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Accounting Firms Unite to Demand Timely Payments from Clients

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Aug 29, 2023

Practice management software company Ignition has initiated a movement among accounting firms to demand timely payments from clients in order to reclaim the accounting profession’s profitability.

The #CallForChange movement is articulated in an open letter signed by more 45 accounting professionals organized by the company; the letter aims to reclaim the profitability lost by such occurrences as overservicing, collections calls and inefficient processes, Accounting Today reported. The letter is addressed to "accounting and tax professionals who want to run more profitable firms."

Along with Ignition, partners include Dawn Brolin, CEO of Powerful Accounting; Logan Graf, chief tax officer at The Graf Tax Co., Tiffany Davis, president of Washington Accounting Service; Ryan Lazanis, founder of Future Firm; Kelly Gonsalves, founder of Totally Booked; Ben Stein, CEO of Keeper; Laurie O'Neil, owner of Innovative Financial Services; Candy Bellau, owner of Kramerica Business Solutions; Josh Lance, founder of Lance CPA Group; and others.

"Here's the hard truth," the letter states. "We're letting our clients walk all over us. We give away work for free. We fear clients will leave us if we raise prices. We're afraid to ask for payment upfront. We avoid awkward conversations and miss out on collections. We say yes to clients when we don't have the time. It's a vicious cycle. The more we put up with it, the more we encourage the behavior we dread."

In its “State of engagement client report” issued last year, Ignition found that 94 percent of firms chased clients for late payments; 89 percent delayed or avoided awkward conversations with clients about payments; and 43 percent absorbed the time and cost when the scope of client work increased. The letter cites these findings.

The letter concludes, "There are actionable ways you can run a more scalable and profitable firm today. ... We’re committed to driving our businesses forward and we need you on board. Why? Because resisting change jeopardizes the future of our profession."

The open letter and a video in support of the #CallForChange movement can be found on Ignition's call-for-change web page.


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