Potential Seller Newsletter December 2023

Nicola Draper founder Draper Hinks  Seasons Greetings.  I’m Nicola Draper.  I run Draper Hinks, a business brokerage facilitating the buying and selling of accountancy practices.  Since inception, we have completed over 412 deals and so people say we have some experience in this field.

We are very proud of our track record and our reputation which has been hard earned on the back of doing more than expected.  Please feel free to contact me anytime at n.draper@draperhinks.co.uk with any questions.

Best time for selling a practice?1. When you have to.  If you are seriously ill, and you have to sell your practice, it does not matter what time of year it is, we will work to find a buyer for you.

2. Not November, December or January.  If you have a choice, then do not sell at this time of year because most accountants are busy with the tax return season and do not have the time to consider a purchase.

3. March or April.  This is a good time because buyers will have had money flow into their bank accounts, from all the work done in January and will be ready to spend it.

4. September.  Because sellers will have had their annual vacation and will be thinking how nice it would be if they could do more of that if they were retired.


Round up of 2023 and Market Commentary

Things were pretty static at the beginning of the year.  We had little interest from both buyers and sellers.  It was almost as quiet as when we were furloughed through Covid.  Nothing was moving and we were not getting instructions to sell.  Luckily this changed end of March.  We do understand there are annual trends with the sale of accountancy practices and after nearly 20 years of being in this market we know that things pick up.  But when you are so quiet it is sometimes hard to be patient.

By the end of March, we started to get enquiries from exhausted vendors who had just had enough and wanted to sell straight away.  Several said that if they did not find a buyer they would just shut their doors and tell their clients they had retired.  These were the practices that we treated as urgent and were able to find buyers willing and able to complete quickly.

In July I was invited to be a keynote speaker for a webinar hosted by the ICAEW covering things to consider when selling a practice.  This prompted a number of enquiries from vendors that resulted in us being very busy.   Why is it that it never rains but it pours?

I am eternally grateful to all buyers and sellers that use our services.  Our business model is transactional and when we sell a practice we then have to find the next one to sell.  We do not have recurring fees.  We rely on hard work, reputation and word of mouth.

If you want to sell your fees then please book a time on calendly on https://calendly.com/draper-hinks/q_a or email me at  n.draper@draperhinks.co.uk.  We would like to wish you every success for 2024 and say thank you for your support in 2023 it is much appreciated.


Income Multiples Paid in the last 12 months 


2022 Quarter Average income multiple paid Lowest income multiple paid Highest income multiple paid Lowest income multiple offered Highest income multiple offered
Quarter 4 Oct – Dec 0.91 0.50 1.00 0.50 1.00
Quarter 1 Jan – Mar 1.16 0.90 1.48 0.75 1.48
Quarter 2 Apr – Jun 0.98 0.90 1.05 0.80 1.40
Quarter 3 Jul – Sept 1.107 1.00 1.30 1.00 1.30

NB None of the above figures are to be reproduced in any way without express permission from Nicola Draper.


Season’s Greetings from us all