|Previous||1 of 3||Next|
36 HASKINS & SELLS May How May We Improve the Quality of Our Service to Clients? By J . M . PALEN AS this is a personal service organization, the first way to improve the quality of the service is to improve the quality of the staff. Unfortunately, the service which accountants render is to a large degree seasonal. This means that around the first of each year a great many new men must be employed. While generally these men are capable, it sometimes happens that in the rush of work an untried man is sent out in charge of an engagement, who, without supervision, is not capable of performing a real audit. While not entirely preventable, this occurrence might be less frequent if new men were subjected to a more comprehensive oral questioning on the subject of auditing, by someone of tact and broad accounting experience. After assigning the accountant in charge the principal should not consider his contact with the engagement finished. Clients employ Haskins & Sells because of the reputation which various members of the firm have established. The client is not always able to appreciate the high-grade work of the staff man, but receives a favorable impression if a principal comes to his office during the progress of the work and evinces some knowledge of his affairs. This visit may, in fact, greatly facilitate the work through the special opportunity for obtaining information. The principal meets the important members of the client's organization, whereas the staff man frequently has difficulty in getting in touch with any but subordinates. Through discussion with the heads of the concern the principal may learn of special uses to which the report is to be put; whether the previous report was satisfactory, and if not, why not; also whether there are any special matters to be covered. It may even be found that no report is necessary other than an oral one or a letter to the effect that the accounts have been found to be correct. The discussion may bring out that certain work which the client has asked to be done is in reality unnecessary. If so, real good-will may be created by telling the client the facts, Frequently the discussion may be drawn to taxes, system, or other special features, resulting in an extension of the service. In connection with the actual field work many methods of improvement suggest themselves. In the first place, although there is no question that a man who has performed a particular audit several years in succession can usually do the work more expeditiously than anyone else, there is question as to whether his audit is as good as a new man's would be. He gets stale; he fails to give proper consideration to changing conditions; the office staff learns his methods and how to evade them. A new man may take more time but he brings a fresh viewpoint and adds the element of surprise. The accountant himself, by taking thought, may constantly improve the quality of his service. Instead of plunging into the detail work immediately upon his arrival he may well spend the first few hours in drawing up a rough balance sheet and income statement, studying the system, or perhaps even going through the plant to find out how the business functions.
How may we improve the quality of our service to clients?
Palen, Jennie May
Customer relations -- Accounting
Haskins & Sells Bulletin, Vol. 07, no. 05 (1924 May), p. 36-38
|Source||Originally published by: Haskins & Sells|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Libraries. Accounting Collection|
|Identifier||HS Bulletin 7-p36|