The first few days, weeks, and months after buying an accounting business can worry many as new owners try to find their footing, and old employees worry about stability. Below, we offer some guidance on key steps new owners should take after purchasing an accounting business.
Create a Transition Plan
One of the first things a new owner of a business should do is create a transition plan. Ideally, this plan would be ready before the sale is finalized, but if not, it should be the first item on the new owner’s list.
What immediate changes do you want to make to the accounting business? What are the long-term changes in structure and business you want to see after a quarter or a year? A clear transition plan and vision will make communicating with old and new employees and clients easier.
Establish an Integration Team
A good place to start with a transition plan is to establish an integration team. An integration team should include a handful of people in leadership positions, some that you bring in and some from the old ownership.
You’ll present your vision for changes to the integration team, and it’ll be their job to achieve these objectives, collect data and reports on how things were done under the old regime, and offer guidance on future changes. Transitioning and integrating new ownership and leadership can be tricky, so having a team of dependable employees handle the day-to-day facilitation is wise.
Communicate with Employees
After purchasing an accounting business, one of the first key steps to take is to hold an organizational or all-hands meeting of everyone in the company. Employees will likely feel a little anxious about the change in ownership, so this meeting will allow you to introduce yourself, present your vision for the company, and answer questions.
The meeting is a good time to present your transition plan, ideas, and the integration team that will spearhead the forthcoming changes. The goal of the meeting should be to reduce anxiety and give employees the confidence to return to work and help the business continue to thrive.
Talk to Clients
After meeting with employees, it’s also critical to introduce yourself to customers. Competitors will likely see news of the sale and transition as an opportunity to stoke worries in your customer list and poach a few accounts.
New owners should get their faces and names out there with clients quickly to ease worries and share their vision for the company. Ideally, the previous owner would offer an introduction to clients to make the transition quickly, but the important thing is to start communication early.
If you’re interested in CPA firms for sale, our team of brokers at Private Practice Transitions can help find you a business that suits your needs and help make the transaction and transition as soon as possible. Check our accounting business listings online or contact our helpful staff today.