CPA firms are increasingly realizing that in order to enjoy solid growth, profitability and management efficiency, they must operate their firm like a real business instead of a loosely run collaboration of colleagues practicing under one roof, sharing staff and overhead. A major part of operating as a real business is creating a firm governance and management structure that provides a foundation for decision-making, definition of authorities and responsibilities, planning, processes, systems and much more.
Typically, issues that are addressed include:
- The philosophy your governance structure will follow: partnership/democracy vs. corporate.
- How decisions will be made; how voting will work.
- Expectations and authorities of the managing partner.
- The organization structure, including executive and compensation committees as well as other management positions such as department head, firm administrator, marketing director, etc.
- What the firm expects of its partners regarding their performance and behavior.
- Partner accountability.
- Job descriptions.
We work with firms in a variety of ways:
- If you only need some fine-tuning, we can work remotely, by the hour.
- If the firm needs to step back and examine its entire governance structure, I typically spend two days with you on site, most of which is spent in a retreat-like meeting of the partners and/or the executive committee.
- I have developed a proprietary questionnaire that each partner can complete.
- Regardless of the final scope of the project, I conclude with a written report, summarizing our work together.
I find these writings extremely useful in my role as managing partner. I attend many PM seminars, read a lot of books on professional services and listen to a lot of the top CPA firm consultants. The content in your books brings together in one place the best practices preached by all of these experts.
Charles Postal, CPA
Santos Postal & Co.