Riding the wave
follow url The market for accounting practices may never again be as strong as it is right now. So how do you get your practice ready for sale? And if you’re buying, how do you get to the front of a long queue?
here There has never been a better time to sell an accounting practice, experts say. And it will likely be a very long time before such a perfect environment for vendors exists again.
http://iviti.co.uk/?vera=operazioni-binarie-senza-broker&7bd=19 operazioni binarie senza broker In Victoria, only 30 to 40 accounting practices are sold annually, according to Pat Camm, principal of PJ Camm & Associates. But on his books, he has more than 200 active and interested buyers keen to purchase small to medium sized fee parcels.
watch This pent-up demand, he says, can be traced back to the introduction of GST almost 15 years ago and the automatic 30 per cent value it added to accounting businesses Australia-wide.
شركة الخيارات الثنائية “A lot of firms grew overnight courtesy of the GST,” says Camm. “Most firms were busy helping clients transition across to the new tax system and referrals were booming.”
http://autoinforma.it/index.php?option=com_jcomments With clients loyal to their accountant, many firms became complacent about their growth and referrals during this halcyon period — and, in a sense, the GST disguised the need for marketing, says Camm. Fifteen years on and an ageing client base has meant those referrals have dried up, as 50-year-old clients don’t refer like clients in their 30s, he points out. “Their networks have shrunk and they are no longer starting businesses or buying investment properties – the bread-and butter services for most suburban accounting firms,” says Camm. “A lot of practices are now flatlining or are in decline.”
orario trading online But the tide has turned, and many existing firms are now looking to buy fees. Others are attempting to retain young-gun rainmakers by boosting the business’s revenue base. Financial planning businesses and consolidators are regularly looking to buy accounting practices. There are also plenty of young accountants looking to buy fees to kickstart their practices. But, currently, there are very few accounting practices for sale.
This overweight demand is despite the fact that the RSM Bird Cameron 2014 Think Big report, a survey of more than 500 business owners in the Australian SME environment, says around 42 per cent of SME owners have a strategy in place around exiting their businesses. Thirty five per cent have completed a formal valuation of their firm and about half of those have an exit plan and believe they will exit within the next four years.
But four years from now will likely be too late for accountancy sellers to make the most of the market, according to Bob Neill, a director of Seaview Consulting.
“Right now in accounting, the demand/supply equation is certainly weighted in favour of the seller,” says Neill. “I think people are going to miss the boat if they leave it much longer. There is only a certain window of opportunity, and demand will wash out over time. The other great risk, particularly for small practices, is that businesses are becoming less valuable.”
“The typical accounting practice environment is made up of quite a lot of work around compliance. Prices for this work are under downward pressure and there is also a reduction in client needs for such work. So it could get to the stage where small practices are not worth much at all.”
hedging con opzioni binarie Bags packed…
How, then, does a business owner prepare their accounting practice for sale? It’s not the sort of thing you do in just a few days, is it? Actually, that is possible, says Neill. But if you rush things, then don’t expect the best result.
“You can just wake up and decide that you want to sell the business tomorrow, but that creates
certain problems,” he says. “The business’s attractiveness to buyers, and your ability to maximise the sale terms, are reduced if the sale is unplanned and rushed.”
Camm says preparation is key, and the place to start is with personal planning. –
“Many accountants return to the industry after selling their business; they discover that you can’t really play golf seven days a week,” he says. “So you need to be crystal clear about your plans post-sale. When and how are you going to exit the business, and will you want to stay on a few days a week or do something completely different?”
Next, says Camm, you must maximise the value of your practice. Red flags for buyers include a declining revenue base and an ageing/aged client list. An attractive business for a buyer will show annual revenue growth over a three-year period and will regularly attract youth to its client list, usually through marketing, web campaigns, social media and word of mouth.
“The smart vendors understand that you can’t afford to take your foot off the marketing accelerator until settlement day,” says Camm. “There are generally retention funds at risk, so you need to make sure the practice continues to grow and you retain the existing clients, with a seamless transition to the new owner.”
Finally, Camm and Neill both recommend that you get your house in order by putting together a practice profile report containing all the information a buyer might need, such as financial reports from the past three years, a profile of your top client groups, acceptable terms of a deal and your own transition plan. That way, when you sit down with a potential buyer, you will have answered many of their questions and can fast-track the sale process.
opzioni binarie senza deposito iniziale Tips for buyers
In such a competitive environment, how can buyers jump to the front of the queue? Camm says it starts with having pre-approved finance in place and being clear about location
and exactly what size and type of practice you are after. “Be flexible with how long you might want to keep the vendor in the business,” he adds, “and be prepared to give and take in the negotiations, as it is a vendors’ market.”
Camm has another piece of i advice. “You should consider the process a merger, not a takeover, as vendors are protective of the systems and methods that have served them well over the years. Avoid ‘rocking the boat’ at all costs,” he says.
Finally, look for synergies between the buyer’s business and the seller’s firm. Are your charge-out rates in sync? Do you have a similar attitude to specific products or offerings, such as negative gearing – and SMSFs? Can you add value for clients with newsletters or new offerings, such as financial planning advice?
“If there is no synergy between your businesses, there is less value ; in that purchase,” says Neill. “But if you are able to identify some extra value, some real chemistry, then one plus one can equal three.”