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.
Marc has been a valued consultant over the years. The Practice Management series uses his experience and “no-nonsense” approach to accounting firm management issues. If you are a constant learner about the profession as we like to be, the series is a requirement.
Larry G. Autrey
Managing Partner, Whitley Penn
Ft. Worth, TX