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Jan Copley
Certified Practice Advisor
Atticus, Inc.

530 South Lake Avenue, Suite 250
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 696-3145
(626) 421-6747 (fax)

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Have You Done Any Succession Planning At All?

May 25, 2011

Filed under: Succession Planning — @ 1:28 pm

For reasons that aren’t quite clear to me, I now receive CPA Trendlines , a free email magazine for CPAs. I haven’t unsubscribed. CPAs, like attorneys, are in the personal services business, and I find most of the information in CPA Trendlines is also relevant to legal practices.

All business professionals need to plan for the worst. I especially liked a recent article, “Succession Planning: What’s Your Excuse?” It seems CPAs are just as negligent as other professionals about protecting their families, their clients, and planning for the worst! In the article, the authors complain that senior partners in accounting firms have no succession planning strategy in place and that nobody talks about it. Younger accountants therefore worry about the future of their firms and shy away from partnership.

Just do something! Well, we as attorneys, just like CPAs, are all going to leave our practices one way or another. You may want to die at your desk — and that’s fine — but you still have to plan for it so someone else can step in when needed. As the CPA Trendlines article says, “even a memo would be a major accomplishment.” Find someone who will agree to step in if there’s an emergency. Tell your family and your team about that person.

You can get help. Of course, you should be more deliberate about your succession than just a memo. If you’d like to be more proactive about your exit strategy, there are people out there who can help you design and implement it. I certainly relied on the expertise of others when I was designing my exit from practicing law. Atticus has a workshop about exit strategies coming up on June 10 in Orlando. If you’re interested, check it out at

Please let me know how this is helpful to you!