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Critical Questions to Determine M&A Viability

Success in CPA firm M&A requires the alignment of many factors—not the least of which is timing.

Setting the stage to capitalize on opportunity comes from isolating the areas of common ground of the parties involved. They will need to answer questions in each of these critical areas: Consensus, Process, Vision, Infrastructure and Finances.

Here are key questions our experience tells us have importance to all sides:


1. Why would we do it?

2. What would be the right match?

3. What are the lines in sand?

4. What is the zone of the value?

5. Where would we compromise?


1. Who should be on the deal team?

2. What roles do the team members play?

3. What is the timeframe?

4. How will communication flow?

5. What is the method for feedback internally and externally?


1. What results are we looking for and by when?

2. What are the roadblocks to achievement?

3. What accountability will be in place?

4. What result would require modification?


1. What are the consequences going to be for the admin group?

2. What kind of technology transition is necessary?

3. Will onboarding be difficult?


1. What are the expectations?

2. When will ROI be realized?

3. How large of an investment?

Getting aligned around these issues early will not only help focus on the right M&A targets, it will make negotiations simpler and more productive since you'll know what you want ahead of time. Take time to answer questions and build alignment and the rewards will pay off.

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