Posts Tagged ‘listening’

Referral Relationship Basics – and a Fresh Idea!

As firms seek to cultivate growth, referral sources continue to rank at the top of the list for developing new client opportunities. Referral relationships take time to mature and develop, and are built on a foundation of trust that we tend to protect like a parent protects their children. Because we hold referral relationships so…

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Critical Thinking

Many skill sets are needed as professionals enter the workforce. As I travel around the country to conferences and meet with clients, one concern seems to bubble to the top. The lack of critical thinking skills.  I would challenge the reading audience to consider this has nothing to do with age, but possibly more with…

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Find Out What It’s Like to Be Your Client

Ever wonder what it’s really like to be a client working with your firm? That’s important information and try as you might, you’re simply not going to find out by looking at your own experience or that of your staff. The solution is simple: engage professional help to conduct client interviews that will give you…

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Bridging the Gap: Staying Independent vs. Selling or Merging

Most of the firms we work with on succession planning start off with a strong preference to remain independent, and not sell or merge in order to address the need to payoff and replace retiring owners. The common reasons we are given for this inclination are- Control-Most owners of small to mid-sized CPA firms like…

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A Call For Change: An Open Letter To Each Generation

With three distinct generations in the workplace today, the impacts are phenomenal.  Firm leaders are challenged to balance and blend each generation’s unique historical context, motivators and somewhat differing values systems to create a unified team and a sustainable firm.   To ensure that the generations co-exist and collaborate, it is helpful to understand the…

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Marketing is Not Just for Partners Anymore

Marketing in the accounting industry has an interesting, and fairly short, history. It is not unusual to find partners who still remember when it was against AICPA rules to advertise, market, directly solicit or even participate in competitive bidding. Virtually non-existent for most of the 20th century, accounting marketing has evolved at a rather slow…

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They Don’t Want to Be Owners!

In our ongoing series about bridging the gap between management and emerging leaders, we would be remiss in not addressing the topic of moving from emerging leader to owner.  The perception among many in our profession is that there are fewer individuals at the senior and manager levels who aspire to be an owner and,…

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Growing and Developing Future Leaders is a Two-Way Street

Firms are at a crossroad when it comes to transitioning to the next generation of leaders. According to the CPACA study on Succession Readiness 48.3% of firms of all sizes cite “lack of future leadership talent” as a primary obstacle in their succession. While some partners believe there is a lack of leadership talent within…

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Keeping Your Team Members Connected, Engaged and Energized

A recent survey conducted by the AICPA showed one of the biggest concerns accounting firms are facing today is employee retention and engagement. This is no surprise and is endemic throughout the entire profession.  As the economy takes a turn for the better, the rate at which team members are leaving their current employment or…

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The Culture of Continuous Improvement

Lean Six Sigma and Change Management are popular concepts in accounting firms today.  Most firms start their “Lean Journey” with an eye toward improved efficiency and controlling engagement costs.  But after a successful first project, many leaders in our profession rave about all of the ancillary benefits they are beginning to see within their organizations. …

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