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Working Mother to CPA Managing Partner: Lory Kelley

In this episode 14 of the Success in Accounting podcast, a live interview from North Carolina USA with Lory Kelley. Lory became Bernard Robinson & Company’s Managing Partner in 2021 and has over 20 years of experience in public accounting serving clients and in firm leadership roles. She represents the shift to the third generation of leadership within the firm’s 75-year history. Her focus is on sustainable firm growth by attracting top talent through BRC’s unique culture and employee experience, being the leading accounting and consulting firm in serving the middle-market, family business sector, and being entrepreneurial in spirit as new opportunities arise.

➨ why being a top 200 accounting firm or in any ranking can be important for a professional brand and status

➨ the journey to becoming managing partner and accounting firm leader from working mum

➨ the importance of role models for aspiring young professionals in accounting, particularly for women

➨ the dangers for accounting firms who do not offer flexibility in working practices to their staff

➨ the many benefits of having women in leadership positions for an accounting practice

➨ what a post-pandemic ‘new-normal’ working schedule looks like in a progressive accounting firm

➨ how not judging partners on their book of business impacts the culture and employer brand for an accountancy firm

➨ the challenges for accounting leaders to drive culture with hybrid working and multiple offices

➨ practical tips for intentional team building for accounting firms with remote and dispersed staff

➨ the importance of human connectivity and treating accounting firm employees like people

➨ how a top 200 firm creates a compelling employee value proposition while not paying top wages

➨ steps to defining, attracting and recruiting the right kind of employee that fits the culture of your accounting firm

➨ what warning signs an employee ‘dedicated to their work’ with few outside interests might present to an accounting practice

➨ how expectations and trust play a vital part in setting professional firm culture

➨ whether all of your firm’s staff would or should be expected to give the same answer to ‘why do you like working here?’

➨ what happens when an accountancy practice does not give their people targets for chargeable hours or billing time

➨ what makes a successful leadership style as a large accounting firm managing partner or leader

➨ the value of a coach or mentor for senior leaders in professional practices

➨ the skills and attributes required by accountants and CPAs to stay relevant and competitive

➨ how some accounting professionals have been able to pivot and acquire new skills in challenging times

➨ why serving clients exceptionally well is the number one priority for accountants

➨ the importance of growth for accounting firms who want to attract talent and avoid becoming stagnant

➨ shout out to DFK and what membership brings to senior and emerging leaders in exchanging knowledge and expertise

➨ the challenges in staying independent as an accounting practice to preserve culture and avoid being merged

➨ best career advice from 20+ years in the accounting profession

➨ words of inspiration and encouragement to younger members of the accounting world

Outside the office, Lory, her husband, Mike, and son, Brennen are an active, outdoor family. It is not unusual for a weekend road trip to the beaches of Charleston, going out to the barn to work with their horses, or playing tennis and doing some yard work. Her idea of a perfect evening is curling up in a comfortable chair with a good book and a hot cup of Earl Grey tea.

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A reminder of 5 great shows in the Accounting Influencers Broadcast Network:

❶ Success in Accounting – MONDAYS. Our flagship main show featuring panels, highlights, combinations, panels, topics, live interviews and best ofs.

❷ Insights in Accounting – TUESDAYS. The best news, analysis, commercial awareness, news under microscope, podcast mentions and recommendations.

❸ Influencers in Accounting – WEDNESDAYS. Deep dive 1-1 interviews with leaders, experts, influencers from around the world.

❹ Best Practice in Accounting – THURSDAYS. Practice development, growth, management, consulting, examples, stories and practical here’s what works stuff for accountants, bookkeepers and the fintech/software people who serve them.

❺ UK Matters in Accounting – FRIDAYS. A UK focused show featuring UK related topics, news items, events and interviews.

Find them all on your preferred podcast app, platform or channel. Thanks for subscribing, sharing and listening!

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