Saturday, October 11, 2008

Challenging times for mere mortals

The world-wide financial crisis has presented a very difficult nettle patch for professional advisors to traverse.

All of our clients are going to be affected in one way or another. And it will pay us to be attentive to their emerging needs because in their needs are a plethora of opportunities.

The real question is as to how we go about identifying these needs. In a recent staff meeting at Davenports we concluded that every staff member had a role to play listening to clients about the impact that the crisis had had , and was likely to have, on them and their businesses and their affairs generally.

We agreed that between then and next week's meeting each staff member would initiate at least 5 conversations with clients regarding the crisis. then next week we would feed this back into the discussion and make some decisions about strategies and actions we could initiate as a firm to help our clients through this.

Even our receptionist and pa's have opportunities to engage clients in this endeavour. In some ways their feedback may even be more valuable because I have this sneeking suspicion that they will simplify the messages and extract the real esence of clients concerns.

After the meeting I rang a client to meet with them about their year end financials and took the opportunity to canvass his views. They are importers and the first impact on them has been the fall of the Australian dollar. This will reduce their profits. And at a time when they are trying to sell their business! So the prospective purchasers will not be too impressed. In a ddition if the purchasers are borrowing we can expect that their credit facility may come with moe strings attached----if it comes at all!

So next week I have some more phone calls to make. And a very interesting staff meeting to attend!

How are other accountants responding to the crisis? I would welcome your views.

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