From May 20-23, the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) held its annual conference. Frequent contributor Sally Glick picked up some ideas that she will be sharing with us in the coming days, as she has done in previous years. Comments from those who attended—as well as from those who find these articles intriguing—are welcome in the comment section, below. Read more articles by Sally Glick here.
In one session that I attended, the speaker, Colleen Rudio, addressed the importance of developing a firm scorecard. She began the discussion by acknowledging that competition today is tougher, expectations are higher, and costs are increasing. She concluded that for firms to sustain growth and profitability, they need to be able to direct, track, and measure their activities. Without having a scorecard in place that is easy to use, and reflects the activity surrounding the key performance indicators (KPIs) that the partners value most, any firm can easily lose its direction.
Rudio uses a scorecard as the foundation for directing, implementing and tracking strategic initiatives. For those unfamiliar with this concept, the "balanced scorecard" was originally conceived as a simple performance measurement framework but it has, over time, evolved into a comprehensive strategic planning and management system. The scorecard transforms an organization's strategic plan from an attractive but passive document into tactics that are actionable on a daily basis. It provides a framework that not only includes performance measurements, but also helps planners identify what should be done and measured.
Remaining consistent is one of the keys to success, whether it is in regards to operations and management or marketing and business development. Rudio noted that firms that regularly employ a scorecard process can both measure the real performance of their leaders and identify areas that need the most improvement. Armed with tools that provide direction, firms can be more strategic in their approach to their marketplace.
Embracing and implementing a personal scorecard should result in drilling down to find specific activities that will help raise the bar on client service to add more value for existing clients; seek out structured marketing initiatives to attract higher quality, qualified leads; and make mentoring and developing internal human resources a top priority.
Keeping track is critical to gauge what works and what doesn't. Does your firm use the balanced scorecard approach to define, direct and measure your KPIs?
Those who want to explore this topic further can read an article Colleen Rudio wrote for Growth Strategies: The Journal of Accounting Marketing and Sales.
About the author: Sally Glick is CMO and principal of Sobel & Co. LLC. She was named Accounting Marketer of the Year for 2003 and was voted into the AAM Hall of Fame in 2007. She can be reached at [email protected].