Home – New Forums New here? Share your story Purchasing an established business

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #990938
    Choppy77
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
    Up
    0
    ::

    I’m new to Flying Solo and was wondering if anyone’s able to help me with my situation – I’m a financial planner looking to purchase an established accounting/financial planning business but I’m a little concerned about how clients will react when they find there’s a non-accountant running the business, especially as a lot of the clients have been there for a long time and have mainly dealt with the vendor (accountant & planner).

    There is another established accountant in the business who’s the main contact for most clients now so there is a good relationship with clients there, but I still have some concerns around retaining all the revenue I’m purchasing.

    I’d welcome people’s thoughts on this.

    Thanks

    #1179228
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 2,566
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Choppy,

    Welcome aboard the forums!

    Personally as a customer I wouldn’t be concerned greatly about the business changing hands if my accountant will still be the same person.

    If a lot of people are losing their personal accountant in the change-over, then not much is staying the same for them and I’d expect some to leave (you might factor this into the price you pay for the biz).

    What I’d suggest to minimise losing clients is to work with the previous owner (well before the change-over) to let customers know what is happening and why, what the changes will be, and for the previous owner to give his/her full endorsement to you and any new staff. Go for honesty rather than keeping it quiet.

    Good luck!

    Dave

    #1179229
    MissSassy
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,255
    Up
    0
    ::

    It is going to all be about communication and managing peoples expectations. If you are smart you can alleviate any fears and hopefully continue a good relationship with the client base.

    Yes your revenue may change if clients drop off as Dave said you may need to factor a percentage into the sale price.

    #1179230
    Berrigan Motel
    Member
    • Total posts: 13
    Up
    0
    ::

    This is my fourth attempt to post a response, the site keeps crashing on me. Hopefully fourth time lucky.

    My first thought was no I wouldn’t stay as your customer because I overlooked the part where you said you’re an FP. I might stay but you’d need to convince me you (and the accountant) have the right qualifications and experience.

    You say that most customers deal directly with the vendor, so their loyalty and comfort probably sits with him/her. You’ll need a strong non-compete clause, not just for a geographical distance but also to prevent him/her from taking his clients with him and consulting over the internet (my tax accountant is in QLD, I’m in NSW). I think you will lose some customers. If the person they deal with is not there anymore, it’s a good time for them to shop around.

    #1179231
    Choppy77
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thanks for that. One thing I forgot to mention is that the vendor is ‘retiring’ but may stick around on a part-time, ad-hoc basis for a little while to help with the transition of clients. Not sure if this would alter your views.

    #1179232
    Anonymous
    Guest
    • Total posts: 11,464
    Up
    0
    ::
    Berrigan Motel, post: 209030 wrote:
    This is my fourth attempt to post a response, the site keeps crashing on me. Hopefully fourth time lucky.

    Sorry that you had that experience Berrigan Motel. :(

    Your post has been published now, so I hope the issue is resolved, but please give us a holler if you run into any more trouble.

    Cheers,
    Jayne

    #1179233
    OzLasers
    Member
    • Total posts: 6
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi,

    Welcome to the forum! Good to have you here.

    As for your questions, perhaps you could employ another accountant for some diversity. (No experience in this industry at all other than handing over my books at tax time :) )

    Good luck!

    #1179234
    Tony Manto
    Participant
    • Total posts: 581
    Up
    0
    ::

    Dealing with an Accountant or Financial planner is a very personal relationship, so based on that, you will definitely loose some clients.

    That’s not to say you should not purchase this business. If it was me, I would ensure that the original owner stayed on for an agreed timeframe. I get him to contact each client by phone and explain that he wishes to retire but will stick around for the transition. I would then arrange for a meeting with the client, him and yourself.

    You will still probably loose some clients, but you can minimise this with a good change over strategy.

    #1179235
    ThexArm
    Member
    • Total posts: 253
    Up
    0
    ::

    The question I have is “Why do you wanna purchase accountant’s book?” I think you are feeling uneasy because you are feeling you may not be able to service them as your skill set is different.

    I know a lot of accountants do provide financial planning services along with accounting services. I think customers might find it easy to have both done at one place.

    I would proceed with caution in this case unless if you can find a way to provide both services.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.