Beyond the Days of the Giants: Solving the Crisis of Growth and Succession in Today's CPA Firms, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Beyond the Days of the Giants

Solving the Crisis of Growth and Succession in Today's CPA Firms, 1st Edition

By Paul D. Fisher

Productivity Press

181 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781482203561
pub: 2013-09-25
Hardback: 9781138426191
pub: 2017-07-27
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429255502
pub: 2017-07-27
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During the next 10 years, an estimated 40-50 percent of the partners in public accounting firms will retire. This exodus will place an enormous intellectual and financial strain on firms as they scramble to train and promote new partners, retire the existing ones in an orderly manner, and find the profitability to do so in extraordinarily lean economic times.

Beyond the Days of the Giants: Solving the Crisis of Growth and Succession in Today’s CPA Firms is a practical, readable implementation guide for your firm to use during this next critical decade. It gives step-by-step guidance on how to:

  • Create a growth culture founded in practitioner-led value creation,
  • Build a no-new-cost practice system to operate within it , and
  • Renew practitioner accountability, not to disappearing Giant-centered value creation systems, but to evidence-based value management practiceled by our New Giants.


Check out what these Accounting Today Top 100 Most Influential People in the Accounting Profession have to say about the book:

This is the first book that provides CPA firms with a plan for getting the next generation of accountants engaged. Paul offers an insightful view of what is ailing accounting firms today – a value-creation problem -- and sets a new standard of client care that starts with engagement, transparency, and relevance as well as providing clients with effective choices.

August Aquila, CEO Aquila Global Advisors

An ambitious and thought-provoking work that expertly weaves growth, succession, innovation and value creation—Paul Fisher and I share a common vision of the accounting profession’s growth challenges and choices.

Gale Crosley, Founder, Crosley+Company

This book will challenge and inspire your thinking as it helps you design your firm for the future. Paul Fisher offers a critical new roadmap for leaders. It’s worth the time to read.

Gordy Viere, CEO, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Paul Fisher cuts through the generational clashes inside CPA firms as he addresses the drastic changes in the profession. If you want your firm to survive in a new erabuy this book, dog ear its pages and make it required reading for all employees.

Rebecca Ryan, Founder, Next Generation Consulting

This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to solve the succession crisis in our profession–and in our clients’ businesses, too! Paul Fisher gives us the roadmap to engaging our young professionals by ‘making public accounting a team sport again’and leaving a legacy we can be proud of.

Jennifer Wilson, Co-founder and Partner, ConvergenceCoaching, LLC

Table of Contents

The Days of the Giants

The Giants’ Laments

Value Creation


Profit Management by Tradition

Hope for the Return of the Business Cycle

Find Forms of Less Expensive Labor

Find New Ancillary Services

Decide to Merge

The Keys or the Car?

Giants and Dinosaurs

Glory Days

The Extinction of the Finders

The Minders Follow the Finders

Enron and WorldCom

The Great Recession

And, Last, the Grinders

Opportunity and Security Diverge

The Clinical Analogy

Clash of the Titans

Flavor of the Month

I’ll Be the Judge of That!

Me and My Knee

The Customer Is Always…Responsible

Client Choices: The Value of Doing Less

On to Commitment Number Three

Creating Missionary Resolve

Lots to Do, Little to Accomplish

The Disappearing Department

The Merger of Value Creation and Succession

It’s Not My Problem!

But We’re Tired!

Where Do We Start?

The Simple Case

Cooperating Specialists

The Efficiency Equation

Save Money—Live Better

Growth, Stagnation, or Contraction?

Building Your Efficiency Numerator

The Dreaded Fee Discussion

Painting the Picture

A Serious Value-Creation Problem

But Did We Win the War?

Oh, and by the Way

You’re Not Alone

Succession Is Everyone’s Crisis

The Minder’s Lament

The Merger of Value and Succession

Two Birds with One Stone

Happy Retirement!

One or the Other?

One, the Other, or Both?

Good, Better, Best

Mourning the Minders’ Demise

From Theory to Practice

Entrepreneurialism by Design

Think Big, Sort Of

Our Value-Management Model

Who’s Carrying Whose Water?

With or without Mayo?

To Merge or Not to Merge

Build Your Own Mayo Clinic

From Giants to Standards of Care




Status and Professionalism

We the Practitioners

The Journey so Far

The Decision Engines

Uniformity vs. Linearity

So Where Do We Start?


Learn by Doing

Deja Vu, Revisited

Specialty Competence

Specialty Integration

Labor Leverage Factor

Value-Management Index

Referral to Nowhere

The New Minders

Melancon’s Undiscovered General Practitioner

The Lineage of the Giants

Exit the Finders

Exit the Minders

So Now What?

Your Primary-Care Teams

A Simple Measure

Cross-Organizational Teams

The VMI Challenge—Relationships or Evidence?

So What Now?



About the Author

Paul Fisher’s career in business had its organic beginnings in his lead-guitar-playing, singing, and fry-cooking days in that hotbed of a cultural maelstrom that was Western Wisconsin in the 1970s. He eventually graduated with a degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire in 1984 and, inexplicably to some, found employment as a CPA, eventually migrating to the Twin Cities in 1989.

Paul spent the next twenty-two years in public accounting practice there. Along the way, he was bought and sold, merged, and generally reorganized so many times that he considered having barcode installed on his forehead to facilitate the continuous vertical integration exercises. In order to bring stability to his professional life, he organized the Metro Firm Leadership Group, a best-practices consortium made up of Twin Cities Metro Area CPA firms currently representing over 1,000 employees.

In 2011, Paul left his practice in order to write his first book and form New Giants Consulting, an organization dedicated to building the value-creation capabilities of our New Giants.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control