Posts Tagged ‘managing partner’

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Sarah Galley Named AAA ACE Award Winner

Last night at the Annual Association for Accounting Administration Gala, this year held at the beautiful, historic Fox Theatre in Detroit, Sarah K. Galley, PHR was named winner of the ACE Award.

This annual award has been awarded to some of the most experienced and respected CPA firm administrators since its inception in 1989. The ACE Award stands for Achievement, Commitment and Excellence.

Sarah is the Firm Administrator for Pohlman & Talmage CPAs, Inc. in Dayton, Ohio. Managing Partner, Doug Talmage, was on hand to congratulate Sarah and to talk about value that Sarah brings to the firm each and every day.

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  • Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.
  • Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

CPA Firm Partner Goals Or Partner Wishes?

It’s April 16th. You are well into your performance year – for your team members and for your owners.

You probably have already scheduled counseling sessions for your team members to give them feedback on performance thus far for 2013.

What about your partner group? So many firms don’t even establish and document goals for their partners. More and more firms understand the importance and actually go through some sort of partner goal setting procedure. The trouble is, once set, there is little follow-up and few consequences if partners do not meet the goals.

I call this type of goal-setting – The Partner Wish List.

  • I wish I could bring in more business, that should be a goal.
  • I wish I Mary Manager and Mike Manager really understood the client service dynamics. I should work with them this year.
  • I wish I had more personal productivity (profit, charge hours, write-ups, etc.), I should work on that in the fall.
  • I wish we have done more with that new service line. I should spend more time on that.

Partner goal-setting is the managing partners job, responsibility, duty….. how is your MP performing? If you are the MP, set those goal check-up meetings with your partners for May, August and November. Pay for performance should apply to everyone inside the firm – poor performance means poor pay – or something worse.

Need help? Download a copy of my Sample Goals For Partners. Check out this article by Gary Adamson of Adamson Advisory –  Five Tips To Make Your Partner Goal Setting More Effective.

  • Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
  • Jim Rohn

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

You Can Be A Better Leader

If you are a CPA in Ohio or working in a CPA firm anywhere in the country, there is always great information in the OSCPA CPA Voice magazine.

Be sure to read my article in the Public Practice section – Improving Your Management & Leadership Ability.  No matter how many years experience you have in public accounting, you can still improve your skills and change some of those not-so-great behaviors! Thanks to Amy Johnson and other Society team members for allowing me to be a resource to the Society.

The December issue is special because it is the last issue with Clarke Price as CEO of the Ohio Society of CPAs. He arrived “on the doorstep” over 40 years ago and has been CEO since 1990. Whether you are an Ohio member or not, you’ll benefit from his reflection commentary – As I see it: Looking back & looking forward.

If you are a member of the Ohio Society (or if you are not) consider contributing to the Clarke Price Accounting Scholarship Endowment, set-up by the Ohio CPA Foundation as a way to honor Clarke and to serve as a perpetual source of financial support for students who may not be at the top of their class but demonstrate the drive and passion to complete their accounting degree and become successful CPAs. You can contribute online by visiting the Ohio Society website.

Today’s quotation is also special because it certainly describes Clarke Price and so many of the other wonderful CPA leaders I have met through my travels around the country. You could almost use it as a job description for your firm’s next managing partner.


  • Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.
  • Colin Powell

Monday, October 15th, 2012

When You Become Manager…. When You Become Partner….

It’s not easy moving from a great achiever to a great leader.

Here’s something I read about participating in an Executive MBA program. I think it is good advice to keep in mind as you move up the career lattice within a CPA firm. When you reach the executive level, things change. You must change.

Leadership means doing things differently and being viewed differently.  When you are the leader (boss) your suggestions become orders.  When you go higher and higher up in a firm, you have to watch what you say. You have to learn to let go. It’s very difficult to make that transition from a great achiever to a great leader. It’s no longer about you and your own ego. It’s about other people and helping them get better.

As a managing partner, are you letting go of the routine, comfortable work you have always done and spend more time coaching and mentoring your partners, helping them become more successful?

As a manager in an accounting firm, are you really managing (getting things done through other people) or are you still a hands-on worker bee?

As a professional CPA firm administrator, when the firm grows and your responsibilities grow, are you able to let go of being an all-star “doer” to become an first-class manager of people and processes?

Many leaders in CPA firms need to “learn to let go” and trust other people. If you don’t have people you can trust, you haven’t done your job very well so far.

  • Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.
  • Warren Bennis

Friday, August 24th, 2012

A CPA Firm Full of Thought Leaders

How many thought leaders do you have inside your firm? Many of us, when we think of thought leaders, think only of the managing partner or the partner leading a division within a larger firm.

Hopefully, other partners and managers inside your firm are building their personal reputations as a thought leader in their specialty area.

What is a thought leader? As far as definitions go, there are many view points. Some people think of a thought leader as someone with an expansive view about firm culture, strategy, etc.  Others think of a thought leader as someone who goes very deep into a specific area, when it comes to expertise.

Russ Alan Prince and Bruce Rogers, contributors on the Forbes site, explain it very well in a recent article. They offer a two-part definition of thought leadership. On the 2nd page of their online article they give an example of a thought leader in a tax accounting firm.

Becoming a thought leader is about making money and making history.

  • Leadership is intentional influence.
  • Michael McKinney

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

CPA Firms and Social Media

Many CPA firms are among the thousands who are classified as small. Somewhere under $2 million in  revenue. They cannot afford marketing directors or social media managers. They are very busy taking care of clients (and their people) and, for now, that is taking most of their time. They haven’t had the time or inclination to explore the advantages of social media.

Then there are CPA partners in very large accounting firms. They are not the managing partner, they are not on the executive committee or leading a niche team for the firm. They haven’t had the time or inclination to explore the advantages of social media.

Here’s a simple graphic that explains it. It’s a starting point!

  • Focus on how to be social, not how to do social.
  • Jay Baer

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Marc Rosenberg Makes Me Smile

I am fortunate. Marc Rosenberg, widely respected consultant to the CPA profession, is my friend.

There are many things I admire about Marc but what I love is the fact that he always makes me smile, laugh, lighten-up and appreciate the little things that make life a joy.

Marc is also creative and creates his own fun. Perhaps you have been fortunate enough to have had Marc share with you some famous movie clips that he has customized to fit the CPA profession. I know that he has shared many of the clips at some of the partner retreats he has facilitated over the years.

I was reading Marc’s blog post of June 19th titled, Partners: Take Control of Your Time, and he certainly delivered on the “make me smile and laugh” thing. Follow the link to read the entire script that Marc has written for the Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley who says, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.” Marc brings this quote to life for managing partners everywhere.

Key comment from the MP character in the script: As the firm’s MP, it’s my job to keep our people’s jobs as simple as possible so they can focus on their work.

If you are not the MP of your firm, I hope you will forward my post today on to your MP (and all of your partners).

  • I deserve good things, I am entitled to my share of happiness.
  • Stuart Smalley (Al Franken character)