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Profit Motive & The Business of Design


Who deals with the money, and how?

This session focuses on how finance, metrics and performance influence an A+D practice’s wellbeing and its success moving forward, as well as the firm culture and its bottom line. Think-Time Tuesdays host and SO|arch founder, Elisabeth Sporer, AIA CIC, provides an overview about the metrics behind the business of design and how A+D founders and leaders can achieve and maintain fiscal health for their businesses—from basic best practices to advanced systems that can help measure, predict, and manage their firm's performance.

The session demonstrates and discusses the Key Performance Indicators an A+D firm needs to monitor [operating profit rate / utilization rate & target utilization / payroll multiplier & net effective multiplier / overhead & break-even rate] and discusses best practices of monitoring cash flow, AR, backlog volume and proposals pending. Then in conversation with her clients, Elisabeth presents case studies that founders, and leaders of small studios and midsized firms will find useful:

  • Transitioning to professional systems for midsized firms with Cecilia Quezada [Quezada Architecture]
  • Optimizing basic systems for small firms with Khal Khaireddin [K2A]

Learning objectives

  • Discern how financial management practices can improve their bottom line
  • Gain an understanding of key performance indicators for A+D practice
  • Gain additional knowledge of best practices for finance, metrics and performance
  • Adapt best practices for their own business.

This session was presented and recorded live on November 16, 2021 by AIA Los Angeles as part of the Think-time Tuesdays Series.  

User rating:
Average: 3.9 (33 votes)
 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU


  • Khaldoon Khairedding Headshot

    Khaldoon Khairedding


    Founding Principal | Khal Khaireddin Architects

    Khal (short for Khaldoon) is an Architect by trade and an entrepreneur in spirit. He leads K2A with...
  • Cecilia Quezada Headshot

    Cecilia Quezada


    Partner | Quezada Architecture

    As President of Quezada Architecture, Cecilia has compiled extensive local, national, and...
  • Instructor headshot. Elisabeth Sporer smiling

    Elisabeth Sporer

    AIA, CIC

    Founder | SO|arch

    A+D Business Strategist

    Elisabeth Sporer, AIA, CIC works with CEOs, founders and leadership teams to build successful A+D...