4 Classic Accounting Firm Practices that Cause Clients to Undervalue Your Work

ChangeGPS // Engagement & Pricing

It should be easy to put prices up when your net margin is reducing because of rising costs - but it’s not.  

Many are concerned that clients won’t accept the price change, but this often has an underlying reason of your clients not valuing the work you do for them. To rectify this, you need to educate your clients on the benefits your work brings.  

So, let’s take a look at the four classic accounting behaviours that cause clients to undervalue what you do and actions you can take to ensure your clients see your value.  

You Avoid Regular Price Increases 

Blog quote David


“In an inflationary world, if you’re taking home the same as last year, then you’re taking home 7% less than last year.” ~David Boyar, ChangeGPS CEO.




When your costs go up, and you’re working the same, or even harder, but only charging the same fees as last year, then you are not making what you deserve.  

That lost money should go towards business improvements or your lifestyle. 


Increases need to be an annual occurrence. But if you don’t regularly increase your prices, your clients won’t be used to it. This will make the first increase the hardest, but like so many things, it’s worth putting the effort in because it will get easier. 

To stop making this common mistake, start planning your next price increase now.  

footer-logoChangeGPS contains templates, VPP client email templates and role-play scripts to help you prepare and communicate your next price increase. 


You Don’t Itemise Jobs and Prices 

For example, when you include FBT, BAS Amendments, Trust Distribution Resolution and Tax Planning in the year-end job, you create an expectation with the client that this is all one job when it’s actually four different pieces of work. 

The key to getting your clients to understand the intricacies of the value you provide is to cancel “the everything” invoice. 


Itemise all jobs and their relevant prices on your invoice and educate your clients on what each one is and why they should pay for each of them using the value, plan, price (VPP) method 

footer-logoChangeGPS contains 38 templates to help you explain the value through the VPP method, including a master email that can be used for any project. 


Clients Can’t Quantify or Visualise Your Value 

Even if you’re using the VPP method, it’s easy for clients to forget the value you provide, which means you need to keep reminding them.  


Including their final tax position, year-on-year progress, and tax-saving recommendations in their year-end report is a great way to remind them of all you’ve done during the year. 

footer-logoProgress by ChangeGPS automatically creates this information when producing the year-end report and also formats the information into accompanying graphs. 

Another way to remind your clients of your value is not to hide accounting fees under P.  

You know what I’m talking about – some of us choosing to include our fees in the P&L as “professional fees” so they don’t appear as the first item.  

First of all, don’t be ashamed of your fees because of the value we know they prove, and also, having the work you’ve provided listed as the first item in the P&L is a great reminder of your value. 

You’re Stuck in an Order-Taker Relationship 

Too often, we find ourselves dropping everything because a client has asked us to do something urgently or because they’ve not been organised. 

Instead, you need to lead your clients. Be on the front foot and approach them when you know of upcoming work required.  


If a client wants something urgently, gently let them know that there’s a price loading for urgent work. 

Try saying: “We’re in the middle of this work at the moment that’s been promised for another client. I'm happy to push that to one side, but it’s going to need a 50% loading on the price. Are you happy to proceed?” 

If they ask why you haven’t charged an urgency fee previously, try: “Right now, we’re run off our feet with work. There are extra requirements the government’s put on us with the ATO looking for, and we’ve had a massive amount of extra work. If I’m going to push one client to the side, I’m going to have to make that up to him, that’s why I’m going to have to charge you more.” 

Just because we should be putting our prices up regularly doesn’t mean it’s easy, but by avoiding these four classic mistakes, you should be well on your way. 

For a deep dive on Better Billing, check out this guide.