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Have you ever wished your client would just do as you ask?

You're not alone.

Our Co-Founder, Debbie Roberts has been there.

Yep, she's seen it all in her bookkeeping career including when bookkeepers fail to act more professionally.

Debbie tells us a story which sheds light on this topic.

"I was mentoring a bookkeeper who has been in business for a couple of years. Her business has grown by word of mouth because she is a great bookkeeper with a bright personality. Now that her books are filling up and her time is limited she needed advice on how to use that precious resource more effectively. One of the problems was that her clients provided her the work when THEY were ready and it usually turned up in a shopping bag or shoe box. She was unable to plan her week and the work took longer than it should because of the way the client presented it to her.

On the one hand, being flexible and fitting the work around our lifestyle was one of the things that attracted us to bookkeeping. But as you start to fill up you need to be more professional with the way you run your business in order to be more efficient with your time. This becomes critical when you start to recruit other bookkeepers. It’s no longer just about you – it’s about your team and they are the lifeblood of your business."

Debbie also said being professional begins with respecting yourself, your business and your needs. It's important you feel fulfilled and rewarded and not used and abused, so you can deliver a high level of excellence.

So, do you let your clients take the reigns of your business?

If you do, here are some of the consequences:

  • If you allow the client to decide when they are ready for the work to be done that now affects your team
  • If you allow your client to pay you when they choose, where are you going to find the cash to pay your team?
  • If you allow your client to provide the work to you in a shoebox every month and it takes the new bookkeeper longer to do the processing because it’s more confusing and the client complains about the time, how are you going to justify the extra time to the client?

Debbie says, "Do yourself a favour – if you are starting up, think about your practice like you already have a team and retrain your clients while you only have a few. Or if you have a team and you allow your clients to run your business I’ve got one question for you. How is that working for you?"

Gotta love Debbie. Always honest and to the point, but she's right.

It's your responsibility to run a professional business, not the client's, so get cracking.

To your success,


Michael Palmer

Article by Michael Palmer

Michael is the CEO of Pure Bookkeeping, the host of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast and an acclaimed business coach who has helped hundreds of bookkeepers across the world push through their fears and exponentially grow their businesses and achieve the quality of life they've always wanted.