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Checklist to Create the Managing Partner Mindset, Part 1: Productivity & Profitability

Updated: Nov 26, 2018

No matter how big or small their CPA firm, a solid Managing Partner thinks about the different aspects of their business, and how to make the areas the most effective. Whether you are currently a Managing Partner at your firm, aspire to be one, or just want to be the best at what you do, getting into the mindset of a Managing Partner has an important bearing on the firm.

We've divided Managing Partner Mindset priorities into four main topic areas, and have included a checklist of questions that each firm should ask of its future leaders. The first two, Productivity and Profitability, are below. Part 2, Marketing & Business Development and Personnel, can be found here.


  • Is our firm placing value on client service production and non-client service (administrative) production? What benchmarks are being used to assign proper values and to control the balance for client and non-client service production?

  • Is there a budget for administrative hours by period? Is it broken down for each person at the firm? How are we addressing variances?

  • What is our turnaround time on projects? Are projects being completed and vetted within a certain amount of time?

  • Are we measuring and evaluating project review time by client project to address performance issues and quality concerns?

  • Do we emphasize best practices to enhance performance and client satisfaction?


  • What is the average achieved rate per hour billed for the firm, broken down by product line? Is that average matched to projections?

  • What are our days receivable?

  • Are we meeting our work in process (WIP) carry criteria?

  • What are the utilization results by category of service provider?

  • How are we using out technological potential to achieve superior engagement results?

  • Are we using metric dashboards for all levels of our staff and how are they responding?

  • Are partners’ achievements in line with their performance goals?

Thinking through these questions and going through this kind of preliminary checklist can mean the difference between a good leader and a great leader, and, by extension, the difference between a good and a great firm.

The right Partner – whether Managing Partner or not – wants a great firm, and wants the whole team to see it the same way. Make it happen and you’ll be on your way.

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