Three Ways to Avoid the Messy Transactions

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I recently spoke with Jim Davidson, CPA, CFF, CM&AA, CFE, president and managing partner of Avant Advisory Group, a firm that specializes in Mergers & Acquisitions as one of its core practice areas. Davidson gave us some great advice about how to avoid “messy” transactions and be confident in your company’s ability to close the right deals.

Davidson’s firm, established nearly two decades ago, provides comprehensive evaluations of businesses — finding opportunities for improvement, identifying, assessing and mitigating risk, and securing value. With a thorough look at potential M&A transactions, Davidson’s team provides objective, factually based, and clear analyses in performing diligence of a potential acquisition. Avant Advisory presents the investor (private equity firm, family office, strategic buyer, etc.)  with unblemished and comprehensive facts to ensure informed decision-making for solid deal-making (and feel reassured).

Here’s Davidson very cogent advice on ways to avoid the messy transaction.

  1. Be Objective and Keep an Open Mind

One of the most important factors when handling a transaction is to be objective and keep an open mind throughout the process. Davidson suggests not ever allowing your emotions with either the negative or the positive information to dominate your assessment.

  1. Don’t Leave Questions Unanswered

Davidson suggests that when a red flag presents itself, you should never ignore it. Leaving questions unanswered, no matter how small, could end up costing you much more in the long term. Be proactive and follow through to investigate and resolve any cautionary warnings so you can clear your doubts in putting the issue to rest.

  1. Consider the Impact on the Valuation of the Deal

Always keep your eyes wide open, says Davidson. If some negatives do pop up during the assessment of a transaction, fully consider how they will affect your deal and whether there should be a change in pricing or other terms of the deal. When due diligence shows that there is a concern, follow it through to the end and adjust your deal accordingly. Don’t be afraid to change, face the issues head on and change the deal’s pricing and structure if need be.

If you want to learn more about how to avoid messy transactions, attend the Opus Connect Advisory Panel, On March 16th in Los Angeles. Jim Davidson will moderate a panel of seasoned executives on lessons learned from their toughest and messiest transactions.

The panelists will discuss their most difficult transactions experienced over the years, the lessons they learned from their most painful situations, and even the failed true-life case studies they underwent. Learn from those who have experienced the difficult lessons:

  • What worked well?
  • What didn’t work?
  • Which lessons can be learned and applied to your challenges, now and in the future?

You can also learn more about Jim Davidson, a CPA with financial forensics specialty credentialing and a Certified Merger & Acquisitions Advisor, and Avant Advisory Group’s other team of experts on LinkedIn at or message him at

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