The very professionals setting other business owners up for retirement are failing to adequately secure their own future, it has emerged.
Mayflower director Sarah Penn told My Business’ sister publication SMSF Adviser that some accounting professionals have simply shut up shop instead of sell their business – despite their business and livelihoods based on supporting others to maximise their own financial futures.
Ms Penn said it is also surprising given the superannuation plan for many small business owners is to sell their business.
“They've had a bookkeeping business or a small suburban accounting firm and they have literally just retired. They've told all their clients: ‘It's been really great looking after you; we're retiring at the end of this year so you'll need to let us know where to send your files’,” said Ms Penn.
“I was a little bit gobsmacked considering how many people at the moment want to grow their businesses and want to acquire other client books and businesses.”
She added: “Regardless of how much time everyone in this industry spends managing other people's superannuation, a lot of accountants and advisers in any small business are pretty useless at looking at their own superannuation, and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is selling their business.”
The fact that bookkeeping and accountants are failing to maximise their own returns for their retirement once again highlights the importance of exit planning for all business owners to ensure they realise the best possible value from their years – and even decades – of hard work.
As Craig West of Succession Plus previously wrote in My Business, there are some common myths and misconceptions about business sales that can cost business owners dearly simply by failing to plan their exit from the business adequately, or promptly, enough.
“Often business owners are working so hard on everything else that they never get to think about the exit strategy, and this is often the key to financial success,” he said.
“However, many business owners haven't had the conversation or done any planning, so an exit becomes a surprise and is rushed!”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.