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People Development Tips for Growing Accounting Firms
Episode 2028th January 2022 • Accounting Influencers Podcast • Rob Brown (Accounting Influencers Roundtable - AIR)
00:00:00 00:27:54

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Episode 20. In today's episode, Rob Brown interviews Bill Reeb and Tommye Barie on "People Development Tips for Growing Accounting Firms."

Tommye Barie is a recently retired partner of one of the 100 largest full-service accounting and consulting firms in the US. Her thought leadership on culture, strategy and innovation led to Tommye being recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the accounting profession, as published in Accounting Today.

She is a past Chair of the Board of the American Institute of CPAs and is actively involved in the international accounting profession. She currently represents the United States as a board member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The IFAC is a global organization supporting the development of and promoting the adoption and implementation of high-quality international standards.

Bill Reeb is a CPA and has been consulting for three decades in the areas of strategy, leadership and change management. He d became a CPA in 1986. An award-winning public speaker, Bill and his partner, Dom Cingoranelli, have co-authored Securing the Future: Building Your Firm’s Succession Plan and Securing the Future: Implementing Your Firm’s Succession Plan.

Bill is past Chair of the Board of the AICPA, is a current and past member of the Board of Directors and Council, and past Commissioner on the National Accreditation Commission. He also serves as an advisory board member to several organizations, including CPAFMA.

Accounting Today has recognized his efforts by listing him as one of the Top 100 Most Influential CPAs. CPA Magazine has named him as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Practitioners, and Inside Public Accounting has listed him as one of the top 10 most recommended CPA firm consultants.

Key takeaways from this episode include:

➤ Proof that accountants are actually 'people people' and why accountants are actually NOT unique in what they do

➤ The problem of accountability in professional firms and the importance of knowing who your real boss is

➤ The biggest shortcoming in professional firms of any size

➤ The vital role of competences for people development in accounting firms

➤ The problem caused by accounting fee-earners being technically strong or soft skills strong, but not both

➤ What will happen to those accountants who are not willing or able to be coached or developed in their firm

➤ Why people's goals should be tied to performance in an accounting firm

➤ The big reason most accountants don't know how to manage people

➤ The 5 core skills that modern day accountants need to be successful

➤ What gets 70% of accountants promoted and what makes 80% of them fail

➤ The role of culture in developing a coaching, development mentality in accounting firms

➤ The one thing that makes you money in your accounting role

➤ Why 'not having the time' is a bad excuse for professionals who avoid doing what needs doing in a firm

➤ The difference between subjective and objective goals for accounting professionals

➤ What leaders in professional firms are really responsible for

➤ Exactly what accountability means when leading and managing your people

➤ Why self motivation doesn't work in professional firms who want to grow

➤ What makes performance evaluations or development reviews fail in professional service firms

➤ The biggest challenge growing accounting firms face in developing their people

➤ The two main areas that require investment in the future for accounting firms to succeed

➤ Why technology is now a key component of the accounting qualification, at least in the US

➤ Why accountants must move from the data and information space to the knowledge and decision space

➤ Why the accounting profession is the greatest there is

➤ What causes complacency and lack of change in accounting firms

Tommye has always placed importance on leveraging her leadership skills and experiences to influence the lives of young professionals. Throughout her career she has mentored and guided women and men in her own firm and in the many firms she has worked with throughout the United States. Bill enjoys a number of hobbies. He is an avid golfer and skier but spends the majority of his free time as a senior black belt teaching martial arts. Contact them here:

Website and blog

Tommye on LinkedIn

Bill on LinkedIn


The Accounting Influencers Podcast is a CPE-accredited daily radio-style show with four segments coming out every Monday which are repeated on the other 4 weekdays as standalone episodes, plus a bonus 'from the client's perspective' episode on Saturdays. On Sundays, listeners get a short min trailer for the coming week's episodes.

Every Tuesday the show gives you a relevant news topic from the accounting and fintech world with a direct application to accountants, CPAs and bookkeepers. Great to stay informed and build your commercial acumen.

Every Wednesday and Friday, we feature an uncut interview with top authors, leaders, thinkers and performers in the accounting and fintech world.

Every Thursday the show gives you a practical 'here's what works' tips concerning a key challenge, need or strategy for accountants, CPAs and bookkeepers. Great to stay current and keep your skills topped up.

Finally, every Saturday gives listeners a bonus episode which focuses on the buyers of accounting services - the clients themselves. In particular how they feel, react to and experience their interactions with accountants. That includes why they buy or don't buy, why they move or stay and why they think how they think about you, your firm, your prices and your offerings.

Martin and Rob love to hear from the show's 20,000 unique listeners in 144 countries around the world. If you like the show, leave a review wherever you listen, and please recommend the show to your friends and colleagues.



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