The Toughest Job in the World: Managing an Accounting Practice

5 arrows curving upward5 tips for better firm management.

By August J. Aquila
What Makes a Great Partnership

Wanted: Managing Partner

Requirements: Unique individual who can lead a group of independent-minded professionals; keep some semblance of normality; deal with super egos, unproductive partners and dysfunctional partners; grow the business, stay competitive in a rapidly changing and unfriendly environment, and figure out how to compensate everyone fairly. Interested parties should send resume and salary requirements to Box AA.

Why would you want this job?

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: 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 | Are You Driving Your Best Partners Crazy? | 7 Warning Signs for Your Firm | Don’t Weed Out the Roses | Back to Basics: 25 Ways to Grow Your Practice | 3 Ways to Halt a Poor Leader | 8 Financial Ducks to Line Up Now
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Managing a practice today has never been more difficult, but it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible or not rewarding. It all depends on your focus and your willingness to solve the important problems at hand.

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August J. Aquila



About the Author

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August J. Aquila is an internationally known speaker, consultant and author and has held leading positions in the accounting profession for more than 25 years. He is CEO of AQUILA Global Advisors, a full-service consulting firm to accounting and other professional service firms in the US, Canada UK and India. August focuses his consulting on designing compensation plans, resolving organizational and partner issues, transition planning and developing strategic plans.

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Before starting AQUILA Global Advisors, he held several executive leadership positions with American Express Tax and Business Services, Inc. He was also a partner in a top-50 firm and regional marketing director for Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC) in Chicago. In 2003 he was elected into the Association for Accounting Marketing’s Hall of Fame and has been selected as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in The Accounting Profession” by Accounting Today for several years.

He is the author of hundreds of articles and several books on practice management; mergers and acquisitions and compensation plan designs. Recent books include The CA Firm of the Future (Bombay CA Society, 2013), Performance is Everything (AICPA 2012), Compensation as a Strategic Asset (AICPA 2007) and Client at the Core (John Wiley & Sons 2004). August is also a co-author, with Robert J. Lees and Derek Klyhn, of Leadership at its Strongest: What Successful Managing Partners Do (Bay Street Group LLC, 2013), the ground-breaking research on how managing partners drive improvements in their firm’s competitive and financial performance

 

Click here for more by August J. Aquila