Name: Sandra Wiley
Firm: Boomer Consulting
- Accounting Today top 100 Most Influential People
- CPA Practice Advisor Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting
- CPA Practice Advisor Top 25 Thought Leaders
- Leading Edge Alliance “On the Edge” Innovation Award
As host of regional trainings around the country, what are emerging leaders telling you about what they need to learn to be effective managers?
I see next generation leaders every day that are smart, motivated and truly care about the future of their firm and the profession. They are excited about what they are hearing about, including Advisory Services, deeper relationships with their clients and team, and less compliance work. However, a reverse effect is happening that makes them very frustrated. The lack of change they are seeing in their firm in all of these areas is demotivating. They want to move forward, but they feel stuck.
You’ve said Boomer Consulting’s client base is “future-focused.” Can you give us an example of a firm that’s implemented a future-focused initiative and seen positive ROI?
We have been working with the firm of Bold Carlisle and Smith for the past 4 years. They started as a foundationally good firm with challenges in leadership, process development, technology struggles and a lack of overall direction. Today, they are seeing positive change in all of these areas. Through the process of strategic planning, coaching, the Boomer Technology Circles Community and a new focus on process improvement they are a new and improved firm – and are certainly future focused! Oh, and they reduced the number of hours spent on business entity tax clients significantly this year.
You’ve done quite a bit of work around employee engagement as an HR expert in the profession. If you could wave a magic wand, what’s the one thing accounting firms should do to better engage their employees?
Make time to truly manage their team. Continuous and ongoing feedback, mentoring and reverse mentoring and including them in the strategic planning process are just a few ways to truly engage the team that surrounds you. This is less generational than it is relational. People will engage when they feel valued, and you can’t feel valued if you don’t really know the people that you are working with. It sounds simple, but it is hard work. Hard work does lead to amazing results in the area of retention, attraction and motivation!
You were recently named president of Boomer Consulting, Inc. as part of its long-term growth and succession plan. What do you hope the firm will look like in five years?
In 5 years Boomer Consulting, Inc. will continue to be a leader in the profession transforming firms in the areas of Leadership, Talent, Technology, Process and Growth initiatives. We will use The Boomer AdvantageTM to ensure that our clients are growing in each of these areas and are connecting the dots between each of them. This will enable firms to be future ready. We will continue to build a unique team of professionals that are consistently innovating and creating new services and new successes for our clients.
I am excited about the change that is occurring in the profession today. It’s truly an exciting time. The firms that are ready to face the future with innovation and a positive attitude will be winners. Helping firms transform and actually create a practice that will sustain them for the future is what gets me excited. My passion – helping firms that are feeling stuck and even a little demotivated get excited about their future!