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How to Sell a Small Business: The Role of an Accountant in the Process

August 10th, 2023 | 6 min. read

By Bryan Cremeen

It’s a hard choice to sell your business, especially if you’ve built it from the ground up. However, all things must end, and even better things may be ahead. 

Even once you accept the emotions that can be involved, there are many factors to consider that can complicate the process. That’s why it’s a good idea to make a monthly accountant an important part of your selling team.

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we’ve worked with small business owners who want to sell their operations for over 50 years. Whether you plan to sell one day or are ready to pull the trigger now, we’ll explain how an accountant can help you by addressing these common questions:

  • When should I sell my business?
  • How do I ensure I get all of my money when I sell?
  • How can a monthly accountant help me sell my business?

Blog - How to Sell a Small Business The Role of an Accountant in the Process

When to Sell Your Small Business

So, when should you sell your business? Don’t stay in a bad situation that has no signs of turning around under your leadership. Here are some indicators that you might be ready to sell:

  • It’s time for you to retire.
  • You are going through other major life changes, such as divorce, health issues, or relocation.
  • You’re not passionate about your business.
  • You can’t improve your business - and it needs improving.

Timing is key, and selling at the right time can significantly impact the final sale price. You can run your business for your entire life under ideal circumstances, but you get a tax benefit if you own it for at least a year, and it will go for a higher price if you sell while business is good!

How to Ensure You Get the Money From Your Sale

What’s the one thing small business owners are worried about when selling their business? That they won’t get all of the money they are entitled to from the sale.

This is especially true if your agreement is to get paid over time instead of all at once. To put this concern to rest, try some of the following tips:

  • Ask your buyer to take out an SBA loan to pay you immediately.
  • Provide your former business with consulting services to help them stay open. This can come from you or from your monthly accountant.
  • Sell over time and phase out your involvement to ease your clients into the sold business.
  • If you have to accept payments, be sure to also get a large down payment.

Learn more about how a monthly accountant can help you secure a small business loan here.

How a Monthly Accountant Can Help You Sell Your Business

When you sell your business, you need a small team. This team needs to have a broker and an accountant, and it may also involve a financial advisor if your personal finances are tied in.

A monthly accountant is a unique business partner who offers much more than an annual tax accountant and a bookkeeper combined. Because of their skillset and frequency of working on your books, they can offer a special value to the selling process with their consulting.

Monthly accountants can help you in the buying process by:

  • Constructing the sale agreement. Your monthly accountant can work with the broker involved to determine the sale price, the length of time the agreement goes over, what kind of payment or financing will be involved, and whether it will be a stock sale or an asset sale.
  • Having your monthly financial statements and annual tax returns already done. This is just the standard when working with a monthly accountant, but it’s especially useful in a selling situation so you can do your due diligence.
  • Continuing the relationship with your buyer to ensure the long-term success of your business. Your finances will be in good hands if your buyer wants to continue working with your monthly accountant. This way, they’ll get up to speed quickly and your margins will stay good. Breathe easy!

Boost Your Small Business Sale: Partner with a Monthly Accountant

Selling a small business can be a complicated process, but with the help of a monthly accountant, it can be much smoother. 

They can help determine the right time to sell, ensure that you get all the money you are entitled to, construct the sale agreement, and have your documents ready before you need them. They can also provide ongoing support to your buyer to ensure the long-term success of your business. 

If you’re interested in working with a monthly accountant, why not consider CSI Accounting & Payroll? At CSI, we understand the importance of selling a small business, and we have the expertise to guide you through the process. Click the button below to schedule your free consultation:


Not ready to talk? That’s okay! First, learn more about the difference between consulting and advising from a monthly accountant. Maybe we can offer guidance in another area of your business.

Bryan Cremeen

Bryan joined CSI Accounting in 2019. He joined the team after CSI purchased his accounting firm, AccountSource LLC, which he had owned since 2005. He graduated from St. Cloud State in 2001 with a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and has been an Enrolled Agent since 2010. Before owning his own accounting practice, Bryan had worked at the State of MN handling financial reporting and had been in private industry as a Controller. His primary responsibilities include overseeing the accounting department and making sure clients are receiving quality service. Fun Fact: Bryan has played soccer since the age of 4. He still plays soccer year round through various adult leagues and is an avid supporter of the Minnesota United MLS soccer team. COYL!!! (Come on, you Loons!!!)