accountant

How To Boost The Value Of Your Accounting Firm

by Josh Biggs in Finance on 27th August 2020

Eventually, all business owners have to decide that the time has come to part with their firms. This happens across many industries, for a wide range of reasons. Perhaps you’re moving on to bigger and better things, or maybe you’re gearing up for a peaceful, pleasant retirement.

With a large percentage of America’s current accounting firm owners being baby boomers and approaching retirement age, more and more of them are thinking about selling their firms someday soon.

But if you’ve put so many years of effort into building up your business, you’ll naturally want to make sure you get the best possible return on your investment, getting a price that befits your hard work. With this in mind, here are some smart techniques to enhance your company’s value before selling an accounting firm.

Create A Positive Workplace 

When prospective buyers take a look at your business, they’re not just looking at your records and profits, they want to know about your employees too and the general workplace environment. When looking for firms to acquire, buyers will be prioritizing those that have strong values, prosperous company cultures, and, quite simply, happy employees.

A buyer will usually be much more attracted to a firm that has a strong reputation for attracting and retaining top-quality talent, providing positive experiences for workers, and fostering a workplace environment where all are made to feel welcome and valued, rather than a firm that has a high turnover rate when it comes to staff and little in the way of employee satisfaction.

Value Adaptable Employees 

When a firm comes under new ownership, it can be quite a tumultuous experience for the existing employees as they suddenly find themselves faced with new ways of looking at things, new systems, new schedules, and more. Some will sink in the face of these new challenges, but others will swim. 

Why does this matter to you? Well, when most accounting firms are sold, they come with retention clauses in the contract that can affect the total amount of money you actually get for the business, based on the number of pre-existing clients that stick around for the new owners. If your staff can’t adapt and start losing your loyal clients, you’ll end up with a worse deal in the long run.

Trust Your Employees 

When trying to increase the value of your firm to a potential buyer, you need to think about separating yourself and the firm into two separate entities, rather than feeling like you need to be the brain and face of the operation, and a big part of doing this is by trusting your employees to build strong relationships with clients themselves, rather than feeling like you need to be involved in every aspect of day-to-day work. 

Picture it this way: if your clients are always dealing with you, they’ll begin to associate the business so strongly with you, that they might lose faith when you move on. If, however, they’re used to dealing with various managers and associates, your departure won’t have such a dramatic effect on their faith in the firm. Train your employees and trust them to handle more responsibilities, especially as you build up towards the sale.

Make Use Of Modern Technologies 

It doesn’t matter what industry or field you happen to be working in, modern technology can enhance your day to day operations somehow. Across the world, companies great and small are adopting all kinds of systems and software to streamlines a range of different processes, automate systems, enhance security, and improve client relations.

Many modern buyers are going to prioritize firms that have embraced new technologies, with staff that is fully trained and experienced with common, popular systems. If your company has been opting for traditional, outdated methods for too long, buyers will be put-off at the prospect of having to retrain your workers and potentially overhaul your systems if they decide to acquire the firm.

Conclusion

Whether you’re taking on a new project, heading off to retirement, or simply thinking of handing over the reins of your firm for a totally different reason, the decision to sell an accounting firm is always a big one. It probably won’t go exactly as you imagine, but preparing in advance can make a massive difference in the long run. Remember these tips and follow those that make sense for your firm to set yourself up for a smooth, successful sale when the time is right.

Categories: Finance