PracticeAccounting FirmsLLP diary: leap of faith

LLP diary: leap of faith

I recall a conversation with someone who had just completed a parachute jump for charity. They mentioned the initial anxiety of having said ‘yes’, the almost overwhelming euphoria (or was it panic?) as they waited for the parachute to open, then the magical feeling of serenely carving a path through a big blue sky.

This feeling continues until, nearing Mother Earth’s embrace, everything
seems to speed up until you land with a mild bump and the experience becomes
history. With three working weeks left, in project terms we are now experiencing
that ground rush before final landing, and wondering when is the best time to
open our eyes.

As we get ever closer to Independence Day, here are my free tips on the
conversion process:

  • Do your feasibility study and identify the best conversion date for you.
    Work back from that date and be totally realistic in setting the timetable.
  • Choose your legal advisers carefully. Recent experience is key and being
    able to call on the wealth of experience of someone like (in our case) Richard
    Linsell of Mayer Brown Rowe and Maw was a real bonus (on a fixed-fee basis too).
  • Select your project manager and the rest of the team very carefully. Aside
    from the bigger issues, such as the buy-in of the partners in the first place,
    there is a huge amount of detail to plan through. We found that a steering group
    of five was the perfect number to distribute the burden and keep driving it
    forward. The devil is indeed in the detail.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. Having briefed everyone on why and
    how, keep them informed of progress and ask them for feedback.

With the benefit of 20:20 hindsight, I think the only major thing that we
would have done differently is to have separated the conversion date from the
end of the financial year. That heady mix of budgets, billing and business
transfer has made me a very tired boy.

And, of course, if you want reasonably priced advice and project assistance,
you know my number.

Mike Tovey is managing partner of Chantrey Vellacott DFK

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