11 Essential Factors for Planning Your Annual Partner Meeting

by Joseph Tarasco, CEO and senior consultant, Accountants Advisory Group LLC | March 22, 2019

There are many essential factors in planning an annual partner meeting, including selecting the appropriate discussion topics, and developing a relevant and strategic agenda.

Here are some discussion topics that you may wish to consider in your agenda planning process:

  • Maximizing the value of the firm by managing and leading the firm more like a business and making critical decisions with a sense of urgency.
  • Deciding how partners can add more value to services and developing new and innovative approaches to the demands of clients — going beyond commodity services and anticipating the future needs of clients and the marketplace.
  • Surviving the staff crisis — the ability of the firm to attract, retain, and develop staff over the next five years. Reviewing and considering alternatives to traditional recruiting, retention, and staff performance management.
  • Balancing and leveraging the staff structure to maximize growth, skill building, using state-of-the-art technology in client service and operations, profitability, and succession planning. Review client service and leadership succession planning for the next five to ten years.
  • Developing an M&A strategy and implementation plan that will take the firm to the next level of success.
  • Deciding on contemporary growth strategies and positioning the firm in the marketplace by targeting the right size and types of clients in specific industries that the firm has the best chances of engaging. Aligning the firm’s strategic growth plan with the firm’s culture and marketplace.
  • Assuming responsibility and accountability for implementing action items and strategic plans.
  • Aligning firm strategy and partner performance by defining the roles and goals of the leadership and management of the firm. Balancing the fine art of leading vs. managing.
  • Covering your bases: partner governance, compensation, agreements, and admission of new partners.
  • Unifying the partner team and creating a culture of partner collaboration.
  • Considering new ideas, using the partner meeting as a catalyst for change, and identifying opportunities to add more value to the firm and its clients.

What made your firm successful in the past may not be the same formula that will lead to success in the future. Getting your firm to the next level of success is not just about working hard and producing billable hours. It’s also about inspiring change, unleashing talented partners, making critical business decisions, and making contributions to the firm’s long-term future.

This blog was reprinted with permission from Accountants Advisory Group's RedZone blog series. 

Joseph A. Tarasco

Joseph A. Tarasco

Joseph A. Tarasco, CEO and senior consultant, Accountants Advisory Group, LLC, assists the leaders of public accounting firms by consulting in all areas of firm practice management, including succession and strategic planning, firm governance, mergers and acquisitions, partner compensation structure, practice development, facilitating partner retreats, and leadership consulting. He is a member of the NJCPA Content Advisory Board and can be reached at joe@accountantsadvisory.com.

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