3 Things to ask your accountant before you buy a business

DarnelleBusiness Audit, General

Industry commentators are predicting as baby boomers move to retirement there will be a surge of established businesses becoming available for purchase. And as the economy continues to improve, it may just be the perfect time to fulfil your dream of being a business owner.

But before you ready yourself for ruling a business empire, assemble a team of experts to help you see the woods for the trees. To buy a business is exciting, but it’s important not to get wrapped up in the emotion of the purchase. Enter = the Ruthless Accountant. They’re a special breed of accountant who always let the figures do the talking. Sure they’re great conversationalists, and generally nice people, but when it comes to business decisions; they’re ruthless. They’re the people you want in your corner. After all, you’re about to make a life changing decision.

It’s smart to ask

So you’ve found the perfect business and you’re ready to purchase. Before you do, visit your Ruthless Accountant and do the sums. If the sums speak favourably, you’ll rest easy knowing you’ve made a sound business decision. On the other hand you might have your bubble burst but sometimes uncovering some hard truths early on will save you pain and lost income later on.

The tough stuff

Three important questions to uncover with your Ruthless Accountant:

  1. Money talks: Can I afford it and how will I fund it?  

Work with your Ruthless Accountant to develop a business case for buying the business. Invest some time in scenario planning, to help uncover all the ‘what ifs?’. Then develop a solid business plan which details not only how you can finance the purchase but sustain the business.

  1. Is the business profitable or is it a pie in the sky?

Let your Ruthless Accountant drill down into the real numbers. Crunch them until they’re meaningful figures, not just high-level, face value fluffy stuff that most people take as gospel.

  1. What am I actually buying?

Businesses for sale can be murky. Sometimes you are buying bricks and mortar, other time you are buying the goodwill or shares. All of which pose considerable risks. Be clear on what you are buying and avoid nasty hidden surprises after purchase. Remember: if it seems too good to be true – it probably is!

Want to buy a business?

Talk to us to arrange a consultation. We promise we’ll only be ruthless with the numbers.

Or check out how we’ve crunched the numbers for some of our clients for more information.

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