My client was furious and ranting loudly during our coaching call. What happened? When he moved his business from one state to another about a year ago, he kept his accountant from the previous state. Now, he was being slapped with huge fines for not paying the correct sales taxes in both states. He was practically yowling from the time I said “Hello”. He lamented to me that the accountant lied to him about knowing the ramifications of making the move and setting up the new books for doing business in the new state.
I had my doubts about the accountant lying because this has happened before to this particular client. He has a demonstrated “assumption” disease. He has assumed that some contracted professional knows something that they don’t profess to know or that they have done something that he never asked them to do. He goes merrily on his way until the assumption bites him usually in the form of having to pay more to get him out of the trouble the assumption has caused him. Fortunately, this client is smart. He does learn from his mistakes and has not made the same mistake twice.
So, what is my idea to stop this kind of financially painful learning experience? Make a list of what you are asking the professional to do and also a second list of what you are assuming that they professional knows and is doing. Then, ask about both lists before the services contract is agreed upon. Also, ask the professional what you are missing and what the ramifications are if the actions are not performed as understood. Get everything in writing first which outlines the actions and consequences or results and or actions. If for some reason, you are still not clear, get a second opinion. Make certain you are crystal clear up front, before the first payment is made that what you want and assume will be done is being done and by when.
Yes, it IS a lot more up front work. I assert it is much easier and you will avoid the unnecessary financial and emotional stress of finding out much later when the damage has been done.
In the comments below please let me know if you have been faced with the consequences of the assumption disease and what you have done to cure your self. I am looking forward to hearing from you!