Small Firm Owners/Partners Seeking a Transition Plan
As the owner of a small and successful Metro Detroit CPA firm, you’ve worked a lifetime to build your business. You’ve grown and nurtured your clients and staff—and many of them feel like family. You’ve coached clients on the importance of planning for the future, but have you considered what will happen to YOUR firm when you finally want to step back (a bit!) from the responsibilities and pressures of running a business? As retirement nears, you may want to continue working at a pace and level that feels right to you without abandoning your clients, staff or income completely. A clear “ease into retirement” plan, that rewards you financially for the business you’ve built while providing continuity of client service and back-end infrastructure, can provide the link between the firm you’ve built and the work-life balance you’d always hoped for.
Finding a buyer for your firm that allows you to stay involved can be an ideal solution to the retirement conundrum. If you decide that selling your business is right for you, there are many things to consider. Make a list of potential firms and take your time learning about their areas of practice, relationships with clients and business philosophies. It’s also important to take into account their client capacity, technical capabilities, fee structure and location. If you want to transition your staff as part of the agreement, make sure the firm offers a similar work environment and benefits.
When analyzing prospective firms, give yourself enough time to do your due diligence. At minimum, you need three to six months during the non-tax season. Work with an expert to make sure you arrive at a fair valuation and deal structure for both sides. Once agreed upon, work with the buyer to develop a detailed transition plan for both clients and staff to ensure retention and satisfaction into the future.
It’s never too early to start planning how you might “ease into retirement.” By dedicating time to your firm’s succession planning now, you’ll secure the future of the business you’ve worked so hard to build and guarantee continuity for your clients and staff in the years ahead.
We are seeking to acquire a Public Accounting Firm with 5 – 15 staff members in Oakland, Wayne or Livingston County. For more information, contact ShindelRock partner Mark Hughes at 248-855-8833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.