The Model Partner—Refining the Firm’s Business Model—Part II

The Model Partner
In the NFL, the old axiom for a winning formula was a combination of a strong running offense with a dominating defense. However, the rules and the game have changed and now favor teams with talented (elite) quarterbacks who are also very good leaders. That, combined with a good offensive line and receivers is the new winning formula.
Similarly, the game and rules have changed in the accounting profession. In order to have sustained increases in growth and profitability, along with developing succession plans, firms need “elite” leaders with an “offensive line” of very talented model partners that:

  • Embrace a vision for the firm’s future and works towards achieving personal and firm goals and objectives. Is a team player. Prioritizes the needs of the firm and takes the initiative to complete needed tasks and projects on a timely basis.
  • Enjoy servicing clients and understand what clients need and demand. Clients seek out the partner’s advice and counsel and is truly considered a trusted advisor in all aspects of their major business and personal financial decisions.
  • Respect other partners and employees of the firm. Is a mentor and counselor, who is fair and objective. The firm comes first before personal gain. Is both client and staff centric.
  • Are entrepreneurial and takes calculated risks to grow and improve the firm. Willing to invest personal capital into the firm.
  • Possess a strong network of relationships with professionals outside of the firm such as attorneys, bankers, high-net-worth individuals and corp-orate executives. Have excellent practice development skills and engages a large volume of new business each year.
  • Are recognized by partners and staff as a trusted leader and manager of the firm. Is a role model to young and aspiring partners. Willing to make tough business decision for the firm. Has the ability to remain calm in times of crisis. Doesn’t make emotional decisions.
  • Are willing to be held accountable for performance. Makes no excuses for underachieving. Continuously stays current and upgrades technical skills.
  • Have enthusiasm and a positive attitude for the profession, the firm, and clients.
  • Understand the business of public accounting and the importance of increasing profitability each year. Has a history of timely billing and collections, along with high realization clients.
  • Have communication skills which are clear, concise, and confident whether dealing with clients, staff, or prospects.
  • Are willing to assist in resolving conflict between partners and the staff and by acting as a liaison between people in the firm.
  • Are willing to delegate interesting and challenging work and transition clients to up and coming partners. Understand the benefits of continuously upgrading the client base and the value of succession planning.

Whether it’s an elite quarterback or CPA firm leader, the common element is that they know how to establish the conditions necessary for their teams to succeed and how to bring their professionals together to achieve shared goals and objectives. They play the game to win, not to just play it, and inspire others to do the same. Having elite partners lead the firm with a winning game plan that is consistently executed by all the firm’s team members will take the firm to the next level of success.