Do client’s look like mushrooms?

Ashley Selwood is CFO of the Australian Rugby Union. I asked Ashley, “what can accountants do to improve their service to him as a client?

A great way accountants can improve their service from the word go is to clearly identify the scope of the works up front. They need to spend time to understand our business and the issues we need to resolve.

I think the other thing they can do to improve the service is during the course of the project to time frames that the Partner reports to the principal of the client.  So, if it was me, I would say every Friday at nine o’clock, you’re going to be doing this work for the next six weeks, that’s what your estimate is, I want to meet with you every Friday at 9 AM where I want a status report on where you’re at and what you’re doing.

This activity does two things. Firstly, it engages the partner in a more regular basis in what’s going on so that he/she can see that there are things that need to happen.  Secondly, it gives me confidence that I understand when there’s half a dozen guys sitting around my office as consultants I actually know what they’re doing and where they’re heading to next.

As a client I need and want to know that there is something happening.  Otherwise you sit around and when you finally get the report, read through it and you think, ‘Hang on a minute … that’s not right!  If I’d know you were going there, I’d have told not to go there for these reasons.’

Having full and regular communication from day 1 will only enhance the quality of the project which of course helps all stakeholders.

Similar to other comments and reactions that I’ve shared in past posts … clients don’t expect much they just don’t want to be treated like a mushroom – kept in the dark and told nothing!

Bye for now,

James