As CPA firms increasingly shift their focus to advisory services, the leadership teams that will usher them into the future are expanding the range of skills and experience at the partnership level, including bringing marketers into their partner groups.
For non-CPA partners like marketers, the billable hour performance benchmark at the partner level is less relevant than firm growth. Compensation factors vary from firm to firm and depend upon whether marketing partners are equity shareholders in their firms. Generally, though, increased base compensation, bonus potential and partner-level perks are in the mix.
What to Consider
While the impact on work/life balance was a concern for some marketers on the path to partnership, working for firms that shared their personal values ultimately calmed their fears. Several marketing partners also were concerned about getting caught in the minutiae of practice management but were relieved those concerns were unfounded.
Marketers Making the Jump to Partnership Level
- Jennifer Cantero, Director of Marketing and Sustainability, Sensiba San Filippo (Pleasanton, Calif.): In 2018, Jennifer’s managing partner requested she put together a plan for herself that would lead to an equity partnership. She put together a plan that calls for building two new practice areas for the firm.
- Nicole Gantz, Partner, Honkamp Krueger & Co., P.C. (Dubuque, Iowa): When her firm decided to offer a nonequity partnership opportunity to non-CPAs, Gantz immediately was interested. She believes innovative firms recognize that as they embrace a broader role in advisory work, they need a broader range of skills and talents – i.e. marketing – at the table.
- Eric Majchrzak, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, BeachFleischman (Tucson, Ariz.): Majchrzak became a partner and shareholder by carving out a high-profile role nationally as a strategist and search engine marketing (SEM) leader. His strategy made it easier to get a seat at the table and to extend his leadership beyond marketing.
- Mari-Anne Kehler, Partner and Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Green Hasson Janks (Los Angeles, Calif.): Mari-Anne believes marketers who are planning a path to partnership must use data and KPIs that demonstrate they have skin in the game. By drawing a direct line from marketing activities to the firm’s growth, she influenced the partners to become champions of marketing.
Read the full article to learn how you can get started on the road to partnership.
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About Dana Bottorff
Dana Bottorff is a Principal at Anadon Marketing/Communications. She helps CPA firms and professional services companies create a distinctive voice in the marketplace with marketing messaging that conveys a unique brand.