Increase CPA Firm Profitability with Streamlined M&A

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are commonly part of a CPA firm’s growth strategies to increase revenue quickly. However, the success of these endeavors relies on effective processes. This article will explore the challenges CPA firms face during the M&A process and explain the significance of optimizing these operations to save time and money. We will also provide practical steps and a case study to review how CPA firms can create efficiencies in their transition period and improve new client and employee onboarding for success.

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Challenges in the M&A Process
CPA firms encounter numerous challenges when managing M&As. Some of these challenges include:

  • Standard Operational Procedure Clashes: When two firms come together, their distinct operating standards may clash, leading to communication breakdowns and a lack of cohesive client service.
  • Costly Delays: The timeframe from when the discussion begins to the closing of the transaction is often quick, leaving those who coordinate marketing, communication, and onboarding of new clients and employees fumbling to meet deadlines. 
  • Inefficiencies: Disparate systems and software can cause confusion and inefficiency during migration.
  • Talent retention: Retaining key talent during this transition can be difficult, as employees may experience uncertainty and fear of change.

Analyzing situations where M&As have gone awry is vital to understanding the potential risks. In some cases, poor integration planning and execution have resulted in minimized profit potential, client dissatisfaction, and loss of talent. These examples serve as cautionary tales and reinforce the importance of streamlining the process.

Unify the M&A Migration Team

Unify the M&A Migration Team

By implementing efficient processes and having a collective plan among all staff responsible for carrying out the migration, CPA firms can navigate cohesively through the M&A process. These advantages include:

  • Improved new client onboarding experience
  • Reduced costs and awkward pain points
  • Make better-informed decisions
  • Retain talent and client accounts
  • Improved collaboration between migration team members
  • Greater potential for cross-selling new services to acquired clients

By adopting efficient practices, CPA firms can optimize the benefits and synergies that emerge from mergers and acquisitions, ultimately enhancing their success. Here are some practical steps CPA firms can take to improve the M&A process:

  1. Leverage Technology Solutions

    Leveraging technology solutions and automation is a critical step to streamlining the M&A process. Comprehensive software dedicated to financial due diligence, such as Dealroom.net, PracticeERP, and Ansarada, can simplify due diligence, data analysis, and integration of financial systems. Automation reduces manual data entry and errors, saves time, improves accuracy, and increases speed.

  2. Establish Clear Communication Channels and Designated Migration Leaders

    Identifying designated leaders and establishing clear communication channels is vital throughout the process. When all parties involved have an understanding of goals, responsibilities, and timelines, it becomes easier to coordinate efforts and ensure everyone is working towards the same objective.

  3. Set SMART Goals And Document Processes

    Before the M&A agreement is finalized, document all tasks that need to be completed as part of the transition and set achievable timelines for each task. With enough practice this dynamic list will create the foundation of your firm’s custom M&A checklist to be used as a future standard for other M&As.

EisnerAmper Case Study

EisnerAmper Case Study

Case studies provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of streamlining. CPA firms implementing streamlined processes have experienced improved efficiency, reduced costs, and enhanced client satisfaction.

In 2023, EisnerAmper LLP, the 15th-largest accounting and consulting firm in the US, acquired Berdon LLP, a top 25 CPA firm with offices in New York and New Jersey. The acquisition was a strategic move for EisnerAmper to expand its presence in the Northeast and offer its clients a wider range of services.


Source: EisnerAmper

Berdon was a well-respected firm known for providing its clients with high-quality accounting, audit, tax, and consulting services. The firm focused on the financial services, technology, and healthcare industries.

EisnerAmper was attracted to Berdon for its strong team of professionals, its client base, and its geographic footprint. The acquisition allowed EisnerAmper to expand its presence in the Northeast and offer its clients a more comprehensive range of services, including specialized consulting services in mergers and acquisitions, risk management, and human resources.

The acquisition was also beneficial for Berdon’s clients. They gained access to EisnerAmper’s global network of resources and expertise. EisnerAmper also invested in Berdon’s technology and infrastructure, allowing the firm to continue to provide its clients with the highest quality services.

Benefits of CPA Firm M&A

Benefits of CPA Firm M&A

There are several potential benefits to CPA firm M&A, including:

  • Expanded service offerings: M&A can allow CPA firms to expand their service offerings and provide clients with a broader range of services. For example, a small CPA firm specializing in tax preparation could merge with a more prominent firm offering assurance and valuation services, allowing the small firm to offer its clients a more comprehensive suite of services.
  • Increased market share: M&A can also help CPA firms to increase their market share and expand their geographic reach. For example, a mid-size CPA firm could acquire a smaller CPA firm located in a large metropolitan city that is out of state. This would allow the firm to expand its reach and serve clients in a new geographic area.
  • Access to new talent and resources: M&A can also give CPA firms access to new talent and resources. For example, a CPA firm struggling to find qualified staff could acquire a firm with a strong team of professionals. This would allow the firm to improve its staffing levels and provide its clients with access to more experienced professionals.
  • Improved efficiency and profitability: M&A can also help CPA firms improve their efficiency and profitability. For example, two small CPA firms could merge to create a more prominent firm with economies of scale, allowing the firm to reduce costs and improve profitability.
Strategies for Success

Strategies for Success

Efficiently managing mergers and acquisitions is vital for CPA firms to overcome challenges and achieve successful transitions. CPA firms can enhance their chances of success and long-term growth by optimizing operations and mitigating risks. A well-managed process ensures smooth integration, maximizes the advantages of the merger or acquisition, and fosters improved client relationships. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, CPA firms can effectively navigate the M&A process. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a consultation. Our agency is ready to assist you in facilitating a successful transition and a prosperous future. Together, we can elevate the success of your mergers and acquisitions endeavors.

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