The 2019 MP Elite
What makes someone elite? In some cases, it’s skill or talent — the basketball player who always sinks a free throw, the artist who can draw a perfect circle freehand, or the singer with perfect pitch. In others, it’s imagination or innovation — the engineer who sees a novel way to solve a problem, or the writer who creates a whole world in their head. And in still others, it’s leadership — the manager who inspires their staff, or the captain who elicits unparalleled efforts from their team.
When it comes to running an accounting firm, being elite involves skill and innovation and leadership, but we’re going to suggest one other, crucial element: having the right priorities.
To one degree or another, all of this year’s inductees into Accounting Today’s Managing Partner Elite share two main priorities (beyond sustainable growth, which is a priority for most firm leaders):
- People and culture. Simply put, engaged, motivated staff serve clients better for longer. A firm culture that values employees and provides them careers, not just jobs, is a major focus for the best MPs.
- Technology. The successful firm has to leverage new tools to keep up with the competition and better serve clients, and more and more, leading MPs are moving technology closer and closer to the core of everything they do.
That’s not all they care about, of course. Rigorous strategic planning, succession planning, and adding the right new services are high on their lists — but people and technology are right at the top.
One final thought: Since we launched the MP Elite in 2012, we’ve regularly lamented the fact that, though we knew there were plenty of strong female leaders in the profession, we weren’t receiving submissions from them. So this year our editorial team made a concerted effort to identify and reach out to a group of outstanding female MPs, and we’re happy to note that as a result, this year’s list includes four women — the most ever.
Make no mistake: We did not lower the bar for selection, and these candidates went through the same submission and vetting process as all the rest. They are all more than qualified to be on the list, and we look forward to including more women just like them in future editions of the list. It’s a start, at least, at recognizing the growing role women have in accounting leadership, and hopefully encouraging more of it.
With all that said, Accounting Today is proud to present the 2019 Managing Partner Elite: