Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

The Wrong Training For Your Clients

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday and avoiding today.” – Wayne Dyer

Every CPA firm complains about clients who procrastinate submitting their data until the very last minute. I have heard these complaints from small firms and large firms for decades. It is a common problem.

Very few firms solve this issue by outplacing the offending clients. Maybe you are training your clients the wrong way.

The first step is clearly defining your expectations prior to busy season. This works for some clients. Another activity used by firms is to call and remind the client, call again, call again and finally give up. This nagging step sometimes works.

Even though you clearly communicate your expectations, you permit the client to bring in their information very close to the deadline and then put stress on yourself and your team to serve the client. Consider pricing the work for these types of clients much higher than your average rates, although this doesn’t alleviate the stress on the team.

When you accept last-minute work, you are basically training your client that their procrastination is acceptable. They will do the same thing year after year. So, don’t complain about them!

In these times of labor shortage, it is time to prune your client list. I hope these procrastinating clients are on the “make them disappear” list.

  • "Procrastination usually results in sorrowful regret. Today's duties put off tomorrow give us a double burden to bear; the best way is to do them in their proper time."
  • Ida Scott Taylor

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