what to do now … before the big rush
must-dos related to client acceptance and continuance
What’s another critical risk management tool? Selecting the right client. This section helps you identify clients that may become troublesome.
Review the firm’s client list from the prior tax season.
Consider terminating the firm’s professional relationship with unprofitable, high risk and "problem" clients, such as those who do not provide information in a timely manner. The article,
Clients: Knowing When to Walk Away
, identifies other factors to consider when deciding whether or not to continue a client relationship. If you’re still not sure, read
Take a Hike: Ending Client Relationships
for other considerations. If the decision is made to terminate the client,
Client Termination Letters
explains the importance of written termination letters and the content of the letter.
Identify and address clients that may create a potential conflict of interest for the firm.
Review the articles
Managing Conflicts of Interest
Considerations to Help Avoid Becoming a Casualty in the Divorce Wars
. Establish protocols to address potential conflicts of interest that arise during tax season.
Update the firm’s client acceptance checklist and conduct due diligence on prospective clients.
Inquire why they are changing accountants. Conduct an internet search on the prospect. Request the prospect’s consent to contact the predecessor accountant. Consider obtaining a retainer fee from new clients as a condition of engagement. The article, Client Acceptance: A Liability Gatekeeper, includes other criteria to consider in balancing the risks and rewards of accepting an engagement with a prospective client.