I was having a chat with a client last week in which we discussed the importance of getting all the information you need in a document while also ensuring it is kept to a sensible size. The conversation started as they had received a 100-pages+ document for a one-day job they were a subcontractor on. The document contained some useful information about the job, including details of the particular role, timings, location etc, while the rest was filled with health and safety information. Although equally important, the sheer quantity of this information made reading the whole document an impossible challenge, meaning critical information could have easily been missed. All this information needed to be passed to the client, so nothing could easily be cut.
It is actually something that is part of our fundamental ethos at PBATS. We don’t try and pad out our reports or put in extra pages to make them look better. If anything, we do the opposite. We look for the most efficient way to communicate the facts you need to know, in the most easy to digest way. This includes not using technical terms when a layman’s term will suffice. Overcomplicating things just makes them less accessible, which encourages skim reading or, worse still, not reading at all!
We want the documents we produce for our clients to suit their needs. We want to help them get the most from their accounts and books without having to wade through pages and pages of information that isn’t of relevance or interest to them. Take our management accounts, for example. If there’s a graph or table that isn’t needed, we will remove it. Or if there is a particular piece of information they require each month, we will ensure it is displayed clearly. It is a document solely produced for clients to extract the information they need, so we ensure it meets that purpose.
Obviously there are some statutory forms we can’t change, but we can still extract the important bits. How many people read all the detailed lines of their tax return? How many just skip to the line that says the amount to be paid? If that is the information you want then we will pull that out for you. It is why we aim to be as approachable as possible. You tell us what you need and we can supply it.
So if you are already a customer, please feed back to us any changes you ever want made. And if aren’t already a customer, why not? Come and join the friendliest accountants in Southend!*
*We haven’t researched this but we are pretty sure we are!