Increased Importance of Collaboration and Teamwork – A Word from the President

When I started working in accounting marketing, I can’t tell you how many times I heard “marketers and CPAs are so different – you just won’t understand each other.”  Or “You marketing folks are a little too creative for us partners, so be patient.”

These comments were meant to help explain the differences and set expectations before I became too frustrated, but they were far from the full story. Yes, marketers are from Venus and partners are from Mars to an extent; but it’s much more complex than that.

We may be coming from different places, but our common goal of building growing, sustainable practices is powering new kinds of collaboration that may have seemed impossible ten years ago. The expanding scope of growth initiatives in today’s accounting firm demands teamwork, creativity and new voices.

Business developers, marketing leaders, digital specialists, PR pros, firm leadership, staff, IT, HR and everyone in between have an important role to play in building the firm of the future. Having a seat at the table for all stakeholders is an essential element of interconnected growth. With the kind of inclusive collaboration that brings multiple disciplines to the table, the results speak for themselves.

AAM’s Supporting Role

AAM’s strategic direction calls for communicating with a broader audience for exactly this reason. Vision 2020 strives to make a more holistic view of firm operations into the industry standard; placing our members in the thick of firm strategy and development.

We are engaging audiences through Vision 2020 in new ways in order to enhance the conversation and to serve as the leading resource for anyone and everyone engaged in firm growth. We’re working with partners and CPAs charged with growing their firms through our participation in the AICPA ENGAGE conference, a related focus group at the event, and a survey which will gauge their opinions on marketing and business development topics.

AAM has put together a Top 30/Major Firms advisory group which is helping AAM diversify its programming for larger firms and marketing specialists. We are reaching out to managing partners through targeted engagement campaigns to make them aware of AAM and the strategic power that AAM members bring to their firms. AAM is building strong relationships with organizations which cater to our peers in practice management, HR, IT and more in the hopes of sharing cross-promoted multi-disciplinary content and programming that benefits the total firm.

AAM has accomplished a lot in the first six months of our plan, and there is much still to do. I will be sharing more updates at Summit in June, and utilizing different AAM channels to bring these developments to you on a regular basis.

As always, we depend on your feedback to help us understand the steps we can take to better support you in your firm and in your career development. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

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About Kristen Lewis

Kristen Lewis is the President of the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) and the Director of Marketing for the Philadelphia office of EisnerAmper LLP. Kristen has been an active volunteer for AAM since 2004, serving on various committees and task forces over the years, as well as a member of the Board of Directors. As AAM’s current President, Kristen has been heavily involved over the past two years in the planning and implementation of the organization’s Vision 2020 strategic plan. In 2009, AAM honored Kristen as Volunteer of the Year at the organization's Annual Summit. She serves her local community as an employee campaign chair for the United Way of Southeastern PA. Kristen also serves on the Marketing Committee for the annual PACT Capital Conference.

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