I often speak and write about involved, hands-on CPA firm management, meaning managers really managing. When I use the word "manager" in the CPA firm world, I mean people with the partner or manager title who have the responsibility for managing the rest of the firm's team. In many firms, this also means supervisors and seniors.
I also include the firm administrator and other internal managers in this category because these people must proactively manage the firm's administrative and support teams.
My good friend and mentor, Steve Erickson, calls it "Active Practice Management" on a recent post on his blog.
Erickson notes that conversations between partners and employees usually focus on finding fault and seeking who is to blame, after the fact, using questions like these:
- Why do we have all of this extra time in the ABC audit?
- We did this return in 8 hours last year, why did it take 15 hours this year?
- Why did Joe only have 100 charge hours last month?
Active management techniques do not require more people or ever increasing layers of management. It does require individual accountability and self-management. Start your profit planning process now by gaining agreement on what needs to be accomplished for the remainder of 2010 and how it will be done.
Click here to read the entire blog post and the action steps recommended by Erickson (and I strongly second his thoughts).
We have so much information available to us now. Daily time entry provides great information for managing engagements BEFORE they get out of hand. It just takes dedicated, proactive, well-trained managers to make your firm more profitable.
"A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read." - - Mark Twain