You’ve just come out of your firm’s one or two day management retreat full of ideas and ready to inspire the world. Your grievances are aired. You have an outline of solutions for the future. And, you are ready to communicate those big scary, audacious goals to your colleagues at your accounting firm. Not only do you want to successfully define the goals, you have the challenge of inspiring and engaging team members to buy-in and contribute to these targets and initiatives. No pressure, right? Let the following ideas help you communicate your Certified Public Accounting firm annual goals.
The Big Announcement
This is going to be your first chance to make an impression on firm members to clearly outline the firm’s goals and expectations for the upcoming year.
- Work with your managing partner and retreat facilitator to send out an email to the entire firm. In this memo, layout the expectations, ask for volunteers and set clear deadlines (and hold everyone accountable to them!).
- In addition, you can announce these at your annual meeting. At Weinstein Spira, we host an annual State of the Firm meeting to rally firm members around our new goals and report on the results of the previous year’s objectives.
- Develop consistent messaging about the goals among the management team. What do you say when an audit senior asks you about how the retreat went? Agreement on the same message will help you avoid “he said, she said” rumors throughout the firm.
- Include ways for all levels to contribute, if applicable. If I am a staff accountant and care about this topic, what are the ways I can get involved and feel invested?
Meeting once per year at your management retreat and at an annual firm meeting can be a rush of adrenaline. But what happens when you are back to the grind of everyday work life or busy season for your accountants? Do those goals fade away or get pushed to the back burner?
- Consistently communicate your accounting firm of the goals set.
- Have a revenue or new business goal? Place a “thermometer” in a central location (i.e. mail room) and update the number each week. This constant visual reminder is hard to forget!
- Report your progress in the reoccurring internal newsletter. Ours is called Friday Flash. Give recognition to those who have helped make a difference towards the goals.
Although this is a very over used phrase, I’m saying it – circle back!
- If you communicate your accounting firm goals at the beginning of the year, you must report their results at the end of the year. Do not leave people hanging with questions! Rumors and triangulation can get started this way.
- Reporting can be stated at an annual meeting or in an additional memo to the firm.
- What if you did not make any real strides on one project? It is still relevant to mention. My marketing team reports each year of initiatives that we completed, delayed or decided not to move forward on.
You’ve gone to all the effort of hosting a retreat and setting goals. Now, make sure they happen! Do not get pulled into the busy season and vacation vortex and wonder where the past year went with no progress made.
Katie Butler Cohodes, Marketing Manager, Weinstein Spira
About Katie Butler Cohodes
Katie Butler is the Marketing Manager for Weinstein Spira based in Houston, Texas. Contact her at [email protected]