Do You Have the Right Team for Your Accounting Firm?

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Any business expert will tell you that if you have the right people in the right seats, your organization will thrive. This is just as true for accounting firms as for any other company in Pennsylvania. Your accounting team probably already consists of accountants and CPAs who are adept at accurately handling any bookkeeping, financial statements, or end-of-year tax filing that your clients need.

But have you analyzed your team to determine if you have the right mix to help your firm grow into the future?


Before evaluating your team mix, determine your goals for your firm, define your ideal client, and assess the market. Where would you like to see your firm heading? What kinds of clients do you like to work with? What industries interest you and have the most growth potential? 

Becoming an expert in a niche can help your firm stand out and grow rapidly. A few fields that require somewhat specialized accounting and tax treatment include:

  • Medical professionals
  • Legal professionals
  • Real Estate, construction
  • Gig economy workers
  • Entrepreneurs and small-business start-ups
  • High-income individuals

Each of these potential clients or industries has unique needs. Survey your existing team members about their own particular interests and skill sets to see if any of them has additional knowledge that can be leveraged to reach out to a particular niche (for instance, previous work with a legal firm or a hospital).

Evaluate the skills of your team members for the types of services or branches of accounting that you would like to offer, and determine what additional talent you may need to hire. The services may include:

  • Tax accounting for a particular niche market or individuals
  • Managerial accounting and cost accounting to guide business leaders in budgeting, forecasting, cost analysis, etc.
  • Information systems evaluation to advise client businesses on the best systems to ensure accuracy of financial data
  • Forensic accounting, focused on investigating legal cases of fraud, disputes, or claims
  • Fiduciary accounting, managing financial matters for an individual, an estate, property, or guardianship 


Besides determining the knowledge and skill level your staff needs, you should evaluate how they work together as a team.

  • Do they cooperate?
  • Are there any difficult personalities that cause discord?
  • Is that discord caused by a problem within the company that needs to be resolved, or is it a personality issue that needs to be addressed?

For instance, are your team members disagreeing over whose responsibility it is to complete certain steps in a project? This could be resolved by creating clear policies and procedures or by hiring an office manager. Is the office atmosphere causing stress (too dark, too crowded, no coffee maker)? Talk to them and find out what they need.

If, however, one individual is causing most of the problems, you will need to talk to the person to find out where the problem may lie. It could be a lack of clarity about his or her responsibilities. It could be a personal matter or a health problem that is causing the difficulty. Or it could be an underlying personality issue that can’t be changed. If the problem cannot be resolved, you may have to do the hard thing and let go of that person. A team member who cannot work as a team is not a team member. 

Take the time to evaluate your future goals, your market options, and your team members and start taking the steps needed to move yourself into a stronger future.

Check the PSTAP website regularly for upcoming courses that can help you and your staff reach those goals.