Communications forms a large part of our work. It’s surprising how much time is spent not on traditional tasks like preparing accounts and tax returns, but simply communicating by phone and email. It’s not often we receive a letter from a client now, in fact most paper letters are from HMRC.
The more progressive and busy a client is, the more often we are in contact. For successful businesses, the bulk of our work for them is almost anything except preparing accounts and tax returns.
Emails are the predominant form of sending and receiving information, and dealing with emails is an ongoing challenge. Every exchange of information is part of the service we provide to clients and should be treated as part of the record.
It’s not acceptable to keep client emails in the inbox, any more than it would be leaving post on the doormat after reading it. What’s more, suppose that during a meeting our client refers to an email they sent us a few weeks ago – there would be nothing worse than having to open up the email browser with our client looking over our shoulder, showing emails to or from many others, in order to find the one in question. Maintaining confidentiality needs a different approach.
Therefore, although it takes some time and software to achieve this, we file all emails out of the messaging apps and into client folders.