"We were stretching our ranks much too thin and we simply couldn't hire people fast enough to keep up with such a rapid growth. I felt the substantial growth was causing us to get away from our culture to have a solid work/life balance. If we had kept letting market conditions run their course on our firm without taking action, we could have lost what made us great--our employees. So we slowed down this rapid escalation and staffed up to provide employees with a good work/life balance." That is how Paul Argy, president and CEO of Argy, Wiltse & Robinson, based in McLean, Va., in the Practice Profile of October’s Practical Accountant, describes a problem facing many firms who have had multiple consecutive years of double-digit percentage growth.

These firms are finding that they no longer have the infrastructure in place to successfully handle this type of growth; such a substantial increase in work usually affects the quality of some work: and despite the high salaries that they are paying, recruitment and retention of staff is becoming an even bigger issue. And probably most disturbing, as seen by Argy’s comments, the culture of a firm   changes adversely.

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