My Client wants me to train an Accountant to replace me

train an accountant
Conpmay want me to train an Accountant to Replace IT Contractor

Train an Accountant

To Train an Accountant – this question was posed by a reader.

Forum Poster

In my current contract I developed a SQL Server / VB6 financial analysis system from scratch. The system uses SQL Server 2000, Analysis Services, VB6 and Excel & Access VBA.

There was no business analyst or technical architect available on the project, so I performed these tasks as well.

The client has proposed that one of their accountants take over development of the system to reduce contractor costs, i.e. me.

The problem is that the accountant has no systems development experience whatsoever.

The client expects, therefore,

(a) the accountant to reach expert level in project management, client/server architecture, business analysis, SQL Server 2000, Analysis Services, VB6 and Excel & Access VBA in six months and

(b) me to train & mentor him to enable him to do this while still continuing to develop the system.

So, anyone have any thoughts on this? Should I be expected, therefore, to train an Accountant to replace me?

Dr. McLaughlin‘s Reply on Train an Accountant Question

This could have potential.

The client wants to have the job done but to do it at a cheaper rate in the future.

Why not think of a solution for the client which benefits both of you?

You could have a consultancy contract with them after you finish the current one.

There would be a basic fee for you remaining available on a Consultancy basis, as well as call-up charges and other charges if you have to actually come in to fix something or help the Accountant with something.

You can train an accountant part fo the way but an accountant wants to do accountancy and so would probably use your services even after you are gone.

He, or she, might even be glad of this solution.

He, or she, might be a bit apprehensive about taking the whole damn thing over with you departing.

Another Solution

Another idea is that you hire a young programmer (or a graduate) to do the job instead of the Accountant.

Accountants aren‘t generally cheaper than permie IT folk.

This young guy would be cheaper than you but would work for your firm. You would charge him out.

Find out what an Accountant would earn at the company and that is what they would pay for the service.

After all, surely they could find better uses for their Accountants AND save money at the same time.


Often problems are opportunities.

As a bonus this would take you well outside IR35, especially if you had another client as well as this consultancy (or had someone working for you).

To train an accountant is not the only solution. You can suggest others.

If anyone else has any other profitable solutions for our reader, please post them in the Comments Section.

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