May 7, 2009


Client fee pressure is a reality at this time. I recommend that firms take the initiative and discuss this matter with their clients rather than setting back and waiting for them to come to you. When you wait you are placed on the defensive which is a difficult position as their expected response to their fee reduction request is “yes” and the discussion is then “by how much” or even worse yet your competition has already been there and you have lost a client.

Meet with your clients now to discuss their fees and your relationship. In many cases you might be able to reduce the scope or the amount of work you do which results in a lower fee to your client without giving away the store. It also gives them an opportunity to discuss their business concerns with you which in many cases might result in more value added services for more fees.

I call this current economic downturn “prime time” for the accounting profession. Everyone is talking about money, expense control and profitability, the very essence of public accounting. Take advantage of this time by meeting with your clients, discussing their fees and how you can help them in their time of need. This is your opportunity to shine in “prime time”.

Please share any ideas you have to increase the value of accounting services and how to discuss the fee issue with clients.

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