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Keeping Your Firm Competitive

04.01.2011 | Accounting Today

OPERATIONS

Grace Singer, CPA

There’s a direct connection between our low staff turnover and high client retention that is at the core of how we stay competitive.  We give our staff people opportunities to grow on the accounts they serve on.  They don’t just learn what to do on the account, but also why they are doing it.  No one is isolated and there is a lot of interaction between Berdon and clients’ staff, so everyone knows each other and their responsibilities.

At the junior level, our staff get exposure to higher-level members of the client’s team so that they get a greater understanding of the client’s business.  The close relationships that develop naturally pay dividends immediately, and sometimes down the road.  As an example, a current Berdon partner built a strong relationship with a client staff member when both were at junior levels. Ten years later, that client member, now chief financial officer at another company, remembered their good relationship and brought Berdon in. 

We keep our people sharp with ongoing training and encourage them to provide peer-to-peer formal training to those at more junior levels. These interactions help our people build their confidence and communications skills. This carries over into being better communicators at the client level and serves as a boost in preparing them to be public speakers, which adds to our competitive edge.