Buying and Selling an Accounting Practice is a Lot Like Dating

We often tell buyers and sellers that the process should feel somewhat like dating.   After all, it is the beginning of an important new relationship.  As with many key relationships in life, you may have to kiss a few frogs before finding your prince or princess.  You might meet a few people that look great on paper, but then when you talk with them you find out it’s just not right.

You probably have in mind a list of things that are important to you.  Your list will likely include a few things that are must-haves and some things that you would like to have.  Also on your list should be what you don’t want.  (For example, if the seller likes auditing and the buyer doesn’t, then there could be issues.)  And you must remember that there should be some chemistry.

We recommend that all of these relationships begin with a phone call.  Use this time to get some preliminary information and make sure that there might be a fit.  This will make a meeting or a cup of coffee more comfortable and you can work on building rapport right away.   The meetings or “dates” can be spent really getting to know each other and the business.

Closing the sale of an accounting practice should be like your wedding day.  You should be thrilled about the next step in your life and you should celebrate.  Take the employees to dinner or throw a party for you and your clients.

I encourage you to jump in and put yourself out there.  You might not find the right one on the first try but you will learn a lot about yourself, what is important and where you can make improvements to find the right one.

Written by Stephanie Smith.  Click here to learn more about Stephanie.

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