Accounting firm market sees uptick in buyers
With smaller SMSF firms struggling with internal succession and the market for accounting firms strong at the moment, smaller firms may want to consider selling their firm externally, says an industry consultant.
Planet Consulting founder Rob Pillans said while internal succession continues to be a viable option for larger firms, due to the sheer numbers of professionals moving through the ranks, a lot of the smaller firms are finding it challenging to find anyone with an interest in taking over the business.
With the current market for accounting firms relatively strong, however, owners of smaller SMSF firms who are looking to retire may want to sell their business externally instead, said Mr Pillans.
“I’m being told by some of the accounting firm business brokers that there are definitely more people wanting to buy accounting firms than sell,” he said.
“So that’s an interesting dynamic and might mean that some people might be more encouraged in that sort of market to look at an external exit, because there’s a ready market.”
Mayflower director Sarah Penn said this might not last over the long-term, however, with a lot of Baby Boomers looking to retire over the next 10 years.
“Everyone’s been talking about generational change and Baby Boomers retiring for ages, but I think we might be actually starting to see it happen,” Ms Penn said.
While this is likely to still be 10 years away, she expects this will lead to an increase in the number of firms being sold.
“I think the combination of Baby Boomers retiring, changes [in the industry] and expectations will accelerate that change,” Ms Penn said.
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.