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High Performance Firms

A results-driven program for firm leadership teams, High Performance Firms delivers powerful processes and best practices to help your firm develop habits for meaningful results in firm culture, profitability and adaptability.  During our High Performance Firms Workshops, we’ll help you set and accomplish meaningful goals to move your firm along the path to high performance.

High Performance Firms

High Performance Firms

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from working with hundreds of firms across North America, it’s this: most good firms sincerely want to become great. They just don’t know how to get there.

We can help.

High Performance Firms will help your firm make significant, measurable progress on the path to improvement. It will also teach you what you need to do on an ongoing basis to stay on that path.


Workshop 1: Culture: Building a Strong Foundation

Workshop #1 provides leaders with the vision, strategic plan, financial metrics, tools, and processes necessary to optimize partner horsepower and build a high-performance culture.

What High Performance Looks Like at Firm Level

  • Firm leaders proactively assess and work to improve firm culture
  • Partners do only partner level work, creating growth opportunities for others in the firm
  • Every partner receives an open, honest evaluation that provides meaningful feedback on strengths and weaknesses in each key area
  • A superior goal setting process requires each partner to collaboratively set stretch goals that tie to the firm’s strategic plan and to individual strengths
  • A system of accountability keeps partners focused on their stretch goals year-round
  • Successful completion of partner goals is tied to partner compensation
  • Partner income is significantly above industry standards

Workshop 2: People: Strategic Team Member Alignment

Workshop #2 provides leaders with the vision, tools, and processes necessary to use team member strengths to grow the firm.

What High Performance Looks Like at a Team Member Level

  • Partners have identified the firm’s future leaders (bench strength) and there is a personalized leadership development plan for each of these emerging leaders
  • Empowered employees are well trained and confident in handling engagements
  • The firm’s path to partner is clearly defined
  • The partner group is unified in its willingness to treat top performers differently
  • Leaders select and lead high performing teams with high performing individuals
  • Strategic recruiting produces team members with high performing traits
  • The best people in the firm are consistently matched up with the best opportunities
  • The firm has a higher than average retention rate for experienced (3-5 years) people

Workshop 3: Clients: Providing Amazing Client Service

Workshop #3 helps leaders understand amazing client service and gives them the tools to provide it.

What High Performance Looks Like at a Client Service Level

  • All clients are evaluated and identified as A, B, C, or D level
  • Client centered processes drive value to each client with maximum efficiency
  • There is a written plan for serving each A client
  • A plan is in place to improve relationships with B and C clients and transfer D clients
  • Efforts are focused on increasing average revenue per client
  • Minimal process variation produces consistent, high quality service
  • There is a team approach to serving all A and B clients
  • Processes and services are driven by the voice of the client

Workshop 4: Growth: Developing a Culture of Business Development

Workshop #4 provides leaders with the vision, tools and processes necessary to create a culture of business development throughout the firm.

What High Performance Looks Like at a Business Development Level

  • Rainmakers are freed up to spend the majority of their productive time on business development
  • All leaders follow written personal business development plans
  • A non-negotiable screening process is followed to ensure that only quality clients are accepted
  • Effective pipeline meetings are held regularly
  • Every professional can deliver a marketing message that differentiates the firm
  • A strong business development culture exists firm-wide
  • An effective “rainmaker-in-training” program is in place
  • There is a proactive plan to connect clients to an increased number of firm services
  • The firm’s best referral sources are clients who are raving fans

Satisfaction Guarantee

As with everything Upstream Academy does, your satisfaction with High Performance Firms is guaranteed. If you are not completely satisfied with the value you receive, we will either refund your money or accept the portion of those fees that reflects your level of satisfaction.


$5,000 for the first three participants ($4,250 for UAN members)

$1,000 each for additional participants ($850 for UAN members)


Contact us to schedule a one-day firm session for $9,000 for up to 50 participants

After attending the High Performance Firms you will be able to identify and implement improvements to your firm’s vision, goals and processes. Upstream Academy will recommend CPE credit based on participation in this course. Prerequisite: None. Skill Level: Overview,
Upstream Academy is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: