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CPACA releases infographic, leadership insights

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April 10, 2013

The CPA Consultants Alliance, a group of thought leaders collaborating to further leadership in the accounting profession, released an infographic of the leadership survey and white paper it conducted last year.

In addition to illustrating the results of 2012 white paper “CPA Firm Leadership: Communication Drives New Possibilities” (infographics below), CPACA members recently met to discuss and address the current challenges they perceive in the profession.

Excerpts of member responses to the two questions—the biggest leadership issue in the profession today, and how they recommend firm leaders address it—included, grouped by member:

Communication is the thread that runs through most, if not all, issues within the profession. Internal issues such as attracting and retaining talent and external issues such as client retention and business development all require strong communication skills.

Developing leaders for succession and continued growth.

Build this capacity to develop top talent deeply into the culture of the firm through multiple strategies.

--Mary Bennett, ML Bennett Consulting, LLC

Communication is the thread that runs through most, if not all, issues within the profession. Internal issues such as attracting and retaining talent and external issues such as client retention and business development all require strong communication skills.

My recommendation to firm leaders is to incorporate communication skills training as one part of their firm wide training program.  

--Lisa Benson, The Advisory Board

Current leadership often complains they can’t find quality candidates to fill the pipeline while the younger generation is using terms like out-of-touch and archaic to describe the people they could possibly succeed.

The sooner we stop throwing daggers at each other based on what the other perceives to be wrong and start focusing on the positive aspects we all bring to the table, the quicker we can start blending our perspectives and planning the transition – together

--Jim Boomer, Boomer Consulting, Inc.

Up-and-coming potential leaders need to see the opportunities for firm leadership in order to move firms successfully into the future.

Improve trust and communication at the partner level and then bring future leaders into the conversation sooner.

--Angie Grissom, The Rainmaker Companies

The lack of development in the next generation of firm leaders.

This starts fundamentally with more effective communication, increased engagement within the firm at strategic levels and enhanced learning opportunities. 

--Dustin Hostetler, Flowtivity

Half the problems the profession is facing could be solved by better communication.

Firm leaders should be getting some emotional intelligence around communication styles and embrace new forms of communication internally to get the impact and mindshare they need.

--Sarah Johnson, Inovautus Consulting

In public accounting, the partners (viewed as leaders, mentors, bosses) have not focused on actually becoming and being leaders.

I would like to see them devote an entire partner retreat to having honest conversations about setting a good example (at the minimum) and developing their leadership skills.

--Rita Keller, Keller Advisors, LLC

Developing an engaging culture for all generations in their firm, most importantly for those who will carry the torch in the next 10 to 15 years.

Give young people and future leaders an opportunity to lead. Let go of “old school” notions that they can’t lead because of their age, how many years of experience they have (or don’t have) or that clients can only interact with partners. 

--Tamera Loerzel, ConvergenceCoaching, LLC

Many firms, even those in the Top 100, believe they have inadequate talent on their partner bench to succeed the current senior partners in their firm who have a high concentration within the Baby Boomer generation.

Leaders need to be much more proactive in building processes for identifying potential future leadership talent from within their firms.

--Terry Putney, Transition Advisors, LLC

The inability and/or unwillingness of current leaders to change habits and cultural norms within their firm is the single biggest leadership issue our profession is facing today. 

Conduct a firm summit for leaders within the firm and focus on change management, collaboration and developing a culture that will sustain the firm for the next generation. 

--Sandra Wiley, Boomer Consulting, Inc

Developing and retaining the best and brightest is the single most significant issue facing firms today. 

Ask [young people] what your firm should keep doing that’s working, stop doing that’s not working and start doing to make working there as engaging as possible.  Listen openly and implement the changes requested wherever possible. 

--Jennifer Wilson, ConvergenceCoaching, LLC

 

Comments (1)
"Up-and-coming potential leaders need to see the opportunities for firm leadership in order to move firms successfully into the future."

The newer labor markets have a different mind set than generations before them. They have no issue with moving from company to company, instead of the older notion of working your way up the ladder in one company. Upper management needs to implement strategies now to keep their best talent and coach them into leadership roles in the future.
Posted by GrowthForce | Tuesday, April 30 2013 at 1:55PM ET
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