Friday, August 10th, 2012

The Client’s Responsibilites

Inside your CPA firm, do you have a partner who is always on top of the accounts receivable for the clients they are assigned? Do you have partners who seem to have an unusual amount of slow-payers on their client assignment list? In my experience, most firms have partners who fill both of these roles.

If you are honest, open, upfront with clients as they begin the relationship with you and clearly explain the firm’s expectations, past-due accounts receivable and many other problems remain absent. I like to see firms use a Commitment Statement at the beginning of any client engagement stating what the firm will do and the expectations the firm has for the client (what the client will do).

Seth Godin had a good blog post recently on this topic titled, Train Your Customer. He noted that we (by our actions) can train them to do good things and some not-so-good things.Here’s a few of the things he suggested you can train clients to do:

  • Be respectful
  • Be patient
  • Spread the word


  • Expect pampering
  • Demand free
  • Be cheap

Why not include a statement of client commitments along with the welcome letter you send every new client outlining your collection policy. One of the biggest challenges I hear from firm administrators is the fact that partners will not actually talk to the clients about paying late, submitting their tax information at the last minute and so on. I believe that clients actually wonder what they are suppose to do and are waiting on someone to tell them.

  • "Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value."
  • Albert Einstein

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