Business owners who feel too busy to formalise their succession plans aren’t alone – chances are their local accountant is in exactly the same situation.
Citing the Business Fitness 2017: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of the Australian Accounting Profession survey, Practice Ignition’s Trent McLaren said 79 per cent of firms did not have a documented succession plan in place, despite the increasing average age of practitioners in the industry.
His comments follow previous warnings on many firms leaving it too late to draw up succession plans, and not having appropriate levels of details in place – giving impetus to the old saying: “failing to plan is planning to fail”.
Speaking at an accounting event in Sydney, Mr McLaren, Practice Ignition’s global head of accounting and strategic partnerships, said he spoke to an accountant who had only decided to put a succession plan in place after suffering four heart attacks.
“So what happens when you leave today and that bus that you see is just a little bit quicker than you thought?” Mr McLaren said.
“If we’re not thinking about what happens next in our business, then what are we doing? We’re just sitting on our hands going: ‘We're too busy’. We’re always too busy, but we need to think about what’s next in the future.”