Disruption and Opportunity in Accounting Firm Mergers and Acquisitions

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, where should you start? This session will dig into understanding and redefining a firm’s value. Private equity is the big buzz term, but it is the primary driver? Far from it. The CPA world is large, and private equity is a small segment that’s making a lot of noise. What makes a firm more valuable to a merger partner, acquirer, or internal succession team? Attend this session to understand the drivers that can make or break a transition, pick up tips, and if you are legacy focused be able to look inward to see if your succession will work.

In this session, you will learn how to:

  • Understand what really builds the enterprise value of a firm. 
  • Identify red flags of potential distress. 
  • Assess the mindset of any firm you are talking to. 
  • Measure if your succession plans are hopeful or realistic.

About Bob Lewis

President, The Visionary Group

Bob is one of Accounting Today's Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting. His focus is to build the Enterprise Value of CPA Firms using a process of mergers and acquisitions, succession planning, and refinement of a firm’s organic growth decisions. He has been exclusively supporting the CPA profession for 25 plus years and collaborates with firms of any size including a few of the largest firms in the country.

For firms looking to explore M&A, his team has a search process to identify tuck-ins or platform locations to build upon. Candidates can be CPA firms and non-accounting businesses such as tech companies, specialty management consultants, VARs, or other businesses. Bob and his team identify practices not up for sale or merger yet and manage the deal cycle from start through negotiations and closure.

Organic growth and firm succession are two areas Bob helps firm navigate. Organically, Bob acts as the Chief Growth or Advisory Officer for CPA firms. In these roles he collaborates with leadership to shape the firm’s vision to refine their future organic growth, expand advisory capabilities, and use M&A as a focused growth catalyst. He helps firms analyze underperforming clients and instills a focused growth process. From a succession perspective, many firms want to preserve their legacy. Bob designs partnership buy-ins, compensation structures, multi-layered incentive goals, and trains newer partners.

Bob is a frequent speaker nationally, at local events, and in individual firms. He was an accountant and has a Bachelor of Science in Finance and an MBA, both from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. 

About Doug Lewis

Director, The Visionary Group

Doug is a Director at The Visionary Group responsible for the overall success of Visionary’s Mergers & Acquisitions sector. He specializes in conducting M&A searches from inception, through onboarding and final closing of transactions. Doug leads our candidate firm profiling, development of targets, assessing the potential candidate fits, and deal structure & negotiations. 

A major component of his role is to facilitate structured and fair opportunities for all parties involved in M&A transactions. He spends the majority of his time speaking with Managing Partners, CEOs, and other key leadership positions inside CPA firms and non-accounting organizations. His focus is to increase deal flow and overcome obstacles as they arise during the M&A process. Doug has a proven track record of successfully establishing relationships with industry leaders to think outside the box when conducting M&A related activities. The balance of his time is spent on building a strategic partnership network of trusted consultants and advisors. 

Prior to joining The Visionary Group, Doug spent time in key client-facing roles in the professional sports and the startup technology industries. In these roles, he was responsible for leading several different sales, marketing, and account management campaigns catered towards Fortune 500 and 1000 companies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Illinois State University.

This webinar is part of our Redefining Value webinar series. View the other virtual events and learn more about this series.

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