Polls in CPA Letter Daily offer an insight to the readers’ opinions about topics taking place in today’s world.
Last week’s poll question, with nearly 500 responses: Does your organization have a formal succession plan in place?
- Yes, my organization has a formal succession plan in place. - 23.71%
- Yes, but it is an informal succession plan. - 21.99%
- No, but my organization plans to develop one. - 18.93%
- No, and we do not have plans to create one.- 35.37%
There’s a saying that the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.
For many years, the AICPA has been encouraging firms of all sizes to take a serious approach to and place a heavy focus on succession planning. With 44,000 firms in the U.S., combined with an aging population, it’s simply an imperative. I’ve seen many firms that are so busy taking care of “today” that they never get around to planning for tomorrow.
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Recently, Apple demonstrated the importance of having a succession plan when CEO Steve Jobs stepped down, amid health concerns. His sudden announcement triggered a plan that was put in place well before his health forced him to step down. This preparation allowed Apple to seamlessly transition to new leadership and continued success. This plan was well communicated to employees and investors for months, reducing the potential for negative reactions. Examples like this, unfortunately, are the exception, rather than the rule.
In the last month, another event led me to believe that awareness regarding succession planning is both timely and needed, especially in the case of an unexpected life event.