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 practice—led by our New Giants.
Table of Contents
The Days of the Giants
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
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
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
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
Labor Leverage Factor
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
The VMI Challenge—Relationships or Evidence?
So What Now?
The Days of the Giants
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.
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 era—buy 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