For the first time, put yourself first.

by Kev Ryan


For most practitioners their working life has been about caring for others.

Understandably as business owners they toil away to provide for their families.

Practitioners also build businesses that support their teams providing them with security of employment and income, often paying themselves last. They invest heavily in their professional team members at their own cost. As a consequence, this results in the advancement of the Accounting Industry as a whole, largely due to the fact that team members often move on to other firms or establish their own practices.

Practitioners honestly care about their clients and often additional time considered necessary is rarely recorded nor therefore invoiced. They give their personal time, experience and guidance to clients beyond professional advice including the roles of psychologist, family relationship counsellor, mentor and confidant. This time and care given freely often results in many clients becoming ‘friends’.

When it comes time to consider Succession Planning or Retirement Planning my advice to practitioners is to put themselves first for the first time!

Too often ageing practitioners look to complicate transactions because of an emotional attachment to clients and team. For any transaction to be successful these critical stakeholders need to be carefully considered, but not, in my belief, at the practitioners’ expense.

Selling your accounting business is likely to be your most important financial life event. You need to get it right and you need to put your interests first. You must decide what will be the best outcome for you and what does it need to look like for you to achieve your best results.

Clients’ needs will be accommodated if you find the right buyer. Your team will be offered employment on an equivalent basis to their current status if you get your terms right. Your practice will continue and clients and team will survive.

Put your interest first. It’s OK to do so.