When there’s a change required at the top your accountant can be the kingmaker

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Succeeding in business in today's economic environment is a team effort. Notwithstanding this, within those that hold lead positions there'll be the expertise, experience and wisdom accumulated over many years that the business will want to capture, hold on to and develop in the skillset of those that come after your current leadership team.

The pandemic brought this into sharp focus, where a change in leadership was required, or leaders may have been indisposed at times. Now with the late Queen's sad passing and our new King in place, this has perhaps also started us thinking of our own organisations and who should be in pole position given unforeseen circumstances, whether there any vulnerabilities aligned to the status quo and any steps we need to take to ensure a plan is in place, should a change at the top be required.

As always, like most business decisions, at the heart of succession planning are the financial considerations and competencies that need to be built and integrated within your organisation and/or within other leaders, so they can take-on ownership and/or management roles and the business can move forward with confidence.

While it is key to be able to identify changes in people and in process that can take place at short notice, the planning that goes into this should be thorough, where all consequences have been considered in advance.

In this way, the business can be in the best possible position for succession to be rolled-out intuitively when the time comes for action. It allows you to transition your company to new leaders in a managed way, that is accepted by personnel, reducing costs as well as stress, while facilitating a smooth and effective handover whereby the company isn't the poorer financially.

For a smaller business a lack of a succession plan can be devastating for not just the company, but its employees too. According to the Institute for Family Business, 85% of businesses in the UK (that's 4.8 million) are family owned and they employee 13.4 million people, which is 50% of private sector employment. So in the event of a chief executive stepping down, passing away or becoming incapacitated in some way, the impact can be huge.

Importantly, in a smaller business, succession plans must protect other shareholders, where one individual has the controlling interest. If shares aren't publicly traded who will assess the value of those shares?

In these instances and in many more, your accountant is best placed to lead from the front, assessing your current and projected financial situation and by providing the fiscal parameters you can best work within to transition unblemished monetarily.

GSM has a proven track record in over 100 years of succession planning for both our firm and our client businesses.

With minimal disruption, dedication and due diligence, we can help you look to the future while working with the present, building on the success of the past. Through ongoing review of the succession plan(s) in place, when the time comes supporting your business through a leadership transition and mitigating the tax liabilities as a result, it's the kind of proactive, prudent and transparent risk management for which GSM is renowned.

Contact us today for a no obligation meeting to consider the financial impact of your succession plans on 020 7935 3793