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Documentation key with non-compliant clients

Documentation key with non-compliant clients

Bookkeepers with uncooperative clients have been urged to document their requests and communication early on to prepare for a potential off-boarding situation.

Bookkeeper Reporter 27 February 2019
— 1 minute read

Association of Accounting Technicians chief executive officer Rochelle Park said bookkeepers should always adopt the best practice of following up on verbal conversations with clients about their obligations and requests for information in writing, just in case things go south in the future.

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However, when a client continues to jeopardise a BAS agent’s ability to lodge on time, it might be prudent to consider if it is worth off-boarding them.

“When a client repeatedly ignores your requests for required information and your capacity to meet lodgment deadlines is threatened, there may come a time to consider whether the client is the correct fit for your business,” said Ms Park.

“Continually following outstanding matters up is very time consuming and is sometimes something not billed out either, which impacts your productivity and profitability.”

Ms Park said the off-boarding process should be handled delicately, with special attention to clear communication and deadlines to prevent any possible backlash.

“Provide them with plenty of notice about your resignation and offer them a handover service for any new BAS agent the business recruits as your replacement,” she said.

“Be very clear about your deadlines around wrapping these matters up and what your role in compliance support will remain to be in the interim.

“In the event of non-payment of your invoice upon departure, you cannot withhold the software data or any records as these are the property of your client. The best, most efficient way to chase any outstanding invoices is to engage a debt collection service.”

Documentation key with non-compliant clients
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