Forgetful client

MarieNoelle
MarieNoelle Moderator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,369
Hi all,
I have a client who is very disorganised. Let's say she is very creative but numbers and deadlines aren't her forte.
For my other clients, one email with the amount to pay over to HMRC (be it VAT/CT or PAYE), the deadline and the reference is usually sufficient.
For this client I send an email, then text her to tell her to check her emails, then email her again the day before the deadline, followed by a text to check her emails, and another text on the day of the deadline. 3 times out of 4 she is late in paying or forgets altogether. I have mentioned setting up a direct debit but her cash flow is erratic.
Is there any more I could do? She is a lovely client and I don't mind spending time to explain but I am at lost on how to educate her...
Any advice most welcome!

Comments

  • MarieNoelle
    MarieNoelle Moderator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,369
    I must add that she is rarely late in paying for my services or other supplier's invoices.
  • Rozzi Rainbow
    Rozzi Rainbow Registered Posts: 465
    Wow, it sounds like you're already doing a lot to help her. Do you have a client bank account set up? If she's normally prompt in paying you, do you think she could pay you her PAYE and VAT for you to bank in your client account, and then you pay HMRC on her behalf?
    MarieNoelle
  • MarieNoelle
    MarieNoelle Moderator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,369
    Hi Rozzi thank you for your answer. No I don't have a client account but this is something I could consider. Bless her when I spoke to her last night she offered to give me her bank details so I could pay on her behalf!
    I wonder if my approach has made her over reliant on me? :/
  • BeccaLouJ9
    BeccaLouJ9 FMAAT Posts: 896 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    That is so odd, we have a client who is exactly the same- we email her, then text her to tell her to check her email- we specifically bought a mobile for the office so we could text her!

    It sounds as though there isn't a lot more you can do, ultimately it is her responsibility, you can't hold her hand for everything! To be honest it sounds as though you do way above what is expected anyway.

    I suppose as long as you have done your job the rest is up to her, however scatty she may be! :) Maybe a few late payment penalties will get her paying on time in the future?

    Good luck!

    B xx
    MarieNoelle
  • ChristianB
    ChristianB Registered Posts: 197 ? ? ?

    Hi all,
    I have a client who is very disorganised. Let's say she is very creative but numbers and deadlines aren't her forte.
    For my other clients, one email with the amount to pay over to HMRC (be it VAT/CT or PAYE), the deadline and the reference is usually sufficient.
    For this client I send an email, then text her to tell her to check her emails, then email her again the day before the deadline, followed by a text to check her emails, and another text on the day of the deadline. 3 times out of 4 she is late in paying or forgets altogether. I have mentioned setting up a direct debit but her cash flow is erratic.
    Is there any more I could do? She is a lovely client and I don't mind spending time to explain but I am at lost on how to educate her...
    Any advice most welcome!

    Funny enough, we have a recent article on our blog that addresses this very thing.
    I have now left AAT. If you require any assistance with the forums, please contact membership support: https://www.aat.org.uk/contact-us
    MarieNoelle
  • MarieNoelle
    MarieNoelle Moderator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,369

    Maybe a few late payment penalties will get her paying on time in the future?

    Good luck!

    B xx

    But that's what I fail to understand, she is so scared of HMRC and penalties. Maybe she assumes that each time she receives a reminder from HMRC she just expects it to be dealt with by me and just buries her head in the sand. I won't give up on her though, one day it will sink in! :)
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