Selling an accounting practice is not like selling any other type of business and there are lots of things to consider.
If you want to find someone else to take over your clients and for the deal to be successful, there are a few things you should do beforehand to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Prepare Your Accounts
The first thing any prospective purchaser will want to know is that your practice is profitable, or there is no point in them buying it. It will not be the overheads that concern them so much, but they will need to know that your gross profit margin is worth buying.
Have Your Client List Up To Date
Any prospective purchaser will need to know that your client list is up to date. This does not mean just that everyone that should be there is listed, but that all their details are correct too. If they have changed address or phone number, the new ones should be on their records.
Speak with the Experts
Once your accounts are ready and your client list is up to date it is time to speak with the experts who know a great deal about how to sell accounting practice. People have different ideas about how to calculate the worth of a practice, but with the professionals involved you know you will get a fair price for the client base you are selling. They will also be able to connect you with potential buyers and this can be much simpler than trying to find them yourself.
Don’t Leave It Too Late
Do not wait until a few weeks before you intend to leave to sell your accounting practice. Many of the deals will include you working at the new practice for a period of time, and this can be as much as two years. If you are retiring at 65, for instance, you need to be looking to sell your practice from about 62 onwards. Otherwise, you may find you have to work longer than you intended to allow any deal to progress.
Keep Your Clients Informed
You should keep your clients informed of your plans. They will be aware that perhaps you are reaching retirement age, but many of them would not know how the transferring of an accountancy practice works. The fact that you will be in the new practice for a while will help to put their minds at rest and give them a chance to get to know the new owners. Most of your clients will use you because of trust they have built up over maybe several years. They need to be able to have that same trust in the new owners, and you can help the process of instilling that in them.
Selling Your Practice
For many accountants, the money they get for their practice is their retirement fund, so maximizing the amount is important. Be prepared for the sale and agree to work in the new practice for a while and you should not have a problem selling yours.