Managing Partner Mike Corney, whose leadership and vision has guided Manning Elliott for the past six years, will be retiring on December 31st. Mike has served the accounting firm for 34 years; the past six of those as Managing Partner.
In his role as Managing Partner, Mike will be succeeded by Alden Aumann, a Partner in the Vancouver office, and a valued colleague and friend. As Mike says:
"Managing Partner is a challenging role, but also fun. I know that Alden is going to enjoy the challenges as much as I have. I also know that I'm leaving the firm in good hands. Alden and I go way back. He's a man of vision and a great leader."
Manning Elliott's Very First Managing Partner
Mike has not only been Manning Elliott's Managing Partner - but its very first Managing Partner, a position created in 2009. The partners decided the firm had grown to the point where it needed a more efficient and responsive management system than the partner-committee model they were using. The Managing Partner would be a leadership position, with the overall responsibility of guiding the firm to achieve its goals and growth initiatives. Looking for a new challenge in his career, Mike put his name forward.
At the time, he recalls, the financial world was in turmoil. "It seemed like the sky was falling! We were heading into a deep recession and there was tremendous uncertainty everywhere. But I looked at the situation as an opportunity. I was confident that, by doing the right thing and sticking to our principles, we'd come out okay - and we did."
Vision and Strategic Planning
One of Mike's major initiatives as Managing Partner was to establish a firm-wide performance-review system. Basing his system on the Harvard-renowned Balanced Scorecard Method, he began by working with all the partners to develop an agreed-upon set of strategic corporate goals.
Along with that, Mike also embarked on a year-long process of creating and solidifying a vision for Manning Elliott. This led to developing a dynamic strategic plan that extends to 2017.
Says Mike, "The great thing about what we created is that each partner has his or her own goals, as before - but those goals are now directly related to the current and long-term goals of the firm, which, in turn, tie into the firm's overall vision."
It's a momentous achievement - one that involved hard work throughout Mike's tenure. A Vancouver Canucks fan, Mike describes his role of Managing Partner as being a little like the captain, coach and general manager rolled into one, working with a talented team to ensure it reaches its full potential.
Student Recruiting, Training and Development
Of the accomplishments that give Mike particular satisfaction, one is improved performance of Manning Elliott's Student Recruiting, Training and Development programs. Through this initiative - more careful recruiting, better resources and closer attention to training, Manning Elliott's students regularly achieve a pass rate of 90% on CPA Institute exams. Mike explains,"Our mindset has gone from one of, 'We hope you pass' to a definite 'You will pass.'"
Mike fully credits the Human Resources Department for raising the programs' performance.
Projecting Continued Growth and Success
Looking ahead, Mike feels good about Manning Elliott.
He notes that each prospective partner undertakes a three-year training program to ensure they gain a comprehensive understanding of Manning Elliott's methods, standards and values. This helps ensure a strong ongoing corporate structure and culture.
"I'm confident the firm will continue to grow, provide top levels of service and be a top employer for many years to come," Mike says.
Mike's plans for new adventures
With retirement around the corner, Mike is already making plans for new adventures. Not being a sit-around kind of person, he expects to travel a lot and spend much time enjoying the great outdoors.
Mike's legacy to us is Manning Elliott's success. Please join us in thanking Mike for his many years of service, dedication and innovation - and in wishing him a long and satisfying retirement.