Center for Private Business Owners

With an established and enduring history serving private business owners, our Firm has one of the most comprehensive backgrounds in the private business sector. The Center for Private Business Owners is recognized for the dedication and experience with which we assist our clients in this unique arena. Our accomplished advisors develop an astute appreciation of each owner’s business, personal and generational priorities in order to provide the broad-based services that help owners align – and achieve – their professional and personal goals.

With experience as deep as it is diverse, our team of professionals is qualified to assist with and deliver fully integrated solutions to address the issues facing today’s business owners.

Business owners can focus on ongoing operations and growth, while knowing the future is promising, planned and protected.

As one of the nation’s largest accounting, tax and advisory firms, we uphold a commitment to private business owners through an extensive network of offices throughout the United States. Our membership in the PKF International network of accounting and advisory firms enables us to support clients wherever they do business through more than 400 offices and 150 countries around the world.

Services that Surpass Expectations

Our profound experience has equipped us to design one of the industry’s most comprehensive offerings for private business owners. Our specialists collaborate closely with clients to address all aspects of their accounting and assurance, tax and advisory needs and help optimize operations, mitigate risk and realize future success through sound long-term strategies. Our services include:

Resources for Today’s Business Owners

In addition to the expertise of our specialists, the Center for Private Business Owners offers an array of essential resources, from programs and events to insightful newsletters, that impart incisive information and provide access to leading figures in this dynamic sector.

Programs and Events

The Academy for Private Business Owners

Effective succession begins with this customized curriculum and opportunity for owners to evaluate their long-term personal and business needs. Our thoughtful, academic and personal approach guides each owner in individually exploring the variety of options and discovering how to create a tailored succession plan. Our advisors introduce readiness assessments for intra-family succession, partner and employee succession and for preparing and selling a business. Owners benefit from learning experiences directly aligned to their situation and customized coaching and mentoring.

Key Topics: 

  • The emotional and relational dynamics involved in transition.
  • Strategic and financial business decisions needed to prepare for succession.
  • Personal and financial wealth transfer considerations.
  • Creating a roadmap for a successful succession process.

CEO Roundtables and Community Forums

These vibrant gatherings provide occasions for private business owners to join in supportive discussions of the rewards and challenges of leadership and key issues that affect their businesses.

Speaker Series

Benefit from the perspective of our specialists and other preeminent leaders on relevant topics from compliance with evolving business and regulatory standards, accounting and administrative opportunities to succession planning and charitable giving.

Newsletters: News, Trends and Insights

Always time-sensitive, our newsletters focus on pressing concerns, such as considering the current and potential impact of the business on owners’ personal finances, insights on best practices for business succession (intra-family, employee and partner, outright sale) optimizing value and managing any risk that their ownership status confers, among other topics. 

Books: In-Depth Analysis

Each quarter, the Private Business Owner Resource Library highlights books and articles that explore a range of issues integral to the success of business owners and their families. Among others, these topics include family dynamics, succession options, next-generation leadership, governance, selling the family business, wealth management and estate planning, adding value and strategic planning for the business.

Family Business Ownership: How to Be an Effective Shareholder, by C. Aronoff, Craig E. Aronoff and
John L. Ward, 2011
Shareholders in a family business will benefit from this guide to becoming more valuable financially, intellectually and emotionally.

The Soul of Family Business: A Practical Guide to Family Business Success and A Loving Family, by Tom Hubler, 2018
The author explores what it takes to run a successful family business. Topics include: the development of a shared vision for the family and for the business; creating individual and organizational strategies to ensure a personally and financially rewarding business; and wealth preparation planning.

A Vibrant Vision: The Entrepreneurship of Multigenerational Family Business, by Richard N. Seaman, 2019
To have a vision of growing a small family business into a sustainable, profitable business requires distinctive processes that support innovation, human capital development, strategic planning, quality assurance, service, good governance, effective education and the stewardship of future generations. The author shares his experience building the family business into a multi-million-dollar company while encouraging his children and grandchildren to become stewards of the business.

Business Exit Strategies: Family-Owned and Other Business, by Frederick D. Lipman, 2018
An analysis of business exit strategies for both family-owned businesses and others in the United States and throughout the world. It explores: 12 common mistakes in attempting to sell a business to third parties; marketing the business; negotiating key sale terms, employment and consulting agreements; avoiding traps in sale agreements; creating a professional advisory team; and alternatives to selling to an unrelated third party.

Succeeding Generations: Realizing the Dream of Families in Business, by Ivan Lansberg, 1999
An organizational psychologist who grew up in a family business examines why few succeed in passing from one generation to the next and fewer still reach the third generation intact. Revealing factors that contribute to long-term success, he explores leadership transitions, offering a clear-eyed assessment of the different options, from direct succession to building partnerships between siblings and cousins. With plentiful examples, he provides practical advice on how to mentor successors, set up a systematic selection process and leverage the board of directors during transitions.

Contact Us:

Stephen Prostano
Partner-in-Charge, Center for Private Business Owners

Cynthia Adams Harrison
Managing Director, Center for Private Business Owners