Why HR has become THE critical issue in a smaller practice

MD Keith Underwood and the Foulger Underwood team have noticed a reoccurring theme running through a number of meetings they have attended in recent days and months.

Practices are encountering difficulties in managing, developing, recruiting and retaining employees and also in providing a good working environment for their employees. Those we’ve been dealing with range in fees from an average £500k through to £2m.

The crux of the problem is...

Buy buy buy - The right approach to acquiring another practice

Kevin Reed's first article on behalf of Foulger Underwood last month covered how to optimise the value of your practice in terms of a sale. This time, he discusses how to make great-value and strategically important acquisitions.

You might think: ‘Well, I can learn about buying a practice based on your first piece looking at the sale process?’.

Of course give our earlier blog a good read – however, buying a practice is not just the mirror image of a sale...

We advise Vistra on acquisition of Global Expandia in Indonesia

Vistra, one of the world's leading corporate service providers of international incorporations, trust, fiduciary, private office, international expansion and fund administration services, has acquired Global Expandia, a Jakarta based firm providing market entry and other related services to foreign-owned investors operating in Indonesia.

Vistra were advised on the transaction by Foulger Underwood.

For the full press release ->

What is the future of the accountancy practice? Well, it's complicated...

The future of the accounting profession will be all about clients and talent sets. The accounting profession has traditionally held a pyramid-based employment and organisational structure.

It has been focused on partners and a limited range of services including compliance as well as, optionally, advisory services. Client loyalty has been of paramount importance and the lifeblood of the business has been recurring fees.

There is dynamic change on the way...

Understanding how digital tax filing will impact the value of your practice

The end of year work on tax returns has always been a trial and a struggle for most smaller sized practices.

A combination of penalties, and reluctant clients who feel that 29 January is ample time for their accountant to submit a tax return means there is usually a struggle with process/time management rather than any technical issues.

HMRC has, in its wisdom, planned to move self-assessment to a digital platform with opportunities for clients to check and submit their returns direct to HMRC. The digitalisation plans may or may not be achieved on time but an evaluation of the possible effect of the impact on clients and accounting practice revenues is not something to be dismissed lightly or even avoided...


Our Managing Director, Tim Underwood is taking part in a panel discussion broaching the vital issue of setting yourself up to buy or sell a practice.

‘Building the Right Mindset for Successful Consolidation’, takes place on 23 January on behalf of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), for their 7th SMP Dialogue – The Know-Hows of SMP Consolidation.

The panel will deal with helping buyers set out a strategy, while giving sellers an understanding of where their practice fits in the market.

Tim is looking forward to providing insight on the matter, and hearing the views of local practitioners.

For those interested in attending or finding out more, CLICK HERE.


We are looking forward to running our next Succession Planning workshop, in partnership with the ICAEW, on Tuesday 21st November at the Chartered Accountants' Hall.

Succession planning is a vital process and instrumental in the evolution and success of a practice.  Succession planning can guarantee the future of a practice. 
This workshop is relevant to anyone planning to retire in the next 5-8 years, sell or merge their practice, pass it on to a family member or who just needs some impetus and an action plan.
We shall be covering – planning, your options, case studies, practice analysis, preparation for succession, valuation, trends and finally an action plan.

To register or learn more please follow the link below...

ICAEW Succession planning...



We are really looking forward to attending the ICAEWs 'Practice 2017' this Thursday 21st November, in London. Looks like a fantastic couple of days with a varied schedule and some exciting presenters.  

We have been invited to offer 1:1s on Succession Planning throughout the day - and        Keith Underwood looks forward to meeting many of you there. If interested, please book your slot in advance with the ICAEW or come along to our specialist room to book a last minute session on the day - or just to say hello.

Please do click on the text below to explore the conference further or to book your slot via the 'one-to-one sessions' tab ...



Small and medium-sized practices (SMPs) today face many issues that challenge their business and bottom line. Besides facing the challenges arising from disruptive technologies, enforcement of regulations and rising business costs, they find themselves being squeezed out of their traditional market of serving clients in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by large international audit firms.

“Very little time is spent by practitioners assessing their existing business and plotting a course for where they want the practice to be in two, five and 10 years’ time,” says Tim Underwood, Managing Director of Foulger Underwood Asia. “Without a plan, and without applying the time and resource to implement the plan, practices will continue to drift, become less competitive and ultimately have reduced realisable value when the shareholders/members look to exit. It takes a long time to grow organically, therefore, most strategic plans should incorporate organic growth, supplemented with M&A, to try and achieve strategic objectives in a shorter period of time.” 


As published in the ISCA Journal, November 2017 edition 



Accountancy firms that are slow in grabbing the opportunities that Making Tax Digital offers, will suffer, says Phil Shohet of Foulger Underwoodkato. Can you remember the last time the accountancy profession faced such a seismic change, and the same level of opportunity – and threat – that this momentous upheaval brings? 


As published in the ACCA's Accounting and Business Magazine July/August edition.

SINGAPORE - TMF Group acquires Virtual HR

We are pleased to announce that our client Virtual HR (“VHR”), a leading provider of payroll services in Singapore has been acquired by the TMF Group - Singapore, a leading provider of high value business services to clients operating and investing globally. The deal was completed on the 31 May 2016. We wish them both much success in the future.

For the full press release ->


The market for acquiring accountancy practices is being re-energised by more varied suitors, such as outsourcers, private equity and IT firms, says Keith Underwood.

There have been stirrings in the accountancy acquisition market over the past 18 months. The consolidators have long gone, but the market is attracting attention from a couple of groups of new, specialist buyers. 


As published in the ACCAs Accounting and Business Magazine, May edition.


Deferred baby boomers in sole practice and small firms are those who are most vulnerable to the perils of planning for retirement, as Keith Underwood explains.

Your retirement is likely to be the most important decision you make in your career. The considerations you need to take into account are wide-ranging and include personal finance, job satisfaction, whether suitable succession for the firm is in place, and the hobbies and other active interests you have to occupy you in your retirement. 

As published in the ACCAs Accounting and Business Magazine.