Ask the Advisors: To Audit or Not When Considering Selling My Business?
If I’m considering selling my businesses, should I have an independent audit of my financial statements completed to help add value to the sale price?
In my experience, when privately held business owners go to sell or transition their business, the company is typically able to command a higher price if an annual audit was recently performed on their books and records. Additionally, having an audit may shorten a buyer’s due diligence period, as well as gives buyers peace of mind while lending more credibility to the sellers’ financial. Remember, in a business sale, the more credible and organized the financial and operational data is, including audited annual financial statements, the quicker the seller may realize cash at closing. Each business owner should evaluate the benefits of the annual audit, whether for external sale or other purposes, against the cost and potential value-add of it.
For how many years prior to the sale/transition of my business should an annual audit be completed?
Buyers of businesses not only like audited financial statements of the current period, but they like to establish a basis for earnings quality by looking at three years of audited financial statements. The annual audit provides a number of financial benchmarks in the overall evaluation of the business being sold.
Have a Question for Ask the Advisors?
Send it to us here. Ben Rybicki, CPA, is an audit shareholder in Doeren Mayhew's Michigan office and can be reached at 248.244.3183. For more information on when to perform annual audits or selling your business, contact our auditors and M&A advisors in Michigan, Houston or Florida.