1. Understand why you are selling the practice. Buyer’s want to know that you are committed to the sale and not just testing the waters. I would say one of this is one of the most common questions buyers ask and for good reason.
2. Have a plan for after the practice closes and the deal is done. Will you be helping the new buyer with transiting the client base or are you headed to sunny Florida. This will affect the purchase price as the buyers will be looking for support and guidance in the beginning.
3. Understand the purchase price and what you are asking for the practice. Accounting brokers can help you set a fair market price for your practice. Selling your accounting practice is simple supply and demand economics. Price too high and it won’t sell, price too low and you could leave some money on the table.
4. Understand your debt obligations and leases. Make sure you are up to date on all payroll taxes, debts, etc. Buyers will want to know what liabilities they will be taking over such as a copy lease, rent, etc.
5. Provide employee records and policies if available. This will instill confidence that your practice is running as a well oiled machine and organized.
6. Identify key employees. Make sure the buyer understands which employees are vital to the success of the practice once it is sold. Also, do the key employee(s) have non-compete agreements in place?
7. Keep organized financial records. This is fairly obvious, but make sure your financials are up to date and “clean.” Make sure that all non discretionary expense are taken out or identified. This will help add back cash flow to the bottom-line but may not be accepted by the lender. Kind of a double edge sword.
8. Keep an open mind. You may have decided exactly what and how much you want for the business. An open mind will help in getting the deal closed. You may or may not get the exact price and terms you are looking for but if the deal closes that is end result you were seeking. A little flexibility can help the deal run smoothly for both sides in the end.