I am confused.
I know data protection is vitally important and would never so much as give out a client's name, but I am selling my business and don't understand how I can do this without giving the buyer knowledge of the clients details so they can a) make an informed decision b) contact the clients and c) deal with any professional clearance if the clients decide to go elsewhere.
ICAEW are saying I have to contact each client separately for permission to give access to their information before the sale is agreed. If I do this, I think I will lose a lot of clients prior to the sale no matter how fabulous I tell them the new accountant is and will therefore lose a large part of the value of my business and put the sale at risk altogether.
Practice sales I have been aware of have always been produced as a fait accompli to the clients, hence they are more likely not to bother going elsewhere. I was just planning to do the same - write a nice letter making it sound positive introducing the new lady, then she gets in touch with them.
I cannot be available indefinitely to hand over to umpteen different accountants if the clients choose to go elsewhere as I am selling due to health reasons.
Does anyone have any experience of this?