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Overhauling The Machine

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Rethinking Your Business’s Organizational Structure

When was the last time you overhauled your machine (ahem, business)? Evaluating your internal company structure is likely not at the top of your “To Do” list. Because really, who has time for that? As long as you have satisfied customers and a growing bottom line, everything is good, right? Well … not so fast.

Maintaining the status quo isn’t always a good thing – something we realized as a firm a few years ago. Our leadership team met with a larger Midwest accounting firm that is similarly structured to ours. Their team walked us through the changes their firm had recently undergone in an effort to leverage its leadership talent, streamline business processes, maximize resources and operate more efficiently.

The light bulb went off. Was it time for us to look at our own leadership and structure to see where we could better leverage our talents? Indeed it was. So our team began gathering ideas and charting out a roadmap for how we would evaluate our people and adjust our organizational structure to better align with our desire to grow as a firm and maximize the talents of our people.

The following are tips we learned along the way that can help you evaluate and reconsider your own organization structure as well.

Looking for more tips to help you grow your business? Check out this episode of Rea’s award-winning podcast, unsuitable on Rea Radio!

5 Tips for Evaluating Your Organizational Structure

  1. Get out of your office and meet with other business owners. You’d be surprised how much inspiration and new ideas you can gather by getting out from behind your desk and meeting with other leaders. Attending industry conferences is a great way to meet other business owners outside of your local region. Who knows, you may gain knowledge from someone on the other side of the country.
  2. Create a board of advisors. You work in your business 24/7. A fresh set of eyes can help bring perspective to business challenges and can help you look for areas of improvement in your leadership structure. Be sure to engage outside advisors who will tell you what you need to hear, rather than what you want to hear.
  3. Gather ideas, let them germinate and evaluate leadership skills. Before hastily making any changes to your business’s organizational structure, take time to gather ideas and mull over them. Consider your business in its current state and think through the pros and cons of making changes. What could work? What wouldn’t work? And then look at the leaders in your business and assess their skills. There are lots of skills assessment tools out there that can help you evaluate your existing leaders while identifying those who are up-and-coming.
  4. Ensure that any changes you make will align with your business’s mission and goals. Don’t make organizational adjustments without considering your business’s mission and goals. The changes you make should support the business’s direction? Be sure everything is in alignment.
  5. Periodically, reassess as necessary. The changes you make now might not be relevant or might not work later on down the road. Continue to reassess your organizational structure periodically to ensure that your business continues to run efficiently and effectively.

As a business leader, part of your stewardship obligation in running your organization is thinking ahead and raising up the next generation of leadership. Does your current organizational structure support the eventual transition of leadership to the next generation? If not, evaluate your organizational structure today.

Contact a Rea business consultant for more information.

By Don McIntosh, CPA (retired)

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