Friday, April 25th, 2014

Answer Your Own Questions

There are so many nagging questions going on inside the minds of CPA firm owners (partners).

  • Where are we taking this firm?
  • If we did this or that, would our people be upset?
  • Are our competitors actively trying to steal our people?
  • Are our competitors stepping-up their efforts to steal our clients?
  • Why can’t we be more united on our vision?
  • Other firms seem to be way ahead of us with social media. How can we catch-up?
  • Is this the year we will explore being acquired?
  • Is this the year we will finally go through with acquiring that smaller firm across town?
  • Denise, our long-time, all-star manager keeps threatening to leave. Is this the year she will do it?
  • We keep complaining about how Ted is our wild-card partner and never gets on-board with our procedures and initiatives. Are we going to do anything more than complain and ignore him?
  • Bill is our only real rainmaker. He’s 63. What are we going to do?
  • Who are we really? Are we the prominent, progressive firm we describe to applicants and potential clients?

Notice, at the beginning, I said “nagging questions going on inside the minds….”. The major challenge inside many firms is getting these questions out of the partners’ minds and verbalizing them. ¬†Partners tend to THINK about many questions and WONDER about outcomes but they hesitate to actually SPEAK-UP.

If you are a partner in a CPA firm, it is your responsibility to ASK QUESTIONS, to say what’s on your mind, to be completely open and honest with your partners and be willing to listen to their honesty in return.

hoodIn the current issue of Accounting Today, Dan Hood takes a light-hearted look at “Which Firm Are You?” as compared to a TV show. Are you The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, The Big Bang Theory and so on? ¬† This might be a good exercise at your next partner retreat. Better yet, ask you team to compare your firm to a TV show (and be prepared for honesty).


  • "When there's an elephant in the room introduce him."
  • Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture

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