As a seasoned independent accounting practitioner in the Greater Toronto Area, you may be thinking ahead to the next stage of your life. Over the next few years, what do you see yourself doing? How will you secure prosperity for yourself and your loved ones? How will you protect the value of your career legacy?
For some, the answer is to sell their chartered accountant practice.
What’s Your Motive to Sell?
Your decision of whether to sell your accounting firm may hinge on such factors as:
- An impending retirement
- The need to focus more on your practice and its growth
- The availability of professional support staff
- The lure of being part of a larger organization that takes care of your day-to-day office needs, so you can focus on your accounting expertise
- The need to take more time to enjoy leisure or your family
These common factors may also influence the timeframe for when you sell your business.
Potential Buyers for Accounting Firm Owners
Whether you’re planning years in advance or you need to exit your accounting practice quickly, it’s important to know how to achieve your exit goals.
To successfully sell your business, consider the following options:
1. Find likely buyers. Proactively reach out to individuals or companies that may wish to acquire your business (for financial or strategic reasons). Contact them to gauge their interest in purchasing your practice. Make Sloan Partners LLP one of the firms you contact; even if we aren’t the right match for you, we may be able to direct you to other serious buyers who are an ideal fit for you.
2. Sell to your employees. If your business is financially stable and has high employee retention, consider selling your practice to your existing employees. This option can reward loyal workers and ensure business continuity.
3. Offer incentives. Make your company more attractive to qualified buyers to reduce the amount of time it will take to make a deal. To entice prospective buyers to acquire your business, your incentives may include seller financing, training and bundling additional assets, such as equipment, in the sale.
In addition, plan ahead to optimize the after-tax proceeds from the sale of your business.
Knowing your exit strategy options allows you to begin to develop a comprehensive exit plan. By proactively planning your exit, you will be in better shape.
Selling Your Practice
You’ve worked hard to build a profitable accounting practice. Now that you’re considering selling it, you want to get what your business is worth and leave a positive legacy.
Here’s a checklist of things to look for when dealing with prospective buyers:
- Willingness to pay a fair price
- An understanding of the market and what makes your business model distinct
- Ability to secure financing
- Capacity to make your practice succeed
- Professionalism and confidentiality
- Concern for your reputation, clients and employees
- Flexibility to adapt to your timeframe and unique needs
This checklist can help you to distinguish between serious prospects and unqualified leads, so you will save time, effort and stress as you plan the future of your accounting firm.
What Our Associates Say
– Sid Laufer
Take the Next Step
Contact Sloan Partners LLP to discover if selling your firm (or creating a transition plan to eventually sell it) is right for you. We have proven experience in acquiring accounting practices for a fair price.
Contact us today to start preparing the future you want.
You can also download our free “How to Sell Your Accounting Practice” eBook to read more tips on how to get the best value for your business and create a successful exit strategy.