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Tips for winding down Sole Practice

Any tips or webinars for winding down your firm?

Didn't find your answer?

I'm winding down over the next 3 or 4 years and do not just want to sell now for 1x recurring fees.

Now work from home with only a part-time staff member.

Any tips?

Replies (9)

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By memyself-eye
20th Apr 2021 11:20

Give your clients plenty of warning., find an accountant similar to yourself in size/outlook to take them on (even if you don't 'sell' them

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By lionofludesch
20th Apr 2021 11:42

If you do payroll, hand it over on 6th April.

Got any clients who bring you stuff in January ? Expect to get an enquiry from their new accountant around January.

Don't forget to give notice to your software providers. Download pdfs.

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
20th Apr 2021 11:46

Out of interest, why wouldn't you "sell" them at some point? If 1x years fees are £x isn't that worth having?

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Replying to Arthur Putey:
By memyself-eye
20th Apr 2021 16:46

I didn't sell my (now ex) clients - such a grubby business selling intangibles....

used windows three point one Toshiba computer with trackball... anyone?

will throw in free Star A3 printer with spare ribbon!

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Replying to memyself-eye:
By Hugo Fair
20th Apr 2021 17:26

Nah ... has to be Windows 3.11 or nothing!

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Replying to Arthur Putey:
By Calculatorboy
20th Apr 2021 22:07

Not really worth hassle , you sell now get only 100% grf , plenty of input needed to carry over and staggered payments maybe over 18 months maybe

Remember client base ages with you , dont take new ones on , assume clients all die on s/l basis over next 4 years

You now get 100% + 75% + 50% × 25%, ie 250% grf instead of 100%

OK you have to work but at decreasing rate , but so little stress as it winds down to zero

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20th Apr 2021 11:59

1.Helping clients find good replacements for me was key. (Right fit)

2. Schedule with clients when each would be well placed to transfer, natural points re post accounts completion etc for each..

3. Stagger clients leaving so no scheduling blockages.

4. Consider with larger clients if you want to stay on in house. I am now Company Secretary and on payroll with one of my previous clients, circa 12 hours a quarter on books/vat, circa 40 hours re year end file, pack then goes to A N other firm, and circa 6 hours re annual payroll/pensions, plus some slightly more interesting adhoc work, whilst HMRC lifts 41% they do lstill et me keep 59% and if I carry on once I leave my main job that could drop to 21% once retired, it may be a helpful >£5k pa pension supplement whilst being undemanding and readily managed to fit with longer holidays etc in retirement(The great thing about offloading clients is longer holidays ought to be simpler re logistics)

5. Do not underestimate how much space will be needed keeping client files for x years, I have mine currently stowed in spare shelves at work, but may need to actually pay to store. (ignore if you are paperless, I was not)

6. Work out access to software for a period post finishing, I was lucky as I got my employer to take a Taxcalc subscription to do their returns , plus they always had Brightpay, but sure as fate you will need to access something so rolling on at least read access is important .

7. Roll on insurance re PII, I did not bother, I buried my limited, but I had few clients/limited risk exposure, if things might come back to bite do consider your exposure.

8. Be honest with the staff member (I did not have one), however staff do become aware of things happening so generally agreeing a timeline re their later termination/rewards etc can be helpful. (But can backfire if they walk too early)

Hone you hobby skills for all the extra spare time you will have.

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Replying to DJKL:
By zebaa
20th Apr 2021 14:27

Re Point 6. This is a very good reason to go paperless, or get as close to paperless as possible. You can purchase a scanner and get all the prior years on disk or cloud. Backup to cloud if you go disk.
Re point 8. A bit of extra payment goes a long way. You can make this a conditional lump sum if they stay until the end ( or until you want, if earlier ).

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Replying to zebaa:
By Calculatorboy
20th Apr 2021 22:00

Fujitsu scansnap every time particularly a used s500 , bulletproof and cheap

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