Posts Tagged ‘partner’

Monday, November 4th, 2013

A Monday Morning Look At Your Office (Or Cube)

It’s Monday, the week is new, fresh, and full of promise. No pressing due dates this week. Maybe, just maybe, you will have time to CLEAN UP YOUR OFFICE.

I love those signs that the admin team at your CPA firm post in the kitchen or break room: Your mother doesn’t work here. Clean up your own mess!

I’ve heard it for years and years…. “Bonita leaves her lunch trash on the table.” “Bill always slops coffee when he pours it and never cleans it up!” “The partners NEVER wash their own coffee cup, they just dump it in the sink for others to deal with.”

When I visit a new client I enjoy getting an office tour. I can usually identify the office that belongs to the tax partner. Not to pick on tax partners, but I will. Although the firm is “paperless” (sort of), the partner has piles and piles of papers, files, books, booklets, U.S. mail, etc. stacked everywhere. Notice I said “usually” it’s a tax partner, some of you others are guilty, too.

There is hope!  A great example is Bart Haag of Albin, Randall & Bennett in Portland, ME. I received an email from Bart last week with a picture attached that was titled, “No More Mess!”  Check-out Bart’s office below. He also promises to keep it that way (and enlist others to help him keep it that way).

Partners should always set a good example, just like Bart.

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  • Sometimes I think that there's a fine line between impressionistic and messy.
  • Lady Gaga

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

Monday, March 12th, 2012

The Partner & The Apprentice – From Michelle Golden

Consider the CPA firm partner – typically very successful and dynamic. Could be described as a natural at marketing, an expert in a niche, cultivates a great referral network, demanding about quality and service and so on….

Consider that partner’s go-to person, usually someone junior (an apprentice) who has these traits: highly valued as a right arm to the partner, no significant book of business, backed-up on work, a forever-manager type, subdued personality, and so on….

Consider the dance that these two dance for years. Did the partner pick the right apprentice? Is the apprentice (the student) taking the right steps?

Find out by reading this insightful post by Michelle Golden on her blog last fall. It is titled, The Apprentice Who Can’t Take Over The Practice – it’s part of her “Fly On The Wall” series.

  • A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.
  • Oscar Wilde