Thursday, August 13th, 2020

The End of Your Firm

“The end is near when organizations don’t develop people.” – Dan Rockwell

Do you foresee the end of your firm?

The quote, above, describes what has happened to public accounting firms. The quote, above, is the reason that M&A frenzy has survived for so many years.

Years ago, I remember Allan Koltin sharing a list of CPA firms that used to be in existence. They were nationally known firms and they disappeared for various reasons – poor management, reputations lost, scandal, and sometimes for growth. The list wasn’t extremely long.

Here’s an example from 1990: Laventhol & Horwath, the nation’s seventh-largest accounting firm, filed for bankruptcy protection this week under the weight of lawsuits seeking damages for allegedly faulty audits.

When we entered the new millennium, the pace of firms disappearing picked up pace and has been in a rapid race ever since. I have a long list of firms I once knew and worked with that no longer exist.

Owners aged over the last 20 years and they wanted something for their years of hard work. They readily admitted (and moaned about it) – “We don’t have anyone who can replace us!” I heard this statement numerous times and my reply: “Whose fault is that?”

Read the quote again. Will your firm end because you haven’t developed people?

  • "Every ending is a beginning. We just don't know it at the time."
  • Mitch Albom

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