How far do you adapt your communication style for clients?

As a Chartered Certified Accountant it is my duty to maintain a high level of professional behaviour, but how does this interact with sharing humour with established clients?


One of my clients was having difficulty understanding the corporation tax relief on the purchase of an electric car and he asked me to explain it to him as if he was the same age as his 5 yr old sons.


I appreciate that this sort of response would not be right for every client, but I know he shares my ridiculous sense of humour and couldn't resist sending him the following:


"Well... Bob the Builder needs a shiny red car.. Can We Fix It Ltd spends £30k on his shiny red car.


Then his accountant, Mr Black comes along and he explains that as it is a business asset, you will get tax deduction for that spend, like other expenditure spent for business purposes, but because the big red car is a special you might get relief for the expense over a number of years.


It looked like a really sporty car and Mr Black said that could mean that as little as 6% of the initial spend would be deducted from profits in the first year.


Then Bob piped up that Wendy had been in charge of procurement and because Wendy was into recycling and upcycling and all that good stuff, she had chosen a 100% electric car for him.


Oh good, says Mr Black. That means that instead of having to wait to get deductions from profits over a number of years, the whole cost of £30k can be deducted in the first year, Reducing the current year corporation tax bill by £30k x 19% rather than a worst case of £30 x 6% x 19%.


Bob it very pleased and pats his nice new car lovingly, promising that he'll buy Wendy a nice box of farmhouse cider as a thank you gift.


"Best not let her drive after that" laughs Mr Black


... all is well in Bobsville"


Did I go too far? Or should I take his advice and start a book range?


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