December 2018 Newsletter

Draper Hinks Newsletter

December 2018

Hello, I’m Nicola Draper.  I run Draper Hinks and have done so since 2004.  We deal only with the buying and selling of accountancy fees and since inception, we have completed 259 deals. We are very active in the market place.  We like to get to know our vendors and purchasers.  I deal with all the sellers, so if you are looking to sell in the near future, please email me at

Nicola Draper founder Draper Hinks
Build your business – buy a practice
Draper Hinks is a very successful business brokerage working only with accountants in practice.  We have the systems and processes in place to work with buyers and sellers anywhere in England.  When we have a vendor wanting to sell fees in your area, we will be in touch with you, to see if you want to buy them.  Not all vendors sell the whole of their practice, some sell only part or a tranche. These tranches are easier for buyers to accommodate because they usually come without premises or staff and are easily portable.
Case Studies

Here are three case studies of practices we have sold within the last 12 months:-

No. 1  
Fees sold £100,000 Where Hertfordshire
Qualified FCA Age 65
Time scale 8 months Type of Practice Sole Practitioner
Payment 1/3 net fees received How paid Paid quarterly for three years
Multiple 1 x fees When paid After first quarter for next 3 years
Offers 4 offers Office & staff Neither office nor staff retained
Results Vendor retired to spend more time on hobbies and with family
No. 2  
Fees sold £90,000 Where Cambridgeshire
Qualified FCCA Age 56
Time scale 5 months Type of Practice Sole Practitioner
Payment 2 tranches How paid 75% & 25%
Multiple 1.1 x fees When paid Comp & 15 months
Offers 2 offers Office & staff Worked from home no staff.
Results Vendor doing more charitable work, walking more and travelling.
No. 3  
Fees sold £80,000 Where London
Qualified CIMA Age 45
Time scale 4 months Type of Practice Sole Practitioner
Payment 2 tranches How paid 75% & 25%
Multiple 1 x fees When paid Comp & 12 months
Offers 3 offers Office & staff Serviced office, sub-contractor
Results Vendor worn out with deadlines and compliance, enjoying doing things “whenever”.


Diane Crawley, Office Manager

Hello, I’m Diane Crawley and I am the Office Manager for Draper Hinks.  So that we can ensure we contact you when we have suitable opportunities that may be of interest to you, I would like to know where and how much you want to buy to keep it on our records.  Of course, your correct email and postal address are important so if you think that we may not have this or have moved recently then please keep us updated.  We will also do bespoke mail shots for you if you want exclusivity in relation to any vendors found.  I deal with all the buyers, so please call me on 01788 816440 or email me at if there is anything you would like to discuss.
Here are three testimonials from vendors that were happy with the service offered by Draper Hinks in 2017:-
Testimonial 1

“I heard about Draper Hinks from a circularised letter.  Working with them has been absolutely fantastic.  The process offered was excellent.  I would recommend them.  Working with Draper Hinks was good because they were courteous at all times and very professional.  Using a good broker will find you the right contacts.”

Vendor  – Malcolm Blaiberg                                        London


Testimonial 2

“I found Draper Hinks from an internet search.  I used Draper Hinks because they were recommended to me by another accountant that knew them.  They were very organised and provided good guidance.  I would be happy to recommend them.  Working with Draper Hinks was good because of their quick responses and good guidance to someone who was inexperienced in selling fees.”


Vendor – Craig Tribe                                                   Oxfordshire


Testimonial 3

“I have been an existing client of Draper Hinks for some years, I have both bought and sold fees through them.   I have found working with Draper Hinks to be perfect as usual.  I would certainly recommend Draper Hinks.  Using a broker is helpful because the extra layer for initial mediation is most valuable, the broker arrangement means potential buyers have been vetted.  The right broker gets results, because it is their business to do so.”

Vendor – David Webster                                              Devon                            

Practices for Sale

At this time of year we get very few new instructions for selling fees.  Most accountants have their heads firmly down and set on getting through the pile of work in front of them that needs to be completed before the end of January.





Income Multiples Paid in the last 12 months
2017   Average income multiple paid Lowest income multiple paid Highest income multiple paid Lowest income multiple offered Highest income multiple offered
Q1 Jan – Mar 0.95 0.5 1.2
Q 2 Apr – Jun 0.96 0.7 1.05
Q 3 Jul – Sep 1.01 0.5 1.1
Q 4 Oct – Dec 0.91 0.5 1.1
Q 1 Jan – Mar 0.93 0.5 1.05 0.5 1.05
Q 2 Apr – Jun 0.95 0.65 1.07 0.65 1.1
Q3 Jul – Sep 1.02 0.8 1.3 0.5* 1.5**

NB* One off payment offered.   ** Small tranche of fees for sale in London, this was oversubscribed.

David’s Diary – one of our vendors newly retired

Well it is now six weeks since we sold our practice and the sense of relief is quite profound. We are working harder than before. There is no more keeping up to date with a plethora of changes and new developments.

Back in April my wife and I (business partners) looked at each other and we just knew it was time to sell.   We contacted Draper Hinks and we were guided by someone with a steady hand and plenty of experience. A detailed report was produced, it was a lot of work, and was so detailed that it provided all the background information a potential buyer needed. It meant that when it came to due diligence this took just a morning and mostly comprised of confirming that information in the report was based on fact.

Out of eight responses there were five realistic offers.  When the preferred offer had been accepted it was a case of tweaking the contract, signing it then doing as much as possible in advance to assist the buyers with the migration of our data.  It has been interesting to see the buyers work through any problems objectively and they are now settling back nicely into their stride. There is still the prospect of a hectic December and January so we will be working hard to ensure all our former client’s accounts and returns are in time.

We may have lost a couple of clients, but against that, in these six weeks alone there has been a flood of at least 30 new referrals!

Vendor – David Shackleton                            Manchester

Round up of 2018

Yes, MTD has made its impact on the market place.  We have been selling practices throughout the year for vendors not wanting to have to take it on board.  We had one vendor who was in his late 70’s when he decided to sell.  His clients were of a similar age and we did not find a buyer for him.

This year we have sold a practice where the systems used were manual and emails were dictated.  The multiple offered was lower because of the work that needed doing for the data entry.

Multiples have remained constant.  The average multiple offered and accepted is around the 1 x fees.  Vendors wish it was higher.  As usual, we have many more buyers than sellers, so stick with us if we have not yet managed to sell any fees to you.

  Lisa Watson, Admin Assistant

Hello, I was Lisa Watson and my very good news is that I recently got married so am now Lisa Shenton.  I am the person that sends you these Newsletters and updates your records, so if you have moved or wish to change any details we hold please email me at my new email address

Mark Bell, IT & Database Support

Hello, I am Mark Bell.  I work behind the scenes and give IT support to the rest of the team and spend my time keeping the database up to date.  It is unlikely that you will hear from me but I just wanted to say hello and thank you for working with us.

Season’s Greetings from us all at Draper Hinks