Do you recommend growth by merger or practice purchase?

That is certainly one way to grow your practice quickly. I’ve always built my businesses from scratch. But if you decide you want to go this route, just be sure that you do your due diligence and find out the reason the practice owner is selling and speak with some of their clients, if possible, to ascertain how happy clients are and/or how loyal they may be to the seller. The biggest risk with buying a practice is often client attrition. You will also want to negotiate a transition period so the clients are not shocked by the change, as well as a non-compete agreement with the seller for at least a year or two after the sale. I have seen several bookkeeping / accounting practice sales that, in the end, were not a good deal for the buyer.