Free Site Registration

Brought to you by:
More Accounting Tomorrow Posts

Online or in-person? How do you connect with clients?

By Jody Padar
November 26, 2012

A meeting with your client isn’t what it used to be—at least in terms of how you meet. Back in the day, it was mostly onsite or maybe over the phone from time to time. With so many convenient technologies available today, we have far more options to connect with our clients; a choice for everyone. This means that we can stay in constant contact with clients without putting in a great deal of time. And we all know that time is a premium. So, what’s your option?

My dad still prefers the in-person client touch. I will most often opt for a video meeting using the ever-popular Skype (which my dad refers to as having “TV meetings,” by the way). It’s all about how you were “raised” in regard to building client relationships. I’ve grown up with exciting technologies, so I use them. My dad built his business on face-to-face time. The fact is that no one way is better than the other as long as you are meeting the clients’ needs.

I’ll be honest, I’ve gotten so used to meeting online, that I have forgotten when I’ve set up an in-office visit. Just the other day I had an appointment on my calendar and I couldn’t remember how we planned to meet. I searched for a GotoMeeting invite, and then suddenly, the client walked through the door. I had forgotten that he was traveling and said he would stop by in-person. My M.O. is online. It comes naturally to me.

Is this good or bad? Neither. It’s just different. While I believe that Skype is the way to go, it can drive my dad a bit nuts. He likes the client to come into the office, and to shake their hand. It’s how he was “raised.” The bottom line is that whether you communicate via video, phone, email, or in person…you ARE communicating. It’s that frequency of touches with clients, not so much how you connect with them.

I love that new technologies are always coming out. It offers us options…and the client, too! Don’t forget that many of our clients would rather meet conveniently online. Pick your option…or maybe two, and just keep building your client relationships.

Jody L. Padar, CPA, MST, is a Certified Public Accountant experienced with Complex Federal & State Income Tax Compliance for Business & Individuals. Jody is an adjunct professor at Oakton Community College, where she teaches Taxation and QuickBooks Courses. She is part of Intuit Trainer Writer Network and speaks nationally on various Technologies and Taxation. She can be reached at


Follow Accounting Today


Deloitte’s Efforts at Greater Diversity and Inclusion

April 23, 2014

Deloitte vice chairman and chief inclusion officer Deb DeHaas discusses the firm's efforts at recruiting a more diverse workforce.

Trends in the Accounting Profession

April 18, 2014

Jim Metzler, former AICPA vice president of small firm interests, and founder of Metzler Advisory Group, talks about how the CPA profession is changing.

Lessons in M&A: Client and Staff Retention

April 14, 2014

Transition Advisors president Joel Sinkin talks about what firms should do after a merger to retain their clients and staff members.



More Taxpayer Misconceptions

April 21, 2014

Apparently, there’s no end to the ridiculous things taxpayers believe.

Dumbest Employee Excuses for Being Late

March 31, 2014

Running a little late could have big repercussions, especially at a firm in the midst of busy season. From escaped zebras to must-see TV, employers told CareerBuilder some of the most memorable excuses they've heard from tardy employees.

Common Taxpayer Misconceptions

March 19, 2014

The NAEA’s collection of ridiculous things tax clients believe.

The 10 Fastest-Growing Firms in the U.S.

March 10, 2014

The firms with the highest 2013 revenue growth in our Top 100 Firms/Regional Leaders list.

Top 10 Tech Trends for 2014

March 3, 2014

As companies gain more affordable access to new technology and platforms, they also seek to make smarter investments.