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What makes a staff a poor performer?

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Not being proactive. Sitting there doing nothing until someone tells you exactly what you do, even if you've done something similar (or the exact same thing) before. Also, not self-reviewing work before sending it up the chain

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I like the reverse of this question better though - what makes a good staff? Asking questions - preferably in blocks (take something as far as you can and keep a list of questions). Paying attention to details. Always always always have a notepad and pen, or something to take notes. I still don't ever go talk to anyone without a pen and paper, if not my computer, and that includes when I talk to staff or my superiors. You never know when you will have 3 takeaways from a 5 minute discussion. Take notes and refer back to them. Be proactive. Before asking me what you can do, take a look yourself and see if there's something you think you can do. "I noticed xyz is open - is this something I can work on now?"

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Not asking questions and spinning your wheels,marking wp prepared with highlights and dates/info from prior year(this is probably the biggest factor),

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Had a staff refused to work past 8. He would leave when everyone including the manager were inside the room when the clock strikes 8. He eventually got fired.

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I agree with the first two. Leaving at 8 is not a crime in my world, though. Nobody is productive after 12 hours of work (minus two 30 min meals). IMO a good staff will ask lots of questions but will also figure out which questions don't need to be asked (by figuring it out themselves). Sometimes 5 minutes of investigation can help you get an answer.

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EY 1 are you in Houston office? I think I know who you're talking about

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Not being proactive is huge for me, but also not thinking things through or not being detail oriented. Not being responsive to clients (not responding to emails from clients within, you know, a day or two - or at all....). Generally not understanding accounting. Not following directions (which is often a result of not taking notes while someone is going over things with them).

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Have bern leaving at 8 or earlier always, never got poor ratings or have been considered a poor performer.

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