After more than 25 years of consulting with large and small accounting firms, I feel comfortable in sharing with you my observations about great partnerships and how they got that way.Most new firms, and some long-time firms, unfortunately don't give a lot of thought to this question. Their main concern is surviving. But the sooner a firm can start focusing on what makes a great partnership, the better off it will be. Think about this: If you don't address this question, how will you know if you are admitting the right types of partners? What technical and personal skills would you want? What personal values (character) would you look for?

The following seven characteristics form the foundation of a great partnership. If you are missing any of them or if you merely need to improve in some areas, now is the time to start strengthening the firm's foundation.

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