Many people get into the CPA business because they’re good with numbers and like helping people. They also know being a certified public accountant is a career that can go the distance, i.e. it’s not ageist you can be practising right up to your retirement. Plus these businesses usually turn a profit and provide the owner with a lump sum when sold.
Your strategy may be to either rise through the ranks of a CPA firm or start out on your own.
If you did start your own firm, and now it’s a profitable business in this article we look at how you’ll know the time has come to sell up and move on.
You’ve Made as Much Money as You Need
There are some common questions when selling a CPA firm about which you’ll have to think. Before you put yours on the market, you should ask yourself a few queries as well. Among them might be:
- Do I really have enough money to do this now?
- Might I regret this decision in a few months?
If you’re going to move on to a new career, that might be your impetus for selling the firm. Maybe you want to invest in a new business or get inspired with a new startup. You’ll have to look at what you plan to do and how much money you can get from the sale.
If what you can get from selling the CPA firm matches up with your next step, whatever that might be, then you’ll probably feel fine moving forward. However the timing may not be perfect, and you don’t think you’ll get enough for it right now, you can put off selling it for at least a couple of years. During this time work hard on growing its value to a future buyer.
A commonly used approach is to hire staff and bring on more customers to improve the outlook with future orders.
You’re Ready to Retire
You might also have put enough money away that you’re getting ready to retire. You can probably do so by:
- Selling the CPA firm
- Investing wisely
With the money from selling the firm, you might jump right into a diversified portfolio. You could put some of the money in CDs, some of it in mutual funds, and more in other investments.
You should see a significant cash infusion from selling the firm, and if you’re ready to ride off into the sunset, now might be the time. You’ll need to talk with your family and see what they think about the idea.
You’re Tired of the Work
Most jobs can get monotonous from time to time. However, there’s a difference between feeling a little bored at work occasionally and actively dreading getting up every morning.
Maybe you’re ready to try something new, either within the accounting profession or outside of it. If so, then selling the firm might make sense.
Ask yourself whether you’re still joyful about what you’re doing. If that answer is no, and you don’t find it rewarding, you’re not likely to regret selling.
You Get an Offer You Can’t Refuse
Maybe you have some partners who want to buy you out, or perhaps you got an offer out of the blue. If so, you might find yourself thinking hard about it if the number is right.
Perhaps the new investor wants to take over, or maybe they want to close you down, and it’s your location that interests them if you have a brick-and-mortar store. Sometimes a property is worth much more now than it was when you originally bought it.
They say that everyone has their price, and if someone comes up with yours, there’s no shame in saying yes. Be sure to think about it carefully if the job is still something you love.
You Might Not Like Your Coworkers Anymore
Perhaps you own the CPA firm, and you take an active interest in it. You go to work every day and help run it.
You may no longer like some of your employees as much anymore, though. If so, then you can hardly fire them without cause.
If you get an offer to sell, then that dislike might be enough for you to accept and move on with your life. You might take the money and retire, or invest in something else.
If the thought of no longer working with the same people appeals to you, there’s no harm in at least thinking it over.
Some people find being a CPA and owning or operating their own firm very rewarding. They might put in many years of dedicated service helping people and make a good living doing it. A time will inevitably come when you’ve had enough, though, and you’ll want to walk away on your own terms.