Best Practice Group

Buying An Accounting Firm

Having advised on 148 BSM transactions since 2001, this is the only specialist advisory firm with a proven track record that includes helping so many firms achieve growth, succession, and work-life balance.

If you are contemplating your options for developing an acquisition strategy, selling your firm, or merging with a like-minded firm, you have come to the right place.

This is where our expertise comes in as we will literally hold your hand through the entire process including:

  • Defining your acquisition strategy
  • Obtain a Buyers Brief
  • Source a suitable Vendor
  • Facilitate Introductory Meetings
  • Manage the Negotiation/ Offer process
  • Facilitate Due Diligence Meetings
  • Ensure a smooth process until to final settlement
Buying a Practice

As a first-time Buyer, you may be unfamiliar with the acquisition process. Without the correct guidance and advice, you may be in for a ride that may not necessarily eventuate in forming a concrete deal. We will ensure that you are prepared before each stage in the process so that you are
not exposed at any stage.

Selling Your Firm

Best Practice BSM understands that your decision to sell is significant. If you are approaching retirement or have determined a stopping point for your practice, i.e., 65 years of age or 3-5 years from today, it is wise to begin thinking about your options regarding the sale of your practice.

This would allow for delays, miscalculations, and other unexpected events to be encountered and not interrupt making the target date.

We realise that this is an important decision that should be taken with serious thought and planning, and we are well experienced to assist you through this process, even if this is 10 years from now.

Some of the factors to consider when selling your firm:

  • Would you want to leave the practice immediately?
  • Would you want to remain fully active in the practice post-sale?
  • Would you want to stay on in a permanent part-time capacity?
  • Will an ongoing income be important to you post-sale?
  • Will maximizing your sale value important to you?
  • Will your personal time be of importance to you post-sale?
  • Are you likely to want to travel and have little or no responsibility post-sale?
  • Are you likely to want to stay active 1-2 days a week for a period of years?
  • Most buyers want you to hand around for up to 2+ years. If you sell in 2 years, will you be willing to work another 2+ years thereafter or should you be commencing your exit strategy sooner than first anticipated?

Regardless of your circumstances, we encourage you to contact us and book an obligation-free initial consultation to discuss your succession planning options in confidence.

Merging your Firm

Best Practice BSM can assist Professional Accounting and Financial Planning firms in merging with like-minded/sized firms or firms that will expand your services such as a financial planning firm.

Our process allows us to quickly identify potential merge targets in specific geographic areas or firms with specific specialities that would bring added value services to your firm as well as efficiencies that come with economies of scale.

In the Professional Accounting sector, we have identified more than 8000 accounting practices on the eastern seaboard alone that now regularly receive market updates and information on our services. Many of these have expressed an interest in our BSM consulting services in the next 2-5 years, and our current list of mandates is growing weekly.

When should you consider a Merger?

  • An ageing population of Principals and talent shortages suggest a ratio of 1 potential candidate for every 15 practices in need. Thus, Succession Planning is now a critical issue.
  • It is now potentially easier to sell into or merge with another firm than to identify your younger successor through traditional recruitment means.
  • Multiple Partner firms tend to attract the few standout successor candidates available and, by nature, are better structured to manage the succession/retirement of Senior Partners.
  • With the ever-increasing requirements to keep up to date with legislation and compliance, merging with a well-managed practice can bring efficiencies, improve profit returns, and improve the ratio of total number of hours to chargeable hours Sole Practitioners need to

For further information on Merging or Acquiring, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for Buyers.

Succession Planning

One of the most common and major barriers to expansion for many Professional Accounting firms is the need for more capital to fund an acquisition. Whether you are looking at buying now or in 1 to 2 years+, Providence BSM can help you clarify your business growth plans and prepare your business to raise capital.

Getting the right type of funding or capital for business growth can make a big difference to the success of your business. We can assist you by

  • 1. Discussing the many different strategies for growing your practice
  • 2. Determine the options that best suit your situation.
  • 3. Defining a Capital Raising plan and identifying methods to increase the capital resources the business generates.
  • 4. Funding growth through debt
  • 5. Funding growth through equity

Valuations: What’s It Worth?

Often Sole Practitioners look at selling their fee base when approaching retirement. This usually occurs when the outgoing Practitioner wishes to leave the practice without going through a transition period whereby, he weans over his clients to the Purchaser.

You should consider purchasing fees from an existing practice for many reasons.

For a newly established Practice that needs to establish a client base, consider purchasing a small parcel of fees.

For an Existing Practice, if you are an existing practice looking at growing your fee base but retaining your current staff and company structure.

Although most buyers agree that buying fees is an excellent strategy for improving your economies of scale, it can be a challenging outcome to achieve in today’s market as there are many more buyers than sellers!

FAQs on Buying and Selling Your Firm

The Best Practice Buy Sell Merge (BSM) Register was created to provide a high-quality, low-cost membership for buy, sell and merger services.

Consider these statistics.

We, the team at Best Practice BSM, offer the following compelling statistics for your consideration:

  • 1. We currently settle between 1-3 deals every month
  • 2. 75% of our vendors were not on the market (that’s 27+ private sellers per year)
  • 3. We approach these vendors exclusively on behalf of our buyers/members.
  • 4. There is only one way to tap into these opportunities, our BSM Register!
High Visibility + High Access + Low Cost = Added Value

For a low-cost annual fee, you can access our extensive research, marketing, and executive search services.

Pro-Active Generation of BSM Opportunities

Our core activities deliver new BSM opportunities to the Professional Accounting sector weekly. Additionally, as a Pro-Active member, you gain access to our prospective clients that are not formally on the market but will consider a buy/sell or merger for the right opportunity. This provides access to more options than just the mandated official BSM deals in the pipeline. Also, you gain access to our value-added consulting services such as performance enhancement, practice benchmarking, coaching & mentoring, and succession and exit strategy planning.