Marc Rosenberg, President of The Rosenberg Associates, is a nationally known consultant, author and speaker on CPA firm management, strategy and partner issues. We are happy to have him as this week’s guest blogger. For more information, visit www.rosenbergassoc.com.
Managing Partners have many critical management duties. One is to ensure that the firm uses technology to have the greatest impact possible on efficiency and profitability.
To find out how this is done, we recently polled MPs across the country. Here are the results of the 28 responses we received:
- Make the IT director an integral part of the management team. “We want them to take a firm-wide view on keeping our people working as efficiently as possible.” Get IT personnel engaged in benchmarking with other firms to discover best IT practices. One MP said he establishes at least one effectiveness and efficiency goal for her IT director, with the evaluation based on responses of the firm’s personnel. One MP’s advice: “If your IT director is not an articulate, credible member of the management team, then you probably don’t have the right person for the job.”
- Seek out national CPA industry technology experts. This was the most often cited technique practiced by our MP group. “These consultants offer an objective view of our IT function that no one else in our firm can provide.”
- Regularly obtain the input of a cross-section of firm personnel on the state and direction of the firm’s technology. “I listen to the staff that uses technology to do their work. They have greater knowledge of IT than I do. If they are frustrated or losing efficiency, I want to know about it and respond quickly.”
- Observe best practices from other firms in our association or roundtable group.
- Ensure efficiency of personnel in the field. “We provide them with remote work capabilities, laptops that are less than 3 years old, scanners and extra monitors and high speed internet connections.”
- Be a role model. “As MP, I show our personnel that I personally use all aspects of our firm’s technology to make me efficient. I work with our people to overcome resistance to change.”
Click for a copy of the detailed results of this survey.
This research also appears as a Forward to Roman Kepczyk’s new 2014 update of his epic Quantum of Paperless, A Partner’s Guide to Accounting Firm Optimization.
Great advice Marc. I've found that one of the best places to kill a few of those birds with one stone is the larger, tech focused conferences. Not only do they have trainers teaching classes on new technology, but there are vendors offering demos on the latest offerings. Plus, as a bonus you get to hear representatives from other firms either praising or griping about something they've tried. It's a great way to learn about what's working and not for professionals from all over the country.