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Want to Know How to Turn Mistakes Into Money?

It can be challenging to deliver bad news or apologise to a client, but it’s even worse when you have nothing to offer as a solution. Simply saying sorry is not enough; you need to provide a fix and demonstrate your commitment to the client’s business and trust in your firm. The key is to always pair an apology with a solution. This approach not only helps rectify the mistake but also presents an opportunity for growth and potential profit, or at the very least, prevents the client from seeking alternatives elsewhere.

Degrees of apology

The initial phase of offering an apology involves expressing remorse verbally, which, although acknowledging the mistake, does little to benefit the client. They may still experience delays in their tax return or miss deductions. As a result, they may harbour negative feelings towards your firm and share these sentiments with others in their social and professional circles.

Clearly, this form of apology is insufficient. Therefore, let’s discuss the second level of apology that includes addressing the issue at hand. This approach helps restore clients to a state similar to before the mistake was made.

By rectifying the errors, you are essentially patching up any leaks in a sinking ship. While this is commendable, it is important to recognize that your client has experienced stress and wasted time by notifying you of the error and waiting for it to be resolved. Thus, even though they may appear satisfied on paper, there is still a lingering sense of animosity that can result in negative word-of-mouth referrals.

Costly Accounting Firm Choices That Outsource Accounting Can Help You Cure


To enhance the efficiency of your firm, it is essential to incorporate systems into your operations. Documentation of every step involved in repetitive tasks is a key component of these systems. By implementing well-defined workflows, you can minimise mistakes and improve overall productivity within your organisation.

In the event that errors do occur, having established protocols in place allows for immediate action. This enables your client-facing staff to effectively address any issues that arise and communicate with clients in a clear and concise manner. By doing so, you can save valuable time for both your clients and staff members by ensuring a swift resolution without unnecessary delays or consultations.

Turning mistakes into money

One drawback of systems is that although clients undoubtedly reap the benefits, they do not directly witness or experience the professional handling of mistakes. As a result, they may not fully appreciate having accounting experts who are akin to rock stars working on their behalf.

So what do we do to put stars in their eyes?

There are two important steps to take when a client brings an error to your attention. First, express gratitude for their feedback and acknowledge that their contribution will improve the overall service for all clients. By caring about your clients and appreciating their efforts, you can establish goodwill and build stronger relationships.

Secondly, it is essential to rectify the mistake in a way that benefits the client. Instead of just restoring them to their original position before the error occurred, consider offering something extra that will enhance their experience. This could include a complimentary evaluation of their personal accounting needs or providing a one-time service at no cost that would specifically benefit them.

The choice of what additional benefit to offer ultimately depends on your discretion and understanding of the client’s preferences and requirements. The goal is to make sure they feel valued and satisfied with how you address the situation.

It’s up to you. Here’s what this extra effort on your part does:

  • You are demonstrating accountability by acknowledging the mistake and taking appropriate action to penalise yourself. This shows professionalism and integrity.
  • Additionally, by involving the client in the resolution process, you are creating a sense of emotional investment in your firm. This helps to build brand loyalty and strengthen the client’s connection to your services.
  • Furthermore, offering a sample of a service that the client may not have considered purchasing allows them to experience its value firsthand. It opens up the possibility that they may decide to continue paying for this service in the future, benefiting both parties involved.

Here are three key reasons why your clients spreading positive word-of-mouth about your firm through social media and personal recommendations can benefit your business:

  1. Enhanced credibility and trust: When your clients share their positive experiences with others, it adds credibility to your firm’s reputation. People trust recommendations from friends and family members more than any form of advertising. By leveraging social media and personal referrals, you can build a trustworthy image and attract potential customers who are more likely to convert into paying clients.
  2. Expanded reach and brand awareness: Word-of-mouth marketing has the potential to reach a wide network of people who may have never heard of your firm otherwise. Sharing positive experiences through social media platforms allows your clients to reach a broad audience, increasing awareness of your brand and potentially attracting new customers. This organic reach can be a cost-effective way to expand your client base without spending significant resources on marketing campaigns.
  3. Stronger customer relationships and loyalty: When clients actively promote your firm, they become your brand advocates. These satisfied customers not only bring new business but also foster stronger customer relationships and loyalty. By voicing their positive experiences, they affirm their trust in your firm, potentially inspiring others to choose your services. Additionally, their recommendations may encourage repeat business and referrals from the friends and family they’ve influenced.


In summary, by encouraging your clients to spread the word about your firm through social media and personal recommendations, you can gain credibility, expand your reach, and strengthen customer relationships, ultimately driving profits and turning your initial mistake into a positive outcome.

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