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Case Study: Moss Adams
Becoming trusted advisors by connecting with their clients on a deeper level

One of the largest regional accounting firms in the U.S, approached the UC Davis GSM in Spring 2011 to build a Custom Program for their Senior Managers and Accountants. Our task was to help them connect with their clients on a deeper level, moving beyond expected technical relationships to become trusted advisors. Moss Adams wanted their teams to provide clients with advice and support on facets of their business beyond the usual scope of accounting and auditing.
The three-day Custom Program developed by UC Davis Executive Education focused on helping participants make the leap from basic client management to bona fide client development. Participants for the program were from their Food Processing and Agriculture Group, and workshops provided hands-on exercises using food and wine industry examples.

We designed the course to focus on cultivating business acumen as well as developing behavioral skills: Professor Kim Elsbach led sessions on building trust and engagement, and Dr. Robert Lorber worked with participants on their ability to develop robust client relationships. Professor Andrew Hargadon taught participants to keep clients’ strategies and business needs at the forefront of the conversation and other distinguished faculty presented material on Internal Controls, specifically utilizing the Balanced Scorecard tool and Building Effective Networks.

A key outcome of the program was the development of an Accountability mechanism where each participant created a Personal Action Plan with specifics on new activities and behaviors they were going to implement over the coming months.  Each person selected an Accountability Partner to check in with monthly and a group follow up meeting has been scheduled later this year for everyone to share their best practices and success stories.  

The Executive Education programs are focused on ensuring that the client has a measurable return on investment for the time and investment they have made in working with us to develop a custom program that truly fits their needs.  We look forward to tracking the outcome with this firm.

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