Magazine article The CPA Journal

Lateral Partner Opportunities in the New York CPA Market

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Lateral Partner Opportunities in the New York CPA Market

Article excerpt

While organic growth remains slow, New York CPA firms with longterm expansion in mind are increasingly turning to lateral hiring strategies in order to add new business. This creates an opportunity for fast-track professionals, who are finding their skills and talents in demand. Although traditional hiring methods still have their place, lateral hiring allows firms to take fewer risks when seeking potential candidates, while still obtaining talented professionals. By vetting experienced partners already established within the field, firms are achieving faster growth and avoiding the potential pitfalls of untested, unknown hires.

Another benefit for CPA firms is the opportunity for experienced partners to come in and hit the ground running. They often have their own set of established clients who are likely to transfer to the new firm along with the new partner. For partners open to the opportunity, a fresh start with a new firm can be an invigorating and rewarding experience.

A Surge in Lateral Talent Acquisition

The following are the five primary reasons why lateral hiring is accelerating in file New York market:

* Organic growth has been slow and firms believe this trend will continue for several more years.

* The market demands increasing specialization and niche businesses.

* Many firms are facing a leadership gap. They are unprepared for succession in key profit centers, such as the core tax and audit businesses, SEC work, international services, and trusts and estates.

* Some firms are in dire need of partners with business-development skills.

* Due to years of decline in the number of college graduates with accounting degrees, firms in particular-and the profession as a whole-are facing a much smaller next generation of potential new leaders.

Guidance for CPA Firms Considering Lateral Hiring

As with any new endeavor, there are steps that CPA firms should take before moving forward with finding new partners. First, they must be absolutely clear about the technical skills, qualifications, strengths, and character traits of their ideal candidate. This is an area that too many firms are vague or imprecise about. It is the first place an independent search consultant can help clarify, as well as add advice on current market conditions and establish a plan of action that includes reasonable expectations.

CPA firms also need to ensure that they have agreement and buy-in from the current group of partners. …

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