Keys for CPA’s, Financial Planners, and Attorneys to Know When Providing Consulting Concerning Business Succession or Exit

Keys for CPA’s, Financial Planners, and Attorneys to Know When Providing Consulting Concerning Business Succession or Exit

Your clients are starting to think about business succession and even possible business exit.  (Or perhaps, they should be.)  But, how do you, as an accountant, CPA, financial planner or attorney provide assistance most effectively to produce higher valuations and when important, smooth family and management transitions?

7 tips are provided below.


  • “You Should Not Sell….” is a frequent first response of accountants and CPA’s when a client indicates they are thinking of selling. A better response is to ask why they are thinking about selling and then really listening. Then help them develop a plan to meet their goals.


  • Business valuation for a sale is not like valuations for other purposes. It is much more about potential sales price and recent profitability.


  • Potential is nice, it motivates buyers, but 95% of the time it does NOT increase price. If your client’s business has untapped potential they want to be paid for – help them obtain the potential now.


  • Negotiating a sale is not like presenting testimony. Recognize and work with emotions.  This is much more effective way to move prices upward than a fully rational discussion of cap rates.


  • Help your client understand who their best buyer will be and what buyers want. This is profits, people, and systems. Help them develop them.


  • If the buyer is a child or manager have them start conversations early. Family transactions often take five years to negotiate and five years to finance.  These can be hard conversations but encourage your client to start today.


  • If a market sale is in order help them hire a broker. The broker will create an auction environment and negotiate with multiple prospects while your client continues improving the business and profits right through closing.

Help your clients start early.  It is never too early to start and be ready for both planned and unplanned exits.

Harvest Can Help – we provide you and your clients fast and accurate business valuations, definitions of “best buyers” and of course Outstanding Business Brokerage services.

 Click to View our webinar (20 minutes) given for the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts and download 30+ slides.

Clients choose Harvest Business Advisors for our accurate business valuations and our consistent ability to deliver the highest price in the smoothest sale transaction possible. Harvest provides business brokerage, business valuation, and business succession planning services. We have extensive experience in the information technology and professional services, manufacturing, distribution, and contracting fields. We maintain offices in Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. Connect with us at or 443.334.8000 to discuss selling your business, ordering a business valuation or buying a business.