Selling an Accounting Practice for a Clean Break
We are often asked. “How long will I need to work after closing the sale of my accounting practice to afford a successful transition?” The safe answer is almost always: “It’s probably a lot less time than you think.”
Obviously, transition time varies from practice to practice, but when you have a buyer who is technically capable and has good interpersonal skills, the transition can be completed quite rapidly. We are talking about weeks or months, not years.
If someone is selling to fully retire or in order to go out and pursue a completely different business opportunity, there are two compelling reasons to make the break as clean as possible:
- The peace of mind that comes with being free from the practice. This is perhaps the most undervalued reason and often can only be appreciated after the sale of your CPA firm. Being involved as an employee or transitioning owner is very different from being an actual owner. It can be frustrating to see changes occur in the practice that are being implemented by someone else. It is far better to be able to fully focus on the next chapter of life.
- Cultural differences. All buyers will make changes. No matter how well you pick your successor, there will be differences in leadership, management style and client communication. Regardless of transition length, you need to be sure to do your due diligence on your buyer to see that these differences don’t create very wide gaps for clients and staff. Quick transitions allow buyers to operate their new practice the way they best see fit.
For a related article, you might want to check out, 5 Important Concepts for Successful Accounting Practice Transitions.
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