MANAGING AN OFFICE - A BROAD AND COMPLEX JOB
Philip J. Sandmaier, Jr. Partner, Executive Office
Presented before a meeting of the Canadian partners of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, St. Jovite, Quebec— September 1972
Covering the subject of managing an office in a talk to Canadian partners has led me into a most interesting exercise—setting down in writing my thoughts on the subject. This is something I had never done before in detail. Perhaps my remarks will offer an idea or two to those who are now in charge of an office. And for those partners who are not now in charge of a practice office, I offer these comments as one man's idea of the breadth and complexity of the job.
Let me make two statements at the outset. First, no one is 100 percent efficient as the head of an office. Second, managing the small office is no less difficult than managing a large one.
If I were to summarize the basic functions of managing a practice office, of whatever size, it seems to me that they break down into the following four groups: serving clients, attracting clients, serving the Firm, and serving the profession. Our specific activities as managers can all be grouped under one or another of these four headings.
The primary responsibility of each Head of Office is to arrange for a high level of service to clients, in accordance with each client's unique needs, as related to our scope of practice. It is understood that each office cannot be all things to all people at any given moment. Accordingly, the word "arrange" is appropriate, because teamwork is mandatory in a variety of situations.
The basic necessities for serving clients in the broad areas of the practice are:
1. An assessment of client needs
2. Providing capable personnel, at local levels, as appropriate
3. Mobilization of Firm support where local capabilities need to be supplemented
4. Providing physical facilities and related services