Leadership Institute

Leadership Institute

The Secrets of Firm Leadership, CPAFMA’s Leadership Institute 2.0 will kick-off at the 2020 CPAFMA National Practice Management Conference. The deadline for applications is February 15, 2020.

Firm managers are called to be leaders – by the best traditions of the accounting profession, by standards of professional responsibility, and by the expectations of the communities in which they work and live. And yet, until recently, there has been little attention given to leadership training for those responsible for the day-to-day management of CPA firms as they enter the profession and begin to develop the skills necessary for their success and the success of their firms.

In an effort to prepare emerging leaders for this calling, the CPAFMA is providing a leadership training program in cooperation with Succession Institute. The CPA Firm Management Association provides leadership training to 20 professionals through its Leadership Institute, which began with the inaugural class in 2017.


The mission of the Leadership Institute is to help firm managers become effective leaders in their communities, including the accounting profession, their firms or other workplaces, other organizations with which they are associated,  their local, state, national or even international communities, and any other environments where professionals regularly have calls or opportunities for leadership.

General Program Description

The Leadership Institute provides an intensely interactive and participatory leadership training program. The 20-firm manager class size is designed to facilitate interaction and an intimate learning environment. Unlike some other association-sponsored leadership programs, this program will not emphasize substantive information about the profession. Instead, the goals of the program are to help emerging leaders to:

It is expected that graduates of the program not only will have become better leaders, but also will have become better CPA firm practice managers.

Eligibility for Participation

To be eligible to participate in the Leadership Institute 2.0, you must:

Selection Process

Participants will be selected from the eligible applicants, taking into account degree of interest and commitment, aptitude for leadership, and diversity of the class (including diversity in geography, practice environments, personal backgrounds, and experience). Because of the small class size and the anticipated large volume of applications, many well-qualified applicants will not be selected for a given class, but it is hoped that many of them will reapply for subsequent classes in future years. Selection of the 2020 class is expected to be completed by the end of February 2020.

Dates, Times and Locations

The course of training will be in four sessions as follows, with some activities between sessions that will not involve travel or specific scheduling commitments (times are subject to change):

Session #1 – Tuesday, June 23, 2020 in Sarasota, Florida (8 hours)

Situational Leadership in a Day – Instructor Tommye Barie

Session #2 - Content Path During the 2020 CPAFMA National Practice Management Conference – June 23-26, 2020 in Sarasota, Florida (6 hours of dedicated sessions in addition to the full conference)

Example of Sessions within the Content Path (subject to change):

Accounting in Extraordinary Times

Management and Leadership

Communication Skills

Emotional Intelligence and Conflict Management

Planning and Life Management (Getting Unstuck)

Sessions #3 and #4 – November 10-11, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas (16 hours)

CPA Firm Best Practices – Instructors Tommye Barie and Bill Reeb

Management and Leadership

Accountability and Assertiveness

Staff Development – Building Your Firm Better, Faster and Stronger

Succession Planning fundamentals

Managing Change


CPAFMA has partnered with the Succession Institute, a management consulting firm with offices in Texas, Colorado, and Florida. The firm provides a wide range of management consulting services to clients located throughout North America with a purpose of facilitating the long-term success of their clients.

Succession Institute serves a varied client base because of the diverse skill sets and experiences they are able to bring to the table.  Industry concentrations include the CPA profession and the construction industry.  While the name of the company implies a focus on succession, it is much more than that. Succession Institute, LLC was formed to provide a higher level of support in a broad range of consulting services, including organization development services.

At the Succession Institute, they believe that there are core, foundational principles to follow that will help professionals successfully and profitably manage their business and their people. And by following these, organizations are positioned to grow, prosper, seamlessly transition to new leadership, and positioned to sell at above-average market prices. 

Instructors for the CPAFMA Leadership Institute 2.0 will be Bill Reeb, CPA, CITP, CGMA, Co-Founder and CEO, Succession Institute, LLC and Tommye E. Barie, CPA, Senior Consulting Shareholder, Succession Institute, LLC.

Tuition and Expenses

Tuition is $749, which is payable prior to the first session and is nonrefundable. Note that the tuition covers only a small portion of the costs of the program; the Association supports the program.

Tuition includes all program materials and meals during program sessions. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from sessions and any meals and overnight accommodations other than those specifically covered.  Participants must also register for the 2020 National Practice Management Conference.

Application Deadline: February 15, 2020

Applications can be submitted online from the CPAFMA website.

Further Information

For further information, contact Kim Fantaci, CPAFMA President (kim@cpafma.org or phone 937-222-0030)