Tax & Accounting Blog

Partner Summit Series: Leading Your Firm to Success

Accounting Firms, CS Professional Suite, Events September 29, 2016

This year, Thomson Reuters held its ninth annual Partner Summit series—seven events across the United States where we share best practices with the 65 attendees at each location. As we wrap up another summer, we’d like to share with you some insights from one of the key presentations that came out of this year’s summits.

What do you think of when you envision an accountant? How does that differ from an entrepreneur? Partner Summit presenter and Business by Design founder Paul Miller, as well as Thomson Reuters staff presenters have a game plan to get firms thinking about whether they’re an accountant/manager or an entrepreneur, and how to begin to better manage their business and serve clients in a multitude of ways.

Paul has developed a firm that provides high-margin business coaching, tax planning and asset protection services for small businesses, employing many of the same tax planning strategies that larger firms offer. This has created a trusted advisor relationship with his clients, built multiple income streams for his firm and established the firm’s unique value proposition. Business by Design has 13 staff members who serve over 500 clients, and is primarily referral-based.

This summer, Paul and Thomson Reuters presenters laid out the initial framework for firms to start thinking about how they can progress into an entrepreneurial firm.

They can ask themselves questions, such as: Is there a difference between a leader and manager? How can I lead my firm to success? What is our body of work, and does it provide solutions to our clients? What else can we do for a client that hasn’t been done before?

By examining the answers to these questions, firms can begin to think more about what makes a leader, versus a manager.

  • A leader has a vision, asks what and why and develops, innovates, motivates and inspires.
  • A manager asks how and when, coordinates, organizes, plans, implements and maintains.

This is the heart of what Partner Summit attendees examine as they develop actionable plans to take away from the two-day workshop.

From there, they can assess product and service development, sales and marketing, daily operations and firm management, and begin to see what can be improved or thrown out completely. Additionally, they can look at business risk, overhead, rate of return, new opportunities and business investments to see how they can internally shape their business to function as an entrepreneurial firm. They can also develop different types of advisory engagements that could help boost business, such as business coaching, asset planning and protection, long-term equity building and business transition.

By looking at these different areas of the business and whether the firm operates on an entrepreneurial level, firms can begin to transform themselves into valuable advisors for their clients—and help lead them to success.

Interested in learning more about our best practices? Attend a Partner Summit event next year and save the date.