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5 Types of Clients that Accountants & Bookkeepers deal with

Here I write about generally speaking the 5 Types of Clients we encounter as Accountants & Bookkeepers in Professional Services or Public Practice

#PublicPracticeAccountingAustralia #TypesofClients


After being in Public Practice for more than 2 years, I could see some patterns emerging on the types of clients I would encounter on daily basis. After hearing many similar stories at Accounting & Bookkeeping conferences, I thought well this is not uncommon for us Public Practitioners and so here it is - The 5 Types of Clients Accountants & Bookkeepers deal with!


1. The God sent Angel


This type of client is easy to get along with, has integrity and operates with respect. They are reasonable with their requests, understanding when there's challenges and pay you what you are worth happily knowing the great value you provide to their business. These clients are best fit for your firm and a mutually beneficial relationship takes place. This is business at it's best!


2. The Good Enough who doesn't have to be Perfect


This client mostly operates similar to the God sent Angel. At times this client can be unreliable and may seem a little disconnected. Every now and then on occasion they may have an issue but are overall understanding. They mostly value your input and show appreciation for the value you add to their business. These clients are still valuable to professional services firms and can move up or down in terms of the business relationship to being more of a fit in time or less of a fit in time which brings me to the next type...


3. The Average Joe


These are what I call 'come and go' clients. They usually come knocking on your door for a particular service/s. They ask for a quote, decide on whether to go ahead, receive the service and then move on. They are mostly not emotionally invested in building a long term firm & client relationship. They reach out for professional services on an as needed basis and don't necessarily use the same provider. These clients provide short term value to the business and can sometimes be the bread and butter of most business operators. 


4. The Okay but not so Okay


These clients are not emotionally invested at all in building any form of connection with your firm. They are there for what they need and don't really care about anything else. They just want to get in and out as quickly as possible and have no regard for building or nurturing relationships even if they are in professional services themselves. They may operate in a rough and tough manner but as usually easily handled with some assertiveness and good boundaries.


5. The Rogue Mismatch


These clients lack integrity as well as respect for your boundaries as a professional services firm (assuming that you are operating within legislative and regulatory compliance requirements and not a Rogue Provider yourself). They want to take shortcuts and do all the wrong sort of things and throw you under the bus in the process! They are callous and cunning and try to force you into doing dirty work for them with E.g. unreasonable requests even after you have said no already. These clients are definitely not the right fit and are best dealt with as soon as possible. The earlier their rogue intentions are picked up, the earlier you can steer away from them. They are highly likely to be a hidden liability on your balance sheet until you figure them out (don't mind the pun! 😉)



If you are a potential client reading this, we hope that you can work towards being a one, if not a two progressing towards one as this is where magic happens in a business relationships for both the firm and the client!



Sherlin Samaraweera

Principal Accountant & Bookkeeper


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