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.
- Manage themselves and their time/priorities well
They have clear goals and understand their priorities – they make wise choices about how to spend their time.
- Delegate effectively
They know what and when to delegate and provide the right amount of support.
- 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.
- Manage jobs effectively for on time on budget delivery
They get stuff done!
- Present well in front of a small or large group of people
They are confident on their feet and leave a positive impression.
- Build strong client relationships and deliver great client service
They are good at managing client expectations and meeting them or even exceeding them.
- Run effective business meetings
Whether it be 1 on 1 or with a larger group they preside over meetings with purpose delivering useful outcomes.
- Understand how to influence and negotiate with other people
They use some well tested approaches to get positive outcomes for all.
- 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.