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The Ultimate Guide for Selling an Accounting Practice Checklist

Sharissa Barnett Mar 29, 2023 11:31:13 AM
Person reviewing paper documents to learn how to sell a cpa practice

Selling an Accounting Practice Checklist

One factor determining any business's success is how good the finance and accounting department management is. A good finance and accounting department ensures the business gets enough profit and cash flow. It also enables the company to pay employees on time, and their payroll complies with the set policies and rules.

However, not all businesses can run this department effectively, so they prefer working with an experienced accounting firm. As an accounting firm, you can provide your services to such businesses. But selling your accounting practice to them is much better, as it allows you to avoid losses and reduce financial risks. 

So, are you planning to sell your accounting firm? This guide expounds on how to sell an accounting practice checklist and offers tips to get the best client.

How to Sell a CPA Practice

Use the below steps to learn how to sell a CPA practice:

Plan Well

The first thing you need to do after deciding to sell your practice is to prepare and plan well. Evaluate the firm's performance and identify its good selling points. Then arrange how to meet the potential buyer after creating the right sales pitch. 

Planning well also helps you understand your business goals and objectives, which is needed during succession. Also, plan what you’ll do after selling your practice and the future of the practice. 

Work on Your Finances

Before selling your practice, ensure your finances are good to avoid giving the buyer a burden. Ensure you work on your outstanding debts, taxes, and any other money you owe the business. The right budget and cash flow management are also good before considering selling. Doing this helps you have a financially sound accounting practice that will take little time to attract the right buyer. 

Get Ready to Sell 

It's also advisable to work on your staffing and business presentation. Know the service pricing and its efficiency, and have the right procedures to help run the daily operations. Remember to determine how your current staff is key to the new firm's success. Also, consider the challenges of selling your shares instead of the firm.

Identify the Right Buyer

If you're selling your practice, expect to receive interest from various buyers. However, not all of them can qualify to succeed you in the business. It's also good to check the buyer's financial capability to buy the company and their marketing and technical ability to maintain it. 

So take your time and identify the right buyer with the right skills, experience, and objective goals that align with yours. Most practice owners prefer to sell their firms to their employees.

Legalize the Process

When selling your practice, ensure every process is legally acceptable and documented. Work with experienced financial advisors, lawyers, intermediaries, and lenders to help with different agreement establishments. Also, have the terms and conditions of selling your firm written down and make the buyer sign and agree to them. 

Working with the experts to secure assignable non-solicitation agreements from your key staff is good. You should also confirm the buy-sell purchase agreement with the right buy-out option to protect you from a quick exit.

Tips on Selling an Accounting Practice Checklist 

The sale of accounting practice tax treatment becomes easier with the following tips:

Sell Your Practice Internally

As you know, selling your accounting practice to other businesses means the end of you running the firm. Doing this can affect your long-term goals and vision for the practice. To avoid this, sell your practice internally to someone you trust or to major shareholders. 

Selling your shares to other stakeholders or a promising member is better. Building your business plan and achieving your goals can be easier with such a person. 

If you decide to sell your accounting firm, take your time to identify the right buyer and have the right resources to do so. Also, consider telling the potential buyer about your plan earlier to enable them to make informed decisions. This is why selling an accounting practice checklist is important and requires a good level of understanding with the right resource. 

Make Your Accounting Practice Smaller

Selling an accounting practice checklist requires you to keep it small. With a smaller practice, it will be easier for you to get a buyer. Remember, most large companies prefer working with smaller accounting firms because of the smaller number of staff, which is easier to accommodate. 

Getting more clients faster with a smaller accounting firm is also easier. Also, selling an accounting practice checklist to a smaller firm is cheaper. The affordable cost can attract big and small firms or individuals, increasing sales and expanding your market share.

Factor Time of Sale

It's also important to consider the time of sale of your accounting firm to get the right client. Remember there are times when your accounting firm gets busy or slow cycles, determining the cash flow and profits. The nature of the industry also affects your sales time. For example, seasonal sectors like tourism get busy during certain times of the year. 

So you have to look at when to sell, and it should be during the good season when the firm is doing well. Remember, no one wants to buy a practice when it makes low profits and requires higher payments. Instead, they prefer a firm with a quick return on investment

It's advisable to sell your practice during its most profitable time of the year to enable the buyer to pick it up quickly. Alternatively, you can loan the buyer your account receivables for some time to increase their cash flow.


Use the Right Technology for Your Practice

If your firm uses the right technology, it becomes easier to attract potential buyers and a vital part to consider in selling an accounting practice checklist. Introduce current technology to your firm and have updated software for different applications, like spreadsheet management software. 

Have the best secured cloud accounting and collaborative tools like Basil and tell the buyer how they help your business. Technology helps reduce workers' workload as there is no need for manual work. It also increases your firm's productivity, helping you meet deadlines.  

Bottom Line

Like any other business, your accounting firm can reach a point where selling it is the only viable option. It could be you're retiring from active practice or out to help other business accounting departments. 

Despite the reason for selling, know how to value an accounting practice to attract the right buyer. But ensure you use current technology, like updated software for accountants and CPAs, to make your work and that of the buyer easier. Contact us and get the best collaborative tool for your accounting firm.



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