O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Leading An Accounting Firm

Book Description

The secret ingredient to any successful firm is great leadership. Fortunately, this new book demonstrates that great leadership skills can be nurtured and learned.

Using the model of the pyramid to illustrate his concept, author Troy Waugh builds a case for ongoing leadership development, guiding you through the essential ideas and practices that are at the core of great leadership and great firms. Using this powerful framework, you can improve your personal leadership and build great leaders around you.

Developed specifically for CPA firm leaders, it covers the full spectrum of leadership development, including:

  • Leading Self
  • Leading Staff
  • Leading Strategy
  • Leading Systems
  • Leading Synergy

Plus, you’ll hear from more than 40 of the profession’s top leaders. Recognizing the multitude of approaches to leadership, Waugh reached out to colleagues in some of the most well-led firms in the profession and asked them to share their leadership experience and philosophies.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Foreword
  6. Preface
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. About the Author
  9. Chapter 1—Why Leadership Matters
    1. Leading the Brightest of the Bright
    2. Leading the Organization
    3. The Leader’s Role—Influencing Mission, Vision, and Values
      1. Losing Focus
      2. A Sad Tale (Tail!)
    4. Leading Versus Managing
      1. You Need Both
    5. New Skills
    6. Are Leaders Born or Are They Built?
    7. Types of Leaders
    8. Effective Leaders Must Be Humble
    9. Challenges of Leadership
    10. The Measure of a Leader
    11. Conclusion
  10. Section 1—Leading Self
    1. Chapter 2—Self-Knowledge: The Inner Accelerator
      1. Your Leadership Style
      2. The Value of Self-Knowledge
      3. Characteristics of Good Leaders
      4. The Crisis of Success
      5. Building Leadership Ability for Better Effectiveness
      6. Commit to the Process
      7. Opening Up for Growth
      8. Build on Strengths or Improve Your Weaknesses?
      9. Experience Matters
      10. Building Self-Knowledge
      11. Self-Knowledge Through Interaction With Others
      12. The Undeniable Link: Lifelong Self-Learning and Leadership
      13. Self-Knowledge for a Fulfilled Life
      14. Conclusion
    2. Chapter 3—Trust: The Leadership Imperative
      1. Trust Is a Competitive Advantage Inside and Out
      2. Dimensions of Trustworthiness
      3. Consulting Experiences
        1. Delegation
        2. A Healthy Meeting Among Toxic Ones
        3. Integrity
        4. Group Dynamics
        5. Intent
        6. Invested in Trust
        7. Rebuilding Trust Takes Time
      4. Lessons From Consulting Experiences
      5. Levels of Trust Development
      6. Building Trust
      7. Building Organizational Trust
      8. When Trust Is Broken
      9. Rebuilding Trust
      10. Conclusion
    3. Chapter 4—Critical Thinking: Creating Your Future
      1. What Is Critical Thinking?
      2. Thinking Standards
      3. Critical Thinking Applied: Phil Holthouse
        1. Depth and Breadth
        2. Logic
        3. Significance
        4. Fairness
      4. Applying Critical Thinking
      5. Myths About Thinking
      6. Learning to Think Critically—Like a Leader
        1. Purpose
        2. Question
        3. Information
        4. Concepts
        5. Inference
        6. Assumption
        7. Point of View
        8. Implications
      7. Relationship of the Elements
      8. Conclusion
    4. Chapter 5—Preparation: Ready for Seizing Opportunity
      1. Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
      2. Developing Your Leadership Skills
      3. Laying the Groundwork by Seeking Input From Others
      4. Preparing to Lead Strategic Initiatives
        1. Step 1—Prepare a High-Resolution Picture of the End Game
        2. Step 2—Clarify Each Staff Member’s Role
        3. Step 3—Assessing Potential Opportunities
        4. Step 4—Understanding Possible Threats
        5. Step 5—Gather and Review Relevant Research
        6. Step 6—Budgeting Time, People, and Money
        7. Step 7—Develop the Initiative Game Plan
        8. Step 8—Launch the Initiative With Overwhelming Power
      5. Preparation Is for Action
      6. Getting Started
      7. Conclusion
    5. Chapter 6—Self-Discipline: Be the Master, Not the Victim
      1. Leadership Demands Sacrifice
      2. Self-Discipline Makes You the Best You Can Be
      3. Your Inner Circle Values
      4. Delay of Gratification
      5. Five Qualities of Self-Discipline
        1. Self-Knowledge
        2. Strong Relationships
        3. Commitment
        4. Living Your Values
        5. Self-Coaching
      6. What Are We Leading Toward?
      7. Focused Growth Is a Priority
      8. Using Self-Discipline to Focus
      9. Building Habits of Self-Discipline
        1. Invest Five Minutes Each Morning to Meditate on the Major Areas of Your Life
        2. Make Self-Discipline a Part of Your Daily Ritual
        3. Dedicate Yourself to Lifelong Learning
        4. Accept Responsibility
        5. Face Your Fear to Develop Courage
      10. The Truth About Self-Discipline
      11. Conclusion
  11. Section 2—Leading Staff
    1. Chapter 7—Teaching, Coaching, and Mentoring: Multiplying Your Leadership
      1. Developing Skills Over a Career
      2. Training Begins One on One
      3. Teaching
        1. Training Programs Demonstrate Your Commitment to People
        2. A Plan for Adult Learners
        3. Creating Purposeful Training
      4. Coaching
        1. Working One-on-One Raises Your Commitment and Retention
        2. On-the-Job Training Helps Coaches and Mentors
      5. The Leap From Coaching to Mentoring
      6. Great Leaders Mentor
      7. Mentoring: Benefits for the Firm
      8. Conclusion: The Impact of Training
    2. Chapter 8—Accountability: Trust but Verify
      1. Why Is Accountability So Important in Business?
      2. Accountability Is the Opposite of Permissiveness
        1. Increasing Accountability
        2. Measuring Accountability
      3. How Does Individual Responsibility Factor Into a Group Setting?
      4. What Should Partners Know About Performance Measurement?
        1. Positive Results of Performance Measurement
      5. Implementing Accountability for Positive Results
      6. Accountability Through Measurement: Scorecards and Performance Pay
      7. Ways to Establish Staff Member Accountability
      8. Establish Accountability Through Communication—Set Expectations and Reinforce Success
      9. Accountability Through Measurement
        1. An Introduction to Measuring Performance
      10. After Measuring, Now What?
        1. Setting Goals
        2. Frequent Feedback
        3. Coaching
      11. Performance Scorecard
      12. Performance Pay
      13. Keeping a Well-Rounded Perspective
      14. Conclusion
    3. Chapter 9—Challenging Personal Growth: Leading the Whole Person
      1. A Path to a Better Person
      2. Personal Growth, Firm Growth
      3. Growing Pains
      4. Intentional Success
      5. Barriers to Personal Growth
      6. Dealing With Change
      7. Overcoming Barriers
        1. Rule 1: Believe in the Meaning of Your Work
        2. Rule 2: Communicate Regularly and Honestly With Team Members
        3. Rule 3: Leaders Must Always Be Moving Toward the Larger Goals
        4. Rule 4: Recognize Your Team Members
      8. Finding Balance
      9. Tips for Achieving Personal Growth
      10. Conclusion
    4. Chapter 10—Empowerment: The Secret to Exponential Growth
      1. What Is Empowerment Really?
      2. Keys to Effective Empowerment
      3. Existing Leadership Philosophies
      4. Mistakes: Both Risky and Rewarding
      5. Empowering Members of a Team
      6. Principles of Empowerment
        1. Develop a Rational Shared Vision
        2. Provide Training and Information for Good Decisions
        3. Raise the Level of Conflict
        4. Allocate Proper Resources
        5. Reward Staff Members for Empowered Behavior
        6. Trust People
      7. Working With Teams
        1. Shared Mission
        2. Mutual Respect and Trust
        3. Frequent Substantive Communication
        4. Shared Processes
        5. Different Talents
        6. Adaptability and Flexibility
        7. Continuous Improvement
      8. Building Highly Empowered Teams and Firms
      9. The Seven Elements of Empowerment for Teams
        1. Communication
        2. Conflict Engagement
        3. Contribution
        4. Connections
        5. Cooperation
        6. Change Initiators
        7. Commitment
      10. Conclusion
  12. Section 3—Leading Strategy
    1. Vision (Chapter 11)
    2. Mission (Chapter 13)
    3. Values (Chapter 12)
    4. Next Steps: Goals and Objectives
      1. Goals
      2. Objectives
    5. The Role of Strategies and Initiatives
    6. Example Plan
      1. Vision
      2. Mission
      3. Strategy
      4. Goal
      5. Objective
    7. Action Plan
    8. Chapter 11—Vision: Reality in the Future
      1. Vision: What It Is and Why You Need One
      2. Making the Vision Real for Your Staff Members
      3. Our Vision Shapes Our Future
      4. The First Vision
      5. The Value of a Vision
      6. Building Your Vision
      7. Get a Mental Start
      8. Developing a Vision Statement
      9. Things to Keep in Mind as You Begin
      10. Bake In the Buy-In
      11. Communicating Your Vision
      12. Don’t Limit Your Vision
      13. Common Stumbling Blocks
      14. Strategies for Success
      15. Conclusion
    9. Chapter 12—Values: The Character, Actions, and Outcomes
      1. The Purpose of Core Values
      2. Core Values as Standards or Aspirations
      3. Core Values Are Worthless Unless They Govern
      4. Finding Your Values
      5. The Elements of Core Values
      6. Our Principles of Service and Communication
        1. Go Deep
        2. Be Responsible
        3. Understand First
        4. Deliver Excellence
        5. Never Assume
        6. Make Their Day
        7. Invest in Myself
      7. Are Strong Values Realistic?
      8. Leading by Example
      9. Core Values Help Frame Our Behavior
      10. Sustaining Core Values
      11. Conclusion
    10. Chapter 13—Mission: Making a Difference
      1. The Benefits of a Mission
      2. Clarifying Your Mission
        1. What Do We Do?
        2. How Do We Do It?
        3. For Whom Do We Do It?
      3. More Than One Mission? Maybe So
      4. Six Steps to Developing a Mission Statement
        1. Exercise 13-1: Client Statement
        2. Exercise 13-2: Problem Statement
        3. Exercise 13-3: Statement of Purpose
        4. Exercise 13-4: Business Statement
        5. Exercise 13-5: Value Statement
        6. Exercise 13-6: Writing a Mission Statement
      5. Problems to Keep in Mind
      6. Developing a Personal Mission Statement
        1. Exercise 13-7: Personal Mission Statement
      7. Sample Personal Mission Statement Development
        1. Past Successes
        2. Core Values
        3. Identify Contributions
        4. Identify Goals
        5. Mission Statement
      8. Final Thoughts
      9. Conclusion
  13. Section 4—Leading Systems
    1. Chapter 14—Managing Processes for Your Future Firm
      1. Setting up Business Processes
      2. Advantages to Structured Procedures
        1. More Consistent Results
        2. Measurable Outcomes
        3. Training for Team Members Improves
      3. Benefits of Creating the Process
      4. Establish Standards, Policies, and Procedures
      5. Improve the Consistency of the Client Experience
      6. Standardizing Work-Flow Management
      7. Process Should Follow Strategy
      8. Manage to a Written Strategic Plan
      9. Management for the Future
      10. The Balanced Scorecard Framework
      11. Selecting the Right KPIs
      12. Standardizing KPIs
      13. Business Process Management Overview
      14. BPM Activities
        1. Design
        2. Modeling
        3. Execution
        4. Measuring
        5. Optimization
      15. Issues to Look Out For
      16. Conclusion
    2. Chapter 15—Building the Future Firm Continuously
      1. Commit to Continuous Improvement
      2. Critical Success Factors for Change and Growth
      3. Building a System to Manage Change and Improve Processes
      4. Six Sigma
      5. Lean Processes
      6. Kaizen
      7. Flowcharts for Seeing and Improving Processes
      8. The Benefits of Continuous Improvement
      9. Conclusion
  14. Section 5—Leading Synergy
    1. Strategic Alignment
    2. Objectives Alignment
    3. Internal Alignment
    4. Chapter 16—Synergy and Alignment: One Plus One Equals Three
      1. Building a Shared Purpose
      2. Leadership in Tough Times
      3. Crisis: Realities and Constructions
        1. Understanding
        2. Decision Making and Coordinating
        3. Terminating
        4. Accounting
        5. Learning
      4. Teamwork
      5. Leading Teams for Synergy
      6. Team Development
        1. Forming
        2. Storming
        3. Norming
        4. Performing
      7. Conclusion
    5. Chapter 17—Sustaining Leadership: The Ultimate Succession Plan
      1. Developing Your Leaders From Within
      2. Approaches to Succession Planning
        1. Top Down
        2. Bottom Up
        3. Futuring
        4. Targeting Approach
      3. Succession Planning Versus the Traditional Replacement Method
      4. Potential Labor Crisis
      5. Challenges of Implementation
      6. Why Succession Plans Fail
      7. Your Leadership Development Program
      8. Overall Approach
        1. Define the Leadership Competencies for Each Level
        2. Assess Potential Candidates
        3. Measure Leadership Styles
        4. Refer to Your Developmental Process
        5. Build the Next Generation of Leaders
        6. Prepare a Nomination and Application Process for the Program
      9. Selecting Partner Leaders
      10. Rename Your Next CEO as the Leading Partner
      11. Choosing the Lead Partner
      12. More of Choosing a Leader
      13. Can a Leader Serve Clients?
      14. Conclusion
  15. Appendix A:
  16. Appendix B:
  17. Appendix C:
  18. Appendix D:
  19. Appendix E:
  20. Appendix F: