There are times when a business leader has no choice but to deliver ostensibly “bad” news to clients, but there is often a way to present the information in a way that actually makes them more appreciative of the service they are receiving. This may seem counterintuitive, but consider an example.
Let’s say your company was aiding another corporation in the setup of a new subsidiary overseas and, after the fact, your financial staff determines that you could have helped the client save money by avoiding specific tax liabilities. You may be nervous about telling the client that you missed an opportunity to improve their bottom line. But, if you explain to them that you are working with an international tax consultant to implement new review standards to prevent such oversights in the future, it shows them that you are a valuable partner who is committed to providing quality service.
For another example, imagine a situation where your company’s leadership identifies fraud or other wrongdoing in its accounting department. There may be an impulse to panic, deal with the situation as quietly as possible and conceal the whole incident to avert a scandal.
Many corporations and politicians have followed this path, only to find that when the information inevitably came out anyway, their concealment of the truth caused them to look complicit in the criminal activity and further diminished their reputation.
The best thing a company can do when it uncovers improper practices in its operations is to be honest and upfront with clients and business partners and put new safeguards into place to prevent similar activities from taking place in the future.
If your business announces that it has terminated the corrupt individuals and will work with professional recruiters to thoroughly vet candidates when recruiting accountants in the future, this will show your associates that you value integrity and are an earnest business partner.