Posts Tagged ‘administrative assistant’

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

The Importance of The CPA Firm Admin Team

How’s your administrative team performing? How would you rate their performance, as a team, on a scale of 1 to 10? I’m just asking you (CPA partners/owners) to think about it.

Often, leaders don’t really think about the admin team unless something goes wrong.

Your admin team are really key ambassadors for your firm. Often they have more conversations and interactions with the firm’s clients than the partners do. A partner might only know the clients he is responsible for and perhaps have never met many of the other clients in the firm.

Your admin team probably knows almost all the clients, especially in mid-size and smaller firms. What kind of investment are you making in their success? Do you invest in an annual administrative team retreat? Do you educate all of them on the financial aspects of the firm – how the firm really makes money? Are you proud of them and the way they present themselves as part of a professional services organization?

A new trend is developing. The college degree is becoming the new high school diploma and is the new minimum requirement for getting even the lowest-level job.

Per an article in the New York Times, a 45-person law firm in Atlanta has seen tremendous growth in the college-educated population. Like other employers across the country, the firm hires only people with a bachelor’s degree, even for jobs that do not require college-level skills.

At this law firm, this prerequisite applies to everyone, including the receptionist, paralegals, administrative assistants and file clerks. Even the office “runner” (the in-house courier who makes deliveries for $10/hour) went to a four-year school.

The managing partner of this law firm says, “College graduates are just more career-oriented. Going to college means they are making a real commitment to their futures and are not just looking for a paycheck.”

I am not saying you should replace everyone on the admin team who does not have a college education. I am stressing that when you have great people, whether they are accountants, bookkeepers, IT specialists or administrative professionals, you should be investing in their success. You should also be encouraging them to invest in their own success!

  • Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.
  • Robin S. Sharma

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Commitment Statements For Partners & Admin Assistants

If you are working inside a CPA firm you have probably heard of partner commitment statements. Consultants have been urging the use of such statements for years and most progressive, growing firms have them in place.

Today, I urge you to explore the use of commitment statements between your partner group and your administrative assistants. This will be of no surprise to you – – – administrative assistants not only play a key role in the smooth-running operations of your firm, they also must deal with the frustrations surrounding the differing personalities of the owner group.

Inside a CPA firm, the administrative team members must serve different partners at different times depending on the client engagement and various firm projects. The admin team must be versatile. Yet, I see great value in having partners assigned to one specific administrative assistant who can perform miscellaneous tasks for that specific partner (not personal errands).

If one assistant is assigned to certain partners (one AA can usually support two or three partners along with their regular production duties) they can handle client calls for them when they are unavailable or respond to simple client needs without bothering the partner. Clients will soon become familiar with the partner’s assistant and the relationship will grow.

Want to see an example of an Assistant and Partner Commitment Statement? Download it here.


  • Losers make promises they often break. Winners make commitments they always keep.
  • Denis Waitley