Private Equity in Accounting
Originally published in AccountingToday, May 2022
Phil Whitman of Whitman Business Advisors offers a primer on what the entry of PE money into the accounting profession means for firms.
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What's Hot and What's Not in Firm M & A
Originally published in AccountingToday, April 2021
The most common question we used to get was, "What is the current multiple for accounting firm deals?" Now the question is, "Is the marketplace for M&A a buyer's or seller's market?" The answer, simply stated, is "Yes."
Accounting Firm M&A in the World of the Coronavirus
Originally published in AccountingToday, April 2020
The economic downturn we are experiencing is clearly unprecedented. The projected drop in the GDP and level of unemployment are anticipated to be as bad as the Great Depression.
The Four Exit Ramps for Your Career
ncaCPA.org, December 2019
The end of your professional career is something you will eventually face. How will you manage that? This article discusses the four options you have for your eventual retirement from public accounting.
How to Properly Value Your CPA Firm
accountingWEB, December 2019
Firms looking toward an external succession via a merger want to know what they should expect to be paid, or conversely, those looking to acquire a practice want to get an estimate of what they would pay in today’s M&A market.
Getting Ahead of Next Tax Season
Accounting Today, November 2019
While the smoothest tax season might be one with no surprises, the practitioner who anticipates and is ready for unexpected issues will sleep better at night knowing they are prepared.
Evaluating Culture in M&A
Accounting Today, November 2019
In our experience, the parties to most mergers & acquisitions between accounting firms focus a lot of attention initially on clients, service mix, and billing rates during the initial stages of the process.
What's Driving Upstream Mergers?
Accounting Today, June 2019
Traditionally, an overwhelming number of firms seeking to merge upstream have done so to address partner succession.
Views on Practice Management
The CPA Journal, December 2018
“The biggest growth we see is, once again, firms adding niches such as IT consulting, HR, cybersecurity, litigation support, and valuation.”
Building a State-of-the-Art M & A Target
Journal of Accountancy, August 2018
A firm can enrich its value to prospective suitors by investing in a top-notch IT infrastructure and exhibiting a willingness to embrace new technologies.
Getting Your Firm Ready for a Merger in 2018
AccountingWeb, January 2018
The more attractive a CPA firm is to potential successors, the better the opportunity to facilitate a strong and lasting union while attracting the best possible deal terms.
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.
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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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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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