Accountancy & Audit Practices for Sale and Financial Recruitment. Update 7th March 2024
in Articles, Business Sellers and Buyers

Accountancy & Audit Practices for Sale and Financial Recruitment. Update 7th March 2024

Update from Ten Percent Financial – Accountancy & Audit Practices for Sale and Financial Recruitment. Update 7th March 2024.

Ref 100352 Audit Firm for Sale – London – £1.28 Million Turnover

Highly profitable audit firm based in central London looking for a sale due to forthcoming retirement of owner. £1.28 million turnover from established clients, team of 10 staff including experienced & qualified auditors. Limited company structure, share sale sought. Offers invited.
To express an interest in this firm, please reply to this email, give us a ring, or register as a buyer on our website & quote the reference number Ref 100352.

Overseas Investor Looking to Invest Into UK Accountancy Firm – Ref 500181

We have a very well regarded accountancy business (with a set of strong philanthropic principles) based in Australia and looking to buy into an accountancy practice in the UK. Their ideal target would be a practice with 3-5 accountants plus support staff, and/or a turnover of between £350k and £1.5 million. They will consider smaller companies as well. They will be looking to purchase a 51% stake in a company, and expect the owners to remain involved for the foreseeable future. The current owners will get the benefit of the future expansion as the buyers put extensive resources and business through the company and dramatically grow.

Their target is to be a top 30 accounting practice within 5 years with further acquistions planned in Europe and the USA. The investor is a top 100 accountancy practice, with over 16,000 clients and c100 employees. Their most recent turnover was c£5 million. The company have a strong ethos in value-based work. They are linked to a charitable foundation set up by their founders and would seek to make the same commitments in the UK. This is the ideal opportunity for anyone who wants to grow their business, but lacks the finances to push forward , as well as benefit from the work a company like this can introduce. They are looking for the right fit – same principles and ethos required. Interested? Please contact us in confidence via our website or by replying to this email.

Negotiating a successful deal – top tips

We, as business brokers, deal with a good number of negotiations between buyers and sellers every week. Quite often our involvement can be fairly minimal, because most sellers seem to like handling their own negotiations. In some cases this goes well, but in other cases it doesn’t go quite so well, because unfortunately when it comes to negotiating deals that involve your own business, it can be very hard to detach emotion from any proposals. Similarly, buyers quite like to deal with sellers themselves, and again sometimes this is very successful and can create a good rapport between the parties, but other times it can a total nightmare and lead to calamitous results.

This is our advice on making sure you negotiate successfully with other parties in a deal to purchase a business.

Be polite
At all times you need to be extremely polite and cordial with the other party. We quite often get feedback from the other side during negotiations or a deal to purchase or sell a business, where the party feeds back that they’ve never been so insulted by the person they are trying to negotiate with, or they feel that the other person is incredibly rude. A recent example of this was a buyer in North London who spent a lot of the time negotiating telling the seller how lucky they were that he had even contemplated buying their business, and that he didn’t actually need to buy their business and could be off doing other things. Needless to say, the seller told him to go off and do other things, in no uncertain terms, and that was the end of the deal. You should make sure that you treat the other party as you would expect to be treated yourself if you were selling your own business. You are not Gordon Gekko, this is not some sort of highbrow business deal, but rather a deal to purchase what is probably going to be a very small business of SME size. If you were negotiating to purchase a PLC and had a team of accountants and lawyers sat behind you, then you could probably punch the desk occasionally and be rude and aggressive to the other parties. However, this simply does not wash when it comes to small business, and most other parties will simply walk away rather than deal with you.

Do not be confrontational
Trying to push or bully the other party into agreeing something simply does not work in the vast majority of cases. If you issue unreasonable demands and back these up by informing the other party that their business is not worth anything and that they should be giving it to you, but you’ll be nice to them and give them a little bit of money, then you need to expect that in most cases a seller would simply tell you to go away. Similarly for sellers, if a buyer requests certain information and you contact them back again to tell them that you’ve never been asked that before and you don’t see why you should provide it and you have no intention of providing it, then again you can anticipate that in most cases a buyer will simply tell you to clear off and move on to other targets. You need to try and engineer a conducive working relationship where both sides can communicate with each other, without antagonising the other party. We often find that this leads to the largest number of breakdowns in negotiations, where one party is simply not able to speak to the other party without coming across as confrontational and argumentative.

If a party asks you for information, then provide it and do it quickly
The provision of information is key to a successful deal, and the provision of information quickly is similarly key. Prevaricating over information requested for long periods of time simply leads to the other party walking away and giving up. This is not conducive to the successful disposal of your business.

Make sure any background information on you is favourable
We have had a number of deals that have not gone through because at some point in negotiations someone has done a background check on the other party and discovered that they have serious issues that have not been mentioned before. The key here is to make sure that the other party knows exactly who you are, everything about you including any potential skeletons that might leap out of the cupboard, and to deal with them head on. Do not expect the other party not to do any background research and consider that it’s highly possible they are going to find out most things at some point in proceedings.

Negotiate in good faith
Do not haggle for the sake of it, consider what your bottom line is and stick to it, and constantly think what you are trying to get out of the deal when considering any other offers. Do not simply try to beat the other person down as far as they possibly can, because chances are the deal will not happen and everyone will walk away.

Take a bit of time before responding to any offers or requestions for information
I am as guilty as anyone else at this, but if someone sends me what I perceive to be an antagonistic email, I sometimes fire one straight back without taking the time to think about it, and then later regret my response. If you take a little bit of time between receiving an offer or communication from the other side and then responding, you’ll quite often find that your response will be more reasoned and measured than it would have been if you had fired something off immediately.

Always think carefully about your use of language and how inflammatory it could be. For example, we have recently had an offer to purchase a practice through from a buyer who informed the seller, a senior partner of a law firm with 40 years PQE, that they did not trust his balance sheet and had an instinct that it was not a true reflection of the current position. This statement was made without any evidence at all, and really upset the seller to the extent that he very nearly pulled straight out of the deal. I could see what the buyer was trying to do by making this comment – they were indicating to the seller their thoughts that something was not quite right, and explaining why they had made the decision they had, but they had not really thought through the implications of what they had put, which was quite rude regardless of how you look at it. Take some time to think about your language and it could have future rewards.

Getting through a negotiation to purchase to a business is incredibly complex, and very often requires parties to bend over backwards to accommodate the other person. A deal very often only occurs where both parties are prepared to be extremely flexible for the other party, and deals rarely occur where each party is taking pot shots at the other side in what can be a competition to see who can insult the other person the most.

Whilst a good number of our clients and parties to deals like to undertake negotiations themselves, we strongly advise anybody to put any negotiations through us as the broker. We are an impartial third party and we regularly handle negotiations of businesses of all shapes and sizes. We are able to separate out the issues that need addressing and to take any of the wording out that may upset the other side.

Jonathan Fagan Business Brokers are specialist law firm and accountancy practice sale advisers, providing full assistance with the sale and disposal of law and accountancy firms. We also undertake valuations and additional support services at cost. For details of our company and services, please visit

Selection of current buyers registered with us

▪ Australian firm looking to invest into the UK and acquire accountancy practices.
▪ ACA Accountant looking to establish a partnership with a former colleague and able to spend c£800k to £1.5 million on GRF.
▪ Accountant looking to purchase a practice up to £250k in value – Kent and surrounding areas ideal.
▪ Industry accountants looking to purchase their own firm.
▪ Accountant looking to purchase firms in the Dorset area. Poole ideally. £70k-£200k available.
▪ Accountancy firm looking to acquire a small accounting practice with a good block of recurring fees, ideally with at least 50% limited company clients. £100-250k range.
▪ Accountants looking to purchase payroll fees – spending up to £50k. Any location.
▪ New Zealand based accountancy business interested in buying blocks of fees in the UK. 100% online so geographic location is not relevant. ideally looking for blocks with a high proportion of Xero clients
▪ Accountant looking to set up own practice in South Wales and wanting to acquire client lists.
▪ Accountant looking to purchase client blocks of up to £500k in value.
▪ Accountancy firm looking to buy small accountancy practices in the North West – payroll only clients and businesses looked at.
▪ Accountancy firm looking to acquire accountancy firms – 9 in total – £100-£500k per practice, Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man plus anywhere in the UK. Firm expanding – £3 million turnover.
▪ North London accountancy and tax firm looking to acquire a local firm with fees up to c£370k. Will also consider a reverse buy-out.
▪ Kent based accountant looking to purchase a firm up to £300k. ACCA qualified.
▪ Accountant looking for firms to buy in East and North London.
▪ Bookkeeping company with £500k turnover looking for acquisitions to expand.
▪ Accountancy practice with offices in North Wales and Camarthenshire. Looking to acquire new Welsh accountancy firms.
▪ India based. Looking to acquire UK accountancy practice
▪ Looking to merge local South Wales firms with their practice. £1 million turnover firm in Cardiff.
▪ Looking to purchase a Kent firm.
▪ Looking to buy a Greater London firm.

If you would like a discussion about selling your accountancy practice, please drop us a line or contact us.

List your firm or fee block for sale – click here

Thinking of Selling Your Firm or Fee Block?

Now is an extremely good time to consider the sale of your firm. We get at least 15 enquiries per accountancy, tax & audit practice listing and it is rare for a firm to remain for sale longer than a few weeks.

We offer three levels of service (Bronze, Gold and Platinum). You can list your firm for sale or fee blocks and we assist with valuations, exit strategies, future proof planning, negotiations, due diligence, heads of terms & BPA/SPA drafting. We will usually have an extensive list of interested buyers for you to consider within 48 hours (we have a database of over 300 accountancy firms and accountants looking to purchase).

We do not charge sale fees and neither do we tie you in to using us. Our company has over 20 years’ experience in buying/selling/merging law firms and accountancy practices. We also provide retirement advice and valuation services, as well as sourcing funding for purchases.

Please visit Jonathan Fagan Law & Accountancy Firm Business Brokers for further details –