2020 Succession Survey Multi-Owner Report
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2020 Succession Survey Multi-Owner Report

Jun 01, 2022 · 10.2 MB Download

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The Succession Planning Survey, conducted every four years, offers a unique snapshot of the challenges that succession planning poses for CPA firms and insights into how firms are addressing those challenges

Nearly 75% of the multi-owner accounting firms that participated in the 2020 CPA Firm Succession Planning Survey expect to face succession planning challenges in the next 10 years. Of those firms, more than half (55%) indicated that they already are facing those challenges.

But while most firms see succession planning as a challenge they must deal with either now or in the near future, more than half of firms (57%) do not have a written and approved succession plan in place. The problem is most severe among firms with less than $8 million in net annual revenue (NAR).

Those are among the key findings found among the survey answers submitted by the 226 multi-owner firms that took part in the Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) CPA Firm Succession Planning Survey. This survey, conducted every four years, offers a unique snapshot of the state of succession planning in CPA firms, along with insights into how firms are addressing succession challenges.

This report focuses on accounting firms with more than one owner. A separate report is available for CPA firms with only one owner.

Other key findings in the multi-owner firm report include:

  • Almost one-half (46%) of multi-owner firms said they had been engaged in merger discussions during the previous 24 months or were planning to seek merger and/or acquisition opportunities in the next two years. A huge percentage (82%) firms with $15 million or more in NAR reported currently being involved in merger discussions.

  • More than one-third (40%) of firms had not addressed client transition and 70% had not addressed referral source transition. Among those that did have client transition policies, the most popular choice was for a partner to begin transferring clients to owners or managers when they were two to three years from retirement.

  • Nearly eight in 10 firms (79%) were projecting overall growth over the next three years. Most firms (75%) expected growth of between 5% and 10% per year.

  • Almost 90% of firms did not anticipate the COVID-19 pandemic to change the retirement horizons of senior partners. For about half (49%) of firms, their interest in mergers was also unchanged.

Download the PCPS CPA Firm Succession Planning Survey Multi-owner full report

File name: pcps-succession-planning-survey.pdf

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