Adamson Advisory

Partner Succession – It’s All About Client Transition and Retention

CPA firms are wrestling their way through partner retirements and the accompanying succession issues in numbers that the profession has never seen before. It’s the Baby Boomer Bubble, up close and personal. But the biggie and the focus of my latest article is the transition of client relationships.

If you buy into the critical importance of client transition and retention, then we should expect that most firms have developed both a pretty good transition process and some well defined requirements for the retiring partners. Unfortunately, more often than not, that is not the case. The 2012 Succession Survey conducted by PCPS and the Succession Institute reported that 78% of firms do not have client transition expectations with financial penalties for retiring partners, if they are not completed.

If you are one of those firms in the 78% bucket, my article will give you some ideas on how to do a better job with client transition. Please pull out your partner agreements, dust them off and see if they even deal with this critical issue at all.

As the Baby Boomers march toward retirement the likelihood of multiple partner payouts within your firm increases. A well executed client transition plan is the best protection for the firm and the best insurance a retiring partner has that they will receive those unfunded retirement payments down the road.

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