When running a new accounting firm or starting a bookkeeping business, you may be tempted to take on every new bookkeeping or accounting client that reaches out to you. This is beneficial if you are just starting out and trying to build your name in the industry. However, doing this is not always ideal. Eventually, you may have to prioritize choosing quality, high-paying clients.

If you often get tough accounting clients, you have to learn how to say no politely to them in a way that you can turn them away without burning any bridges. Learn more about how you can do this and its benefits for your business through this guide.

When Should I Say No to Clients?

Your time is precious, and you must not waste it with prospects who aren’t entirely sure about you. For example, if they are hesitant, unmotivated, or uninterested in the services you are trying to explain to them, consider this a red flag. They may not be willing to do the work necessary to meet their expectations and achieve their desired results. Worse, they may even start ignoring you every time you contact them. By having strict boundaries for yourself and your firm, you can appreciate serving people you enjoy working with.

Another type of client you have to say no to is individuals that belittle your services by asking for low pricing and unreasonable discounts. Consider turning them away when they start asking how they could pay less or if they can get a deal. It’s crucial to know your services’ value and learn to accept nothing less than that.

It’s also time to say no politely when you believe that you and your prospects aren’t a good fit or you are already too busy and have taken on too much work. This way, you can fully engage with each of your clients and avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications in the long run.

How Do I Decline Clients?

Turning away people may be a struggle for you, especially if you are so used to taking on every person who reaches out to you for help. But when you realize that you are dealing with someone who isn’t ideal for you as a client, declining them is the right thing to do.

You can say no to them politely by referring them to other professionals you think would better fit their needs. Doing this helps you maintain a harmonious relationship with them. There will be no hard feelings because both parties are satisfied. You will also get to open up more space for new qualified clients.

In addition, you can position yourself as the expert every time you meet with a prospect. After all, you have the knowledge, skills, and experience to address their needs and help them reach their goals. Doing so will remind you that you want to work with clients who see your true value and are willing to pay the fees you charge.


Having additional income from clients is ideal, but you have to remember that not every prospect is someone you want to work with.  By learning how to say no politely, you can welcome more people who would be better suited to you. When it’s time to turn their offer down, follow the suggestions on this guide.

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