Throughout our many conversations with accounting firms, we’ve noticed that one of the most common problems in the industry is accountants not being accountable for their own work, especially when it comes to service level agreements.
So, firstly let’s start off with going through what a service level agreement actually is.
A service level agreement is when you have a definitive due date set for the work. For example, we tell our clients that we’ll get our work done within four weeks. If this isn’t possible anymore, we communicate that.
Service level agreements (SLA) are most often associated with software providers, and their response times when you submit a support ticket, ie. they may have a 2-hour, 4-hour or 24-hour turnaround. However, a SLA should still apply to any service-based industry, including the accounting industry.
We’ve noticed that, ironically, the accounting industry has a lack of accountability.
Why is it so hard for accountants to be accountable to the things that they say they're going to do? And if they can’t accomplish or achieve these things, why is it so hard for them to communicate that?
Is it because you have a fear of letting people down? Is it because you’re scared that your clients will be angry with you?
The problem here is that you assume that your clients will be disappointed with you, as opposed to giving them the benefit of the doubt and communicating with them clearly and concisely.
We all need to remember that communication is key in any area.
Make sure to communicate to your clients about anything that might be a problem, and any issues that you might have with completing work within a certain time frame. As long as you communicate, your clients won’t mind. It moreso becomes an issue when you don’t communicate this to your clients.
Let’s deliver on the things we say we’re going to do, and if not let’s communicate that to our clients, or even reconsider whether the amount of clients we have is too much?
Interested in finding out how Clarity Street could help your accounting firm? Book a meeting with us here.
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Clarity Street was conceived from years of engaging with Accounting firms on a daily basis and a constant desire to make Accounting firms & SME’s more efficient and profitable.