Value of meeting with clients during the coronavirus

Written on May 21, 2020

By Nicole Fracasso, OSCPA communications intern


McKinnon


Under normal circumstances, it’s essential to meet with clients face-to-face. And though social distancing guidelines now limits these interactions, tax pros should still communicate with clients regularly.

“It’s certainly putting a challenge on face-to-face meetings,” said Matthew McKinnon, CPA. “Albeit you can use tools like Zoom or FaceTime.”

McKinnon, who is a director at Brady Ware and Company, oversees the Columbus tax practice, and spends much of his time on business development for the firm.

“Business development is certainly challenged because we’re not having lunch with referral sources or prospects,” he said. “Things we typically do to develop relationships are stifled right now.”

With the coronavirus impacting the way business is normally conducted, McKinnon said it’s crucial to stay in constant communication with your clients.

“Let’s be honest: a lot of us rely on email heavily,” McKinnon said. “In light of this we’re seeing a lot more clients who want to talk on the phone.”

McKinnon specified that some clients are worried about their business and if they can rebound. Therefore, it’s important to keep them informed on economic incentives and other stimulus vehicles, such as the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

Nevertheless, technology is not every client’s strong suit, he said.

“We’re trying to accommodate them in this time and walk them through an easy way of using technology,” McKinnon said.

Each situation is unique to each client, he said. But regardless of the type of business they’re in, it’s important they know they can reach you when they need you.

“Our profession is something different every day,” he said. “I’d boil it down to challenge and variety. Yes, there are a lot of things we do that are similar in nature in terms of filing tax returns. But I like the challenge of finding solutions to problems and you never know what you’ll get into in a given day.”

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