I spoke with a client today, and they said that a popular (and competent) CPA firm was handling their transition, but things were not going well and they needed help.  

For years, “ABC Accounting” had told the office that they will be able to handle their transition.  Last fall, with the owners facing some health issues, they reached out to ABC and said, “It’s time.”  With speed and expertise, ABC delivered all the documents and completed the valuation.  It was given to the associate and the associate didn’t bat an eye at the price. Everyone moved forward with the plan that the associate would buy the practice.  A month or two went by, and even when a young graduate reached out and asked to purchase the practice, the dentist, being a man of his word, says “No, I have given my word to someone else, but thank you for reaching out to me.”  

Finally, the associate came forward and requested a meeting.  With excitement (and some fear), they met with the associate who excitedly exclaimed that she is pregnant!  No one mentioned the pending practice sale, as to not ruin this moment, and the owners of the practice are truly excited for the young doctor.  Fast forward another three months, and now there is no mention of the sale, there are increasing health issues from the owners, and questions about who they are going to find to handle the maternity leave.  With the health issues, and the demanding job of being a dentist, they don’t know what to do.  

I posed this question to them: “What do they want?”  

I got the usual heartfelt answers of taking care of the patients and that they don’t want the money, but they do want what is fair.  I again asked the question, and now I started to get some answers.  The selling Doctor wants to practice a day or two a week, but they do need some time to recover from these pending health issues that only get worse rather than better without care.  They want to take care of themselves, hopefully travel, and most importantly, they want to remain a part of the community they love and still do dentistry.  

After working for a large company in another sector of dentistry for most of the last 20 years, this is exactly why I started in transitions. 

There are three sides to a dental transition: the legal side, the accounting side, and the DENTAL side.  For years, the CPA or the lawyer has told the Doctor they would handle their transition, but when it comes time to do just that, they do not have the bandwidth to truly handle the dental side. They push tough situations like this one back on the doctor, and things go awry.

I absolutely always recommend dental specific CPA’s and lawyers.  There are some very specific things that only someone who is working in this industry day in and day out can understand.  I also am not criticizing the CPA in this case.  They did an outstanding job for the Doctor, and with a very quick turnaround. But then the ball was dropped.  No one took the time to say, “What is the plan for the practice, and most importantly, the owners?

At DDSmatch, we represent sellers and only sellers. We are your advocate, your sounding board, and, most importantly, we focus on the most important question: “What do you want?”

Schedule a call with DDSmatch today.