Draper Hinks is a brokerage working solely with accountants in practice facilitating the buying and selling of accountancy fees. But we do like to go the extra mile for our clients. We get very involved making sure that we are there all the way through the process wherever needed.
If you have made the decision to sell your practice then these are some of the things you could work on prior to meeting with any potential buyers.
How do you keep your records? Do you have a database or a CRM System? Is it up to date, who works on it. Have you got GDPR permission from all of your clients to hold their information? How often have you updated their permission? A buyer will look critically at everything you have, especially if you are expecting them to pay some money for what you have included in the sale.
Do you have staff? When was the last time the contracts of employment were updated? Do you keep a log of staff appraisals and pay rises etc. Do you have a job description for each member of staff. The more organised you are the better you will come across in the eyes of the buyer and the easier any integration will be post sale.
Are there any current disciplinary problems with any of your staff? If the buyer is going to TUPE across any staff to their office thereby ensuring continuity of employment, the buyer will only want to keep good quality, well trained, effective, efficient staff. If the buyer does not want to keep some or all of your staff then you will be responsible for any severance pay. If a member of staff has been with you for a long time then this payment could be quite considerable. It is always best for continuity and retention for any members of staff to stay on post sale.
With one of our previous sales there was one member of staff who was an alcoholic, this fact was overlooked by the vendor and allowances were made, but not the potential buyer. Needless to say, the member of staff was not kept on by the buyer post sale. In another case the practice being sold was £350k The secretary / PA was being paid £75k a another case the salaries of the staff equalled the turnover of the practice….
Have you been disbarred from your institute? If yes, then be upfront with the buyer. Honesty is always the best policy. Be ready with an explanation as to what happened and why. A buyer may still buy your practice but may amend the way in which they pay you.
Have you always submitted your own accounts on time? Have you had to pay fines for why you have been late with your own accounts. If this is the case then you will have to be ready to explain what happened and why. It may put off some buyers but it you are lucky there will still be those that will proceed with the purchase.
Please remember that we have worked with many potential vendors over the years. Some know that they want to sell immediately, others may want to start the process within the next 12 months and some talk to us about getting their practice ready for sale up to three or four years before going to market. Whatever your time frame for selling we would like to help you to achieve your goal. Please get in touch with me, Nicola Draper, on 01788 816440 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s have a chat so that I can give you best advice.