Are You Creating a Sustainable Firm?

Many CPA firms may be on the path to extinction.

By Gale Crosley, CPA

The world’s population is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability. For several decades we’ve developed an understanding of preserving our planet’s resources. The recent sustainability conversation has amped up the focus among corporate executives on their social responsibility to insure our world’s future.

It’s an especially relevant time, therefore, to discuss the sustainability of our firms. And that’s what this book is about. Managing partners spend significant time pondering their firm’s strategy. One of their greatest challenges is engaging their partners to be as committed as they are.

Adapted from the preface to "How to Engage Partners in the Firm's Future: The Secrets Every Leader Needs to Know," by August J. Aquila and Robert J. Lees

There are lots of reasons for the challenge. These include a “nose to the grindstone versus up to the wind” mentality, partners not spending enough time dedicated to the task, abdicating their leadership role, putting their own interests before the firm’s, or just plain apathy. It’s easy for a partner group to sit around a table and discuss their future. But talk is cheap.  After the strategic planning is done, leaders actually have to do something. It takes significant effort to develop as a leader, work as a team, subjugate one’s own interests for the greater good, learn new competencies, solve complex problems, and exhibit leadership behaviors.

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Gale Crosley

About the Author

Gale Crosley, CPA, of Crosley+Co., is one of the Most Recommended Consultants in the Inside Public Accounting BEST OF THE BEST, one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting by Accounting Today and has been named to The Advisory Board Hall of Fame.

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She consults with large and large-thinking accounting firms, assisting managing partners, partners, and marketing directors, to effectively increase their firm’s revenues.  She guides them through development of the best strategies and tactics to achieve aggressive revenue growth objectives. Gale’s 35-year-plus career represents a unique combination as a practicing CPA at Arthur Andersen, PwC, and a local CPA firm. She has also held senior management roles in business development and marketing in the cutting edge technology environment with IBM, MCI and several start-up technology companies. Gale has helped dozens of large and large-thinking firms, both domestic and international, create high growth cultures, driving revenue from all aspects of the practice. She is an honors accounting graduate from the University of Akron, Ohio, and winner of the Simonetti Distinguished Business Alumni Award. Gale is a licensed CPA in Ohio and Georgia, a member of the AICPA, the Ohio Society and Georgia Society of CPAs, and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Accountancy. Her cornerstone book, At the Crossroads, chronicles the challenges and successes of a fictional CPA firm struggling with growth.

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