!

    Agree with the tidying of home, I currently work full time and also part time business (all accountancy based!) and also 6 fitness classes a week to keep fit and de-stress, but then it also motivates me to clean the home!. But overall I prefer clients to come to me, and once you are passed the initial meeting stage, it is a doorstep swap of docs, so not too bad at that stage.

    I also found going to people houses daunting, even though I am a confident and tough person you never know what could happen. Also I keep getting people that would chat for ages at their house, if they are in my home I find it easier to get them out and also feel safer as my partner is normally around. I only now visit 2 of my clients. Easy at home also, no runnng around to peoples houses, normally though rush hour as that was my only time I could do it really, being at work all day!.

    These are my thoughts on the matter.
  • royw1970
    royw1970 Registered Posts: 10 New contributor 🐸
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    I think it all depends on mileage, as many, I work from home and my clients are locally based, therefore, I travel to them.

    To have clients visit your home you technically speaking need to up your insurance, comply with health and safety regs and apply business rates to the part of your house used for this purpose.

    Visiting your clients also helps you to comply with MLR's Knowing your client and ongoing monitoring.
  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
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    @royw1970 - Health and safety only really applies if you employ someone in your own home, most insurance companies will cover you working from home and the added cost is minimal. Business rates are not applicable unless a specific portion of your property is used exclusively for business. If there is still a dual purpose then no business rates are chargeable. All of these would apply whether you have clients visit or not.

    I see the point to a degree about MLR regs but I wouldn't say it is a necessity. I work from home and so many more clients visit me than I do them.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • Dcollins
    Dcollins Registered Posts: 179 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    H&S is largely common sense, although I do get a little concerned when it's snowing and icy - do you clear the drive and path, or not?

    The insurance issue is valid for visiting clients, I've got public liability cover in case I cause damage on someone else's property while working. So far I've managed to behave myself.
  • royw1970
    royw1970 Registered Posts: 10 New contributor 🐸
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    burg wrote: »
    @royw1970 - Health and safety only really applies if you employ someone in your own home, most insurance companies will cover you working from home and the added cost is minimal. Business rates are not applicable unless a specific portion of your property is used exclusively for business. If there is still a dual purpose then no business rates are chargeable. All of these would apply whether you have clients visit or not.

    I see the point to a degree about MLR regs but I wouldn't say it is a necessity. I work from home and so many more clients visit me than I do them.

    Thanks for the pointers Ian,

    Maybe i'm over cautious, my understanding of H&S in the workplace is that H&S applies to everyone working whatever the place your in, it only takes one unscrupulous type to turn your home into the focus of legal ramblings, I am not saying don't, I am just saying prevention is better than solicitors, so therefore it needs to be considered along with some basic securtiy measures and an 'awareness' of visitors for those working at home with children.
    Insurance is just that, an added cost, so why add more if not necessary, yes fuel costs are involved but it is always nice to get out, see how the other half live and maybe steal some interior design ideas on the way.
    Business rates - yes on the dual purpose but haven't you converted your garage for this purpose, seperate or not you need planning permission for a garage and therefore if dual purpose is not considered business rates can apply, that is why filing cabinets make good playstation platforms, desks are a nice clean area for jigsaws or stripping engines whatever your preference, holepunches good for making snow and the fax machines are excellent wheel chocks when jacking up your car.
    I am a little concenered when you wouldn't say it is a necessity on the MLR regs, maybe i've read a different set or your vast experience over mine has given you more confidence in this area.

    Thanks again for the pointers

    Kind Regards

    Roy
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    royw1970 wrote: »
    I am a little concenered when you wouldn't say it is a necessity on the MLR regs, maybe i've read a different set or your vast experience over mine has given you more confidence in this area.

    If I've read the thread right, you are thinking meeting a client at their premises is needed or advisable for MLR, yes?

    I'm with Ian, in that I don't think it's that important. Can you imagine a large multi-partner high street firm going out to visit Mrs Jones at home?

    MLR is not a prescribed set of "how to"s, it is a risk based approach with guidance. The majority of all clients any of us will ever see on this board are very low risk in terms of identity. The worst most of us are likely to see is a bit of tax evasion which is a different issue in the MLR to KYC.

    If you are worried, then a £5 electronic search from www.amlsearch.co.uk will verify the documents you've copied for people (don't bother with the non-personal search for companies, all it does is confirm data at CoHo which you can look up for free and get additional for £1). I don't think home visits are needed (though they are an added level of assurance).
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    royw1970 wrote: »
    I am a little concenered when you wouldn't say it is a necessity on the MLR regs, maybe i've read a different set or your vast experience over mine has given you more confidence in this area.

    Not sure which regs you have read either. I have never met around 30% of my clients at all, let alone gone to their house/premises.

    MLR is not supposed to be the death of remote working.
  • royw1970
    royw1970 Registered Posts: 10 New contributor 🐸
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    The original request from Jilt is somewhat being digressed from as my original post did say helps to comply! but nevermind.
    I am happy in my position on the subject as I believe it is quite easy, being as the clue, is in the name, Money Laundering REGULATIONS, to me REGULATIONS are those ideal standards set to be achieved where PRACTICABLE.
    When I read other posts the gist is saying to me that some areas aren't really important and that they are only there as some sort of guidance. It has also been said a large multi-partner high street firm is not going to visit Mrs Jones at home, if it is PRACTICABLE why not?
    My question is, isn't this how standards slip? sureley in a position of responsibity as an MIP it is better to promote the ideal standards than say to newcomers it is not really important.
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Hmmm, I wrote a long reply and then my iPad ate it.

    The condensed version:

    No-one is advocating lowering of standards. You are new to this forum but you will find we are actually really helpful to new MIPs. Helping people not get bogged down in red tape, while still complying with it, is good advice.

    Practicable is less relevant than practical. KPMG are not going to visit every one of their thousands of clients at home, and nor should they. And why would they? What a waste of resources. Doing all my work long hand on paper is practicable... But I would soon go out of business due to being outdated and taking far too long to complete things.

    The regulations are law and say know your client. Guidelines are just that and have been put together by professionals who are interpreting the law in a practical way.

    Home visits never were, are not and never will be compulsory. Yes, they assist KYC, but I don't think they should be undertaken solely as a KYC exercise, but by all means add it to your KYC record if you are visiting them anyway.
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    royw1970 wrote: »
    to me REGULATIONS are those ideal standards set to be achieved where PRACTICABLE.

    Once again we differ. To me, regulations are not 'ideal standards' they are the law. I think perhaps we have a different interpretation of what is required under the law. Not surprising given their complexity.

    I believe the AAT have done a better job than most of the professional bodies at providing members with guidance on what is required under the law with their comprehensive toolkit.
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