Michelle Golden, founder and president of the independent strategic advisory firm, Golden Practices, has agreed to join Top 100 Firm Kennedy and Coe as its newest shareholder and growth leader.

Golden, who launched her consulting practice nearly 15 years ago, already started to wrap up her practice and will officially join the firm on November 1. “I’ll continue to do some teaching and facilitation but it will go through Kennedy and Coe,” said Golden during an interview with Accounting Today. “I never expected to be in house again but this firm is extraordinary. The team won me over and they welcomed me into their family.”

In her role as growth leader, Golden will align sales, marketing, valuation creation strategists and industry growth strategists in order to coordinate the growth efforts of the firm. Golden explained that each of the firm’s vertical niches have people who are technical, given their background in accounting. At the same time they have a solid vision when it comes to particular industries. The firm specializes in the food and agriculture sector, which makes up approximately 75 percent of the firm’s revenues.

Another key aspect to Golden’s role is pricing, which the firm formalized value pricing in 2008. “We are honing our pricing processes and I am going to be teaching additional pricing methods to more people in the firm,” said Golden who added that the firm continues its move from the hourly billing model to more fixed and value-based prices. 

The idea to create the position of growth leader took shape when Kennedy and Coe’s Jeff Wald prepared to step in as managing partner in April 2013. “I learned about this role when I first started working with them at the end of last year, but I didn’t imagine me in it,” said Golden.

“I had envisioned the role that I called ‘Growth Leader’ and I can’t think of a more suitable person to guide this part of our business than Michelle,” Wald mentioned in a statement. “She understands and is passionate about our unique pricing model and industry-growth goals.”

Golden’s passion to be a part of the CPA profession emerged in childhood. “In sixth grade we had a yearbook which asked all the kids, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ The boys answered motorcycle racer and astronauts, while the girls said models and dancers. One girl said lawyer, I actually said accountant, and I did.” Although Golden isn’t a CPA, as a corporate accountant, she learned to speak the language of accounting, mostly on the audit and general ledger side. “I knew enough to talk the talk, but then I also have this creative side and with my personality, marketing came pretty naturally,” Golden shared noting that her greatest interest has always been in aligning strategy with operations. 

Golden has a number of accolades on her resume including making Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People and being named as one of the 10 Most Powerful Women in Accounting.

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