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Staff performance evaluation checklist.

CPA firms function most effectively when partners periodically measure the abilities, potential and limitations of staff and communicate these assessments to the employees. A continuing relationship should be established between each staff member and a reviewing partner and formal assessments conducted at regular intervals throughout the year.

Establish procedures. In setting up evaluation procedures, the following steps should be followed:

* Mutually develop responsibilities and goals. Focus on achievement of goals rather than personal characteristics.

* Create a written form that sets out the staff member's responsibilities along with knowledge and skill development needs for the coming year.

* Hold an interim review of responsibilities and goals during the year.

Develop goals. Possible job goals can range from "Write a new audit program for a savings and loan resulting in a 10% reduction of labor hours, while maintaining quality levels, by September 1" to "Improve personal skills by joining Toastmasters and participate in at least eight meetings during the year." Goals should be

* Stated in measurable terms.

* Created by the staff member, since the responsibility for accomplishment will rest principally with him or her.

* Developed from, but go beyond, the routine scope of the job's requirements.

* Challenging and require extra effort.

* Attainable and reasonably within the staff member's control.

* Limited in number, since too many goals result in a loss of control.

Hold an annual review. Every 12 months, at an annual review conference, the following should be done:

* Prepare a new statement of goals for the next year.

* Change job responsibilities to reflect the staff member's growth in skill, ability and maturity.

* Add new areas of responsibility and deemphasize or eliminate others.

* Grant greater authority in handling assignments.

Adapted from the American Institute of CPAs Management of an Accounting Practice Handbook.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Institute of CPA's
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:from AICPAs 'Management of an Accounting Practice Handbook'
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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