“We Do It For The Hugs”
In my 21 years of working in the accounting profession, the highlights have been when practitioners understand that the highest fulfillment of their role as technical professionals is ‘mutual improvement'. In that they work to improve the lives of their clients and by doing so, improve their own.
This scenario happens much more often than is ever reported, published or marketed. When I get to hear about it, I'm keen to do all three as quickly as possible. So, the ‘letters page' today features a person who walks their marketing talk. They write to tell us:
We have a great client that's a dental lab owned by a husband and wife, really nice people and as well the husband is great at what he does, probably one of the best in the UK, so my dentist says after I referred him to my client. But really, they are nice people who have three kids, one of whom is quite severely brain damaged and requires constant care.
When we started to work for them four years ago they were in a mess, couldn't pay the bills, plagued by bad debts, giving away £18k a year in early settlement discount and the wife was in despair as she couldn't pay wages or suppliers. So, we turned this around for them and now they have over £150K spare in the bank.
But we insist they do one thing, they talk to us about any problems and I mean any problems (we see them every quarter with figures – management accounts and monthly for book-keeping + payroll).
However, on one occasion at the beginning of January this year they didn't tell us they had a problem until a week ago when their manager was about to walk out the door. He was someone who had been with them since he was an apprentice and joined them at the age of 16.
He was supposed to be part of their future and the HR people who they used said they were too busy to help him. He went to seek advice from a solicitor, which led to the manager being just about to walk out the door.
On hearing this we found our best HR person who does stuff for us, who with no messing, got down and sorted it, rooted out the underlying person problem who has now gone. The husband and wife have got their main man back, they are so relieved they can get back on with their demanding lives with a major worry out of the way.
When I went down yesterday I got a BIG hug from the wife, which meant more to me than the money (they do pay us well) and we occasionally shed a few tears together about what her sick son goes through.
Imagine the impact that work has had on stress levels, on self-esteem and on future goal setting. You guys ARE the difference.
Examples like this are simply the most important work an accountant and adviser can do. I hope you'll write to me about the stories you have like this so that I can share them here.
Learn more about how you can help your clients improve their lives and your own here