Seasoned Marketer: Navigating Mergers and Acquisitions: A Guide for Accounting Marketing Professionals

Authors: Megan O’Donnell, EisnerAmper, Olivia Collins, Mazars USA, and Erica Reagle, Wipfli

Mergers and acquisitions can be exciting and challenging for any organization. M&A activity is expected to rise in accounting as CPA practices seek to extend their reach, tap a broader client base and diversify their services. If your firm is going through a merger, here are some tips to help you navigate this process effectively.

Stay informed

Keep yourself updated about the progress of the acquisition. Attend company-wide meetings and read official communications to better understand the strategic goals behind the merger and how they align with your firm’s vision. Use any downtime during the transition to learn about the new firm, its resources and the technology available. For example, if they have an internal communications page, peruse that to find more information about the firm.

Ask questions

Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re unsure about how the changes affect you. Will my salary, work hours or benefits change? Who will be my direct supervisor, and will my role change? What will the review process look like? Remember to ask about transferring memberships you’re a part of or how you’ll handle any events happening within the year. It’s okay to bring up any concerns you may have; all this information will help give you a better idea of the company and your place. Be patient if answers aren’t available immediately and keep track of your questions so they can be answered when appropriate.

Find your people

Take the time to get to know your new team, the department structure and each person’s role. If you’re coming from a smaller firm, you may already be on a first-name basis with the CEO, but remember, that might not be the case with a larger firm. Schedule one-on-one meetings with team members you’ll be working with to introduce yourself and get to know them. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you aren’t working directly with as they can still be valuable resources. If you’re interested in what someone does and curious about how they got there, tell them! They’ll likely be flattered and more than happy to advise you on finding your path within the firm.

Speak up

If you’re used to working with a small team, joining a large meeting and participating could be intimidating. Don’t be afraid to use your voice and speak up when appropriate even if it takes a few tries. Raise your hand for opportunities such as task forces, special projects or committees to help keep your name at the forefront of leadership’s minds when a new project arises, and have the confidence to propose new strategies and tactics that worked well at your old firm.

Accept change

In the same vein, don’t be attached to the old way of working; be prepared to adapt to new policies, systems or processes, and don’t assume that your marketing strategies will remain unchanged. Leverage the opportunity and use the merger to reposition the brand or launch new campaigns highlighting the combined strength of both companies. A merger or acquisition is a learning experience. Take this opportunity to learn from your new colleagues and embrace new processes. This could mean taking on new responsibilities, learning new software, or understanding different business strategies.

Don’t panic

Let’s be honest: hearing that your company is being acquired could leave even the most confident marketer feeling uncertain. While your instinct may be to jump ship, don’t rush into decisions like quitting your job before you have all the information. Give yourself time to evaluate whether this new firm could be a good fit. At the same time, don’t be afraid to look at other opportunities should the acquisition not pan out in your favor. In addition, avoid gossiping with your teammates. Stay calm and focus on your responsibilities.

Be honest and keep an open mind

Many changes come with M&As, which can be an opportunity to rewrite your job description. Speak up about your strengths; if you aren’t interested in something, say so. Use this opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise. Whether it’s your knack for digital marketing, your ability to craft compelling content, or your strategic planning skills, now is the time to shine. Demonstrating your value can help secure your position within the new organization and may even open new opportunities.

Navigating through a merger or acquisition can be daunting, but the right approach can lead to personal and professional development. Remember, this is a time of change and opportunity, so embrace it with an open mind and a proactive approach. You might be surprised at the rewarding paths that lie ahead.

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