Making partner in an accounting firm is not what it used to be.
by Rick Telberg
Traditionally, becoming a partner in a CPA firm meant the end of a long, hard slog of grunt work and extended hours. But in today’s competitive environment, making partner is only the beginning of a new chapter of risks and challenges. And the work isn’t getting any easier.
Today’s top CPA firm leaders are looking for new ways of building successful, enduring organizations. According to accounting firm management consultant August Aquila, the culture of collegiality that gave way to a culture of entitlement is giving way to a new culture of performance and accountability.
“The lack of accountability can have a real impact on a firm’s profits,” Aquila says. And with today’s shortage of high-level talent, new pressures to produce value for clients, and a white-knuckled squeeze on profits, holding leaders accountable has rarely been more critical to survival and success.
“But accountability is hard to implement,” Aquila says, leading firms to make some common mistakes, like turning it into a checklist, or simply logging more information about evermore-minute activities.