I fear the most common obstacle in successfully implementing a smooth transition for senior partners in succession is a seemingly one-size-fits all-approach to this situation.
As the baby boomers slowly migrate out of their roles as full-time partners in CPA firms across the country, it has become all too apparent that these individuals are having a hard time coming to terms with the new role they will play – either at the firms – and/or in their personal lives. Human beings are complicated and each deserve special consideration as to how this transition can be as “easy” as possible….relationships with clients and referral sources should be tapped and leveraged appropriately. Clients should not just receive a blanket letter; retiring partners should not be told how it will play out. A dialogue should ensure that identifies the major issues and concerns of all involved in the client and staff relationship so that alternative innovative alternate solutions can be discussed.
Nothing ever stays the same – in business or in life – so it is important to evolve accordingly to the climate and situation of these individuals. Those who approach this transition with an open mind – as well as an open heart – and empower all those involved might be pleasantly surprised by what happens.