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August 16, 2011


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Beautifully thought out, Michelle. This post is all about clear communication with customers. In the interest of clarity, I would make one other suggestion: Instead of asking customers to "call ASAP" if they have questions about fieldwork (or anything else, for that matter), tell them to "call by Friday at 3:00" if they have questions. Be specific. ASAP has no meaning and leaves timing open to interpretation.

Michelle Golden

Thanks so much, Melinda. Your suggestion is outstanding (and I'm kicking myself that I didn't think of it!). Definitely want to eliminate any ambiguity! Thanks for sharing this important tip!


Great write up Michelle. Although I do see some points where an audit firm (only audit) may find a bit harder to do because of their independence requirement - the idea of approaching it from the "same side of the table" is certainly spot on. Point 2 is the only place that a firm may run into issues, but, with some creativity and help from others, it can still be done. Love point 4 - I think it is fair and just take a more open communication up front. May be scary, but definitely worth it.

Melinda made a great point. I believe I read that from Seth Godin (or some other smart person) where you should always include a specific time and date and make it actionable. Something that has no meaning should never be written.

Thanks for sharing!

Kevin McCoy

The graphical timeline is a great idea. I may have to steal that one! Thanks Michelle.

Jennifer Blumer

Really late to the party here. I searched "scope" on your website and this article is one that came up. (Can you tell what we're needing the most help with these days?)

I too have to say the timeline is brilliant! Jason's eyes just got really big and I think I saw a literal lightbulb come on over his head when I showed that graphic to him.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

Michelle Golden

Thanks Michael, Kevin, and Jennifer!

Kevin, it's not stealing if I've shared of free will! :) Use away....

Michael, you're right about point 2! The goal is to make sure they are equipped. If you need to recommend a third-party resource to teach them or do it for them, it's in both of your best interest to do it! :) Connecting people is awesome. Whatever it takes to make it a win for everybody... them ready and able, you on time. It's all good!

Jennifer, thanks for sharing your and Jason's happy reactions! That made my day! I don't think he was able to attend my session on pricing at AICPA #pstech but here is the slide deck... there might be more that is of use to you guys... http://www.slideshare.net/goldenm/pricing-for-profitability

Good luck!!

Jennifer Blumer

Thanks! We're working with another THRIVEal firm on scope woes, so this is a big help.

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