1. LOOK, MA — NO WALLS!
The details: With all the desks and equipment and filing cabinets and photos on the walls, its easy to confuse your office for your firm. After all, its where your staff go to work every day, and its where your clients send their checks. But an accounting firm isnt an office its a collection of people with a common purpose. And now it doesnt have to be much more than that, with the cloud enabling virtual firms with no offices, no server room, no receptionist and no water cooler.
Midsized and large firms with significant legacy investments in leases and equipment will find it hard to move to a virtual environment, but small firms should have an easier time and start-ups will find it easier and cheaper than ever to get up and running.
2. THE IMPERIAL MP
The details: This is most commonly referred to as the executive MP or the corporate MP, but we wanted to emphasize the importance of the shift in the role, responsibilities and authority of the managing partner. For a long while, many midsized and large firms have treated their MPs as only a little more than first among equals, a glorified administrator and figurehead who has to cajole, bribe and otherwise entice independent partners to act together for the good of the firm.
But with the growing realization that firms must be tightly integrated and focused on a small set of well-defined goals to say nothing of the need to improve corporate-style functions like marketing and HR firms are slowly giving their MPs more authority and power, so they look more and more like corporate chief executives.