1. Not understanding the numbers. Be sure and know what normal veterinary expenses are and what may be extraneous.
2. Assume the staff are all on board and will be staying with the practice. Know who the staff is and what their relationship is with the seller, and how good they are...
3. Embezzlement - hire an accountant to look for any irregularities. Statistics show there are a high number of practices that are embezzled by their employees each year. Are courtesy credits high? How about patient refunds?
4. Does the procedures the selling doctor perform match the procedures that you do? Make sure a large amount of the procedures you don't do are not currently being performed by the seller. You don't want to have an immediate drop in production right from the start.
5. Understand the lease. How many years are there left on the lease? Are there more options to extend? Is there a loan form the landlord build into the lease? Which expenses are covered in the lease? Is it triple new or a gross lease?
These are only a few of the pitfalls to make sure you don't get tricked. Spend as much time in due diligence as you need and bring on experts to help you along the journey.
-Jim Vander Mey, CPA. ABI