Family Business

There are essential financial matters you need to understand to run an efficient and profitable business. At SDK, we don’t just do the tax, audit and accounting work; we help you understand how the numbers come together on the page and what that means for your company.

We work with all kinds of closely held businesses, from family businesses operating in a single location for decades to rapidly expanding multi-state ventures. Some of the primary issues we see family businesses deal with include:

  • Balance and relationships – Keeping the family business and family life separate is not always easy.
  • Avoiding an echo chamber – They need a sounding board outside the family to discuss ideas and issues.
  • Role Assignments – Difficulty defining roles among family members in the business to match skills and aptitudes.
  • Education – Next generations of owners and leaders need help integrating into the management. They often lack formal training and need the original owners to pass down the knowledge and processes.
  • Succession Planning – Companies often lack details for a plan of succession, which can allow uncertainty, disagreements or conflict concerning the goals or desires for the company between generations. A typical scenario might be a 2nd generation owner may want to sell, while the third generation has worked since they were young and feel the business should be there for them. Lack of communication between generations and assumptions made on both sides sometimes requires a mediator to help them think through the line of succession or what is the best financial option for all.

Not every accounting firm understands or specializes in the unique aspects of family businesses. SDK has been a people-oriented accounting company for over 30 years. We’ve come to know and understand the challenges and benefits of multi-generational businesses, many who have been with us from our beginning. We ask the hard questions:

  1. Do you want your kids to work in the business? What does that generation want to do?
  2. If they join the company, what positions should they fill? What are they qualified for?
  3. Do they have the aptitude or capabilities to continue to act as owners and to run the business, as opposed to selling and creating further immediate wealth for the current or next generation?
  4. Do you want them to be the successor? Is keeping the business open for them a blessing or a burden?

Having everyone on the same page with these intentions allows family businesses to plan for the highest long-term financial benefits for all. Using family responses, we help prepare the next generation for:

  • Transition to new roles as next-gen leaders, making sure the emerging children have support and financial training via quarterly meetings and regular assessments.
  • When families choose to continue the business with limited family involvement, we help develop incentivized benefits for new leadership based on good financial outcomes
  • Help families that choose to sell or close their business with valuation, alternate tax planning and other services
  • Custom “whole-picture” retirement benefit plans for all generations

Featured Services

Under our partnership approach to family businesses, we offer several services designed to take your company to the next level:

  • Business Valuations – Provides an objective view of comps, statistics and comparisons within the industry
  • Estate Planning and Trusts – Future benefit plans; assets from the business may be an integral part of what the owners will live on for the rest of their lives, as well as what they can pass along to the next generation
  • Succession planning and management
  • Employee benefit plans – An objective perspective with the best advantages for taxes and retirement in mind
  • Business and individual tax returns – For every generation
  • Cash flow assessments and consultations
  • Audits, Compilations, Tax and payroll filings
  • Client accounting systems, procedures and organization
  • Assistance with hiring internal accounting staff
  • Controller functions, ERISA planning
  • Seminars and webinars – We bring in partners with additional experience in guiding family businesses in many areas, including financial planning, practical company structure and exploring the relational dynamics of a family business.


Our professionals at SDK CPAs get to know our family business and generational clients well, developing close personal ties, offering a trustworthy partner who actively participates in their challenges and goals. Let us partner with your family by contacting us today.