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For the smaller firm, if you are not ready to take on the challenge of devel-
oping a full succession plan, please consider doing just one thing. Our sug-
gestion is to put together what we call The Emergency Red Notebook. Think
of the notebook as a collection of all the important information someone who is
walking into your office after a catastrophe needs to help your clients
temporarily or with a permanent transition. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Just One Thing ...
The Emergency Red Notebook
Vital information about your firm.
Contact information for the firm's attorney, insurance
agent, landlord, bank, computer consultant, etc.
List of and contact information for all of your employees.
A one-page description of the types of services you
offer, areas of expertise, etc.
Taxpayer identification numbers.
Contact information for colleagues who may be able to help.
List of and contact information for all
current clients.
If you provide ongoing, regular services such as payroll
processing, list these separately to help facilitate continuity.
Up-to-date tracking list for client projects.
Description of filing system and location of off-site files.
Computer information.
Keep a list off site of all vital computer passwords and
indicate in the notebook the location of the list of pass-
words. Keep the list up to date!
List key software programs, related customer information,
and customer service information.
Include other information specific to your needs.
Keep the notebook in a prominent place, such as the book-
case in the owner's office. Assign someone to keep the
notebook updated. Start developing this easy tool today!