As we work through the succession and retirement of senior partners in our firms, a lot of us are also reviewing and updating our internal documents and agreements. A key part of the update should be focused around how we bring new partners into the firm to replace the “old guys."
Every firm is working through the succession maze and dealing with the exit of key partners in the firm. It's the Baby Boomer bubble up close and personal, which I have written about and which every firm that I work with is dealing with.
There's no question that the most profitable firms (defined as high-per-partner income) in our profession have figured out that leverage and a well-managed pyramid are key ingredients. Why is it then that so many firms are struggling with just the opposite?
CPA firms are wrestling their way through partner retirements and the accompanying succession issues in numbers that the profession has never seen before. It's the baby boomer bubble, up close and personal.
There is constant reference by the news media about the aging of the Baby Boomers, but I, for one, did not know exactly what it meant. So, I "Googled" it. What I found is not good news for the accounting profession.
Tax season 2013 is over and the M&A frenzy will pick back up again where it left off. So, what's your practice worth? What can you expect whether you're a buyer or seller? One thing is for sure – baby boomers are selling at a rate the profession has never seen before.
Most firms are faced with the dilemma of keeping long-term managers who are major contributors to the firm, but for whatever reason, are not ready to be equity partners (or who perhaps never will have what it takes to be equity partners).
Almost every firm I work with has a succession issue in the near term. Baby boomers are retiring at an accelerating rate, and firms are coping (or not) with the transition issues surrounding those exits.
What do you think of when you hear the word "coach?" For most of us, it brings up thoughts of athletics and someone who has coached a team that we have been a part of or maybe one that we follow as a fan.
A constant topic of conversation is the age-old question of how to determine partner compensation. Every firm is a little bit different, but the issues surrounding how you split the pie are pretty consistent.
I continue to be amazed at the number of firms that have no partner agreements at all or haven't made revisions in many years. Remember, their primary purpose is to protect the firm and define the relationship between the firm and each partner.
Having completed five mergers while the managing partner of my firm, I learned many lessons along the way and have some of the scars to prove it. Regardless of whether you're the buyer or the seller, here are a few tips that will help you find and seal the right deal.