The short answer is that your firm should consider anything that strengthens and provides advantages not currently available in your firm. A merger may or may not be a solution but the potential benefits of a merger should be analyzed, and it needs to be done with an approach of an independent third-party mindset. In this increasingly competitive market, it is very important that all potential solutions be investigated with no predetermined bias. If the purpose of a merger is clearly defined, the responsibilities and expectations are definitively detailed and the advantages are properly communicated to both staff and clients, a merger is a potentially powerful solution.
A merger can provide the single largest client acquisition program possible. Think about the difficulty and time spent acquiring clients one at a time. Is that productive use of staff, time or resources? A merger can produce hundreds of potential clients immediately, especially if one of the purposes for merging is cross-selling opportunities.
There is no question a merger can also minimize the effects of a firm’s Achilles’ heel such as succession concerns, the near-term need for large expenditures for technology, replacing retiring or incompetent staff, or the need to outsource client work because current capacity (or ability) is not available. A merger can help you penetrate additional markets, niches and obtain more access to talent to increase your bench strength.
Visit the Merger section for information about all aspects of merging including identifying a merger candidate, due diligence, partner agreements, staff transition strategies, integration considerations and other key success components.
More information on mergers:
- Mergers & Acquisitions of CPA Firms: Understanding the Roadblocks To Successful Deals (Part 1) by Joel Sinkin and Terrence Putney, Journal of Accountancy, c2009
- Mergers Emerge as Dominant Trend by Joel Sinkin and Terrence Putney, Journal of Accountancy, c2013