Within most CPA partner groups, there are usually a few, troubling issues. In some firms, there is definitely more than a few. I have heard about these issues first-hand as I network with partners from various firms. I also uncover many of these issues as I survey firm partners prior to a planning retreat.
Here are just a few of the more common CPA firm partner concerns:
- I rarely have any collection problems with clients, but the other partners are always permitting clients to delay paying us. We have way too many accounts over 90 or 120 days. Some clients don’t pay us until we are ready to begin work on their accounts the following year.
- We have never been able to establish a clear, long-term plan or vision for the firm that all partners can get behind. So, we have not focused on succession.
- We have a fractured partner group. There is not enough collaboration and too much dissension between offices.
- We need to get rid of some of our clients. My clients are fine, but my partners hang on to some unprofitable, troublesome, slow-paying clients.
- We are having an increased amount of turnover and need to give more attention to retention.
- Do any of these sound familiar? It’s time to stop worrying and complaining and start doing something about the issues.
One of the biggest roadblocks is communication. Partners grumble but steer away from even minor confrontations or in-depth conversations about the differing opinions within the group.
Bringing more open and honest conversations into your partner meetings is the first step toward being a cohesive group, all focusing on the future health of the firm.