I recently wrote a blog for The Georgia Society of CPAs about succession planning.
Below is a quick recap of what was included in the column. To see the full text please click the link at the end of this summary.
Succession planning is often forgotten about until you are faced with having to do it. It can sneak up. Taking action sooner rather than later can often breathe new life in the practice that lasts for years. Here are five key steps of CPA firm succession planning.
- For most, timing is difficult to determine and the most important step. Too soon and the owner doesn’t have a plan for their next chapter. Too late and the owner can experience burnout and low energy to do the things to make the practice desirable. An important step in planning is having a clear vision of what your life will look like once you exist.
- Be honest about your situation. How would a buyer view your practice? Be objective, think critically about how the practice looks to an outsider. Identify your firm’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Determine the ideal buyer profile. Who can run the practice effectively? Is it someone inside or is it someone outside of the firm? Is it a good fit for my staff and clients?
- What can you do to improve your practice? What steps can you take to make the practice attractive to buyers? Make a list. You can always implement them later as you go along.
- Prioritize your actions. Succession planning is really all about building a better CPA firm! A firm that everyone wants will sell easily. High-quality profitable practices, bring more great buyers.
Improving your practice not only can be rewarding, but energizing too. For the full text of the original column, please go to www.gscpa.org.
About the Author: Brannon Poe is the founder of Poe Group Advisors and has been facilitating successful accounting practice transitions since 2003. Brannon started his career in public accounting as an auditor with Ernst & Young before working for several years in auditing and tax preparation for the regional firm of Elliott, Davis & Company. He is the author of “Accountant’s Flight Plan: Best Practices for Today’s Firms” (published by the AICPA and CPA Canada), “On Your Own: How to Start Your Own CPA Firm,” as well as multiple blogs and the “Accountant’s Flight Plan” podcast.