The CPA Firm Succession Planning 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 provides the results for CPA firms with only one owner, including solo practitioners, individual owners with no staff, and sole proprietors, single owners that employee staff. Highlights from the survey include:
A startling number of owners (44%) plan to retire soon, which points to a strong buyer’s market in the near term that could push down final sales prices.
Less than 10% of solo practitioners and sole proprietors have practice continuation agreements, a number that’s changed little from past surveys.
As an exit strategy, 35% of respondents planned to sell their practice to another firm while 37% planned to merge their firm with another practice and continue working.
Despite the COVID-19 disruptions, solo practitioners and sole proprietors generally don’t believe the pandemic’s impact will decrease the value of their practices or change their retirement or merger/sale horizon.
Most firms (64%) anticipated overall growth over the next three years. Owners’ expectations varied greatly, but 66% expect an average growth rate between 5% and 10% per year.