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How to Gain an Edge in Practice Continuity and M&A Post-Tax Season

Once you get billings caught up and refresh yourselves after tax season, spend time looking at the health of your firm and its future. Dream strategically to consider what your ideal practice would be. 


Here are some powerful actions for near- and long-term benefit whether you want to be stronger or want to merge:


1) Go deep with top 50 clients. Top firms earn a significant percentage of fees from their top clients. Contact your top 50 to better understand their priorities and current attitudes and debrief with your team over the next 60 days.


2) Evaluate your compensation system. Motivated team members are better committed to the future. Incentives and rewards should be in place for all levels. Team members who are more entrepreneurial and feel rewarded for success are good for business, especially if you are considering a merger,


3) Analyze infrastructure. Make sure teams are optimized. Professionals who don’t have direct client service responsibilities (e.g., administrative, IT, HR, Marketing) should be empowered to lift certain responsibilities off of those who need to focus more on clients. Refresh job descriptions if needed. Explore whether you need to build infrastructure and/or align with another firm.


4) Bolster market intelligence. Gather intelligence about fees, compensation, terms to be partner, and deal trends in your market and geography from credible sources. The better the intelligence you have, the better you will be able to capitalize on opportunities whether they be from M&A or otherwise.


5) Calibrate metrics. Identify performance metrics most indicative of profitability, effectiveness, and efficiency. Quantify where you want metric results to be 1, 2, and 3 years out—and project how to get there. 


All firms can do better. Assessing your conditions and being in action mode will allow you to optimize practice continuity, whether through modifying things to stay independent or by joining forces through a merger.

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