The due Diligence process is more than an audit, the scope is more comprehensive in that it targets issues a company may encounter rather than just a historical review of past performance. It will obviously include a review of past performance; however the priority is more towards the operational capability and sustainability of the business performance going forward.
In any due diligence assignment, the end report is unique to the situation faced by the business in question, and because of the many possible prevailing circumstances, the approach must be flexible and backed by practical experience in such assignments.
This flexibility is critical to ensure all possible factors that may affect future performance are anticipated.
A simple checklist will not be sufficient. We have found that what is required is a practical experience in operating businesses, to ensure all possible factors are addressed.
For example:In one recent assignment while the financials and future sustainability of the target business was satisfactory, the different ‘chemistry’ between the target business and the acquiring business meant that any purchase/merger would have a lower chance of succeeding to the full potential.
With any due diligence assignment experience has demonstrated that often just talking to the staff in both a formal and informal sense can supply useful information, hence it is important that such investigations, especially when on-site are carried out by experienced staff.