I act for a number of elderly clients in preparing their tax returns and supporting them with tax advice as and when they need it. More often than not, I find that with my more elderly clients, our working relationship goes above and beyond the “norm” of what you would expect in accountant-client relationship.
Just recently I was contacted by one such client, an elderly widow of a farming client. She runs a small bed and breakfast business from the farmhouse and was calling because she had received a perplexing call from someone who said they were ringing from Google.
Basically they were chasing payment for the second year of a two year contract they said that she had with them for some search services. My client was rather unsure of what the services were, much less what they for – but it turned out that it was to boost her business up the search rankings for “bed and breakfast accommodation near Milton Keynes”.
My client gave me a call because she had had several conversations about this payment and became thoroughly confused and wasn’t even sure she had signed up for this two year contract. Luckily we have a really good relationship and she asked me if I couldn’t look into the situation. Naturally I was pleased that she called me and trusted me to help and I arranged to go and see her and look at the records that she had. She doesn’t have a computer herself so wasn’t able to check on-line and see what she has signed up for or research what the people were talking about.
This sort of incident is not uncommon with my elderly clients. They trust me and know I will do my best to help them – especially when it comes to money. This kind of help is something that just becomes part and parcel of my business relationship I have with my clients. I am happy to go and spend an hour or more looking through confusing paperwork or even taking it away and sorting it out and then going back to go through it with the client. On some rare occasions I have even had a client sign a mandate authorising whichever business or financial services institution is making their life a misery to talk to me, so that I can help to resolve the matter for them. I don’t charge for such assistance.
My relationships with my clients adds a very human dimension to the day-to-day routine and I would miss it if it didn’t happen!
If you have a family member who you think needs the kind of extra attention that we can give at Clifford Towers, please feel free to share this post with them; give me a call on 01788 577613; tweet me on @SimonCGTowers; email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on LinkedIn.
Image credit: rido / 123RF Stock Photo