Monday, December 27th, 2021

A Troubling Activity

“From a certain point of view our real enemy, the true troublemaker, is inside.” – Dalai Lama

I am attempting to take some time off this week so I will be posting some flashback posts. Here’s one from December 2020. It is about an activity that I hope is NOT happening in your firm.

In progressive, future-focused CPA firms, the partners have committed to core values and they live them. They have documented policies and procedures so that everything is clearly communicated to their valuable team members. If a question comes up, team members can almost always find the answer on the firm intranet. The partners always strive for transparency in what “the firm” believes and stands for. About the only secret is the actual amount of partner salaries.

In old-school firms, I still hear about some troubling activities. Here’s an example (I simply made this up but I’m sure it might sound familiar to some.)

At John Doe & Company, a team member (Sally Smith) is studying for the CPA Exam. Sally inquires about what the firm will pay for and how the firm will support her efforts. The firm administrator puts the question before the partner group at the next partner meeting. They decide that they will reimburse Sally Smith for 50% of her cost of the study materials and a $500 bonus when she passes. The firm administrator asks if this will apply, in the future, to all Exam candidates. A partner replies, “No, we don’t want to put anything in writing. We don’t want to be pinned down.”

There might be more troubling activities inside your firm. Hunt them down and get rid of them!

  • "Nothing is permanent in this wicked world - not even our troubles."
  • Charlie Chaplin

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