In an earlier article in Accounting Today, I wrote, "Without clients we wouldn't have a firm - but without employees we wouldn't have clients. So when it comes to answering the question of whether it is more important to have client or employee loyalty, I would have to answer that employee loyalty and satisfaction is more important." ("Whose loyalty is worth more - your clients' or your employees'?" March 19-April 1, 2007, page 27.)Employee loyalty is the foundation for long-term success and exceptional profits. Without employee loyalty, you won't have to worry about client loyalty, since you will spend most of your time worrying about recruitment, poor performance, poor quality and poor profits.

It's not getting easier to find employees. There's a definite labor shortage in the profession and in the overall market in general. All firms are fighting for the best employees. Many, however, are forced to hire less-than-ideal candidates. A managing partner recently told me that he was forced to hire his fourth choice. There is not much you can do about finding more people, but you can do a lot when it comes to keeping them.

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