Selling your business and retiring or changing careers is a big decision and one that should not be undertaken lightly. However, if you have built up your CPA practice for several years and are getting ready to hang it up, now may be the best time to think about selling.
As of mid-2013, economic conditions are improving. Unemployment seems to be lower, and the housing market (as well as other leading economic indicators) is on the upswing. However, the long-term outlook is less certain. Government borrowing along with major demographic shifts will pose some economic challenges in the future and this may adversely affect your ability to sell your practice.
Today, we are still at or near record low interest rates. This is great for anyone trying to sell property or a business. Prospective buyers are being told that now is the time to get in, otherwise they will miss out on the best interest rates in history.
For your CPA practice, this means there are likely more qualified buyers than there will be a few years from now. Keep in mind that the lower the interest rates, the more buying power a person has. Therefore, under the current conditions, many more people could qualify for financing to purchase your practice.
While we cannot predict the future economic conditions, one thing we can be certain of; the United States has an aging population. Baby boomers are just beginning to enter their retirement and there will be a growing number of retirees in the coming decades. More retirees means there will be more folks selling their businesses so they can enjoy their golden years and this increased competition from other accountants that are ready to retire will put downward pressure on selling prices.
Bottom line: no one knows for sure what the future will bring but if you are thinking about getting out of your CPA practice, there may be no better time than the present.
Consult with a professional business broker to determine what steps you need to take to prepare your business for sale.