Succession planning

Succession planning

Under APES 325 Risk Management for Firms, public practice firms are required to document their succession plans as part of their risk management framework.

The succession plan should include specific actions that a firm will undertake in the event of a partner’s unexpected incapacity to provide professional services to clients.

To be succession ready you must be both investor-ready and have an exit strategy so that you are able to respond quickly if an unexpected opportunity arises. You need to be able to present your firm as an attractive investment opportunity.

It is about having a performance culture throughout the life of the practice. Read more about developing a performance culture, growing your business and risk management.



  • Regard succession planning as an essential component of your risk management strategy
  • Focus on maximising the value of the firm, the spread of services offered, the firm’s inherent profitability and the quality of your client base
  • Be ready for opportunities to merge or sell

Succession guides

These guides have been designed to provide you with some of the practical tools that will assist you to plan and position your practice so that it is attractive in the marketplace. They are particularly focused on small and medium size practices.





Test your succession readiness

CPA Australia provides an online diagnostic tool to provide you with a quick assessment of your level of succession readiness, identification of your succession options and an indicator of practice value.