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How To Be a Partner


By Stacie Clifford Kitts

Many students leave college with aspirations of becoming a partner. If this is your goal, here are three attributes that signal a person’s ability to progress to partner level:

1) Partner candidates take reasonability for their professional growth. Partner candidates never sit around the office waiting for someone to teach them how to do their job. When situations arise that require new knowledge, a partner candidate takes the initiative to learn what is needed to get the job done. Partner candidates do not push off incomplete work for someone else to figure out. Partner candidates are a driven group who take a proactive approach to a clients’ needs and actively search out information about new or proposed laws, regulations or pronouncements.

2) Partner candidates put in the time. Aside from what is consistently said about work life balance, partner candidates put in the extra time. They definitely stand out from their peers. A partner candidate never leaves the office when there is work to be done. A partner candidate volunteers to help other staff and partners without being asked. A partner candidate is present, punctual, and committed to the job.

3) Partner candidates establish relationships with clients and referral sources. Although it is the nature of many accountants to dutifully sit behind a desk and “crunch” numbers, partner candidates are present in the outside world meeting with clients and nurturing relationships with referral sources. Partner candidates understand that they must market their skills in order to attract business. Partner candidates rarely eat lunch alone. They regularly invest their personal time as members of business and social groups, and are generally active in the community.

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