CPA Firms for Sale: What Pro Horizons Can Do for You
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Purchasing an accounting firm can be a great business decision for growing your client base or expanding to a new area. In many cases, there is an opportunity to jump in to an existing business and make an immediate impact. However, actually purchasing a CPA firm is a different story that can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you know you are purchasing the right firm? How do you navigate the buying and negotiating process? A knowledgeable broker is a valuable asset to act as your guide and help the entire process go smoothly. Here is how to purchase CPA firms for sale and how Pro Horizons can help every step of the way.
Define Business Goals
Before you can find the right practice, you have to know why you’re buying a firm and what you hope it to become. Do you want to add another practice to your portfolio, or are you looking to manage the firm’s day-to-day client interactions? Are you expanding to a new area or specialty or building on what you already have? The CPA firms for sale you consider when you’re adding another firm to your portfolio may be different than what you consider if you’ve never purchased a firm before or are new to the area. Understanding your goals can help narrow down your search and put you on the path to success.
If you’re unclear of your goals, Pro Horizons can help you pinpoint what you hope to achieve by purchasing a CPA firm. Our team can help you set long-term goals for your practice that match your lifestyle and professional goals. Considering your goals for the future can help get you and the broker on the same page to find the best CPA firms for sale.
As your broker, Pro Horizons will identify practices that meet your criteria and invite you to visit the space and review the practice’s business information. Pro Horizons uses a screening process that looks at the seller’s key concerns and the buyer’s top criteria to identify the best possible matches. Unlike when purchasing residential or commercial real estate, there is much more to consider with a CPA firm than its office and location. A firm can have a beautiful office but a less-than-stellar business record. The buyer and broker will look through documents that detail the business’s history and financials to get a full view of the firm. This process can be overwhelming, but the broker is there every step of the way to explain any issues and point out potential red flags. Having a broker is especially important during this step because they can alert the buyer of important issues and guarantee that no stone is left unturned.
The provided business information might not answer every question about the practice, so the broker can set up a meeting with the seller to answer more questions and make sure the buyer and seller are on the same page. This meeting helps the buyer get a feel for the business and ask more detailed questions about the firm and its workload and clientele. Some aspects of a firm, such as its business focus and culture, can’t be conveyed on paper but are vital to understanding an accounting firm and can come across in a seller interview. The broker will help the buyer prepare for the interview and also ask questions so the buyer can have a complete picture of the CPA firm for sale.
After careful consideration and research, the buyer can decide to put in an offer for the practice. Pro Horizons will draft the offer and advise on terms to include to make the offer competitive. Buying a CPA firm can be a complicated process with numerous considerations, stipulations, and financing options. Creating an offer on a firm involves taking into account the location, profitability, clients, billing rates, and numerous other factors and structuring a deal that sets the buyer up for future success with the firm.
With a Pro Horizons broker, the buyer can feel comfortable that everything is covered and that they are submitting a competitive but fair offer. Some firms are in hot markets, so having an experienced broker can move things along more quickly and help an offer get submitted in a timely manner.
Pro Horizons can also connect the buyer to lenders for financing options, which is particularly important due to the unique loans that are required to purchase a CPA firm. Pro Horizons brokers are experienced working with third-party lenders and keep an eye on the current lending environment to provide their clients with the best advice and connections possible, especially in the current lending climate.
If the seller comes back with a counteroffer, the broker will step in to respond and negotiate. Having a broker is especially important during the negotiation phase, because an experienced brokerage company can not only lessen tense situations but also find the best solution for both parties. It’s common for CPA firm sales to have some back and forth, and the details can involve complex financial, business, and legal issues. Brokers understand the entire process and can get utilize third-party experts to negotiate the contract so that it is the best deal for the buyer.
A broker advocates for the buyer to get a fair deal that will help them reach their business goals. The broker only succeeds if the sales goes through and the buyer is satisfied, which means they fight to get the best price and deal possible. Pro Horizons is on your side to ensure you get the best deal possible.
Once both sides have reached an agreement, the broker works to close the deal. Even after negotiations, the CPA firm isn’t officially sold until the deal closes. On the way to that end, the buyer may experience hiccups in the inspection and financing. There is often additional paperwork to gather, legal issues to work through, and details to sort out. Any misstep after the contract has been signed can push back the closing or cancel the deal altogether. The broker assists with every step of the process to ensure a smooth close. Even for buyers who have purchased CPA firms or other real estate before, the path to a successful closing isn’t guaranteed. While the buyer makes plans for the future and works to further their business, the broker can focus completely on finalizing the details and working through the complicated arrangements to get everyone on board for a successful closing.
It’s only after the final documents have been signed that the broker can rest easy. Pro Horizons brokers are experienced in the many intricacies and details of purchasing a CPA firm. From the early planning stages to the complicated details at the end, they work to ensure their buyers find the best CPA firm for their professional goals in as smooth a process as possible.
Purchasing CPA firms for sale can be a lengthy process, but it is made easier with a reliable brokerage firm like Pro Horizons. From initial research to the closing paperwork, Pro Horizons can help every step of the way. Contact us to discover more today.