William Buck Australia
As a fully integrated firm of Chartered Accountants and advisors, William Buck provides a complete solution. Putting you at the core of the business, our advisors work together to ensure that careful consideration is given to your business and personal wealth affairs.
Working closely with you and your team, our Business Advisors can help you plan and implement contemporary business strategies and practices to meet your business’s full potential.
Our commercially minded tax specialists offer clear, responsive advice to manage your tax risk, address local and international issues, and develop strategies to optimise your tax position.
Our audit team has extensive experience in a range of engagements, giving stakeholders independent and objective assurance on financial information, transactions and processes.
Our Corporate Advisory team provides objective, strategic and commercial advice across a broad range of business issues. Our work spans the breadth each engagement from the origination of ideas to managing the transaction process, valuation and structuring.
Our highly experienced team of liquidators and trustees use their extensive expertise to assist in times of financial distress, achieving the best outcome for all stakeholders.
By understanding not only what you want to achieve but why it’s important, our wealth advisors can create strategies attuned to your key priorities. The end result is a plan focused on your life goals.
The William Buck Hour could be the most profitable hour you spend this year.
Sweeping changes to financial reporting may impact your financial position and business operations.
Our experts are here to help you understand what you need to know about Safe Harbour legislation.
Check our Private Business Tax Reform resource centre to see how the most significant changes may affect you and your business.
William Buck has a team of professionals with specialist experience and know-how on a range of industry sectors.
Our advisors understand the risks and opportunities unique to the agribusiness sector. Taking a strategic view of your operations they provide relevant guidance and advice.
Assisting public and private schools, vocational colleges, universities and private training providers, our education specialists provide timely and valuable assurance services together with strategic, financial and management advice.
Our Government and public sector team has substantial experience in assisting all levels of government to review their structures and develop strategies, in line with relevant legislative requirements and accounting and audit standards.
Working with over 1,600 clients in the health sector, our advisors help practitioners and health care corporates achieve their business and personal goals
Our hospitality and tourism team has a working knowledge of the industry which, when combined with our technical knowledge, can assist you in reaching your commercial goals.
By staying on top of changes in the manufacturing sector, our industry experts provide relevant and timely guidance to a broad range of manufacturing business.
Our mining and energy team has the experience and resources to help start-ups, developing businesses and well-established companies to meet their commercial goals.
Integrity and transparency are at the heart of the best Not for Profit organisations. These values re shared by our dedicated Not for Profit team, which helps entities to establish to improve performance and develop strategies for long-term growth.
Our advisors understand the challenges and opportunities facing the professional services sector first hand. This experience together with our expertise helps to determine your strategic objectives and provide concise, relevant advice to help you achieve your goals.
Our property and construction team assist on a wide range of assignments from property development to construction and large infrastructure projects. Their diverse experience, technical expertise and commercial know-how to help you tackle the important issues.
Our retail and wholesale team works with a variety of businesses from family owned operations to franchises and larger chains, to provide advice and guidance on the issues that count.
With the skills to help tech companies grow from startup to exit – we provide tailored tech company solutions, supported by access to a range of specialists across numerous service lines and industries.
Our transport and distribution team works with businesses to review their operations, improve efficiency and productivity and ensure compliance with the latest regulatory developments.
The William Buck Health Hour could be the most profitable hour you spend this year.
We work with individuals, businesses and community organisations with a particular focus on the mid-market. Drawing on our extensive experience, our advisors will challenge your thinking and re-frame problems to understand their root-cause.
We’re more than just accountants and advisors, we aspire to create positive change in the lives of our clients and our people.
Life as a CFO can be complex, exciting and demanding. Combining technical excellence with decades of working closely with and listening to the needs of CFOs, our advisors understand the competing demands of your role.
Whatever your needs, we have the expert resources to create the best outcome for you and your business. As our client, you’ll benefit from our integrated services model that puts you at the core of its business.
We create and implement personal wealth plans and tax strategies that give our clients greater certainty that their financial and personal goals will be met.
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Our professionals are experts in their fields and are skilled at providing jargon-free, practical and comprehensive advice, allowing you to get to the heart of your matter.
Interested in joining our team? We have positions across Australia and New Zealand for forward thinking, enthusiastic, intelligent individuals.
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We boast a culture that values each individual employee as an essential part of the team and places a high priority on helping you reach your full potential, personally and professionally.
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Established in 1895, we’re more than just advisors; offering a full range of services and 360 degree support, we aspire to create a positive change in the lives of our clients and our people.
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When we think of real estate, there are many common features that tend to result in some houses selling at a higher price. In real estate, these features may be the location of the property, its size, the quality of its kitchen and bathrooms and how well the home is presented. Similarly, when it comes to businesses, there are some common features that support positive sales results.
Very simply, businesses with a high potential for growth and minimal risks will demand a higher price. However, like houses, businesses must be built on strong foundations in order to achieve their maximum value.
So, what can you do to increase the value of your business?
In this guide, we take a look at the key components that well help you achieve maximum value for your business.
As you can see from the above valuation formula, increasing the earnings level of the business can have a multiplier effect on business value.
When looking honestly at their businesses, many business owners could identify key areas where tighter management would generate an uplift in earnings (and valuation as a consequence).
Things to consider:
However, it’s important not to seek to inflate profits by reducing investment in important functions such as marketing, repairs and maintenance and training. Buyers will be concerned about the impact that superficial attempts to bolster short term profitability may have on the longer-term growth outlook for the business.
Understanding each of the elements that typically go into a business valuation will help you to work out what you need to do to increase the value of your business.
Very simply, most (but not all) businesses are valued based on a multiple of their current, maintainable earnings before interest or tax (EBIT) or EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation).
The multiple that’s applied is generally a reflection of two key elements:
Businesses are typically sold on a cash free/debt free basis and so a deduction is made to the amount of any net debt in the business for the purposes of deriving the company’s equity value.
A very basic example of how the equity value in a company may be determined is included in the table below.
Building on what makes your business unique and focusing on its competitive strengths as a part of a strategic plan is vital for maximising value.
We encourage business owners to spend more time working ‘on’ rather than ‘in’ their businesses to identify current market trends (both in Australia and overseas) and to determine how the business might be able to capitalise on any growth opportunities. Such strategies may include:
However, it’s often much easier to develop a growth strategy than to implement it. Thus, some buyers invest in the people in the business as much as the products or services it provides. Moreover, buyers tend to favour businesses with management teams that can operate the business effectively and deliver on strategy, even after the current owners exit the business.
If the business is not currently at a stage where it can afford a top management team, then it may be prudent to assemble an advisory board that can help guide you through the implementation of a growth strategy and hold you accountable to it.
Purchasers generally will not pay a high multiple for a business if they are concerned that the profitability may not be sustainable. Thus, it is also important to manage risks.
A comprehensive risk management program that is integrated into your organisation’s operational processes can address uncertainty, assist in decision making, improve overall performance and ultimately create value.
Refer to our <risk management checklist> for some recommendations on key risk areas that can often be managed better in private businesses.
One common factor that is often overlooked in building the value of a business is the appropriate management of cash and debt.
There are a number of reasons why clever cash and debt management can enhance the value of a business. These include:
However, a business can have too much debt so that instead of increasing business value, it begins to erode it. Debt outstanding at the time of sale is usually settled by the vendor out of the proceeds of the sale. If debt levels exceed the sales price, the business essentially has no value to the current owner. Hence, it is important to closely manage cash and use the right mix of debt and equity funding to maximise value.
Buyers will normally be looking to grow your business. They will normally not pay maximum value for a business that does not have good systems and processes, as the ability to achieve economies of scale will be limited.
Good systems and processes typically include:
It’s particularly critical that financial statements are accurate and reliable. As discussed, buyers may be purchasing based on a multiple of EBIT or EBITDA and will typically want the accounts to have been correctly prepared in accordance with Accounting Standards. Buyers will walk away from deals, or negotiate much lower prices, if your business has poor financial records.
Good reporting systems also provide helpful insights that support operational decision making to help drive improved financial performance and a higher business valuation.
People decide to exit businesses all the time. Some execute a long-term plan, others are presented with an unexpected opportunity to sell. In either case, the person selling the business wants to maximise their return from the years spent in the business.
However, selling a business is a much more complicated process than most business owners expect, frequently taking more than six months and requiring a significant proportion of management time to answer due diligence questions. Thus, if a business is not prepared for sale well in advance, the management can be distracted from the business at a time when it is paramount for the business to perform well – resulting in buyers trying to negotiate a lower price if the financial performance deteriorates.
At William Buck, we understand that running your business professionally and profitably for the benefit of the current shareholders is an all-consuming priority for owners and their management teams.
Value maximising strategies result from businesses that are established and run with a focus on long term success.
We can assist by helping you to establish the systems and processes that optimise business performance and mitigate risks. These are typically the same processes, systems and activities that will help you maximise value when you sell your business.
For more information on increasing the value of your business, call a William Buck advisor today.
Download the latest William Buck Exit Smart Report