Ever had problems at work regarding fulfillment of professional commitments? Well of course you certainly would have had a few bad experiences in your career; accountancy is not a heavenly profession with angels all around you after all. Whether it is your employer from the work place or a client who hires your freelance accounting services, people tend to disregard the things they owe you for your services sometimes.
There are several ways that people you work for can misuse you . You could just take a look at some of the stories from Clients From Hell and Reddit to allow yourself to comprehend what goes on out there. There is one about a client who gave seriously vague instructions regarding a copy-writing job to his freelancer. Upon a request for clarification of these instructions, he showed consistency in his instructive manners which left the freelancer no option but to make do with what he had. However, as you might have guessed, the client ended up not liking the work at all and did not pay the agreed price.
The market is full of such people. Accountants such as yourself are usually hired for proper financial work that takes time and effort that you give with your whole might. So you should also avoid taking unnecessary risks by utilizing the business practices that are for your own well being.
You can avoid awkward scenarios such as the one mentioned above by signing a contract with prospective clients. Contracts are formal tools that basically bound your clients to the rule. It stops dishonest clients from doing wrong stuff since they have agreed to terms set through mutual consent and you are in a better position to defend yourself if things go wrong.
Another benefit of adopting this practice, especially if you are a freelance accountant, is that it helps identify clients' true intent. A person who has nothing in mind but to exploit you would never sign your contract since it's a problem for him. Violation of agreed terms can get him in trouble.
Additionally, your reputation as an accountant does not only rely on your proficiency in your field; your business procedures and non technical abilities matter equally. Introducing a contract among your practices would add a touch of professionalism to your dealings and increase your chances to get employed.
So if the above points ring a bell for you, take some time out to review Bonsai's contracts.