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CPA Now
Sep 26, 2014

Only You Can Redefine CPA Firm Partnership

By Maureen Renzi, PICPA Vice President of Communications
There will be a huge opportunity for CPAs over the next 10 years if they want a career in public accounting. We all know that baby boomers are moving into retirement. What that means for CPAs, according to the AICPA, is that 50 percent of partners will retire in the next 10 years. Look around your office, what kind of opportunity does that translate into for you?

Many CPAs say they don’t want the life of a partner. Long hours, time away from family, and client demands are often cited as reasons for moving into another field. Many CPAs, however, voice satisfaction; they enjoy helping clients and playing an important role in protecting the financial markets. Firms are looking to change the culture and alter the demands so that they keep the most talented individuals who can someday step into the partner’s shoes (or pumps). If you are smart enough and driven enough to redefine the role of firm partner if given the chance, there are some steps you should take to see how to move up the partnership ladder.

Martin BissettMartin Bissett, founder of The Upward Spiral Partnership, has identified the most critical skills that partners are looking for from the next generation of practice leaders. When I first met Bissett, one of the comments he made that struck me is that there was an apparent disconnect between what partners look for in a potential future partners, and what future leaders thought was important. There are seven key traits that Bissett has identified, and he offers seven brief videos to explain these concepts through the fictional career paths of Michael and Debra. I encourage you to spend some time reviewing these videos, and take some time after each brief video to assess your needs in developing these traits to successful partnership:

If you think you are ready to enter the partnership path, be sure to let your firm leadership know of your interest, ask for honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, and make a commitment to succeed. Good luck!

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