IPA Spotlight on . . . Rachel Anevski, Matters of Management

rachel-hsName: Rachel Anevski

Firm: Matters of Management of Wayne, N.J.

Title: CEO

Q: What attracted you to starting your own firm?

A: Most of my career was spent with MPs and executive boards. I listened to them talk of ownership, accountability, responsibility, who’s on the bus, succession benches and so forth. One of my earliest presentations to an executive group was on the topic of entrepreneurship – a process that I knew well thanks to careful planning and patient understanding of the client’s need for innovative and quality service. Through the years I would watch consultants speak to crowds who listened intently, then went back to their firms charged with ideas to implement. It sparked a deep desire to teach, to coach and to help firms lead change. I founded the firm in 2013.

Q: Whats the best business advice youve ever received?

A: To listen. Not just to listen, but to listen actively without anticipating responses.

Q: Whats the best thing you ever did to improve your leadership skills?

A: A few years ago, I was nominated to participate in a year-long state leadership fellowship. I had the privilege to find myself among the wisest and boldest 40 or so leaders in my home state, tackling issues as varied as the floundering education system, health care, recidivism and diversity. I developed a keen understanding of group dynamics and leadership on both a small and large scale. Most important, I established life-long business friendships.

imageQ: Can you provide an example of an innovative way an accounting firm is addressing one of its biggest challenges?

A: One firm helped their future leaders learn how to sustain growth. The firm committed to an innovative leadership program for all upcoming junior partners, directors and management. The first component was education (foundation), the second component was executive coaching (accountability), and the third component was competition (practice). Each part worked together in lock step, and the likelihood of success skyrocketed.

Q: How would you like your business to grow and change?

A: Matters of Management (M2) offers several services such as growth strategy, executive talent acquisition, M&A support, human resources outsourcing, interim operations and executive coaching. Each one of these services has detailed programs within them that support firm initiatives. I see M2 taking on additional partners and support staff and collaborating with other consultants to move the profession forward. Change is a constant. Sometimes it’s fast and unexpected, and sometimes it’s planned. The way we intend on changing is by listening to the needs of our clients and responding without hesitation.

Q: Any ideas on how accounting firms can ‘wowtheir clients with their services?

A: The best way to “wow” clients is to anticipate their needs. We are all really good at identifying problems once they have occurred, but our main objective is to alleviate problems before they arise and prevent future complications.

Q: Any other thoughts youd like to share?

A: Public accounting firms haven’t figured out a way to get personal. That’s why they continue to lose accountants to private industry. One size does not fit all when it comes to dealing with our future leaders. If you can get inside the minds of the people, you will solve the puzzle. Everyone likes to be heard. Love what you do, the rest is easy.

IPA has started a new feature called “Spotlight,” which highlights the good work being done by accounting firm MPs and partners, association leaders, consultants, vendors, state CPA association directors and other big thinkers in the profession. Know someone who should be featured? Contact Christina Camara.