Two CPA firms decide to merge or a larger one acquires a small one. From this transaction a single firm is born, poised for growth and success. It’s as simple as 1 + 1 = 1. That’s the way the math should work in a CPA firm merger.
The reality is the path to a single firm is strewn with obstacles – and what once looked awfully good on paper can look just plain awful in practice.
It’s not enough that you got bigger – you must get better as well. Clients may welcome the news about the merger but they will also be wary about what it will mean specifically to them. Early missteps will be magnified.
Here are some recommendations to help ease the concerns of your clients and get you on the path to a single firm.
- Create a Quick Win: A quick win is a service or solution that can be easily deployed and is a value add for your clients. It demonstrates to your clients – early on – that new firm is making things better. Click here for an example of a quick win.
- Streamline Technology: It is almost impossible to achieve the goal of a single firm with multiple technology stacks. It’s likely that there is some overlap in some of the systems and it is equally likely there are many more one off systems and data silos. This is an area where it is difficult to play catch up. The longer you go on without integration the more difficult it becomes. Make streamlining and simplifying the technology footprint a priority.
- Share Knowledge: The new firm will likely have new people with valuable knowledge to share. This knowledge can and should become a firm asset. Find ways to make it happen.
A single firm is a great objective. These three steps are a great start.