When Is It Time to Shift Your Firm from Partnership-style to Corporate-style Governance?

Which is best for your firm?

By Marc Rosenberg
Author of “CPA Firm Management and Governance.” 

CPA firm management styles generally fall into two categories:  partnership and corporate. For the sake of argument, let's use the terms “partnership” and “corporate” to describe management styles, rather than legal entities such as partnership, corporation, LLC, etc.

Marc Rosenberg

Marc Rosenberg

More on CPA firm management and leadership for PRO members [Go PRO here]:   Not Every Firm Needs a General Patton   Overcoming the Three Biggest Obstacles in Succession Planning at CPA Firms    CPA Firm Merger “Non-Negotiables”      The “Aha Moment” in CPA Firm Leadership     Leadership Is Overrated: It’s Good Management that Makes Successful Firms •  40 Great Ways to Improve Firm Profitability  •  Four Management Metrics that Fool Even the Best-Run Firms  •  19 Ways to Improve Accounting Firm Profitability De-Bunking the Myth about Niche Marketing for Tax and Accounting Firms

In this article, we'll:

  • Define each style
  • Compare the two styles' pro's and con's
  • Explain the concept of "rights"
  • Explain the key duties of a partner in a corporate-style firm
  • When a firm needs to think about shifting from partnership to corporate

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