IPA Profile: Jim DeLeo, Gray Gray & Gray LLP

Years in Business: 76

Main Office: Canton, Mass.

Staff Size: 120

What is the single biggest challenge facing your firm right now?

Without a doubt the single biggest challenge facing our firm is talent acquisition. We pride ourselves on showing up differently in the marketplace. We constantly question the norms in our firm and our industry and attempt to find new and creative solutions to the workload compression issues that are driving people out of the profession.

Where do you expect to be focusing most of your attention in the next two to three years?

Over the next several years we have committed to growing and/or building non-traditional service offerings to augment our traditional consulting and compliance services and to provide new and challenging opportunities for our employees. We are also committed to continuing to serve as a consultative and trusted advisor for our clients, ensuring that we live our “Power of More” brand manifesto.

What is the biggest and sometimes often missed opportunity for firms / the profession?

If firms can figure out the workload compression puzzle, they can attract the best and brightest talent to the profession, which offers opportunity, advancement and challenging work.

What was the best advice you received as a young up-and-comer in the profession?

You cannot be in a leadership position and be afraid to make mistakes. The best leaders surround themselves with outstanding talent, exhibit a great deal of humility and have the confidence to admit their mistakes and move on.

What motivates you most as a leader?

Our firm has only scratched the surface of what it can be, and my challenge as a leader is to ensure the firm maximizes its potential for the good of our clients and employees.

How has your role as leader changed over the past five years?

Having only been in the position for four years and experienced the constant evolution that is necessary in the position, I believe that now, more than ever, the lead partner has to be a visionary who is able to execute a sound business plan given the ever-changing market we serve.

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 see the profession continuing to migrate toward consulting, and I see continued disruption as a result of analytics and artificial intelligence. I also see our roles changing from trusted historian to trusted advisor AND business partner. The pandemic has highlighted our ability to adapt to change and advise clients through uncertain times. The profession is much better for the experience and knowledge we’ve gained.

What is a book you’d recommend to other leaders?

My COO gave me the book, Atomic Habits by James Clear, which speaks to how small changes in behavior/habits can make a significant impact over time.

What is your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement is playing a small part in seeing my three kids navigate successfully into young adults.


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