It is critical that firms leave appropriate time for a transition, which can take a few years. Most practitioners, however, are hesitant to merge with their ultimate successor too far in advance, as they prefer not to:

Identifying the time frame needed to implement a proper transition is challenging at best. However, this challenge is well worth the effort as it will result in a significantly better financial proposition for you.

Because of the issues raised above, a new approach to succession planning has evolved called the Two-Stage Deal. This approach enables the CPA with the near-term (1-5 years) goal of slowing down to gradually transition the client relationships to ensure better retention, to give the transitioning professional protection relating to death and disability, and to enable them to maintain both control and income without the accountability and liability associated with a merger.

More information on the Two-Stage Deal:

For additional alternative deal structures: