What is an Accounting Practice Intermediary?
I often get asked what I do for a living, and, I often leave those conversations pretty sure that person still has no idea what I do, so I thought I would try and explain it here.
Google says that an intermediary is a person who acts as a link between people in order to try to bring about an agreement or reconciliation. That sounds pretty accurate to me. We want to bring buyers and sellers together, negotiate a good deal for all parties, and end in a successful transition. Carol (our buyer specialist) often says we are like match.com; We want to find good matches, and we do a lot of work to get those matches. We spend time and money looking for the best practices to sell and then we market those practices to the best buyers we can find.
We often work with our sellers for years before they sell, and we work with our buyers for months, and sometimes years to find the right opportunity for them. We want the timing to be right for both parties. We ask buyers and sellers what they are looking for and try put those pieces together. We help sellers get their practices ready to sell.
Some of what we do is educating parties through the process. Most buyers and sellers have never done this before. We want them to feel confident throughout the process and make sure they know what we know. We have a structured negotiation process; we believe that letting us lead the negotiation creates a more efficient process, and makes it more likely to get a deal signed. We also lead buyers and sellers to a smooth closing. We help buyers get financing with a bank. We also advise on how to tell staff and clients about the sale. In addition, we help develop plans for operational items like software conversions, work in process and accounts receivable.
Every day looks a little different, and because we are dealing with humans we never know quite what to expect. I do know that I love it when we are able to put together a deal with happy buyers and sellers. Making that match, and then knowing that the transition went smoothly in part because of our efforts is extremely satisfying.