Level 2

Everyone pays by ACH or check.  I would say 70%-80% of the people that we offered ACH to said yes during this coronavirus year.  Otherwise they sent or dropped off a check.  If they picked up they just brought a check generally.  For DocuSign returns most paid by ACH.  We have never taken credit cards.  It has never been an issue.  A lot of higher dollar professional services don’t take credit cards.  It might depend on your clientele.  Our clientele is not financially strapped to NEED to use a credit card.  They would LIKE to, to get points, but if anyone asks I just explain we would have to raise rates if we accepted cards.  If they are willing to go somewhere else simply because another firm accepts credit cards, they are thinking of you as a commodity, and probably not really valuing your expertise.  I think even if you switched a client base to not accepting cards that the vast majority would stay if they value you and like you.  But you would likely want to give them several warnings in advance so if it really is a hardship that they have time to find someone else.  Also, so that their hardship doesn’t become your hardship when they don’t have the cash to pay you!  We also take a flat standard retainer upfront for every return we do.  It is pegged to be about 50% of the average tax return cost.  We don’t release returns until paid either - with an exception here or there.  The combination of these two policies has been a fantastic business decision and has resulted in virtually 100% collections and very little time wasted chasing A/R. Some other practitioners I talk to can’t imagine asking for retainers, but again, why would you want a client base that either can’t afford a retainer or trust you with it?  The client having skin in the game levels the playing field if there is a disagreement as have invested time and expenses, and they have invested some cash.  I think existing practitioners could implement a retainer system slowly over a few years and communicate the plan.  Maybe $50 the first year, then $100, and so on.  Camico advises taking retainers.  You could always blame it on insurance!