If you are considering selling your accountancy practice due to the impact on the industry following legislative changes, as a result of owner retirement or to simply generate returns from your investment, Selling My Business can help source a buyer for your accounting business. As the accounting industry, once powered offline through the likes of extensive spreadsheets and manual calculations is revolutionised by cloud accounting and bookkeeping software, the face of the sector is rapidly changing.
The Making Tax Digital (MTD) government initiative sets out to transform the tax system by digitising tax returns through bridging software, sharing financial information securely, effectively and efficiently with HM Revenue and Customs. This increases the pressure on accountancy firms to become digitally compliant, enlisting the use of industry-standard accounting software, such as FreeAgent, Xero and QuickBooks. As the birth of new financial technology marks the natural evolution of the accountancy sector, the pressure increases on practice managers to gear business growth.
As the industry is largely navigated by legislative measures governing taxation, accountancy practices are constantly evolving in response to this, redirecting investment back into the business, adapting the range of services and upskilling staff.
As the IR35 reform in the public and private sector bites into client numbers, clouding the future of your business, you may wish to sell your accountancy practice and maximise returns before risking the devaluation of your firm. As limited company contractors caught by the IR35 reform flock to umbrella companies, reducing custom for accountancy firms, many businesses are reacting by expanding their service offering to cater to IR35 contractors. As this increases the need to bolster business operations, you may wish to sell your accountancy practice to an industry specialist with fresh appetite and easy access to resources and funding.
If you wish to pave an exit route by transferring ownership, our accountancy business sale experts can guide you. At Selling My Business, we are experienced in the sale of all-sized accountancy, bookkeeping and payroll practices with varied operating structures and sector specialisms, such as contractor accountancy, audit, assurance and tax advisory. We have facilitated the acquisition of numerous accountancy businesses, from independent practices, nationally recognised names to those listed in the top bracket of 50+50 accountancy firms.
If you are interested in selling your accountancy practice, the Selling My Business team can help prepare your business for sale, conduct a business valuation and market your business to over 10,000 actively searching buyers. Founded in 1956, we are highly experienced in sourcing buyers with the relevant background and qualifications, based on your requirements, such as being audit registered or willing to take on your office premises. We will begin our search for a prospective buyer based on your given criteria and confidentially handle the process to protect employees.
Our registered buyers with an active interest in the financial services sector will be confidentiality notified of new accountancy practices for sale by the owner or an agent. The Selling My Business team is made up of industry veterans, so we can reassure you that we won’t stop at a standstill after receiving expressions of interest. We will filter out proceedable buyers, converting genuine interest into tangible offers by liaising between both parties and negotiating competitive offers.
Third parties looking to buy accountancy practices, such as competitor firms are typically well placed to invest in the business and resume operations with the view to reduce market competition and increase market share. For new entrants, this is a ready-made way of establishing a reputation and streamlines the initial start-up process.
When preparing your accountancy practice for sale, the key aim is to maximise business value by taking consideration of the following factors:
Valuing an accountancy practice business consists of analysing company assets, liabilities and historic financial performance to calculate business value. During this stage, it is essential to tighten business operations, review expenses and collate the relevant financial information for due diligence purposes, presenting your business in its finest form. An experienced and active business transfer agent will be able to use their understanding of the industry and sector experience to maximise sale value and attract buyers.
"Having founded my accountancy firm in the 2000s, building it up to a client base of 6,500 plus, I was satisfied with the growth of the business and was ready to generate a return. The Selling My Business team secured an industry buyer actively looking to expand into the contractor accountancy market."
Neil – Contractor Accountancy Practice, Livingston
At Selling My Business, our in-house valuation team will run through how to value an accountancy practice and the information we need to gather to complete this process. A business valuation is required to calculate how much your accountancy practice is worth and to establish a guide sale price. Using our extensive understanding of the industry, we can help navigate you throughout the valuation stage of your accountancy practice.
As a retiring accountant or an exiting company director, you may decide to sell part of your accountancy firm. An accountancy practice valuation can help you identify the areas of your business which hold the most value, influencing your decision to sell part or the whole of your accountancy firm. To start your business valuation, we require three years’ worth of recent/historic company accountants. We conduct business on a no upfront fee basis and have a strong track record, selling over 10,000 businesses.
The Selling My Business team answer - should I sell my accountancy practice during Covid-19? The coronavirus pandemic has had a sector-wide impact on accountancy practices as clients experience significant drops in consumer demand due to trading restrictions. As accountants work from home to comply with public health guidance, client contact has reduced, and IT infrastructures are being tested at full capacity.
The pandemic has led to accountancy firms operating on paper-based systems to switch to cloud accounting software allowing for remote access to key financial information. This not only changes the operational structure of traditional accountancy firms but also increases company liabilities. As company income takes a nosedive and transactions running in and out of the business fall to zero, clients are making companies dormant, resulting in a reduction in accountancy fees due. Businesses in the firing line of creditor pressure and impending legal action are entering into company liquidation to protect the position of creditors, resulting in a cutback in client numbers for accountancy firms.
As the number of active clients falls and recurring income faces a hit, employees are being made redundant to minimise overheads and maximise the survival rate of the practice. Accountancy firms are experiencing unprecedented levels of disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of trading uncertainty and long-term damage caused to your accountancy firm, you may consider selling shop before the value of your business further deteriorates. Contact Selling My Business to find out how much your accountancy firm is worth and begin the process to sourcing a buyer for your financial services business.
If you are considering selling a distressed accountancy firm due to existing issues or as a result of Covid-19 trading pressures, you will need to conduct a business valuation to determine how much your practice is worth. Selling a financially distressed accountancy firm can be challenging, however, there are serious parties involved in investing in struggling businesses. They may decide to buy company assets or the whole business with the intention to carry out a restructuring exercise to strip out the loss-making parts of the business.
The sale of an accountancy practice which is distressed typically requires sufficient start-up capital to invest in recovering the company, replenishing the service and building a new reputation. A clear turnaround strategy is required to gain profit from an ailing business, an alternative solution to company liquidation which can reap rewards over the long term.
When deciding to sell your accounting firm, you may conduct the process privately, through a broker or a business transfer agent. At Selling My Business, we have over 60 years’ experience in the sale and acquisition of businesses in the financial services industry and we are closely connected to a vast network of investors, entrepreneurs and active business buyers in the accountancy sector.
The Selling My Business team are uniquely placed to direct the sale of your business and can provide a business valuation to help you gauge how much your accountancy firm could be worth. Our offering is suitable for both experienced sellers and those new to the process as we will guide you through each stage of the process and help maximise sale value.
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