Why do accounting professionals give away so many services for free?

It makes no sense. It’s actually a form of scope creep.

Scope creep is when the work we do for a client ends up taking longer than we imagined, and therefore we end up spending more time, writing time off, and ultimately making a loss on the job.

One of the issues we worry about is having the scope creep conversation with a client. We are worried that we will get a negative reaction from the client, because we are uncomfortable with pricing.

We are scared they will say something along the lines of:

“I wasn’t expecting that. How dare you charge me for that.”

Very often we worry about the worst case scenario. But, that is unlikely to happen because it’s not in most people’s nature to react so harshly. But more importantly, people expect to pay for extra work because that’s how it works in other industries.

Here are some simple steps that you can take in order to eliminate opportunity for scope creep from the very beginning:

  1. Manage the client’s expectations up front

Once they have chosen their package, you should make it clear that anything extra will fall outside of that package and therefore have its own price.

It may be useful for you to make a list of extras that you often find yourself doing and show this list to the client. Tell them that these are the optional extras that are available to them should they want them, but they will be charged separately.

  1. Have a script for raising the issue (download the full article for an example)

Perhaps there’s a client that you’re doing bookkeeping for, but they want some extra training from you on how to use the TSheets app.

When a client asks that, you need to have a system or a form of words of what you might say.

  1. Stop making excuses.

It’s important to stop trying to justify giving away work for free, because you should not have to. It’s likely that you continue to make excuses because you aren’t sure how to price small services.

  1. Identify the small tasks that you often give away for free and distinguish which you should offer for free, and which you should be charging for (examples included in the full article)
  1. Set a clear price for those small tasks (pricing techniques in full article)

For more insights and to download the full article ‘How to tackle scope creep and stop doing work for free

Click here to download.

 

Jon Melloy Head of Business Development
1300 010 114 | 02 9302 8704 | jon.melloy@practiceprotect.com
www.practiceprotect.com

Damien Greathead

Head of Marketing at Practice Ignition
I've enjoyed the opportunity to work with small and medium sized public accounting firms to help them realize greater productivity, growth and profitability. The professional landscape has changed dramatically for the public accountant and my objective is to help accountants take advantage of these changes to add value to their clients, their people and their own lives. I've helped firms add new (and much more profitable) services, implement the latest technology to their businesses, and develop marketing plans that produce results.
Damien Greathead

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Damien Greathead

I've enjoyed the opportunity to work with small and medium sized public accounting firms to help them realize greater productivity, growth and profitability. The professional landscape has changed dramatically for the public accountant and my objective is to help accountants take advantage of these changes to add value to their clients, their people and their own lives. I've helped firms add new (and much more profitable) services, implement the latest technology to their businesses, and develop marketing plans that produce results.