Friday, November 19th, 2010


Many managers in CPA firms have the “manager” title just because it is a title that an experienced, long-time employee receives in a CPA firm.  In relation to the work of the firm, they take care of clients and they take care of partners.  As managers, they are often STILL the work-horses.

My mind is filled with questions about CPA firm managers and what you are doing to help them help your firm:

  • Why aren’t they more skilled at taking care of the people they supervise?
  • Have you (Mr./Ms. Partner serving as their Boss), invested (yes, spent lots of money) on the development of their emotional intelligence and their understanding of how nurturing relationships with people build a solid foundation for an organization’s success?
  • Have your managers studied and been trained on the power of generational differences?
  • Do they understand and enthusiastically reach-out to the youngest CPAs and play a key role in keeping them in the CPA profession?
  • Are your managers, “people” people?

Here are some more important questions:

  • Do you, CPA firm owner, study what behaviors make a front-line manager in your firm successful and makes them “the” manager everyone wants to work for?
  • Do you spend a huge amount of time selecting your managers?
  • Do you have the best training program possible for your managers (not technical accounting skills), I mean people skills?
  • Do you formally, rigorously and enthusiastically mentor your managers?
  • Are you willing to leave a manager slot open until you can fill it with someone who is awesome?
  • Do you consider promotion decisions for managers as thoroughly as you do for partners?
  • "Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."
  • Paul Dickson

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