By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager
With an increase in hybrid and remote work environments, firms need to be open to adapting their business to ensure they keep up with the competition and retain employees.
“In my line of work in consulting with CPA firms, that's one of the biggest hurdles,” said Rita Keller. “You have to keep pace; you have to change. And I'm hoping that they continue to embrace change like they have for the last 18 months.”
Keller has been a respected voice in CPA firm management for more than 30 years. Her daily blog, Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders, touches on everything from the talent shortage to increasing firm fees.
In her consultations, Keller said she often receives pushback from firms when it comes to change, but the pandemic has changed the perspective of many. One area that she says can’t be overlooked is communication among staff while working virtually. She said it’s essential for professionals to regularly receive feedback on performance while not in the office, especially for young staff.
“It takes management skills, and we need to invest in our managers and train them,” Keller said.
Managers need to be adaptable to connecting with their employees just as much virtually as they did in the office. This might require a different kind of effort, as it’s not as simple as walking by someone’s desk anymore. It’s important to find creative ways to maintain relationships while moving to a virtual or hybrid environment, Keller said.
“I talk to firms of all sizes,” Keller said. “Some are very progressive, and some are still asking me questions that I actually heard 35 years ago. The profession has changed so slowly, but there are firms changing very rapidly. And I think they’re going to set the pace.”
Hear more from Rita on the State of Business podcast to discuss what areas professionals and firms should focus on in 2022 to be successful.
For additional learning on this topic, check out our On-Demand course on Professional Growth & Relationship Building.