Communication conflict between CPA and accounting firm


Speaker 1: Tim you mentioned it, so I want to give you the opportunity and then obviously Jodie can speak to this as well before we wrap up, was, Tim, you wanted to make a point on communication conflict accountability. I’ll just kind of … That’s such a big topic area. We get a lot of questions around that. Sometimes those three things I just mentioned are items people don’t really want to talk about even though they’re so important. Wherever you want to take that phrase, we can have as we have, as we have the last three or four minutes here we can jump into that and of course I want to gie you guys the opportunity to tell how people can connect with you after this panel.

Tim: Sure. I just wanted to come back to it because one of the things in our firm, what we use to try to just run the firm, we call them, “Operating Agreements.” It’s basically, you can say it’s a handbook, but it’s really more of a how we’re going to live with each other when we go through it. We’ve developed a Communication Agreement, a Conflict Resolution Agreement, a Decision Making Agreement, an Accountability Agreement, an Attendance Agreement, and they’re all just [inaudible 00:01:03]… It may sound like this is, “Oh my gosh. How voluminous.” It’s a three page document that basically is the infrastructure with how we live, work, and communicate with each other.

Our firm for example, we define conflict as a difference of opinion. We know that good things can’t happen without people communicating and we’ve got … There are times when disagreements may elevate to poor behavior but we have built into the system how we resolve those things.

What I have found, and one of the greatest things is that it eliminates gossip, it eliminates people creating their own teams, or tribes, or silos, whatever you want to call them. I’ll be happy when we do share our information. I can share a guidelines or a template that we use not only with our firm, but other clients just to help them get started with these discussions. In just in the last six, seven years in our firm that we’ve had this, it’s been wonderful. We don’t have a lot of gossip or b.s. going on.

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