December 2019 Newsletter

Draper Hinks Newsletter

December 2019

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 302 deals. We are very active in the market place.

I work 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
During 2019 Draper Hinks has brokered over 40 deals.   We are very proud of what we have achieved and we have an enviable reputation for getting deals done.  Our website shows the current practices we have for sale.  The list is never too long because we sell them, that’s what we do.
Case Studies

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

No. 1  
Fees sold £450,000 Where Suffolk
Qualified FCA  ATT Age 68 & 65
Time scale 8 months Type of Practice 2 Partners
Payment 3 tranches How paid 33%  33% & 33%
Multiple 1 x fees When paid 12 & 24 months
Offers 2 offers Office & staff Office and staff retained
Results Vendors went on a three month holiday to Australia and New Zealand
No. 2  
Fees sold £250,000 Where Hertfordshire
Qualified FMAAT & QBE Age 65 & 64
Time scale 10 months Type of Practice 2 Partner firm
Payment 3 tranches How paid 33%  33%  &  33%
Multiple 0.9 x fees When paid Comp, 12 & 24 months
Offers 5 offers Office & staff Office and staff retained
Results Vendors moved to the South West to be near their grandchildren
No. 3  
Fees sold £155,145 Where Kent
Qualified FCA Age 65
Time scale 4 months Type of Practice Sole Practitioner
Payment 3 tranches How paid 33%  33%  &  33%
Multiple 1 x fees When paid Comp, 12 & 24 months
Offers 2 offers Office & staff Office not required, some staff retained
Results Vendor looking to work on her hobbies and start to enjoy life
Hello, I’m Diane Crawley and I am the Office Manager for Draper Hinks.

As a buyer we will only be in touch with you if we have something we think will be of interest to you.  So, we need your current contact information for our systems.

If you want to be proactive and have us do a bespoke mailer for you, then let me know.  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.

Diane Crawley, Office Manager
Here are three testimonials from vendors that were happy with the service offered by Draper Hinks last year:-
Testimonial 1

“I heard about Draper Hinks from their marketing literature.  I liked the personal attention that the literature offered and after a very informative and helpful phone call with Nicola I chose to work with them.  It was an excellent service.  I was kept updated at every point and matters moved very quickly.  3 months from start to finish.  Using a broker gives you wider access to purchasers and there is a level of anonymity until you are happy with the potential purchaser.”

Vendor  – Neville James                                                Oxfordshire


Testimonial 2

“I found out about Draper Hinks from the “Any Answers” section of accounting web.  They were well recommended on accounting web.  Working with them has been very easy.  They have been knowledgeable and efficient throughout the process.  I was reassured that they expected to be able to find a buyer.  The process was very clear to understand.  I liked the way they took control of the process and gave me advice on how to handle the meetings with prospective purchasers.  Avoid the hassle of trying to do it yourself.  The best thing about working with Draper Hinks is that I sold my practice.”


Vendor – John Fox                                                      North Yorkshire


Testimonial 3

“I heard about Draper Hinks via word of mouth plus Google search and their website.  My first impression was that they sounded professional and familiar with the sale of accountancy practices.  Their process definitely helped with meeting the suitors.  The information requested was sufficient to generate interest and helpful during the due diligence process.  Using a broker is a lot more time efficient, particularly when you are busy preparing the practice for sale and post sale.  The best thing about working with Draper Hinks is that it worked as I was told it should.”

Vendor – Jeremy Nottingham                                       Norfolk                         

Practices for Sale

At this time of year we normally get very few new instructions for selling fees.  Most accountants are wondering how on earth they will get through another January.  However, unlike other years, we have had a flurry of activity in November.  We marketed a practice at the end of October and we are looking to complete on the 18th December. Things can be done quickly if all parties are prepared to make it happen.


Income Multiples Paid in 2018 and 2019
2018   Average income multiple paid Lowest income multiple paid Highest income multiple paid Lowest income multiple offered Highest income multiple offered
Q1 Jan – Mar 0.93 0.5 1.05 0.5 1.05
Q2 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
Q4 Oct – Dec 1.07 1 1.2 1 1.5
Q 1 Jan – Mar 1.01 0.6 1.3 0.39 1.3
Q 2 Apr – Jun 0.96 0.6 1.4 0.6 1.4
Q3 Jul – Sep 1.1 1 1.2 1 1.25
David’s Diary – one of our vendors newly retired

October 2019 was the first anniversary since we sold our practice. I am still working to help facilitate the transition, this should be pretty much achieved by the end of December 2019.

Looking back, I can say that while some things have not gone quite as expected there have been some pleasant surprises.  Yes, I am still putting in more hours than planned but I can see these dropping to 2 or 3 days a week and should soon be able to have that elusive holiday we have had in mind for so long.

What has occupied more time than I envisaged has been down to:

·         Reassuring clients and helping clients adjust to using the firm’s portal.

·         Acting as a go-between when accounts and returns are being done and stepping in to deal with unavoidable misunderstandings.

·         Preparing some accounts where it would have been unfair for anyone else to do them.

·         Learning new systems and getting used to working with other people

When we sold we naively thought all clients would stay, but we lost a few and when we did it was a wrench.  I will miss our regular contact with clients and the challenges of assisting them set up new businesses or deal with difficult situations but there comes a point when it all gets exhausting.  I do have plans to set up a new consultancy service to directors and partners.  If it works then great but if not then I am sure my wife will find a list of things for me to do!!

David Shackleton 


Round up of 2019

Draper Hinks has had a very good year this year and we would like to thank everyone that has done business with us in 2019.  In fact it has been our best year yet from the point of view of transactions completed and turnover achieved.

MTD did have a small part to play at the beginning of the year, but things soon evened themselves out and we got back to our normal pace of finding practices to sell and selling them.  Multiples have remained reasonably static with a spike in the London area as there always is.  Our highest multiple offered in the year has been 1.4 x fees, which was for a tranche of fees sold in the south east.

This year we sold a practice where the vendor had died prior to us being given instruction to sell it, another vendor died on the Sunday where completion was due on the following Friday, in another case a vendor had had a heart attack and in another case the vendor had been diagnosed with brain cancer.  In each of these cases speed was of the essence.  The buyers we worked with in these cases were brilliant and understood that speed was of the essence.  Compassion and care were shown and deals were done.  We prefer it when there is not an emergency and vendors are fit and healthy, happily that covers most of the deals we broker.

If you are ever passing our new office at 60 Regent Street in Rugby, Warwickshire there will be a warm welcome and a cup of tea waiting for you.  We would like to thank all those that have supported us in the past and we look forward to working with you again in 2020.

Hello, I was Lisa Shenton.  I am the person that sends you these Newsletters, invites you to join our LinkedIn Group and I update your records on our database, so if you have moved or wish to change any details we hold, please email me at my new email address

Lisa Shenton, Admin Assistant

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.

Mark Bell, IT & Database Support

Cheers from us all at Draper Hinks