And 12 retreat topic no-no’s. by August Aquila Author of “Leadership At Its Strongest” The purpose of the retreat should be clearly thought out early in the year. Articulate one or two goals for the retreat. You need to be very specific as to what you want to accomplish. For example, the purpose of the retreat is to develop a succession plan for the firm. You many not know exactly what it will look like, but you know what the end product of the retreat will be. If you cannot do this, don’t hold the meeting. Ask yourself this one question: “What would happen if we did not hold this retreat?” If the answer is “nothing,” you’ll know what to [...]
Especially in these trying times, partners must show leadership by accepting the consequences of their actions – or their inaction. Accountability is the essence of your success, according to management consultant August Aquila, author of “Leadership At Its Strongest: What Successful Managing Partners Do.” “I don’t think that the average partner takes accountability seriously,” Aquila says. “If they did, they would take their individual goals more seriously and not let their fellow partners down.”
How to slice the profits pie. Ever wonder about revamping the partner compensation system for your firm? But how to assess partner performance? And how to reward the right things? A firm’s compensation system is a reflection of its culture and competitive realities, according to August Aquila, a regular CPA Trendlines contributor and leading practice management consultant. More for CPA firm partner groups at CPA Trendlines PRO members [ Go PRO here ] : Seven Ways to Build the Right Culture | How to Change a Partner | How a Founding Partner Passes the Baton to a New Managing Partner | Six Reasons NOT to Plan for Succession | How to Apply Sam Walton’s 10 Rules for Success at Your [...]
And five ways how NOT to implement a system of partner accountability. August Aquila, a veteran practice management consultant, works globally with accounting firms on leadership and management issues. If you’re thinking about the quality of leadership at your firm, think on this. Five WRONG ways to make partners more accountable: Let’s make it into a checklist. One thing you can count on – accountants love checklists. It seems that a checklist is the answer to all our problems.
Take a lesson in change management from Weight Watchers. by August Aquila aquilaadvisors.com David Maister in “Strategy and the Fat Smoker” notes that there are two elements needed in order for us to change. The first is a willingness to do it. The second is determination. But alas, we know the path to hell is paved with good intentions. There are a multitude of platitudes about change. But unless we change we don’t grow and the skills that got us to where we are, won’t get us to the next level. None of us can achieve more unless we become more. If I fail to change, I will not produce different or better results, but only the same thing. This [...]
Do you have the courage to change the firm’s culture?
“Unintended,” maybe. But not altogether unforeseeable. With a new generation of CPAs taking over as managing partners comes a host of new questions and issues. Marc Rosenberg addresses some of the concerns in Compensation Issues for the New Managing Partner, which inspires Gary Zeune, Managing Director at The Pros & The Cons LLC, to weigh in on the kind of comp issues that he sees all too often as a fraud-fighter. Zeune comments: Don’t tell anyone but the problem with CPA firms is they’re run by accountants who don’t understand the unintended consequences of decisions.
Five factors to consider in their new compensation plan. And five key responsibilities for the new managing partner. by Marc Rosenberg, CPA Author of How to Operate a Compensation Committee Baby boomer partners are rapidly approaching retirement age, creating a huge demographic shift. One result of this is a dramatic increase in new managing partners at firms. Marc Rosenberg, CPA, is a nationally known consultant, author and speaker on CPA firm management, strategy and partner issues, and author of “How to Operate a Compensation Committee,” available here. Many firms are skipping a generation and turning the reins over to “younger” partners. Firms are also asking their new MPs to divest themselves of a significant part of their client base to [...]
When one-partner, one-vote isn’t working. by Marc Rosenberg, CPA Author of How To Bring in New Partners Most firms vote on a one-person, one-vote basis despite varying ownership percentages. Voting done on an ownership percentage basis: Essentially “disenfranchises” the minority owners. Their vote doesn’t mean much, and it becomes tantamount to not having a vote at all. When they have no vote, they tend to get disenchanted and cease acting like partners. They may eventually leave. Gives too much power to the majority owners. More Marc Rosenberg practice management trends and guidance: What Partners Are Entitled To, and What They’re NOT Entitled To | How to Make Partner? | Why Accounting Firm Partners Are “Popping Prozac like M&M’s” | The 15-Item Checklist [...]
…And what they’re NOT entitled to. Partners are entitled to a lot. At some firms, they are virtually royalty. But that’s no way to run a firm these days. Here, Marc Rosenberg, CPA, and author of How To Bring in New Partners and a CPA Trendlines affiliate, lists what every partner – especially new and wanna-be partners – need to understand. More from Marc Rosenberg: How to Make Partner? | Why Accounting Firm Partners Are “Popping Prozac like M&M’s” | The 15-Item Checklist for Your Next Partner Retreat | Five Key Responsibilities for a New Partner | Planning a Partner Retreat for Real Results | 6 Steps to Get Your Business to the Next Level | The 10 Biggest Mistakes in [...]
Don’t keep it a secret. by Marc Rosenberg, CPA Author of How To Bring in New Partners CPA firm partners keep lots of things secret at their firms that should be open. One of them is a written document stating the firm’s criteria for making partner. The main explanation we hear for not having such a document is that they are afraid creation of this document will backfire. They are afraid that an under-performing staff will wave this document in front of the MP’s face, informing him/her that they have fulfilled all the criteria for making partner and demanding a date for coronation.
It starts with how to make a successful senior manager. by Marc Rosenberg, CPA Author of “How To Bring in New Partners“ How are the duties and responsibilities of a new partner different from those of a manager? This is one of the grayest areas in bringing in new partners. For more on this topic, see Rosenberg’s monograph, “How To Bring in New Partners.“ Ideally, there should be a gradual transition for new partners from their last two to three years as a manager to the first few years as a partner. During their last few years as a manager, they should: