About three months ago, I made a presentation entitled "Making Your Firm Great," to a New York City accounting firm. It was scheduled for a half-hour, and centered on my belief that leadership of the firm, a shared vision, the ability to promote and distinguish the firm from its competition, and the delivery of quality professional services are the keys.

I suggested the first step be for each partner to separately grade the firm based on the above criteria. I recommended what to consider when making the evaluation including developing niches, use of technology, compensation, operations, technical areas such as auditing, interaction with other firms, and marketing. For example, do partners and senior staff members have personal marketing programs?

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