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Selling a Tax and Accounting Practice: How to Structure the Deal for Maximum Profitability

Want to make sure you’re getting bang for your buck?

Selling a tax and accounting practice is no easy feat, especially if you’ve never done it before (which – let’s face it – most accountants haven’t.)

Here’s how to structure the perfect deal to make the highest amount of moolah in the smallest amount of time…

  1. Offer a pre-sale client pool audit

You stand to make more money on your deal if you give extra perks to the buyer.

One of these is to skim your pool of clients and get rid of all the troublemakers.

You know the ones…

The ones who pay fees too late or the ones who complain no matter what. The ones who spell trouble for you and the ones who fall behind every single year.

Hell, dealing with these clients costs you more money than your service to them makes. So why not get rid of them? It’s a good idea before you hand over your business to someone else.

Think about it… what makes a more attractive deal? A business with 100 great clients, or a business with 50 great clients and 200 bad ones?

One of the kindest things you can do for your clients is get rid of these bad clients fast.

How to do that? Simply follow the steps below:

  • Collect on clients that are behind
  • Create new terms of service that weed out future tire-kickers
  • Offer a one-time discount for clients to make payment in full (and end any existing contracts or deals)
  • Let “late filers” know of impending increases to fees and see what happens
  • Encourage payment before changes in pricing

Checking in with each client to assess the quality of their custom will help you to translate this information to your buyer and weed out the bad ones – long before they get passed on to the new business owner. What a sweet deal!

  • Base the deal on numerical fact

If someone told you a detox program would make you lose weight, would you buy it? Maybe.

But if someone told you a weight loss program had made others lose 20lbs in 3 months, would you buy it? The answer’s probably leaning more into the affirmative.

This is because consumers like numbers and data. They like evidence. It helps them clearly evaluate the benefits of what they’re buying and what they can hope to achieve, based on historical results.

The buyer of your accounting practice is no different. They will want to know your profit margins, the cost of producing a service and many more important points of data.

Too many accountants don’t know this information. If you structure your deal around these facts, your buyer will be impressed – and excited about the sale!

And that’s how you’re able to charge more.

  • Tie in guarantees

Buying a business is…well, risky business.

There are many unknowns that neither you nor your buyer will be able to guess. For example, what will the future hold? How will the industry change? What will your clients say or do tomorrow?

Nobody knows.

That’s why it’s important to do as much as you can to elevate your buyer’s confidence levels. An easy way to do that is provide extra guarantees in writing.

One guarantee you can offer is a client retention guarantee.

Simply promise the clients your buyer are purchasing are committed and viable and you’ll have a tight deal.

If you’ve followed Step 1, this step will be so much easier and your buyer will be delighted as a result.

And if you’re not sure the buyer will encourage the client to stay? Choose another buyer.

  • Staff culture promise

It’s much easier to charge higher for a practice founded on great company values than a disastrous revolving door.

Keep your staff happy and include their satisfaction rates in your proposal.

Clients come and go, but a happy, hard-working staff will stick loyal to the end. This information is priceless for a buyer who’s looking to invest in a well-oiled working machine.

Flaunt your great culture and command a high price as a result!

Extra tips:

  • Rectify any employee issues before a sale
  • Get a non-disclosure agreement with all current employees
  • Contact a local attorney to draft this agreement
  • Make sure there are checks and balances in place, should an existing employee choose to leave and attempt to take a significant portion of your clients with them
  • See what legal options are available to you in your state

Final notes

Selling a tax and accounting business can seem complex in the beginning but it doesn’t need to be a headache.

By implementing these simple profitability maximising techniques from the get-go, you’ll attract serious buyers, take them from A to B with ease and confirm the sale with peace of mind.

Have more questions? Simply book in with me for a free biz money chat here and I’lll get you all the info you need to know.

I look forward to helping you buy the business of your dreams (and create an amazing lifestyle) without all the drama.

Selling a tax and accounting practice is no easy feat, especially if you’ve never done it before (which – let’s face it – most accountants haven’t.)

Here’s how to structure the perfect deal to make the highest amount of moolah in the smallest amount of time…

  1. Offer a pre-sale client pool audit

You stand to make more money on your deal if you give extra perks to the buyer.

One of these is to skim your pool of clients and get rid of all the troublemakers.

You know the ones…

The ones who pay fees too late or the ones who complain no matter what. The ones who spell trouble for you and the ones who fall behind every single year.

Hell, dealing with these clients costs you more money than your service to them makes. So why not get rid of them? It’s a good idea before you hand over your business to someone else.

Think about it… what makes a more attractive deal? A business with 100 great clients, or a business with 50 great clients and 200 bad ones?

One of the kindest things you can do for your clients is get rid of these bad clients fast.

How to do that? Simply follow the steps below:

  • Collect on clients that are behind
  • Create new terms of service that weed out future tire-kickers
  • Offer a one-time discount for clients to make payment in full (and end any existing contracts or deals)
  • Let “late filers” know of impending increases to fees and see what happens
  • Encourage payment before changes in pricing

Checking in with each client to assess the quality of their custom will help you to translate this information to your buyer and weed out the bad ones – long before they get passed on to the new business owner. What a sweet deal!

  • Base the deal on numerical fact

If someone told you a detox program would make you lose weight, would you buy it? Maybe.

But if someone told you a weight loss program had made others lose 20lbs in 3 months, would you buy it? The answer’s probably leaning more into the affirmative.

This is because consumers like numbers and data. They like evidence. It helps them clearly evaluate the benefits of what they’re buying and what they can hope to achieve, based on historical results.

The buyer of your accounting practice is no different. They will want to know your profit margins, the cost of producing a service and many more important points of data.

Too many accountants don’t know this information. If you structure your deal around these facts, your buyer will be impressed – and excited about the sale!

And that’s how you’re able to charge more.

  • Tie in guarantees

Buying a business is…well, risky business.

There are many unknowns that neither you nor your buyer will be able to guess. For example, what will the future hold? How will the industry change? What will your clients say or do tomorrow?

Nobody knows.

That’s why it’s important to do as much as you can to elevate your buyer’s confidence levels. An easy way to do that is provide extra guarantees in writing.

One guarantee you can offer is a client retention guarantee.

Simply promise the clients your buyer are purchasing are committed and viable and you’ll have a tight deal.

If you’ve followed Step 1, this step will be so much easier and your buyer will be delighted as a result.

And if you’re not sure the buyer will encourage the client to stay? Choose another buyer.

  • Staff culture promise

It’s much easier to charge higher for a practice founded on great company values than a disastrous revolving door.

Keep your staff happy and include their satisfaction rates in your proposal.

Clients come and go, but a happy, hard-working staff will stick loyal to the end. This information is priceless for a buyer who’s looking to invest in a well-oiled working machine.

Flaunt your great culture and command a high price as a result!

Extra tips:

  • Rectify any employee issues before a sale
  • Get a non-disclosure agreement with all current employees
  • Contact a local attorney to draft this agreement
  • Make sure there are checks and balances in place, should an existing employee choose to leave and attempt to take a significant portion of your clients with them
  • See what legal options are available to you in your state

Final notes

Selling a tax and accounting business can seem complex in the beginning but it doesn’t need to be a headache.

By implementing these simple profitability maximising techniques from the get-go, you’ll attract serious buyers, take them from A to B with ease and confirm the sale with peace of mind.

Have more questions? Simply book in with me for a free biz money chat here and I’lll get you all the info you need to know.

I look forward to helping you buy the business of your dreams (and create an amazing lifestyle) without all the drama.

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