Looking for partner for my 50,000 GRF practice

Partner buy-in or sale of block of fees?

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I've been running by own practice for 3 years, and it's grown to about 110 clients, mostly micro entity annual compliance, mostly low touch, low fee clients, average of c£500 annual fee and a total of £50,000 GRF. I'm currently signing up a few new clients a month through word of mouth/ exisiting brand, however, I could start advertising again and grow the practice further if I choose to. I only set out to achieve a part-time role, but this has grown a little bigger than I can currently manage alone. I'm really looking for someone similar to myself but who perhaps has found growing their own client base tricky, hence wants to buy into an established practice. I tried to sell as a block of fees through a broker, but after being let down by one person I'm not sure I want to pursue this any further, as it's a big investment of time. Could anyone recommend how I find a partner, or perhaps someone on here is interested? I'd be looking for them to invest between £15-£25k and I'd be looking to share up to 50% of my existing portfolio. It would probably be a 2 day a week role for someone. I work fully remotely, so could be based anywhere in the UK. 

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By FactChecker
02nd Feb 2024 14:24

If you hive off your "existing portfolio" then you're likely to create a wasting asset, especially given the type of microentity clients (who aren't known for all staying the distance).
So, an investment of £25k in order to get up to 50% of revenues (currently £50k pa) generated from that wasting asset AND where the investor has to do all the work to garner those revenues ... is not the most attractive offer I've seen!
Sounds like you'd be better off employing someone?

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
02nd Feb 2024 14:41

Micro entity compliance... so your 110 clients include limited companies?

Are you counting a company and its director as two clients or one?

For me, it's not so much the £500 annual fee that matters; it's what you agree to do for that £500. How many hours a year do you input to arrive at a £50k GRF?

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
02nd Feb 2024 15:16

I'm surprised that an ACA with 20 years experience is only dealing with micro entities with such low average fees. I would have thought that someone with that level of knowledge and experience would command higher fees and deal with larger clients that required that knowledge and experience

Since you're not doing that, this claim actually works against you. My immediate feeling is that you are overstating your experience and this is about getting someone to pay you for dealing with a lot of low profit clients. Are you able to explain why, given your claimed experience, you have only pursued such small clients?

As an aside, I say claimed because you have no other history on here. Getting involved with some technical questions in the forum, to demonstrate you are knowledgeable, would go a long way to fixing that.

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By Truthsayer
02nd Feb 2024 16:29

It is perfectly normal for sole practitioners to rely on large numbers of small clients. £500 is not a low fee for most microbusinesses, whose accountancy fee may well be in the £250-£400 range. I have only a small number of clients with fees in four figures, and only one client in five figures.

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By MicroEntityAccountant
02nd Feb 2024 16:58

Sorry this confuses you, Stepurhan, but it shows that maybe you don't have much experience yourself. I have worked on the whole range, right up to large global businesses, but it's micro companies which I find more profitable as they take incredibly little time.

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Replying to MicroEntityAccountant:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
09th Feb 2024 11:28

I said surprised, not confused. I do have a lot of practice experience, and an average fee of £500 is surprisingly low. Indeed, at some firms I have worked at the base fee for dealing with a company (lowest for taking on the work at all) was above that. Also in my experience micro entity clients are often the least profitable, because they are often new businesses requiring more guidance.

But I accept that, whilst I consider it unlikely, it is possible you have managed to find 110 clients that are genuinely profitable at that low fee level. My more relevant point is that you have no other activity here, so your claim of being highly experienced and knowledgeable is based solely on you claiming it to be so. This is why I said it worked against you, because, as I already said, you would expect someone with that experience to be able to charge more. If you were to demonstrate that knowledge here then the rest of your claims regarding the business would become more credible as a result.

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By Tax is always taxing
02nd Feb 2024 17:00

I would suggest if its become to much for you that you should downsize or increase your fees. Put your fees up 50% you will lose some clients, thus freeing up time, but you will probably still earn the £50k and be back to part time.
I can't see it as an attractive prospect for an outsider coming in, unless they don't value their time.

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By Taxguru
02nd Feb 2024 18:00

Let's connect, I'll have a proposal for you.

MicroEntityAccountant wrote:

I've been running by own practice for 3 years, and it's grown to about 110 clients, mostly micro entity annual compliance, mostly low touch, low fee clients, average of c£500 annual fee and a total of £50,000 GRF. I'm currently signing up a few new clients a month through word of mouth/ exisiting brand, however, I could start advertising again and grow the practice further if I choose to. I only set out to achieve a part-time role, but this has grown a little bigger than I can currently manage alone. I'm really looking for someone similar to myself but who perhaps has found growing their own client base tricky, hence wants to buy into an established practice. I'm ACA qualified with 20 years experience. I tried to sell as a block of fees through a broker, but after being let down by one person I'm not sure I want to pursue this any further, as it's a big investment of time. Could anyone recommend how I find a partner, or perhaps someone on here is interested? I'd be looking for them to invest between £15-£25k and I'd be looking to share up to 50% of my existing portfolio. It would probably be a 2 day a week role for someone. I work fully remotely, so could be based anywhere in the UK. 

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Replying to Taxguru:
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By FactChecker
02nd Feb 2024 18:34

Any connection to the Giggling Guru (aka Maharishi Mahesh Yogi)?

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By Taxguru
02nd Feb 2024 18:52

Never heard of him!

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Replying to Taxguru:
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By FactChecker
02nd Feb 2024 19:42

Ah, my light-hearted gibe at the guru portion of your nom-de-plume has fallen on deaf (or more likely young) ears!
[Not that it matters but the Giggling Guru was John Lennon's sardonic name for the Maharishi (who had promised 'enlightenment' to the Beatles and their coterie before he was dumped as a bit of a charlatan) - so obviously no relation.]

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By brookie1988
06th Feb 2024 15:32

I started my own practice back end of last year just part time would be interested in a discussion with you. Would you still be interested in passing over some of your fees if the price was right?
What I would immediately say is the annual fees do seem low, I've recently added one client at an annual fee of £2k. I presume the bulk of these are owner managed with a tax return.
Thanks
Luke

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By SurreyTaxAdvice
09th Feb 2024 10:04

Message sent.

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