Setting the Scene
The compensation structures for the Business Development Executive (BDE) in an accounting firm is widely varied. For context, a BDE is typically a senior and experienced client-facing professional, tasked with growing revenue at their firms.
The compensation structure variations are, generally speaking, most easily defined by looking at the relative firm size. Alongside these generalizations, the top influencing factors can also be analyzed and understood.
The following table outlines a formula for determining a compensation structure for a BDE based on three things: experience in conducting executive searches, experience in negotiating compensation structures, and anecdotal evidence.
When determining compensation, it is important to remember that there are exceptions to every rule, with some individuals having vastly different experiences. These exceptions should be balanced against the generalizations and best practices when creating compensation structures for Business Development Executives.
|GENERALIZED FORMULA||FIRM SIZE|
|LESS||Sophisticated BDE User||MORE|
|Guaranteed base range|
|Commission range (a % of the revenue of the work brought in)|
One-off ‘bonus’, or, >5%
|Ongoing commission payable?||Not usually||Yes||Yes|
|Hard or soft quota||Mostly hard||Mostly soft||Mostly soft|
About Kate Harry Shipham
A believer in pushing yourself each and every day to achieve things you didn’t realize possible, Kate takes this personal mission with her into each day. She does this through the lens of being positive, tenacious and empathetic. She uses the skills she has acquired both as an attorney and as an avid “people observer” in the search business to understand the needs of her clients and candidates. Both clients and candidates work with Kate because of her deep understanding of the market and her ability to relate based on her attorney and search experience combined.