After many years of investing your blood, sweat and tears into building a thriving and highly profitable CPA practice, you’re thinking about selling. You realize that a business broker can help maximize value when you sell your firm. Smart move. But how do you know which broker to choose for the sale of your CPA practice? Here are a few traits to look for in an exceptional broker.
An exceptional broker is proactive
Your broker absolutely must be proactive. Too often, brokers are not. Many brokers take the easy way out. They put some listings up on a website, then sit back and wait. This is the same model that some realtors use, posting a listing to MLS and hoping somebody else sells it for them. Too often the seller winds up doing all the work of negotiating with prospective buyers while the passive broker collects a fee for doing little more than scheduling meetings.
A proactive broker also provides a buffer between you and the buyer. If the seller is negotiating directly with the buyer and reaches an impasse, lasting damage can be done to the relationship, often killing the deal. But if a broker negotiates the deal and reaches an impasse with a buyer, the buyer won’t bear the same feelings toward the seller. The seller can always go directly to the buyer and restore a good relationship, while reaping the benefit of the broker’s negotiations.
You need much more than a passive meeting-scheduler. You need a CPA broker that pre-screens and pre-negotiates with all prospective buyers prior to you even hearing about them. Only the most qualified buyer candidates willing to pay exceptional prices with significant cash are brought to meet with you. You need a proactive broker with connections to tens of thousands of prospective buyers and exceptional negotiation skills. With Accounting Broker, our promotional and negotiating expertise can mean potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars more for you and your retirement when you sell your CPA firm.
What kinds of firms does an exceptional broker represent?
You have worked hard to build a successful and profitable CPA practice, a firm that will be highly desirable to a buyer and should command a high selling price. Do you want the broker that represents your firm to also represent a large number of marginal and low caliber bookkeeping and non-CPA tax services? Accounting Broker only represents CPA practices. CPA firms that are highly profitable and desirable firms that will attract the attention of highly qualified buyers who understand that buying the best CPA practices will require a high price and significant cash at closing.
What kind of buyers are in an exceptional broker’s database?
The buyer’s professional experience is always an important concern when selling an accounting practice. It is especially important if you own a highly specialized CPA practice with a focus in something like forensic accounting, international taxation, oil and gas, or other specialties that not just any CPA or firm can handle. Your broker needs to have access to a large pool of highly qualified buyers with expertise in specific practice areas. An exceptional broker should have a massive buyer database containing tens of thousands of quality buyers, tracked by professional specialty and numerous other variables. Our database is exactly that . . . and has been is built up over many years, and is continuously updated as buyer information changes and new buyers are added. There is no more powerful tool available to find a highly qualified buyer for your CPA practice willing to pay you for maximum value with a high level of cash at closing.
An exceptional broker has a proven track record
Accounting Broker achieves higher multiple of billings than anyone in the nation for the sale of accounting practices. Lots of brokers talk a good game. But do they have the documentation to back it up? Do they have a proven track record of selling firms similar to yours? A broker may tell you they can achieve comparable multiples of billings with favorable terms to what Accounting Broker typically achieves. However, most brokers will not be able show you proof that they actually have achieved comparable results . . . with a phone number and name to call as a reference. Ask for proof. If they cannot give you this . . . then it likely did not actually happen.
There’s a huge difference between the capabilities of different brokers. At Accounting Broker Acquisition Group, we get absolute top dollar for the firms we represent. And we’ll be happy to show you case after case where we negotiated hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the seller ever expected, with a better deal structure and substantially more cash at closing.
Exceptional brokers keep listings discreet
Many brokers put listings on their website for anybody with an internet connection to see. But do you really want your competitors to know your firm is for sale? Even if your name is not listed, these web postings usually leak enough details that make it easy to narrow down who the seller is. Do you want your clients, staff, and competitors to figure out that it is your firm appearing on the broker’s website?
At Accounting Broker Acquisition Group, we never list firms for sale on our website. Instead, we utilize our database of tens of thousands of active buyers until we narrow the field to a handful of the best CPA buyer candidates. We proactively contact these buyers directly, rather than just waiting for them to call. Your CPA firm’s identity is disclosed only to those most highly qualified buyers that you have agreed to meet with in person.
Many brokers that list CPA firms for sale on websites also show asking prices. We don’t place an upper limit on the price of your firm by listing an asking price online. Instead, we utilize strategizes to negotiate for the highest value when you sell your CPA firm.
Exceptional brokers are highly qualified
Your broker must have the qualification and the experience to maximize value for you and navigate the sale of your CPA firm through the sales process to a successful closing. With many brokers, you first make contact with a CPA broker. But, after you sign the listing agreement, they hand you off to an assistant or another broker who’s not a CPA. This under-qualified assistant negotiates with the prospective buyer, who is most likely CPA with advanced analytical skills. This is a recipe for disaster as well as a formula for leaving money on the table when you sell your CPA firm.
Accounting Broker Acquisition Group is the only national business brokerage of its type comprised 100-percent of brokers who are CPAs with significant “Big Four” merger and acquisition experience. This is a huge part of why we’re able to achieve higher prices than anyone in the nation. At Accounting Broker, our CPA brokers are at the top of the industry in terms of analytical skills. You’ll never have an under-qualified assistant or non-CPA broker negotiating on your behalf at Accounting Broker. You’ll have a fully qualified and experienced ex-Big Four CPA negotiating for every dollar your firm is worth.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today. Feel free to contact us to find out what your firm is worth. Also, act now to get your free report, “Will You Leave Money on the Table? Discover the 12 Irreversible Fatal Errors You Must Avoid When You Sell Your Firm!”