CPAFMA Recognizes 2021 Firm Manager of the Year

Published June 28, 2022

During the CPA Firm Management Association's CONNECTIONS2022, held in Portland, Maine on June 21-24, CPAFMA recognized, in-person, the recipient of it's 2021 Firm Manager of the Year Award, Jane Johnson, PAFM, COO and Principal with Grimbleby Coleman CPAs in Modesto, California.

This annual award is presented by the CPA Firm Management Association and it has been awarded to some of North America’s most experienced and respected firm managers since its 1989 inception. It’s a Hall of Fame of sorts, recognizing outstanding and successful careers and firms that have embraced the role of the firm manager with successful results.

The award exemplifies our mission and vision and is awarded to CPA firm managers carrying such titles as firm administrator, director of administration, chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief executive officer. Regardless of the title, recipients hold a senior-level administration and operations position for a public accounting firm. Criteria the judges use for the selection process focus on leadership and the individual’s strategic impact on the firm’s growth and success over an extended period of time. Candidates for the award have made major contributions to their firms by implementing and overseeing programs that contribute to the firm’s long-term growth; help the firm meet its strategic goals; improve firm profitability; help create an employee-friendly culture that encourages long-term staff retention; and emphasize the value of entrepreneurship, leadership, continuous learning, marketing and client service skills. Candidates exemplify Achievement, Commitment and Excellence. Achievement is hard work, choices and persistence. Commitment is the foundation of our accomplishments and excellence is an attitude – always striving to be better.

While 2020 was a challenge like no other, Jane not only exceeded all expectations but ensured the long-term success of her firm through dedication and resilience. 

Thanks to her foresight and strategic implementations like anytime/anywhere policies the firm was able to move a team of 62 to a remote work-from-home status within a matter of days at the onset of COVID-19 and never missed a beat in maintaining excellence and the internal transparency was off the charts.

Jane also led the development of the firm’s Advisory and CAS practice areas, shifting the firm and its staffs’ mindsets from a transactional accounting firm to a more client-focused firm; resulting in growth and a culture of a “client-centric, forward-thinking” practice. She oversaw the implementation of the firm’s advanced pricing model called Choice Pricing – continually promoting the firm’s coined term of “transfairency” that coincides with their core values.

Jane has continually used the firm’s niches to increase profitability by enhancing relationships, developing partnerships and proactively executing ongoing marketing initiatives. According to former managing partner, Clive Grimbleby, “If our president is the head of our firm, then she is the backbone. She is the glue that holds us in place and supports us in reaching and exceeding our individual and firm-wide goals.”

Congratulations to Jane Johnson, PAFM, COO and Principal with Grimbleby Coleman CPAs on receiving this honor.