Finance and Accountancy Briefing

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The price is right –selling your practice


With many practitioners in the London and Home Counties area now approaching an age where retirement is a consideration, many questions are being raised. However the economic climate has postponed the sale of many practices (and of course businesses) due to several factors. The first of course being the need for continued income, as opposed to capital. The lack of returns on capital invested in the open market has caused many to re-consider their situation. Poor returns are of course also now being experienced on pension provision the end result is that many practitioners, whether sole practitioners or partners in a multi partner firm are re-considering their final retirement date. Baby boomers are endemic throughout the profession and careful consideration needs to be given when disposing of a valuable income asset such as the practice. The returns on the capital that will be enjoyed from the sale will certainly not produce returns in investment or compare with the amount of income being enjoyed by the practitioner. There is also the additional issue referred to as the ‘fear factor’ (for further information on this, please request the article ‘The Fear of Change’)

However, there are many practitioners now looking to retire. London has always been an interesting area. A City quite definitely divided into two parts, with the river Thames being a natural dividing line, the vast majority of practitioners working north of the river. Far fewer in the south until you get down to the M25 and beyond. Activity levels are naturally therefore much higher in North London. The area outside the M25 all the way around, has also proved a fertile ground for many practices. It is therefore natural that the main activity for the merger and acquisition of accountancy practices, whether they be sole practitioners or multi partner firms is therefore north of the river. In addition the area around the M25 has also proved to be quite productive of practices for sale and wanted.

To review the paper in-depth, please download it here.

Tags: Succession, Retirement, Acquisitions.

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