How Firm Leaders Adopt the Best Management Traits

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In the accounting profession, where firm leaders routinely have to juggle the constant change of new legislation, rapidly evolving client needs and the exponential acceleration of technology, steering a steady and insightful course can be an especially daunting task.

In the hopes of promoting firm growth and leadership development, member firms of international accounting association BKR International recently voted on their five best of the best management traits to support practice management in the accounting profession in 2018.

Here are the five qualities they chose to highlight this year and examples of how to put these traits into practice on a daily basis:

1. Agility

Agile leaders of independent accounting firms accept constant change and can roll with challenges. They are open to new ideas and can leverage different generations in their firms to come up with fresh perspectives, processes, and technologies. But they balance innovation with the context of proven practice management and client service principles.  

Some more experienced partners, for example, may stay on as “of counsel” to support the transition of new leadership so they can mentor a young partner for a larger management role.

“We believe one of the most important skills is communication – everything from putting your phone away during meetings and making eye contact to picking up your phone to call a client instead of emailing them,” says Maureen Schwartz, executive director of BKR International.  “Proper table manners matter as well – you don’t want your newest partner to mistakenly take a bite of your client’s wife’s dinner roll.”

In addition, partners can mentor emerging firm leaders in marketing and business development techniques and help them understand and manage the financial aspects of the firm. 

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About Deanna Arteaga

Deanna White

Deanna Arteaga is a professional freelance writer and public relations specialist who for the past six years has covered CPA industry trends for AccountingWEB. She also writes about CPA firm marketing, higher education and professional development for CPAs, and workplace trends in the accounting profession. She has more than 20 years of journalism and public relations experience, including her tenure as a former newspaper reporter in suburban Chicago where she covered breaking news, municipal politics, and state legislative issues.


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