PracticeConsultingCan you afford to wait?

Can you afford to wait?

Summer's over and it's the time of year where the beginning of the budget cycle brings all sorts of unfulfilled resolutions out of the woodwork.

For 50-something partners of smaller practices, that means addressing the question of succession.

It’s not just the Royal Family that is struggling: some 45% of partners in small and medium-sized firms are over 45, according to consultants KATO. Their problem is the generation of accountants currently sitting below partner level are increasingly reluctant to take on the risks of partnership and commit to the capital contribution it demands. For this group the rewards of a generous salary and benefits are enough.

For partners with an eye on retirement there are options. Consolidators are looking to buy up practices. But they are more interested in offering equity than cash. Hardly an incentive for someone looking to cash in on 30 years spent building up a client base.

Then there are limited liability partnerships, which may incentivise the next generation. Here, however, the complicated accounting requirements have dissuaded most.

Perhaps the best option is the multi-disciplinary partnership approach.

If you can’t find prospective partners among your own accountants, why not turn to other local financial professionals?

This would require a massive shift in thinking. But for many ageing partners time is running out. They – you – cannot afford to wait forever.

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