Accountants know the busyness and stress that comes from tax season, those grueling months from January to April. No matter if you focus on auditing or taxes, you likely feel the stress and pressure that comes from the busiest time of year. It’s at those times that adding another thing to your list seems impossible, but it’s also a time when some people find themselves trying to close an accounting practice sale. The busy season can be a good time to sell a firm in some cases or if that’s what your situation allows. If you’re selling your accounting practice after tax season has begun, here are five tips to survive the busy season and make the most of your sale.
Plan for a Smooth Transition
As you get your firm ready to sell, expect that the transition during such a busy time might be a little more chaotic than if it happened in another time of year. Create a plan for a smooth transition by working with the buyer to manage expectations. A smooth transition might include phasing yourself out by switching to part-time work for some consistency during tax season. It could also include bringing in temporary employees or starting the tax season earlier than normal to spread out the work. Whatever your plan, be sure to work together with the buyer and communicate so that you are on the same page and can have a seamless transition.
Use an Experienced Broker
When things are busy at the firm, the last thing you want is to get bogged down with the details of the accounting practice sale. An experienced broker will act as your advocate and ensure you get the best deal possible, while also working through the many details of the sale. Take time at the beginning of the process to discuss your desires and plans with your broker so that they can best represent you. They will work through the sale while you keep your firm running so that you can smoothly hand things over when the sale is finalized.
Be open and transparent with your employees about the plans for the sale. Without clear communication, they could be caught off guard with changes during the busiest time of year. Have an open discussion about what it will take to be successful during the transition and provide them with the resources they need. Delegate your responsibilities to other employees and have someone be in charge as you are busy with details of the sale and eventually transition out of the firm. When employees are prepared and empowered, they will be ready to push through the changes and busyness and perform great work.
Focus on Clients
One of the biggest challenges of any accounting firm sale, but especially during tax season, is making sure the clients don’t suffer during the transition. No matter how chaotic things may seem behind the scenes, don’t let it impact the work you do for clients. Take the time to focus on each individual and their needs. Work through their questions and issues without worrying about the other things that have to get done. Investing time in clients always pays off. Even if it makes things busier during tax season, having a strong base of loyal clients will be worth it in the long run.
Don’t feel you need to do everything on your own. Use technology to simplify and make your work more efficient. Automate data entry, use a virtual assistant to schedule meetings, or use a software program to populate clients’ tax forms. Taking advantage of technology frees up employees to work on other projects and can help the transition to the new owner go more smoothly.
Contact a Broker
These five tips for selling your accounting firm during tax season can help the entire sale process and transition run more smoothly. It may be the busiest time of year in the accounting world, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be a good time to sell your practice.
For your sale and transition to be as seamless as possible, contact professional broker, ProHorizons, to learn how they can help.