CPA Firm Owners Make A Lot of Money

This is one of those “on my mind” type posts.

I always try to provide something of value to firm owners to help them better manage their CPA firm. I also try to provide something of value to CPA firm citizens (owners and employees of all types) to help them enjoy and benefit from their career choice as a CPA in public practice or as a non-certified member of the CPA firm team.

As for today’s post, not sure if this will be enlightening to you or not but it really bugs me when CPA firm partners (client service partners NOT the managing partner) belittle or ignore the value of the managing partner, the firm administrator, administrative professionals and other non-certified, functional area leaders.

The management/leadership team (MP and the non-CPA professionals that actually manage the operations, sales, marketing, human resources, technology and administration of the firm), if they are doing a good job, make all the partners a lot of money.

Historically, a handful of people (because they were not planning for succession) took all the money (take it while we have it mindset). The best firms that are now making great money have figured out that great management plays a key role in how much money the owners take home. As my friend Allan Koltin recently said to me, “Leadership trumps everything.”

A firm with great internal leaders, managing the firm proactively focuses on paying close attention to how they find, hire, develop and retain people. They pay attention to budgets and saving the firm money in a variety of areas.

Most of all, an internal management team, being led by a professional firm administrator can save ALL partners time. Then those partners can use that time to focus on billable work and bringing in additional business so that everyone can make more money.

I still see too many client service partners clinging to non-billable administrative work just because it feels comfortable and because they have always done it that way. They don’t want a firm administrator or other support professionals to take this work away from them. Eventually, they will lag behind other firms and perhaps NOT make so much money.

"Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time."
Jim Rohn

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Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She is a former shareholder and administrative partner in a successful, regional CPA firm and has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations. She works with firms across the country focusing on people, partners and internal management issues.

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