Managing Partner, Mahoney CPAs
Years in Business: 32
Main Office: St. Paul, Minn.
Staff Size: 79
What is the single biggest challenge facing your firm right now? The ever-changing effects of COVID, which include making remote work successful for our internal training, serving our clients and maintaining networking and business development contacts. We’re in the process of determining the right time and procedures to open the office up to employees and visitors. We are also adapting to more flexible work schedules and maintaining our close-knit firm culture.
Where do you expect to be focusing most of your attention in the next two to three years? At Mahoney, we are focusing on growth opportunities, including expanding services for our clients in some new areas. I will also be focusing my attention on building a business development culture to strengthen our aptitude and effectiveness in that area.
For decades, the profession has encouraged a move toward partners delivering advisory services beyond compliance. What has been your biggest success in this endeavor? Mahoney is well respected in the real estate industry, and our real estate solutions team has provided advisory services to clients for many years and has been very successful. We also started offering client advisory services in 2020, which has been growing despite COVID.
What’s the best advice you have ever received from another leader? You can’t wait until something is perfect to implement it. Be willing to put something new in place and then continue working on it as it evolves and improves over time.
What one piece of advice do you wish someone told you before you stepped into your current leadership role? Your partners are a wealth of knowledge and talent with different views of the world. You can’t do this job alone, so leverage the strengths and abilities of your partners to do the best job possible for the firm.
What has been the biggest surprise in the role? My biggest surprise has been discovering how much time it takes to run an accounting firm. I have learned to treat the firm as my biggest client and, as a result, I do less direct client work.
How has the MP role changed over the past five years? I became MP in 2015, at a time when many of our founding partners were retiring or retiring soon. Since I became MP, we have retired four partners with the final one retiring at the end of May. We have gone through a lot of changes in leadership, but this has allowed the firm to try new things as new partners step into leadership roles and determine the direction of their departments.
What advice would you offer to someone entering the accounting profession today? Public accounting is a great profession with many different opportunities and areas of practice. Not all firms have the same culture, so it’s important to find the one that is the right fit for you. Mahoney has developed a culture of flexibility and work/life balance, along with opportunities for growth and development. We believe in working hard to provide excellent service to our clients, while also having fun.
How do you stay on top of the profession? I’m a member of a couple of managing partner groups – one is a local group here in the Twin Cities, the other is a national group. This is a great way to hear about what other firms are doing, bounce ideas off other managing partners and stay on top of what is happening in the profession.
Where do you see the accounting profession in five years? How do you see it changing/developing and/or how would you like it to change? I think the accounting profession will be more focused on advisory services and using data analytics to serve clients. There will be more non-CPA employees and a greater focus on IT.
The profession needs to be adaptable and flexible. COVID changed the way we work very rapidly, and we need to make sure we can manage and train our staff while remaining flexible with how they work. Everyone at all levels in the firm needs to realize that this is a give and take and be willing to do their part. Communication is key in this environment.
What is your proudest achievement? I was very honored to be named to Accounting Today’s Managing Partner Elite list in 2020. I am also excited about our recent rebrand and new website – we will be providing the same exceptional service with a fresh new look.
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