Nine Factors for Dividing the Partner Pie

Cut pie chart on plate flanked by fork and knifeHow to decide who gets how much voting power.

By Bill Reeb and Dominic Cingoranelli

People who can lead, develop, train and supervise others are worth much more than those who can just make themselves faster, better and stronger.

Equity ownership allocation is a critical success factor if you expect your firm to continue after you leave.  For many firms, reallocation of equity ownership is or will be an important part of succession planning.  While it can cause some anxiety for your owners’ group as you go through the process, it’s better to confront the issues now, to help ensure that your firm is in good hands after your leave. It’s not necessarily easy, but it must be addressed for long-term success.

MORE ON PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: Hazards of Not Reallocating Equity | The Pitfalls of Equity Allocation and Reallocation | Develop Your Employees or Suffer the Consequences | CPA Firm Performance Assessments: 15 Core Competencies, 21 Questions | Do CPA Firms Need Management or Leadership?

When you are deciding which partners should have more say (or less say, which is just as important), you need to consider issues such as whose judgment partners trust, who is pulling the wagon, who consistently acts in the firm’s best interest, or who is viewed as a current or future leader. With this in mind, here are nine areas to evaluate or each partner: