The Perfect Partner

By: Joe Tarasco

Joe Tarasco

Joe Tarasco

Does the perfect partner exist? Probably not. I was asked at a retreat to define the attributes that the perfect partner should possess and came up with the following list:

  • Loves servicing clients and understands what clients need and deserve. Clients seek out the partner’s advice and counsel and is truly considered a trusted advisor in all aspects of their major business and personal financial decisions. Generates additional revenue from clients.
  • Respects other partners and employees of the firm. Is a mentor and counselor, who is fair and objective. The firm comes first before personal gain. Is both client and staff centric.
  • Is entrepreneurial and takes calculated risks to grow and improve the firm. Willing to invest personal capital into the firm.
  • Has a strong network of relationships with professionals outside of the firm such as attorneys, bankers, high-net- worth individuals and corporate executives. Has excellent practice development skills and engages a large volume of new business each year. Receives referrals from clients.
  • Recognized by partners and staff as a trusted leader and manager of the firm. Is a role model to young and aspiring partners. Willing to make tough business decision for the firm. Has the ability to remain calm in times of crisis. Doesn’t make emotional decisions.
  • Has a vision for the firm’s future and works towards achieving personal and firm goals and objectives. Is a team player. Prioritizes the needs of the firm and takes the initiative to complete needed tasks and projects on a timely basis.
  • Is willing to delegate interesting and challenging work and transition clients to up and coming partners. Understands the benefits of continuously upgrading the client base and the value of succession planning.
  • Is willing to be held accountable for performance. Makes no excuses for underachieving. Continuously stays current and upgrades technical skills.
  • Communication skills are clear, concise, and confident whether dealing with clients, staff, or prospects.
  • Has enthusiasm and a positive attitude for the profession, the firm, and clients.
  • Understands the business of public accounting and the importance of increasing profitability each year. Has a history of timely billing and collections, along with high realization clients.
  • Is willing to assist in resolving conflict between partners and the staff by acting as a liaison between people in the firm.

No one is perfect, but this is a good list to aspire toward. We can all benefit in periodically taking stock of these attributes and developing a game plan to improve.