Unique Programs of Millennial Managing Partners

Avatar photoKristen Rampe, CPA / Mar 8, 2021

During research for our book The Role of the Managing Partner, we interviewed a group of managing partners who are part of the millennial generation. While they are relatively new to the MP role, they offer unique insights because of their fresh perspective on managing an accounting practice.

Some millennial MPs inherited the business of another professional. Others started their own practices after gaining experience in the industry. MPs from both groups are implementing unique programs to build their practice and attract and retain clients and staff alike. These differentiators give their firms a competitive edge.Young professionals at a table.

Client-related. Millennial MPs are finding ways to attract clients and streamline work processes. Here are some of the client-related practices they are using.

  • Rebalancing work to focus on services that go beyond compliance, such as management accounting, advisory and CFO services. The MPs we talked to want to focus on helping their clients pay close attention to KPIs.
  • Thinking like entrepreneurs, not accountants.
  • Actively using social media marketing beyond email and LinkedIn.
  • Value pricing; no hourly rates.
  • Actively developing relationships with clients while having the perspective that they are people and businesses with goals, not just ordinary clients that need a service.
  • Doing a large percentage of audit work remotely. Spending face time with clients only after developing a list of questions from offsite audit work.
  • Doing 100% of tax and advisory work remotely, fully virtually, with no in-person meetings.
  • Offering audit protection on individual tax returns.

The Role of the Managing Partner is the only CPA-firm-specific resource for MP success. The book addresses ► how the MP manages partners ► how a good MP impacts profitability ► the MP’s role in managing staff ► how MPs enforce the partner agreement ► essential organizational skills for MPs ► the MP’s job description ► how MPs should be evaluated

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Partner and staff-related. One MP, who created a Partner Bill of Rights, said: “We have to agree on partner roles, responsibilities and expectations as well as a written system of accountability that identifies specific things for which we will hold each other accountable.” Here are several other partner and staff-related practices of millennial MPs:

  • Holding partner retreats focused on trust-building.
  • Making sure people are working in roles in which they can succeed.
  • Offering flexible work schedules, including many team members working 100% remotely.
  • Regular coaching of partners and staff.
  • Actively planning to work fewer hours in the tax season and smooth the workload throughout the year.
  • Hiring interns on a regular basis, much like larger firms do.
  • Embracing a modern firm image that appeals to a younger generation of staff and clients.
  • Developing a fully integrated off-shore team that is included in all firm initiatives and has direct contact with clients.

Considering insights from up and coming MPs can help re-evaluate your point of view, develop flexibility, and reach new clients.

What new programs have you found effective in building your practice, attracting clients or developing team members?

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