Vendor Story Q1

This is a case study from a practice we sold in 2023
Fees sold£ 328,500WhereBirmingham
Time scale5 monthsType of PracticeSole Practitioner 
PaymentThree tranchesHow paid40%  30%  30%
Multiple1 x feesWhen paidComp, 12 mths and 24 mths
Offers2 offersOffice & staffOffice and staff taken on by buyer
ResultsHe was looking forward to doing what he liked when he liked!

We were approached by the vendor in March and we had a chat, in confidence, about his own situation.  He had been running his practice for 30 years, but been in accountancy for 45 years, and was finding it hard to decide to let go.  Some of his clients had businesses that had cascaded down and were on their second and third generation.  He knew he would miss them and they would miss him, but retirement was calling him.

He had been approached by a local firm, had meetings with them but didn’t like what they were offering, so he thought he would contact Draper Hinks to see what we could do.  We had been in touch with him via Newsletters over the years, so he knew we understood the marketplace. 

He completed our paperwork, which gave us a comprehensive overview of his practice.  He had not been doing any marketing for over 12 months so was not targeting new business.  The turnover of the practice was steady.  All his pensions were in place, so he felt that the time was right. 

We had four interested buyers.  We set up meetings with each of the buyers.  The vendor booked a meeting room in a local hotel and met with them one by one over the course of the Meeting Day.   With our guidance he was able to tell the buyers what he wanted in the way of a deal, how he wanted to be paid, what multiple he was looking for, when he wanted offers to be in by and when he wanted to complete.

From the four meetings with the buyers he had two very firm offers.   The offers were similar but different.  He decided to choose the offer from the buyer he got on better with believing that the clawback would be minimised and retention maximised. 

Having accepted the offer the buyer carried out due diligence and was happy that everything that should have been there was there.  From this point the vendor and buyer met on a regular basis to discuss how the two practices would be integrated, what the vendor would do during the handover period, roles of his staff, how the clients would be informed and a million other things.

When asked what three tips he would have for a vendor thinking of embarking on this journey he answered:-

  • Be fully invested personally in the concept.
  • Commit enough time and energy at the right time.
  • Believe in your own judgement when called on to make decisions.

He said the process was pretty much what he would have expected.  He thought it would be more difficult finding suitable purchasers.  He found it easy to make decisions when required to do so because he had a clear vision of what he wanted.

He emphasised that working with Draper Hinks was very straightforward and enjoyable but getting used to the concept of selling and retiring was hard but he would not miss dealing with HMRC.  He now has time to resurrect some of his hobbies he did not have time to pursue when running his practice. 

If you want to sell an accountancy practice or buy an accountancy practice please get in touch with me, Nicola Draper, on 01788 816440 or email me at not book a confidential chat with me using

Let me see how I can be of assistance.