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Clients that question everything you have done

Gem7321Gem7321 Experienced MentorDevonMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
Do you have any of these? If so, how do you deal with them?

I have a new client who I have sent the accounts and tax return for approval and I've had a really sh*tty email questioning nearly every figure and every decision. I've replied to his email in a polite but confident manner with my reasonings and explanations but I feel quite hurt that clearly he has no confidence in me. Or am I taking this too personally?

I really don't want to be doing this every year. Any advice?


  • RachelRachel Trusted Regular FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
    It is really difficult isn't it. I have had issues this week with a client who wanted everything expense etc put through and got really offended when I queried them. She has taken up so much of my time and now booked an hour telephone call for tomorrow to go through everything as she can't sign my accounts until she is happy.

    Basically just be polite answer questions and if it takes too long put your prices up. I am about to raise it for my problem client and to be honest if i lose her i am not bothered.
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    I had something similar last week. I just gritted my teeth and answered his questions politely. He wasn't questioning my work, just wants to understand everything and make sure everything is "just so," but to a significantly greater degree than any other client I know!

    I can tell in an initial interview if clients seem like they are going to be demanding, and I factor that into the quote.

    I've never had a client be rude in a "questioning my expertise" kind of way. That's the kind of person who would not remain a client for long. Life's too short and there's another new client round the corner.
  • T.C.T.C. Experienced Mentor Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448
    I encourage my clients to ask questions, but you do get the odd one or two who question everything you do and you feel as though you are justifying your work. Answer the questions politely and accurately and hopefully that will be an end to it. If they are too much of a pain, put your prices up next time or "drop them".
  • RachelRachel Trusted Regular FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
    I have just had a call with my "problem" client and she has gone away happy and now appears to understand everything. Phew. Not a nice experience but I am so glad it is over.
  • T.C.T.C. Experienced Mentor Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448
    Now relax....cup of coffee time!
  • AK002AK002 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,492
    We had one of these.

    Was an audit so he had prepared the initial figures. Was a CA and would question a £1 different in sundries (which was rounding differences).

    Never bothered me though, there were reasons for everything I had done.
  • Gem7321Gem7321 Experienced Mentor DevonMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    Well today I've had another email saying 'I knew you would be right we will talk about it when you're back from holiday'.

    If it's right what else is there to talk about?!

    Hopefully it will just be a once a year thing when the accounts go out for approval but I can see this being a weekly email asking ridiculous questions. If I get another email I will politely explain that I haven't charged for any of my time in replying to his queries but will have to from now on.
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 280
    As long as you've answered the questions in a confident and polite manner then that's all you can do. Some people are like that, it's in their very nature. They like to know the far end of a f**t. I think you handled it well although I admit it would rattle me if it become a common trait.
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954
    In effect you're giving them a support contract as well as a service one, as you're "teaching" them what you've done. So should feel justified to bill them for this support time! :)
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