Why I ditched my accountant

I recently decided to give my accountant the flick. There are a few reasons, all of which seem a bit petty in isolation, but together they represent some of the things which work together to give you confidence that a business is well run and can meet your needs.

New brand

A few months ago the business changed their name from CFS Accounting Services to GrowUp Group. The new name really annoyed me. Even though CFS Accounting is a boring name, it’s what I want from an accountant – reliable and conservative. The new name struck me as not very well thought out, unappealing, and slightly offensive. I’m already grown up thanks very much. I’m assuming that they wanted to convey the idea of growth, but it really missed the mark with me.

New location

The business also moved offices and they’re now located behind a coffee shop. There’s nothing wrong with this, but for some reason I find it slightly weird, as if they are hiding. Again, not a very comforting thought. They sent an email to say that they were a little hard to find but they were definitely there, located somewhere in the backroom. They didn’t give any reason why they had moved and I think it’s the third move in the last four years, so that wasn’t very confidence building and I can’t for the life of me work out exactly where they are located even though I know the area quite well.

They can’t write

The final straw was the email they sent me last week along with their newsletter which I haven’t read. I know that I’m a pedant but really, a business should be able to do better than send out an email that reads like this…

As we head into the New Financial Year, we look at the top Small Business 20K deduction questions, the nation are asking. We also show you why it’s not easy financially, being a foreigner, in Australia.

The random commas made me laugh (I’m not as mean as I sound), but the poor writing was just one more reason for me to lose my confidence in them and take my business elsewhere. I’m sure they won’t notice that I’ve gone.

2 thoughts on “Why I ditched my accountant

  1. Dear Margaret,

    My name is Rodney Johnston and I am the owner and director of the “growup” group of businesses (financial, accounting, insurance). I was alerted to your website over the last few days and thought I might reply.

    First and foremost we are never happy when we lose a client and I am sorry you have left. I spent 30 years building this business from nothing and my first office was my bedroom in my parents house so when we lose a client it hurts.

    After reading your blog I had some mixed emotions, but most of them hit home and I have already taking on board the comments you have made. However I think its fair to give some comment.

    Although the business stared 30 years ago the name CFS has only been around since 2003. However a few years ago I did a survey of clients and nobody new what CFS stood for. So I embarked on a name change. That’s when the name “growup” was suggested. Not everyone liked the name but our research showed after discussing the name with clients that they would remember the name “growup”. Yes it’s edgy, but it’s also a name you are unlikely to forget. Our motto is “partners in growth” to reflect our mission and vision statement.

    The growup group moved from Fountain Plaza to it’s own premises just up the road in 2008. However we have grown to employ over 30 people and simply ran out of space so we have moved 200 metres down the road to be next to the RTA and Casey’s.

    As your article suggested Financial Planning, Accounting, Home Loans and Insurance is boring and not real “sexy” so we thought we would make our front reception a Coffee hangout Café to make our business just a little “sexy”. I like the idea that you find it a little weird because to be honest, I have never really liked to be seen the same as every other boring, non progressive and non inventive financial institution.

    I sincerely apologise for the signage. After 12 weeks you would think we would have been able to obtain approval for the name change and the placing of the sign. It’s frustrating but the name “growup” should be clearly seen on the building in the next week.

    As for the grammatical errors that’s just plain embarrassing so I have spoken to my marketing team . Actually I nearly did not reply as my grammar is very average however my maths is quite good.

    Margaret I am sorry and hopefully we can partner with you again sometime as a client.

    1. Dear Rodney
      Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my post. Sorry I was a bit rough on you, I’m usually very supportive of local business owners who put the effort into growing their businesses as you have done. I’m also sorry to hear that you were nervous about responding as I’m not an ogre. I am trying to help people, but I admit I could have been kinder. I’m glad you responded and even more glad that you have a sense of humour. Good luck with your business.

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