From CPA to CEPA: Making the Successful Transition


From CPA to CEPA: Making the
Successful Transition

CPAs are experiencing ground shifting changes in the accounting profession. They are facing increasing competition from lower-cost competitors who are not CPAs, but who are providing many of the same services. Competition from these low-cost providers, as well as CPA firms who are sending work offshore, is causing fee pressure and shrinking margins for many traditional CPA services.

CPAs are recognizing the need to be more than “compliance shops” in order to rise above fee pressure and increased competition, by providing “value-add services”.  Exit planning services can be a natural addition for a CPA firm that wants to add value, expand services, deepen their relationships with their business clients, and add a greater depth of knowledge for the benefit their clients. A Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) practice can be a natural “value-add” service for CPA firms that have clients who are private businesses: if business owners do not receive proactive exit planning services from their CPA, they may get it them from someplace else, or worse yet, they may not receive any exit planning advice at all. That result would be a missed opportunity for the CPA, and potentially devastating consequences for the CPA’s business clients who did not receive the comprehensive exit planning advice that they need and deserve.

Given the CPAs trusted relationship with their clients, and the knowledge that the CPA has about their client’s business, exit planning services should be a natural ‘value-add’ service line in a CPA practice. However, making the transition from CPA to CEPA is not always natural and easy for CPAs. There are a plethora of opportunities for the CPA who becomes an exit planning practitioner. There are also a number of challenges and roadblocks, some of which come from inside your own CPA firm. This webinar will help you explore both the opportunities and the road blocks, so that you can be better prepared to launch a successful exit planning practice within your CPA firm, and provide your clients with the comprehensive exit planning advice that they need and deserve, as you transition from CPA to CEPA.


Learning Objectives:

  • What is, and what is not, exit planning: education ourselves before we educate our clients
  • Distinguishing your exit planning practice from transaction advisors and other ‘consultants’
  • Opportunities and advantages of beginning with a CPA practice
  • Barriers to building a separate exit planning practice in a CPA firm: internal and external barriers
  • Marketing & mind shift: doing things differently



Exit planning is one of the fasting growing industries in the financial/professional services industry and EPI is committed to bringing you the best industry content, right at your fingertips! We are proud to offer hundreds of free webinars each year to keep you current on technical, business development, and special interest topics: designed to help you sharpen your skills and advance your career.

About the Presenter

Rich Gunn

Rich Gunn

Partner, CEPA, CPA

Contact Rich

Rich has been assisting business owners from start-up planning through succession planning for over 25 years, with a focus on exit planning. He is a CEPA, and a CPA with a background in tax advisory services, and he has a passion for working with owner-managed businesses.

Rich is the leader of BPM’s Exit Planning Practice, and he is the co-author of the series of articles known as the B.O.S.S: Business Owners’ Special Series, which is provides education and practical advice to business owners about successful exit planning.

Connect with the Presenter: BPM LLP  |  Website: | Phone: (415) 288-6218

|  LinkedIn: Connect with Rich