As an accounting firm coach, mentor and consultant I am in and out of firms pretty much every day. One of the things I have observed is the critical role of the manager in successful firms. Here are nine skills I reckon great managers inside accounting and advisory firms have. These skills apply equally to business services, audit, tax, SMSF, insolvency and bookkeeping managers, and also to internally focused managers.

  1. Accounting Firm Coaching and TrainingManage themselves and their time/priorities well
    They have clear goals and understand their priorities – they make wise choices about how to spend their time.
  2. Delegate effectively
    They know what and when to delegate and provide the right amount of support.
  3. Communicate well and provide effective feedback to the team
    They are able to adapt their communication style as needed to connect with others and avoid confusion.
  4. Manage jobs effectively for on time on budget delivery
    They get stuff done!
  5. Present well in front of a small or large group of people
    They are confident on their feet and leave a positive impression.
  6. Build strong client relationships and deliver great client service
    They are good at managing client expectations and meeting them or even exceeding them.
  7. Run effective business meetings
    Whether it be 1 on 1 or with a larger group they preside over meetings with purpose delivering useful outcomes.
  8. Understand how to influence and negotiate with other people
    They use some well tested approaches to get positive outcomes for all.
  9. Build business
    They are doing a few key things to attract new clients and new work from existing clients.


How do managers gain these skills? In my experience it happens in a few different ways:

  • Learning from others through observation – unfortunately sometimes this a way to learn bad habits!
  • Self study – reading, webinars, podcasts
  • Attending training courses – preferably with others in the same role

The good news is I have a Manager Development Program which helps Managers build the nine skills I have identified above. When I ran it in March/April the reviews were excellent – even if I do say so myself. It is three full days in the space of a month with the next programs starting in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in late September.

See here for details and to register:

There are some spaces left in each city.