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How to Engage Talent in the Modern Firm

Dec 20th 2017
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Hiring and retaining top talent is a critical success factor in any firm, but as more firms seek to modernize, what does that mean for the team members you have today and those that you need to hire tomorrow? 

At the recent Xerocon conference in Austin, Texas, CEOs from two of today’s thoroughly “modern,” cloud-based accounting firms shared their advice on how to attract and retain talent in this new era of accounting.

The speakers, Kenji Kuramoto, Founder and CEO of Atlanta-based Acuity and Liz Mason, Shareholder and CEO of High Rock Accounting, based in Tempe, AZ, offered tips tailored to the three phases in the lifecycle of the modern firm’s development: the start-up, or “leap” phase; the growth phase; and the expansion phase.

It is first important to note, and both speakers agree, that firms need to have a full grasp of the definition of “modern” and what that modernization will mean for the team members they have today and those they need to hire tomorrow. 

Mason says, to her, a “modern” firm is a firm that embraces the future. Traditional firms, she says, use outdated technology, bill only by the hour and have a tried and true model that is modestly profitable at best, but reminiscent of the 1950’s.

“Because that model was profitable in the past they never had to innovate,” Mason says. “Today, however, it is getting harder and harder to make that model profitable. The modern firm, however, understands that today’s clients demand better client service at consistent rates with better technology.”

Kuramoto defines a modern firm as a practice that leads the accounting profession by building tools and processes for the new businesses that are being created today. 

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