This Webinar will present a model and practical questions that partners in every size firm can ask themselves. It explores 5 key areas: Markets, Clients, People, Financial and Underpinning Beliefs.
Today competition is fierce across all segments of the market and with increased regulatory scrutiny also impacting firms’ actions, only the sheer scale of some firms protects them from some of the buffeting faced by other firms. Now, we are seeing competition driving some firms out of business and an ever-increasing number of firms merging in the belief that with size comes safety. But, it does not. No firm is immune from the ravages of competition.
Safety only comes from clarity around which services into which industry sectors, to which clients and, critically, delivered by whom. With all of those decisions being relative to competitors. No firm competes in a vacuum and if firms are going to win in today’s markets, decisions about how and when to compete necessitate a strategy based on not just their own but their competitors’ actions.
To survive, firms must move to the next level.
Taking your firm to the next level means analyzing every aspect of the firm’s operations and improving the way they are carried out. Nothing is sacrosanct.
Ensuring all of the firm’s internal operations and processes are aligned with what the firm needs to do to be successful in its markets becomes one of the key drivers. As does, an absolute commitment to being the best. The next level brings with it a refusal to accept the status quo and a belief that the firm can always do better.
And, doing better is always relative. The next level means always trying to do better than your competitors. To ensure you’re the firm, which targets the right industries and clients, that recruits the people who will make a discernible difference to the firm and its clients, and that develops them faster and more effectively than other firms.
The definition of the next level
The interrelated nature of activities in a professional services firm
Key questions to ask in each of the five key areas
The process to take your firm to the next level
August Aquila is one of the profession’s key thought leaders. He works with professional service firms both large and small, in the US and abroad. As a former partner in a Top100 US accounting firm and a senior executive with American Express Tax & Business Services, Inc., August brings a wealth of hands-on experience to the table. In 2004, 2007, 2009 to 2015 he was selected as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in The Accounting Profession” by Accounting Today. In 2003 August was inducted into the Accounting Marketing Association Hall of Fame. He won the 1994 Lawler Award for the best Journal of Accountancy article (“How to Lose Clients without Really Trying”). For twenty-seven years August has advised professional services firms covering succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, compensation plan designs and partnership issues. He has written several books on managing professional services firms as well. Most recently: Engaging Partners in the Firm’s Future, What Successful Managing Partners Do, Performance Is Everything – The Why, What and How of Designing Compensation Plans (AICPA), Client at the Core: Marketing and Managing Today’s Professional Services Firm (John Wiley & Sons) and Compensation as a Strategic Asset: The New Paradigm (AICPA). He is a frequent speaker at legal and accounting conferences.