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Trends in M & A

Mergers Emerge as Dominant Trend

Originally published in Journal of Accountancy, July 2013
Powerful forces are transforming the accounting profession in the United States. The Baby Boomers are heading into their retirement years. Baby Boomer CPAs are in charge of most U.S. accounting firms. And most U.S. accounting firms don't have a signed succession or practice-continuation plan in place.
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Seven Steps to Closing a Succession Sale

Originally published in the Journal of Accountancy, December 2013
Key to a successful merger or acquisition is keeping the process moving. For firm leaders, there is rarely any item of greater  importance than a merger they are pursuing. The adage time kills all deals is absolutely true with mergers.
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Considering an Acquisition

Originally published in Professional's Corner CCHGroup.com/Partners Spring 2011
After the death of his partner in Hevia Beagles & Co., Dan Hevia continued the practice as sole owner. As time passed, the St. Petersburg, Fla., CPA found that running a six-person firm on his own was daunting. It wasn’t just the burden of carrying all decision-making responsibility. Hevia had no one to share the cost of long-term investments in equipment, marketing and training — investments he needed to keep the firm healthy until his planned retirement, still nearly a decade away. Besides, how could he plan that retirement with no partners to succeed him?
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Who Would Run Your Firm? Practice Continuation Agreements Help Plan For the Worst.

Originally published in the Journal of Accountancy by the AICPA February 2011
There comes a time when every sole practitioner or small firm owner needs to consider the consequences of a disruption in leadership of his or her CPA practice. Illness, disability, family obligation or death can be devastating for the CPA’s clients, family and employees. Proper planning, however, can mitigate the consequences.
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Good M&A Deals Start with Strong Leadership

Originally published in the CPATrendlines.com November 2010
The characteristics of the firms we work with that are the most successful are found in their leadership. The most agile firms have strong leaders that are able and willing to make informed decisions quickly. Firms that cannot make decisions quickly find that M & A opportunities pass them by.
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Accounting Firm M&As: A Market Update

Originally published in the Journal of Accountancy by the AICPA November 2010
A sequenced transition can smooth a firm’s ownership transfer. The market for mergers and acquisitions in the accounting profession has changed dramatically over the past 18 months. Before the financial crisis in 2008, M&As were viewed more as a tool for acquiring experienced talent and less as a means for growing the top line. The economic shift has contributed to a more vigorous outlook for M&As in the near future.
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Succession Planning: What Are the Roadblocks in Most Mergers? Is Anything "Easy"?

Originally published in the June 2010 CPA Practice Managment Forum, a monthly journal published by CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business. After being involved with hundreds of mergers and acquisitions of accounting firms over the past 20 years, we have found a trend: the bumps in the road are the same whether the mergers are between firms of equals or a smaller firm is merging into a larger one. Conversely, some surprising things are not as hard to overcome as one might think.
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What Will a Bad Economy Mean for CPA Firm M&A?

Originally published in the AICPA SMALL FIRM SOLUTIONS, Winter 2009.
Every news story reinforces the idea that we are in economically challenging times. How will these turbulent times affect the mergers and acquisitions market among CPA firms? What other practice management considerations could it raise? While no one knows with certainty what will happen down the road, a look at the past sometimes can give you a sneak peek into the future.
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Succession Planning: The Available Strategies and How They work

Originally published in the CPA PRACTICE MANAGEMENT FORUM, a monthly journal published by CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business, October 2009.
With the aging of the Baby Boomers, succession planning remains an integral part of looking to the future. This article discusses how to manage partner transition within the firm.
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Replacing Retiring Partners

Originally published in The CPA Journal, October 2009
The gap between accounting firm owners’ need for successors and the available pool of partner-level talent will continue to widen due to demographic changes as baby boomers age and retire to be replaced by a smaller cohort. This is probably the single most important long-term issue facing small and medium-sized firms. Many of the mergers occurring in today’s market are driven by firms’ inability to find successors for their partners internally.
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The Case for Mergers in This Tough Economy

Many firms are wondering how the economy should impact a decision to go forward with M & A deals right now or in the near future.
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Current Trends Surrounding M & A of Accounting Firms

Reprinted with permission from Inside Public Accounting December 2007
A look at how the market is changing and why to start planning succession earlier than in the past
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If the Shoe Fits

Originally published in Insight, the magazine of the Illinois CPA Society August 2007
Practice Continuation Agreements: how they work, who should have them.
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Understanding the Market for Accounting Firm Mergers and Acquisitions

Originally published in the MNCPA Footnote Dec06/Jan 07
What are the factors that are driving what seems to be an unprecedented level of activity in the accounting profession for mergers and acquisitions? How are deal structures being affected?
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M&A Foretold

Reprinted courtesy of INSIGHT Magazine, the magazine of the Illinois CPA Society, August 2006
The need for succession security, client growth and staff talent continues to drive the desire for mergers and acquisitions.
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There's Still Time!

Reprinted with permission from Accounting Today Vol. 20 No. 2 Jan 30-Feb. 12 2006
Now may be the best time to sell – but it won’t always be a seller’s market.
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How to Assess an Acquisition Strategy to Start or Expand a Financial

Original manuscript as submitted and provides the basis for the article "Adding Financial Services to Your Practice" published by the CPA Wealth Provider supplement to Accounting Today April 2005
Either you have decided to offer financial services to your clients or you want to grow the talent pool of your existing financial services practice. Should you acquire a firm that already offers those services to accomplish that goal?
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