So, you’ve made the big decision to sell your accounting practice, your baby – and now you are ready to take action!
Most practice improvements take a long time to implement, but there are some simple, relatively quick and easy things you can do to put your practice in the best light for potential buyers.
- Have fresh eyes take a look at your practice. You come to your office every day and you may have developed blinders about what needs to be cleaned up or replaced around the office. Ask someone you know (who doesn’t see your office often) to come by and offer suggestions for improvements. Don’t ask that friend that will sugar coat everything either. Ask the straight shooter who is willing and capable of delivering the unvarnished truth.
- Clean the clutter out of your personal office space. Most buyers are likely going to end up meeting you in your private office. If you have work-papers spread all around your office and the piles are organized so that only you really know where things are, then this will leave a negative impression. Given the choice, most buyers prefer an organized business. They want a business with systems in place that they can easily follow…only to later change perhaps…but that is up to them.
- Bring your books up to date. If you have accounts receivable, clean up your receivables list too. (ok – maybe that is 4 things instead of 3)
For extra credit: Do a “gut-check” about your reasons for selling. Buyers will be asking you about your reasons, so be clear about what you are planning to do after the sale.
About Brannon Poe: Brannon is the founder of Poe Group Advisors and has been facilitating successful accounting practice transitions throughout the US and Canada since 2003. He is also the creator of Accounting Practice Academy. Brannon is the author of the Accounting Practice Insights Blog and hosts the Accountant’s Flight Plan” podcast with other top thought-leaders in the accounting profession. Brannon is an E&Y alumnus. He has worked with some of the most successful and seasoned CPAs in the industry and has been privy to the behind-the-scenes methods that these clients have used to build highly profitable practices along with capable and independent teams. Brannon has authored multiple books, including Accountant’s Flight Plan – Best Practices for Today’s Firms (published by both the AICPA and CPA Canada) and On Your Own: How to Start Your Own CPA Firm, Second Edition (published by the AICPA). Brannon is passionate about entrepreneurship and is the president-elect of EO Charleston (Entrepreneur’s Organization)