Why Choose a Marketplace Orientation?

Smiling businesswoman offering a handshake5 basic principles to follow.

By August J. Aquila

Let's look at the different focuses or orientations that firms can take toward managing and running their practices and see which ones the traditional pricing methods encourage.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: How Traditional Fee Methods Hurt Firms | Price to Get the Maximum Fee | 7 Issues in Partner Retirement Planning | Is It Time for a Partner Compensation Checkup? | 13 Points of a Good Compensation Plan | 5 Ways to Keep Your Edge | The Toughest Job in the World: Managing an Accounting Practice | How to Become the Firm of Choice
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Any organization, whether an accounting firm or not, usually tends to have one of four focuses. They are either selling-oriented, product-oriented, production-oriented or marketing-oriented.
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How Traditional Fee Methods Hurt Firms

A road sign depicting falling dollarsRule of Three and cost-plus overlook some key considerations.

By August J. Aquila

The time has come for the accounting professional to rethink the paradigm on which pricing has been based. Let's discuss the traditional methods of price setting and how they can have a negative impact on a firm.

MORE: Price to Get the Maximum Fee | Why Value Pricing? | Solving Underperforming or Dysfunctional Partners | The 3 Types of Partners You Need | How MPs Can Make a Real Difference | 5 Reasons That Leaders Fail | 11 Things All Partners Must Do | Why Partners Need Written Goals | The 6-Step Plan for Transitioning Clients

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Price to Get the Maximum Fee

Piggy bank on scale with dollar signsDon't work more hours or harder; work smarter and learn how to price your services accordingly.

By August J. Aquila

Twenty-two years ago, there weren’t many articles or books written about pricing methods. Most of the literature at that time dealt with billing and collection. If you search the topic today, you will find hundreds of articles, videos and books to read or watch.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: Why Value Pricing? | 6 Questions for Planning Your Succession | Underperformers Come in Many Shapes and Sizes | 6 Focuses for Managing Partners | 10 Steps to Transitioning to a New MP | What Managing Partners Should Be Doing | Do Your Partners Pay Their Own Way? | 7 Keys to Becoming an Equity Partner | How and Why to Achieve Partner Unity
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If you search the topic today, you will find hundreds of articles, videos and books to read or watch.
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Why Value Pricing?

Woman checking a departure board at an airportCompare accounting firms to airlines.

By August J. Aquila

It is hard to believe that it has been over 22 years since I first wrote about pricing accounting services. Much has changed in the accounting profession, the world and my personal life in that time.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: 6 Questions for Planning Your Succession | 7 Issues in Partner Retirement Planning | Is It Time for a Partner Compensation Checkup? | 13 Points of a Good Compensation Plan | 5 Ways to Keep Your Edge | How to Become the Firm of Choice
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Technology is now a driving force in the profession, professional marketing is well established and accepted by firms, United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (Brexit) and Donald Trump was elected president of the United States of America. I have moved away from the marketing and business development for professional service firms to be a leader in the area of mergers and acquisitions, leadership development, compensation design and change management.
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6 Questions for Planning Your Succession

August Aquila: "Holding on too long is the most serious sin you can commit."Make your planning spell SUCCESS.

By August J. Aquila

It’s no surprise to anyone thinking about retiring or selling a practice today that the number one issue they face is finding someone to take over the practice.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: 7 Issues in Partner Retirement Planning | Solving Underperforming or Dysfunctional Partners | The 3 Types of Partners You Need | How MPs Can Make a Real Difference | 5 Reasons That Leaders Fail | 11 Things All Partners Must Do | Why Partners Need Written Goals
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There is a definite shortage of buyers and those who are buying are becoming more and more selective. Many firms will find that it has now turned into a buyers’ market.
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7 Issues in Partner Retirement Planning

Older businessman with jacket over shoulderPlus 6 steps for transitioning clients.

By August J. Aquila

The biggest danger facing the future of accounting firms today is not the economy. It is the lack of planning for partner retirement.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: Solving Underperforming or Dysfunctional Partners | Underperformers Come in Many Shapes and Sizes | 6 Focuses for Managing Partners | 10 Steps to Transitioning to a New MP | What Managing Partners Should Be Doing | 11 Things All Partners Must Do | Why Partners Need Written Goals | Fighting Restraining Forces
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You would think that this would be one of the most important strategic issues for firms, but unfortunately it is not.
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Solving Underperforming or Dysfunctional Partners

Two businessmen arguingPlus 21 ways to identify them.

By August J. Aquila

I’ve been dealing with underperforming or dysfunctional partners for a quarter of a century. While the underperformers and dysfunctional ones haven’t changed much in that time, the way firms are dealing with them certainly has.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: Underperformers Come in Many Shapes and Sizes | Is It Time for a Partner Compensation Checkup? | 13 Points of a Good Compensation Plan | 5 Ways to Keep Your Edge | How to Become the Firm of Choice | Why ‘Walking Together’ Is So Important | How to Build a Better Firm Through Teamwork | 8 Questions to Analyze Your Pricing | 5 Questions for Every MP to Answer Honestly | 6 Practical Ways to Innovate
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The so-called white gloves in the accounting profession came off many years ago when dealing with competitors. They are now off when dealing with these two types of partners.
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Underperformers Come in Many Shapes and Sizes

Stressed businessman resting head on hands at desk6 questions to ask ... about the firm.

By August J. Aquila

Over the years I have been called in to firms to help address an underperforming partner. I have learned that underperforming can mean a lot of different things and the underperformer can have many different problems.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: Is It Time for a Partner Compensation Checkup? | The 3 Types of Partners You Need | How MPs Can Make a Real Difference | 5 Reasons That Leaders Fail | 11 Things All Partners Must Do | Why Partners Need Written Goals
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I have also learned that many managing partners waste a lot of time and energy either trying to “fix” the underperformer or just ignoring the 5-ton elephant in the room.
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Is It Time for a Partner Compensation Checkup?

Green checks being made on checklist6 questions to ask, 9 standards to follow.

By August J. Aquila
What Makes a Great Partnership

Ever wonder what the most appropriate partner compensation system is for your firm and how to assess partner performance?

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: The 3 Types of Partners You Need | 6 Focuses for Managing Partners | 10 Steps to Transitioning to a New MP | What Managing Partners Should Be Doing | Do Your Partners Pay Their Own Way? | 7 Keys to Becoming an Equity Partner | How and Why to Achieve Partner Unity | How You Can Get Partners to Change | Why Expectations Must Be Defined | Are You Driving Your Best Partners Crazy? | 7 Warning Signs for Your Firm
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A firm’s compensation system is a reflection of its culture and external competitive factors. When was the last time you gave your partner compensation system a checkup?
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The 3 Types of Partners You Need

Two men shaking hands as woman stands with oneYes, you need new clients, and new business from old clients. But there's another key player.

By August J. Aquila
What Makes a Great Partnership

It seems like no matter what the topic is at partner meetings, it always reverts to compensation. There isn’t a partner out there who is not interested in his or her compensation, and maybe even more interested in what the other partners make.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: 6 Focuses for Managing Partners | 13 Points of a Good Compensation Plan | 5 Ways to Keep Your Edge | The Toughest Job in the World: Managing an Accounting Practice | How to Become the Firm of Choice
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Compensation is also a topic on which all the partners can never agree. Each partner likes the compensation system that most favors his or her strengths. Hence, non-business developers favor production while business developers favor origination.
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6 Focuses for Managing Partners

Businessman giving instructions to his colleaguesPlus 37 specific traits for evaluation.

By August J. Aquila
What Makes a Great Partnership

According to Marc Rosenberg, managing partners should focus on the following six areas*:

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: 13 Points of a Good Compensation Plan | How MPs Can Make a Real Difference | 5 Reasons That Leaders Fail | 11 Things All Partners Must Do | Why Partners Need Written Goals | The 6-Step Plan for Transitioning Clients | Fighting Restraining Forces | Chemistry and Mutual Respect Matter | Great CPA Firm Partnerships Begin with Trust | The 4 Best Ways to Use Pre-Retirement Partners | Work Together Better in 11 Steps | Drop Politics, Be Accountable | What Makes a Successful Strategic Plan?
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  • Leadership
  • Profitability
  • Strategic planning
  • Team building
  • Learning/Training
  • Asset protection

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