Accounting Practice Market Update

Accounting Practice Market Update

Now that the filing season deadlines have passed, I’ve been talking with a lot of practice owners over the last couple of weeks.  Many have asked me how the market is doing.  Although it is still early in the season, here are my observations:

  • Last year we saw steady improvement in the market for accounting practices.  This seems to be in keeping with the overall business climate and follows the results of national surveys of business brokers for all types of businesses.
  • During the worst of the recession (2009 and 2010), we encountered a lot of practices that were experiencing revenue declines.  For the practices that I am encountering, last year and to a greater degree this year, Practice revenues have stabilized and many are experiencing growth again.
  • We are seeing an increase in appetite for practices.  This should translate into better sales in 2012.  We saw quick sales in the fall of 2011 and anticipate that trend to continue.  Parties seemed more decisive and confident.
  • Prices of accounting practices did soften in 2009 & 2010, but nothing like the US housing market.  There was disruption in the lending markets for business acquisition loans as well during that time.  The lending market has established new footing and the loan acquisition programs now are fairly well-established.  We are seeing prices firm up and in some markets we are beginning to see significantly stronger demand which translates into higher prices.

As I mentioned, it is early to know.  We wish we had a crystal ball, but things appear to be heading in the right direction for the Accounting Practice market.

 

About the author

Brannon Poe, CPA

An author and experienced intermediary specializing in accounting practice sales, mergers and acquisitions, Brannon has efficiently and effectively facilitated hundreds of successful practice transitions.  He has a unique ability to help creatively integrate information to develop clear, focused plans. He enjoys helping clients implement these plans to achieve their most important goals.