This is one of the most frustrating issues that we continually have to debate—that is, the notion that timesheet are a measure of productivity. They are no such thing. They are the illusion of measurement.
I thought Victor’s reply was also compelling, being a partner in one of the firms profiled in the article.
How long is it going to take for CPA firm leaders to understand that there are better metrics for knowledge workers than the Frederick Taylor inspired timesheet?
Do they really think CPAs are the equivalent of factory workers? Do they not understand the difference between efficiency and effectiveness?
The lack of intellectual curiosity with respect to this topic is astounding, as it goes to the heart of how a firm measures and judges its success.
We believe those measurements should be based on how customers define the success of their CPA firm.
And there’s not a customer alive who does so by how many hours are logged on a timesheet.
If we get what we measure, isn’t it about time we measure what we want to become?
No one entered the professions to log the most hours on a timesheet. The leaders of firms who maintain this antiquated measuring device are doing their professions a disservice.
I understand that knowledge advances by what is known as knowledge creep, it’s a gradual, slow process. But the advocates of timesheets are stuck in the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th century, with metrics that are an idea from the day before yesterday.
Do they truly believe that no advances have been made in this field? If so, it’s sad, and it is ruining the professions.
This is probably a larger paradigm shift than hourly billing to Value Pricing, and I’d be curious as to people’s ideas on how to be more effective in getting this message out.