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Performance Is Everything: The Why, What, and How of Designing Compensation Plans

Author: August J. Aquila, Ph.D., and Coral L. Rice
Publisher: AICPA
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Compensation is the largest expense that a firm incurs. And yet, few firms really manage it well. The trick is realizing it is more complex than just splitting the pie.

The crucial issues of compensation and performance are inextricably linked. In this important resource, experts August Aquila and Coral Rice offer a unique perspective on how you can align your compensation and performance management plans in order to boost performance, maximize profits, and keep both your staff and clients happy.

This companion to Aquila and Rice’s successful AICPA publication, Compensation as a Strategic Asset, will pick up where that guide left off, offering readers the “Why, What, and How” for compensation plans filtered through the lens of performance management.

The authors convey, in the simplest and clearest terms, how firms can improve overall firm performance by engaging in the following activities:

  • Develop a compelling vision
  • Develop a strategy for what you want to accomplish
  • Have the right systems in place to help achieve the strategy
  • Align individual goals with firm and departmental goals
  • Create an effective performance review system
  • Monitor performance monthly and quarterly for trends
  • Provide higher performers with more rewards than average performers

Ultimately, this guide is based on what other firms are doing, and let's you know why it’s working or why it’s not. By guiding you through a process and providing you with the tools to design a partner and staff compensation plan, Performance Is Everything will help you develop the plan that works for your firm.

About the Author:  
August J. Aquila, an internationally known consultant, speaker, and author, has held leading positions in the accounting profession for more than 25 years. He currently heads AQUILA Global Advisors, LLC, a full-service consulting firm to accounting and other professional services firms. August focuses his practice on working with firm leaders, resolving management and owner issues, helping firms develop and implement strategic and transition plans, and designing  compensation plans. August is also one of the top consultants in the area of mergers and acquisitions, having been involved in more than 150 transactions.

Before starting AQUILA Global Advisors, August held several executive leadership positions with American Express Tax and Business Services. He also was a partner in a top-50 firm. In 2003, he was elected into the Association for Accounting Marketing’s Hall of Fame, and in 2004, 2007, and 2009–11, he was selected as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the Accounting Profession by Accounting Today magazine.

August is the author of hundreds of articles and several books on practice management, mergers and acquisitions, and marketing. He is the coauthor, most recently, of Compensation as a Strategic Asset: The New Paradigm and Client at the Core: Marketing and Managing Today’s Professional Services Firm.

August lives in Minnetonka, MN, with his wife, Emily. For more information about August, visit

Coral L. Rice is one of the accounting profession’s top consultants and executive coaches in the areas of organizational development, compensation, and learning. She has helped many firms clarify mission, vision, values, and strategic direction. More importantly, she helps them accomplish their strategic goals.  She possesses unique expertise in diagnosing and designing firms’ people systems and processes (for example, recruitment, retention, and succession) to support these goals. Specifically, she has provided direction to accounting firms in the redesign of their partner and staff performance management and pay-for-performance compensation systems. She is the coauthor, most recently, of Compensation as a Strategic Asset: The New Paradigm.

Coral developed the workshop, The Reluctant Salesperson™: A Realistic Approach to Practice Development for the CPA, as well as a comprehensive partner development program. She also facilitates group workshops and provides executive coaching to partners in a variety of areas.

Coral serves as a global senior consultant in FranklinCovey’s 4 Disciplines of Execution Practice and has served both Fortune 100 and smaller clients in a variety of consulting roles.

Coral and her husband, Dave, enjoy golf, volunteering, and sharing time with their son and daughter-in-law, as well as other family members and friends.

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Paperback , 2012
Product# PPM1206P
Availability: In Stock
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Your Price:$69.00
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