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A Bank’s View on Buying or Selling a Practice

15/11/2017


​​RBC Senior Account Manager, Health Care Professionals, Betty-Anne Whalley has been working with health care professionals for 11 years. In this candid interview, she discusses major trends in the sector and how MNP and RBC helped guide three business partners in buying their first veterinary clinic in Edmonton.

Whether you’re buying or selling a veterinary practice, having a team of experienced advisors to help you can make a major difference in how smoothly and efficiently the process goes.

The market is being influenced by the current economic climate, which is on the upswing after struggling for several years. Since there are more buyers, it has become a seller’s market. But unlike other professions, there aren’t a lot of veterinary practices that come onto the market for sale.  Once a veterinarian has established their practice, they tend to remain with their business for a lifetime, and many veterinarians practice well into their 60s.

Betty-Anne’s top advice for someone who wants to sell a practice, is to speak with their accountant a minimum of 12 months prior to selling. “They will want to make sure their balance sheet is optimized for tax purposes,” she notes. “It’s also important to have a good succession plan in place.”

For someone who wants to purchase a practice, her top advice is to ensure the practice is a good fit for you, and that the goodwill in the practice is transferrable to you. “Again, speak with your accountant and your banker to ensure the cash flow meets your expectations and upcoming financial obligations.”

MNP and RBC have enjoyed a longstanding working relationship, helping veterinarians and other health care professionals make the most informed and effective decisions for their business. The partnership started more than a decade ago.

“We have many mutual clients we work together with. They have assisted our clients in making financial decisions, such as purchasing a clinic or transitioning out of a clinic.”

In the case of the three business partners who purchased their first veterinary clinic in Edmonton, Betty-Anne was their go-to person for further resources. She provided them with the name of an accountant who specialized in working with veterinarians, who could provide them with advice on purchasing a veterinary clinic.

“MNP Partner Tim Dawson and I had worked together previously with numerous veterinarians. The expertise he has in the industry is most valuable,” Betty-Anne says.

She views MNP as a valuable partner because MNP provides RBC clients with sound accounting advice as well as outstanding service.

“We have worked as partners with MNP for 10 years. We have many mutual clients that we work together with,” she says. “They have assisted our clients in making financial decisions, either purchasing a clinic, or transitioning out of a clinic. We also partner with MNP in sponsorship events throughout the country. They are great partners.”

For more information on buying or selling a practice, contact Tim Dawson, CPA, CA, Partner, Professional Services at 780.451.4406; toll-free 1.800.661.7778 or [email protected]

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​Related Content:​

Buying or Selling a Practice? What You Need to Know

We Bought a Veterinary Clinic – Advice from an Insider

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