If you are a CPA firm and need help winning the talent war — or just winning — I think you need to belong to the AICPA PCPS.
I thought this as I have watched what the PCPS group has been doing under the leadership of AICPA VP Jim Metzler, and after spending more time with Mark Koziel (who works with Jim), I am more convinced than ever.
Mark recently visited Maryland managing partners at a roundtable for the MACPA at the Turf Valley Resort. Mark is the senior technical manager for the PCPS’s small firms division. Mark also has experience as a senior manager in a large firm in Buffalo, NY, which means he has been in the trenches in a firm and speaks from first-hand experience.
- Employees want to be “engaged” in the firm mission , vision and values.
- They want to be more involved with clients.
- They are accustomed to real-time communication.
- They want career growth opportunities and greater clarity of what it looks like.
- They want personalized one-fits-one policies.
- They want interesting, challenging projects.
- It’s about culture.
Mark previewed the new Human Capital Resource Center that the PCPS has developed for firms. (Hint: These are the actual tools you can use to implement many of the suggestions that turned up in the Gevity study.) He also included some excellent resources that I am including here for you:
- Team recruiting action plan.
- Assessing team resources, including a basic competency model.
- A client evaluation tool, something I believe every firm needs.
This is just the beginning of hands-on tools and techniques available in the PCPS section.
Mark’s message resonates with me because it is exactly what I have been hearing from our young professionals and our Leadership Academy participants. This is also a major area of concern as the combination of the staff shortage and the generational differences (which we have reported on in this blog) are creating stress cracks in the foundation of most firms.
I worry that we have an inflection point where the managers who are the workhorses of the firm (and in the shortest supply — Gen Xers) are caught between the demanding boomer partners and demanding (in an opposite way) millennials coming out of college. For more, see my post “Something’s gotta give.”
What do you think? Our thanks to Mark and the AICPA for sharing him with us.
- AICPA PCPS site
- Succeeding at Succession, by Mark Koziel
- Top 6 outcomes for managing people and how to get them
Mark is also mentioned in a chapter on CPA firm training in the book, Firm of the Future, by Paul Dunn and Ron Baker.