Your CPA Firm -- Is It Focused Or Scattered?

I was recently reading about the advice Steve Jobs gave Larry Page, co-founder of Google, when he took on the role of CEO of Google in 2011. It comes from the book by Walter Isaacson.

“We talked a lot about focus. And choosing people. How to know who to trust, and how to build a team of lieutenants he can count on. I described the blocking and tackling he would have to do to keep the company from getting flabby and being larded with B players. The main thing I stressed was focus. Figure out what Google wants to be when it grows up. It’s now all over the map. What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest, because they’re dragging you down. They’re turning you into Microsoft. They’re causing you to turn out products that are adequate but not great.” – Steve Jobs

As a CPA firm owner/leader:

  • What are you doing to keep your firm from getting flabby?
  • Are you larded down with B players?
  • Has your firm grown up? If so, has it turned out like you always wished it would?
  • Are you a fairly new firm? What do you envision for your firm?
  • Is your firm too scattered in it’s focus, trying to be all things to all people?
  • Are you building a team of lieutenants you can count on (succession planning)?
  • Are you adequate but not great?

Maybe you should use these questions as the agenda for your next partner retreat.



"My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors, so that's what I try to do."
Steve Jobs





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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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