How accountants can help their clients in tough times

By Emma Slack, AVN Practice Growth Expert

Do you remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

As the cost of living soars and global events make the future very uncertain, many people are right back at the bottom of the pyramid. They’re worrying about paying the bills and being able to feed their family.

It’s easy to feel helpless in this situation, but there are many ways we can help our clients manage those fears.

How accountants can help their clients

Start by understanding the truth about their personal financial position. However bad things seem to be, knowing their real position is the starting point for making changes. This will give them some confidence that things can be better.

Then work on understanding the truth about their business’s financial position. Again, showing them how to manage their current issues and plan for the future makes a big difference.

If you’re an AVN member, there are many resources in System Builder that will help you – from the personal balance sheet to the whole Performance Measurement and Improvement system. See this month’s issue of The Navigator newsletter for more details (heading your way shortly).

If you aren’t an AVN member, use any of the tools that you can access – producing management accounts is a good starting point (and see the end of this blog for more help).

Help your clients to create an action plan that they can prioritise and work through. Let them decide if they would value your help with those actions.

If your clients are anxious about the future, just talking about these issues will be a relief in itself.

What else can you do to ensure your clients know you are here to help?


The AVN KnowHow Hub is a huge store of strategies and insights from accountants in practice and industry experts. It covers a vast range of topics, from marketing to technical updates, from managing your team to managing your time. With videos of every Accountants Helping Accountants webinar, plus additional downloadable resources, it gives you up to date practice growth advice and tips that help you to build a better accountancy practice and help your clients build a better business. Find out more at