Are you unsure whether you may end the client relationship with the client with her constant special requests or with the unreliable client? In this blog post, you can read when you should give notice to customers.

SMEs are one of the most important target groups for most fiduciary companies. In a Survey by Accounto and Treuhand Suisse 60 percent of the companies surveyed stated that they expect the need for advisory services in the small client segment to increase by 2030. On the other hand, routine accounting tasks with high automation potential are no longer of great use to many SMEs. Accordingly, in the not too distant future, hardly anyone will be willing to pay for the handling of such tasks.

Innovative fiduciary software lets fiduciary companies further develop their offering

However, the advancing digitalisation and the increased emergence of software solutions for the automation of accounting tasks does not ultimately mean the elimination of work for fiduciary companies, but rather a shift. Modern fiduciary software allows your fiduciary to automate repetitive tasks such as document extraction, sub-ledger reconciliations and report generation, freeing up more time to develop innovative services and provide advice.

Fiduciary companies remain the central point of contact for all business and financial concerns of the companies they serve. However, in view of the increasing complexity of fiduciaries, smaller fiduciary companies in particular are unlikely to be able to serve all client segments effectively and efficiently in the future. That is why a customer strategy is needed. Define which client segments your fiduciary company can and wants to serve in the coming years. Ask yourself who your ideal customers are today and tomorrow. What makes a mandate exciting for your fiduciary company? Where can you offer your customers real added value?

Reading Tip: In this blog post, you can read why every fiduciary company needs a client strategy.

4 reasons for fiduciary companies to end the working relationship with clients

When defining a client strategy, you may – and should – also consider whether it is worth continuing to work with all existing clients. Are there client segments or individual clients with whom you no longer want to work? Below are four reasons why it might be time for your fiduciary to end a client relationship.

Reason 1: They always have extra spontaneous requests.

“Good afternoon, I know you are still missing documents from me for the overdue business transaction but I wanted to ask if you could quickly file our tax return this afternoon.” That may sound a little exaggerated. But there are few experienced fiduciaries who cannot tell a similar horror story about their clients.

A large proportion of the 5,000 or so fiduciary companies in Switzerland employ fewer than ten people, and the fiduciary sector is severely affected by the shortage of skilled workers. As a result, most Swiss fiduciary companies do not have much room for manoeuvre when it comes to spontaneously increasing staff resources. Clients who throw ongoing projects out of kilter shortly before the final spurt or express major change requests at the last moment pose problems for small fiduciary companies in particular. It is also anything but conducive to your employees’ motivation if they regularly have to work overtime for the same mandate.

So if you have clients with a lot of last-minute extra requests, you should ask yourself whether it still makes sense for your team to work together.

Reason 2: It fails because of communication.

Missing information, appointments postponed several times, unanswered emails and long waits for promised callbacks: Unreliable and difficult to reach clients complicate the daily work of fiduciaries. If you spend more time contacting your clients in vain and chasing documents than actually working on the project, ending the client relationship is often the right decision.

Extra Tip: With the Swiss fiduciary software Accounto, you can coordinate document and task-oriented communication with your clients more easily than ever before. Experience how Accounto simplifies customer communication in a free live demo.

Reason 3: They are never satisfied.

“Do you have a moment to look at the expense regulations for our management? And I assume that this is already covered by the fee for tax advice.” It can certainly be an opportunity for fiduciary companies to be available to good clients with advice or to answer brief questions outside of the agreed mandate. This strengthens the loyalty of your clients and lays the foundation for up-selling or cross-selling by demonstrating your broad expertise. However, during these non-chargeable consultations, always refer to the chargeable services offered by your fiduciary company in the relevant area. Clients who always want more – without paying more – damage the profitability of your fiduciary company in the long run and you should think carefully about whether you want to maintain this client relationship.

Reason 4: It just doesn’t fit any more.

As described at the outset, fiduciaries are becoming more complex and it is likely to become a challenge, especially for smaller fiduciary companies, to serve all client segments profitably. As a result, certain mandates may no longer fit with your fiduciary’s new direction or way of working. Terminating these clients is more difficult than terminating the client relationship with demanding, unreliable or never satisfied clients. Thank them for their previous cooperation, but show them why they can no longer support a company as they would have liked.