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I spoke about the game great bookkeepers are playing and the passion and pride you feel when you empower business owners around their finances. You see your role as much more than just providing your clients with data entry and compliance.

But it’s fair to say that not all business owners are looking for that level of service and it’s really important that you choose clients who you can do your best work with.

I speak to bookkeepers almost every week who complain their clients treat them with disrespect and sometimes even contempt. Some clients resent spending money on bookkeeping, complain about your bill and choose when they are going to pay you. They don’t follow the systems you’ve set up, don’t provide the information you need to get the job done efficiently and don’t make themselves available to discuss queries and their financials. If you can relate to that then I’m fairly certain that the signs were there from the very first appointment.

What are some warning signs?

  • They say they don’t want to spend a lot on bookkeeping which is an indication that they are price sensitive
  • They ignore your suggestions for the most efficient way of getting the job done
  • They tell you how to do your job showing disrespect for your education and experience
  • They are late for their appointment without an apology or explanation demonstrating a complete disrespect for your time
  • They allow interruptions throughout the meeting and keep you waiting because their work, apparently, is more important than anything you might have to say.

The problem is that we often feel that we need to say yes to every client who comes along. Especially if you’re trying to fill your books or to feed your hungry team. But the truth is that you can’t do the bookkeeping for everyone. You have all the information you need to choose clients you can do your best work within the very first appointment.

If someone is rude and disrespectful then they WILL NOT CHANGE. So my advice is, be discerning. Choose clients who want to be empowered around their finances and tell the others that they would be better off finding another bookkeeper who can better serve their needs.

By the way, if you’ve got clients who don’t value you then give them the sack. When you have multiple marketing strategies in place there is always "another bus coming" and it’s so much more rewarding working with people who you can do your best work with.