Your complete source for accounting practice sales, mergers, acquisitions, and financing.

FAQ

Naab Consulting is eager to provide answers to any of  your questions. 

Please email us if you have any specific question you would like answered.

 

What do accounting, CPA and tax practices sell for?

This is the most often ask questions by both buyers and sellers. There is no real answer to the question as the practice will ultimately sell for what the market will bear. True market value cannot be determined until the product is brought to market. That being said, there are important factors that both the buyer and seller will look at to gauge the asking price and terms when being brought to market.

A few important factors when determining price for an accounting practice:

  • Location (rural or metro area)
  • Profitability
  • Employees
  • Owner's ability and availability to transition 
  • Average billing rates
  • Historical revenues
  • Mix of client services
  • Certified or non-certified practice

There are many other factors involved, the above is just a snapshot of some of the most frequently used to assess value.

How can Naab Consulting help me in selling my accounting practice?

We assist in selling your tax practice from start to closing. We begin by tailoring a customized marketing package for your firm. This helps us learn more about your practice so we can assist in setting the best price, terms and conditions of the sale based on current market conditions. We then target market to qualified prospective buyers and leads who are interested in accounting practice sales like yours.

If I am considering selling my accounting practice, how should I evaluate different accounting brokers?

It is critical to investigate any company that you plan on working with for an extended amount of time and especially such a big decision like selling your accounting practice. We will gladly meet with you personally prior to asking you to work with us or signing any type of consulting agreement.

We will also glady provide references upon request. We consider selling your practice a confidential and personal transaction. We do not provide references or testimonaisl on our site to protect our former clients confidentiality. We are happy to provide them upon request. We hope you can understand and appreciate this. 

I'm considering selling my accounting practice on my own, what are practices going for these days?

Are you looking for what you will get by selling the practice on your own or would you be more interested in what you could net if you hire Naab Consulting?

We believe in the theory of supply and demand. The more interested buyers in your practice, the higher the purchase price. Our job is to confidentially market your practice to as many buyers as possible. Then we will qualify each to ensure that you are meeting with only qualified and interested buyers. This will broden your buyer pool allowing you to pick the best suitor for your practice.

How do you market for the sale of your accounting practice?

When a prospective accounting practice is for sale, it is not like trying to sell most products. You do not necessarily want everyone, including your staff and clientele, to know that you are considering selling your accounting practice. This can have a negative effect and confidentiality is paramount when trying to sell your CPA or accounting practice. Prospective sellers can hire an attorney or an accounting broker to ensure that all prospective buyer’s sign a non-disclosure agreement. Bringing in an outside party will ensure that you and your firm name is not exposed until after the buyer has signed a confidentiality agreement. 

How do you value an accounting or CPA Practice?

Every practice is unique as well as the different factors buyers will look at when trying to establish a value for the practice. A few of the key components most buyers will review when looking at purchasing a practice include, but not limited to:

  • Location - (rural or metro area)
  • % of net income
  • Average billing rates
  • Quality staff in place
  • Is the practice portable or does the buyer need to maintain the space
  • Last 3 years of financials and which way the business is trending
  • Key client make-up 
  • % of accounting, tax, audit, other services provided 
  • Average fees per client
What should I do next if I'm interested in buying or selling an accounting practice?

Contact us today if you are interested in either buying an accounting practice for sale or selling an accounting firm. We are available any time. You can also Talk to Larry directly.

Why work with Naab Consulting if I'm considering selling my accounting practice?

Bigger may not always be better. We belive that better is what counts. If you are serious about selling your accounting practice, we invite you to compare us to other accounting brokers before making a final decision on who to hire.

We have been involved in the accounting practice sales business since 1997. We have closed on hundreds of successful deals.  There are other accounting brokers out there but few with the experience level and track record of our company. We urge you to compare and decide for yourself on which firm is right for you.

PLUS:

  • We will market your practice nationally as well as regionally to get the greatest exposure for your practice.
  • We have a large database of pre-registered and qualified buyers who are looking to buy a firm.
  • We know how to close deals, we only get paid when you get paid. It's a win win!
  • We assist you every step of the way, from the initial consultation to the closing table. 
  • Work on your business, while we work for your business.
Do you charge any upfront fees in order to sell my accounting practice?

Absolutely not. We have complete confidence that we can help you sell your practice, that we are willing to cover all costs in order to get this accomplished. Our fee is only paid at closing and only if you sell the practice. 

What is the expected transition time with the new buyer?

This vaires depending on the size of the practice. Typically smaller firms, the transition time can be anywhere from 30-60 days. This may or may not include a tax season depnding on when the deal closes. Larger firms are typically 90+ days and sometimes for a full year depending on the new buyers needs. It is not uncommon for a seller to work at least an intial tax season on any size practice. Transitional assistance helps the clients adjust to the new owner and the seller feel confident that their former clients are going to be taken care of correctly. 

How will you sell my accounting practice while keeping my confidentiality?

Confidentiality is paramount to us and we understand it's importance. Our firm obtains non-disclosure agreements on all prospective buyers before any of your information about your practice is disclosed to them. We will not divulge your name, the firms name or location until we have qualified each prospect and deem that they are a serious and capable candidate to buy your practice. This type of third party interaction will keep your identity confidential from your staff, competitors and most importantly your clients. 

Are there CPA practices for sale in my area?

We are happy to add your information to our database and keep you posted on any new accounting practices for sale in your area, as they become available. Just complete the buyer registration form at no cost or obligation.

I think I want to sell my accounting practice, but am not completely sure. Where do I start?

Whether you have made the decision to sell now or are still considering selling in the imminent future, it is always a good idea to obtain as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision when the time is right. Contact us today at (888) 726-6282 and we will be happy to answer any of your questions and can also give you guidance so that you can make the best decision possible for your practice when the time is right. 

How long does the process of selling a CPA practice take from start to finish?

This depends on a variety of factors, but typically we can close a deal in whatever timeframe is desired by the owner. We have sold practices in under 30 days but the typical transaction will be anywhere from 3 months to 12 months. Generally, the larger the practice, the more moving pieces and the longer it takes to sell. If your firm is grossing around $1,000,000 or more you can expect a 6 to 12 month process from start to finish.

How long will it take to obtain outside bank financing?

Typically, our lenders can yield a response within 3 to 5 business days after they have some preliminary information. A bank commitment may take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. 

How often do accounting practices sell?

 We would love to tell you that there will be 20+ firms for sale in your area every year, however this is simply not the case. The larger the market, the more often firms will come up for sale. If you are in a remote setting, the odds of a practice becoming available in your immediate area may only arise every few years. Even in a larger metropolitan area, firms may change hands only a handful of so times or so each year. 

What are the financing terms if I were to buy a CPA, accounting or tax practice?

We have formed numerous relationships with various outside lenders who are comfortable and familiar with financing of accounting and tax practices. These lenders understand the process and understand the transaction. Rates and terms may vary, but typically, the lenders are able to finance these acquisitions over a 10 year term, with rates hovering around 5%-6% with no prepayment penalty. They can also loan additional funds for working capital and equipment if needed. In order to qualify for these loans, the buyer will need at least a 10% cash injection, have a solid credit history and have experience in public accounting. Lenders will look at other factors as well, but the biggest qualifiers are mentioned above.

Who pays your fee?

We have an agreement with the seller. There are no fees to the buyer should they purchase a practice through Naab Consulting. 

How long with the seller assist in the transition period?

Every practice is different and every owner and situation is different. Generally, the smaller the practice, the shorter the transition period. Practices ranging from $250,000 or less will typically be in the 30-90 day range. Larger practices ($1,000,000+) may be up to a year. 

Is equipment included in the sale?

This really depends on the deal. Sometimes equipment is included in the sales price, sometimes it will be an additional item. We do have lenders that can include additional money for the equipment if needed for the buyer. 

Why do people sell their accounting firm?

Accountants and CPAs are looking to sell their business for a variety of reasons. Retirement is the most popular reason but there are a few more you might not be aware of, such as:

  • Other business interest
  • Health concerns
  • Relocation
  • Burnt out
If I am looking to buy an accounting practice, will a down payment be required?

 Yes.

If you are looking at putting cash down, the seller will require a down payment at closing. This helps the seller know that you are committed to this purchase. We trust you can appreciate this from the sellers perspective.

If you are looking at outside bank financing, most lenders will require at least a 10%-20% cash injection depending on the size of the loan, cash flow of the practice, buyer's credit history and a variety of other factors. Most lenders will also loan money for additional working capital. There are both conventiaonl and SBA lenders. A vast majority of our recent deals have been SBA loans.

What is the average profit margin for an accounting practice?

Each practice is different and will yield a different net income, but that said, most practices should have a profit margin of at least 40%. The higher the profit margin, the higher buyer activity a seller can expect to achieve when trying to sell their practice. This is a key component buyers will review when looking at different practices. 

Does Naab Consulting provide assistance in financing accounting practice sales?

Yes, we do! When you are purchasing an accounting firm, take advantage of lenders we use throughout the U.S. who can lend up to 100% of the purchase price. This means that a buyer can purchase a CPA practice using the business’ cash flow.

What are the standard market conditions for CPA and accounting practices for sale in my area?

Currently, accounting practices for sale through Naab Consulting are based on a multiple of gross billings with a client retention clause. The client retention clause helps to ensure a fair deal for both the buyer and the seller. Current market conditions and our experience help to set the proper asking price and terms for selling your tax practice. Practices values vary across the country so please contact us directly to discuss your area.