To acquire or be acquired – How the right technology can make your practice more valuable

Over the last few years, there has been a surge in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as firms look to scale using the expertise and resources of other practices, as well as the support of private equity investors. Rich Neal, CEO, MyWorkpapers discusses current M&A trends in the accounting sector.

Internationally, accountancy firms and groups are looking to other practices to accelerate their growth.  

Given the current challenges that many practices face, not least the need to secure the best talent, it is easy to see why many accounting firms are looking to merge or take over other practices that share their values, ethos and goals.  

However, one often overlooked yet critical aspect of M&A is the integration and value of technology—specifically, accounting technology from the acquired firm.  

This integration can yield significant benefits and foster productive collaboration, providing a competitive advantage in an increasingly digitally driven economy. 

Rich Neal
CEO of MyWorkpapers

Charles Story

Director, Operations for Corporate Investigative Services, Rehmann

Harnessing the best of both worlds

The acquired or acquiring firm's accounting technology can be a treasure trove of benefits for the other party.  

By taking the best from both entities, businesses can combine their strengths to form a robust, efficient, and state-of-the-art accounting system. 

This is especially true when one of the parties has failed to invest in effective solutions and can see the benefits of the other firm's investment in cloud technology and its delivery of best practice.  

This includes having a team of professionals experienced in leveraging the most from an existing platform, who can pass on knowledge and offer greater insight into the features of a platform.

The power of collaborative technology post-merger 

Beyond the immediate benefits of adopting the acquired firm's technology, the implementation of collaborative technologies post-merger can unlock additional advantages. 

Seamless communication: Implementing collaborative tools such as cloud-based working paper platforms or workflow management software can facilitate seamless communication between teams, ensuring everyone is aligned on tasks and timelines. 

Information sharing: With shared databases and cloud storage, teams can access necessary information anytime, anywhere. This promotes a transparent work environment and aids in the fast, efficient completion of tasks between multiple offices. 

Enhanced teamwork: Collaboration technologies offer shared workspaces that can bring together teams from both companies, fostering a sense of unity and collective purpose. 

Innovations and improved customer service: The integration of technologies post-merger provides an opportunity to leverage each company's strengths, resulting in innovative solutions that can improve customer service. 

Safe and secure: One of the common challenges post-merger is the sharing of sensitive client data. Data can be immensely valuable and is often part of the discussion and negotiations pre-merger. Having a system where data and information can be shared securely by the newly merged practices can bring real peace of mind.  

Even where neither firm has invested in technology, a merger or acquisition can present a great opportunity to explore new innovations that enable the advantages above.  

Merging with another practice or creating a wider group of firms can provide some great opportunities for economies of scale and the establishment of standardised best practice via a cloud platform.  

As more accounting firms embark on mergers and acquisitions, the importance of technology integration cannot be understated.  

By strategically harnessing technology, whether a new or existing platform, firms can propel the growth of both entities, thereby increasing their competitive edge, and positioning themselves for long-term success in the digital age.