Making CPA Firm Merger Discussions More Productive

November 2007

In my experience, below are the major reasons more multi-step discussions do not result in a completed transaction.

  1. Lack of personal chemistry among the partners
  2. Incompatibility of professional practice philosophies
  3. Significantly different compensation models and/or profitability
  4. Inflexibility on key issues such as equity,  compensation or management

Much has been written about the first one, personal chemistry, as being the ultimate deal breaker.  I don’t disagree with that, yet I do find that it often takes two or more meetings to really determine if the chemistry is there.  Let’s face it… you have created and built a successful business.  That certainly would not have happened without a reasonably good personality that both clients, staff and referral sources would feel comfortable with.  Sometimes it is through discussing sensitive topics that you may discover the person who seemed so pleasant and flexible really is quite the opposite.

For this reason, I highly recommend delving into #‘s 2, 3,  and 4 above as soon as possible.

Robert Fligel

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