Post-Merger Integration Checklists

We offer 30 post-merger integration checklists (see below free list of over 700 tasks) that cover Human Resources, Finance and Accounting, Information Technology, Day 1 Readiness, Sales and Marketing, Communications, Legal, and Due Diligence. Teams can use our M&A integration checklists to stimulate their thinking, and ensure they cover their bases. The sample checklists have been used on many deals and gleaned from our M&A integration playbooks.

PRITCHETT's Merger Integration Certification Workshop Attendees and Website Subscribers can download all the complete acquisition integration checklists. They can also access all the presentations, playbooks, books, articles, assessments, webinars, tools, templates, and research on MergerIntegration.com.

Human Resources

Excerpt from HR Acquisition Integration Checklist

Communications Day 1 Topics

  • Pay & benefits overview for salaried employees
  • Pay & benefits overview for hourly employees
  • Open enrollment dates
  • Acquirer's badges for integration team and key employees

Communications Day 2 Topics

  • Inventory system to use on Day 1
  • Open enrollment materials for salaried employees
  • Open Enrollment Materials for hourly employees
  • Details regarding 401(k) conversion
  • Incentive plans

401(k)

  • Amend Acquired Company's plan to add 5% non-matching contribution for earnings after closing
  • Work with Acquired Company's payroll to establish 5% non-matching contribution for earnings after closing
  • Acquired Company's Vanguard will need to set up new contribution type to receive 5% non-matching
  • Establish separate vesting schedule for 5% that is different than Acquired Company's match for Acquired Company's Vanguard plan
  • Amend Acquired Company's 401(k) feed to include all Acquired Company's employees for 5% non- matching contribution for earnings after closing
  • Notify Acquired Company's vendor of contract termination
  • Amend Acquired Company's plan to freeze plan for new loans 
  • Establish loan repayments provisions with Acquiring Company's payroll
  • Merge Acquired Company's 401(k) with Acquiring Company's plan
  • Establish process with Vanguard to continue repayments on Acquired Company's plan loans after mid- year
  • Ensure Acquiring Company's plans don't require amendments to prevent Acquired Company's participation Day 1
  • Amend Acquired Company's trust agreement as needed to reflect transition changes
  • Send YTD 401(k) deferrals to payroll for limits
  • Amend/Create Acquired Company's excess (NQP) plan for 5% non-matching contribution for earnings after closing

Long-Term Disability

  • Notify Acquired Company's vendor of contract termination effective 1/30
  • Notify intent to waive LOI for Acquired Company's employees as done for new hires
  • Discuss LTD transition process for Acquired Company's employees on STD prior to 7/1 who will need to move to Acquired Company's LTD carrier
  • Ensure Acquiring Company's plans don't require amendments to prevent Acquired Company's participation Day 1

Short-Term Disability

  • Identify all employees on STD at 6/30
  • Transition employees on STD to AonHewitt
  • Ensure Acquiring Company's plans don't require amendments to prevent Acquired Company's participation Day 1

Leave of Absence

  • Identify employees on LOA (non-STD & Work Comp)
  • Determine treatment of employees at conversion to Acquiring Company's systems
  • Understand Acquired Company's processes for complying with sick ordinances and determine if any changes are required

Recruiting

  • Complete Acquired Company's Affirmative Action Plan effective 6/30 from standard procedures in ADP & Lawson
  • Create link to Acquired Company's recruiting site from Acquiring Company's and vice versa so employees have access to all jobs posted
  • Determine timeline to have all open requisitions in one system
  • Transfer Acquired Company's resume database
  • Communicate plan of when Acquired Company will begin using Acquiring Company's offer letters, drug testing policy, and background vendors
  • Ensure Acquired Company's employees are included in EEO-1 and Vets 4212 reporting due in September
  • Upload historical Acquired Company's offer letters into Acquiring Company's system
  • Gather all Acquired Company's applicant tracking for last year to submit to government at year end
  • Collect copies of Acquired Company's job descriptions for records

Workers Compensation

  • Identify all Acquired Company's employees on workers compensation
  • Notify Acquired Company's vendor of contract termination for new claims after 1/30
  • Establish process for consolidated reporting and compliance from Day 1 to Day 2
  • Determine timing of transition and administration of active claims at June 30
  • Determine timing of transition of closed Acquired Company's claims

Policies

  • Ensure Acquired Company's employees sign Employment Agreement within 3 days of closing
  • Review key Acquired Company's HR policies to ensure alignment and change if necessary for Day 1
  • Communicate Acquiring Company's HR policies as part of Day 2 Open Enrollment activities
Additional HR Checklists:

Information Technology

Excerpt from IT Mergers & Acquisitions Checklist

Software / Applications

  • Obtain list of software contracts / licenses owned (enterprise licenses as well as departmental / individual licenses)
  • Update vendor contracts / licenses for software
  • Develop list license information (duration, costs, terms, items included, etc.)
  • Review list for consolidation opportunities
  • Identify software / application requirements to align between organizations (e.g., financial, CRM, ERP, Email, etc.)
  • Develop migration plan for alignment
  • Identify any software currently in development or planned
  • Determine status of development activities (progress, % complete, money committed, remaining activities, etc.)
  • Develop recommendations for existing development activities (continue, end, adjust)

IT Operations

  • Determine
    • Is there a Help Desk and if so, what level of support is provided?
    • Are outside resources utilized to support Help Desk issues / requirements?
    • What outside resources are utilized to support help desk issues / requirements - if applicable
    • What products / services do they provide?
    • How are contractor / supplier agreements tracked and managed?
    • How are changes (network / software) evaluated and managed?
    • Is there a formal change management process in place?
  • Obtain annual IT budget (Cap Ex and operational)
  • Review past 3 year's budgets for results (planned vs. actuals)
  • Define process for capturing / tracking monthly and annual budgets
  • Define process for budget development and approvals
  • Obtain contractor / supplier lists
  • Identify IT key operating processes
  • Identify IT process areas to align
  • Identify change management activities required for alignment between organizations
  • Develop and initiate required plans to manage network / software changes
  • Identify best practices to share between companies

Organization

  • Identify IT team organization chart (names, titles, responsibilities, reporting relationships)
  • Identify organization differences to address
  • Determine position titles, areas of overlap, etc.
  • Establish future organization structure
  • Develop new organization chart (names, titles, responsibilities, reporting relationships, etc.)
  • Communicate updated IT organization chart
  • Document essential knowledge / skill requirements required for IT operations
  • Determine changes required for alignment (knowledge, skills, certifications, licenses, etc.)
  • Review IT training programs across companies
  • Determine if training program updates are required
  • Develop training action plan - if required
  • Develop training curriculum (internally or outsourced)
  • Initiate training & development activities

Policies / Procedures

  • Determine IT policies and procedures (similarities / differences)
  • Gather information on relevant policy information (e.g., hardware / software purchases, information security, confidentiality, equipment use, Change Management, etc.)"
  • Map acquired company policies to acquiring company policies
  • Determine company policy IT differences to address
  • Identify IT policies to potentially align across companies
  • Develop policies / procedures recommendations for review with stakeholders
  • Obtain policy / procedure changes approval
  • Communicate and distribute updated policy information

IT Projects

  • Identify any in-flight projects / programs underway (purpose / rationale, budget, timeline)
  • Determine status of in-flight projects (progress, % complete, money committed, remaining activities, etc.)
  • Develop recommendations for in-flight projects (continue, end, adjust)
  • Are there standardized project management programs in place being utilized (e.g., MS Project, SmartSheet, Asana, etc.)
Additional IT Checklists:

Finance and Accounting

Excerpt from Post-Merger Integration Finance Checklist

Accounting Policy Variances

  • Obtain inventory of Acquiree's accounting policies
    • Evaluate the accounting treatment variances 
      • Revenue recognition
      • Cost of sales recognition and matching
      • Liabilities and contingencies
      • Receivables
      • Impairment
      • Capitalization policies
      • Property ownership 
      • Due diligence inventories
      • Income tax provision
      • Property tax valuation and exposure
  • Determine plan for migrating Acquiree to Acquirer's policies & procedures

Synergy Tracking

  • Identify finance team member(s) who will track synergies
  • Create synergy tracking model templates
  • Develop ongoing status reporting format and timing
  • Monitor and report synergy result
  • Link synergies to budgets and modify budget by synergy values

Chart of Accounts

  • Obtain a copy Acquiree's chart of accounts (COA)
    • Modify Acquirer COA to incorporate Acquiree COA values
  • Create ledgers for each of the Acquiree's subsidiaries  
  • Map the Acquiree's ledger to the Acquirers COA
  • Create separate roll-ups for the Acquiree's entities, Acquirer, and combined company

Accounts Payable

  • Review A/P systems
    • Determine conversion strategy and cutover approach
  • Transition processing to Acquirer
    • Invoices
    • EDI
    • 1099 Processing
  • Determine appropriate conversion methodology
    • Have Acquiree continue to process open PO's for one month following close
    • Manually convert
      • Key open PO's after close
    • Set up W-9s for new vendors
      • Coding information
      • Required vendor
    • Determine sequential numbering strategy
    • Determine methods of payment
      • Bank accounts
      • Inter-unit cash transaction
        • Cash
        • Treasury
        • Check printing
        • Taxes
    • Determine types of check writing through accounts
  • Migrate Acquiree's system and processing to Acquirer's Accounts Payable immediately following close
    • Configure Acquirer's data elements
      • Setup Business Units
      • Establish vendors
      • Establish EDI feeds
      • Setup check writing
      • Setup positive pay
      • Setup ACH payments
      • Establish archiving methodology and approach
        • Perform duplicate payment query search
      • Update existing legacy reports
      • Review reporting needs
      • Establish security
    • Determine authority level for PO inquiry for Acquiree
  • Follow-up on integration items post-Acquiree's conversion
    • 1099 Processing
    • Closing out Acquiree's AP bank accounts
      • Liaise with Treasury for completion
Additional Finance and Accounting Checklists:

Day 1 - Day 30

Excerpt from M&A Day 1 Readiness Checklist

  • Complete Day 1 timeline
  • Meet with Heads and Leads to incorporate "alignment" tactics for Day 1
  • Review timeline in Joint IMO to troubleshoot
  • Provide final timeline to all Heads and Leads in Smartsheet
  • Determine Day 1 logistics
  • Make Go/No Go decision on Day 1 intranet
  • Prepare Email distribution lists
  • Review key priorities, synergy capture, and objectives for first 90 days
  • Begin planning strategy and organization structure of business
  • Confirm Day 1 speakers
  • Obtain organization charts from both Acquirer & Acquired Co.
  • Develop Master Day 1 Playbooks (Employees, Customers, Suppliers)
  • Finalize key messages / high-level talking points
  • Determine Day 1 hosting alternative, if necessary
  • Produce Day 1 video
  • Upload Day 1 video
  • Confirm time for Town Hall Meeting
  • Confirm location for Town Hall Meeting
  • Confirm invitees & distribution List
  • Finalize Townhall presentation
  • Review room set up employee meeting
  • Buy new employee gifts for distribution
  • Draft BU communication plan and timeline
  • Have review call with BU
  • Finalize BU communication plan and timeline
  • Upload to Smartsheet plan library
  • Reconcile timing with master timeline
  • Map out Day 1 communication items and reconcile with master timeline
  • Draft custom content for customers
  • Draft custom content for suppliers
  • Prepare Day 1 collateral pieces
  • Prepare Day 1 PowerPoint deck
  • Create Day 1 leader video
  • Draft Day 1 newsletter
  • Set up video link from President
  • Develop answers to employee FAQs
  • Draft Day 1 organization announcement
  • Prepare integration vision / values advertisement
  • Create newsletter template
  • Draft letter from President
  • Finalize distribution lists (Acquired Co. and Acquirer)
  • Finalize site visit list
  • Develop Facility Managers Day 1 / Welcome Week Guide
  • Send guide to Acquired Co. facility managers
  • Host Zoom meeting for facility leaders
  • Draft Welcome Team Leaders' Guide
  • Host Zoom meeting for leaders
  • Plan welcome week logistics and planning
  • Reconcile welcome week strawman with Steering Committee's recommendations
  • Finalize welcome week schedule
  • Prepare Acquired Co. brands List
  • Prepare Acquirer brands List
  • Develop intranet site for integration
  • Develop organization announcement protocols - templates and guidelines for what and how levels of positions get announced, and timeline
  • Compile a list of Day 1 interior signage needs
  • Distribute corporate branding collateral and guidelines to new locations
  • Draft leadership announcements
  • Determine limits of authority
  • Confirm limits of authority
  • Develop detailed distribution list for limits of authority
  • Communicate and distribute limits of authority
  • Develop plan to inform all employees about the acquisition
  • Develop primary deliverables included in Pritchett’s communication plan
  • Plan for general managers to meet with all employees at shift change to inform them of the acquisition
  • Communicate with employees in AP, AR status of corporate structure, and changes necessary in daily operations
  • Determine which Acquirer executive will visit the locations
  • Recommend welcome week site visit schedule and agenda based on a generic close date
  • Finalize welcome week schedule with team - need to align with the Acquirer master welcome schedule
Additional Day 1 - Day 30 Checklists:

Communications

Excerpt from Post-Merger Integration Communication Plan Checklist

For the communication plan to be successful:

  • Multiple channels of communication should be used in order to reach the highest number of people
  • A single point of “editorial control” will enhance the quality and consistency of messages: VP of HR is the designated final approver before distribution of employee communications to Acquiree
  • The individuals designated as distribution point contacts will have the processes in place as well as the availability necessary to quickly disseminate information to their stakeholder groups
  • Dates have not been finalized. As the plans surrounding the acquisition evolve, the dates suggested in the timeline and communication plan will be updated
  • Since the communication plan provides a structure for executing communications rapidly, it can be finalized and shared in advance of deal announcement; specific message content will depend on the outcome of deal negotiations which are still ongoing
  • Resources within the Information Systems group will be available to support information postings to the intranet, global email/video distribution, and establishment of an email box supporting two- way communications
  • Video production will be provided by an outside vendor
  • Majority of stakeholders are English-speaking; translations, where necessary, will be coordinated by the regional offices

Establish global communication team

  • Team member name and contact list (remember to include new owners)
  • Writers
  • Presenters
  • Video crew
  • People to distribute press release, memos, videos, letters to customers/suppliers
  • Media contacts
  • Schedulers for employee meetings
  • People to post communications on notice boards/ intranets

Notify global communication team members of roles and responsibilities

Notify executives of communication roles and responsibilities

Press Release

  • Prepare draft
  • Get draft approved
  • Establish release date, time, distribution list, order of distribution (take different times zones into account)
  • Distribute
  • Post on intranet sites
  • Post on notice boards

Video

  • Schedule date/ time/ location to shoot
  • Notify presenters
  • Arrange for video crew
  • Write video script
  • Get video script approved
  • Shoot video
  • Edit video
  • Distribute video
  • Post video on intranet sites

Employee Meetings

  • Schedule date/time/locations to conduct
  • Notify presenters
  • Create agenda
  • Draft PowerPoint presentation
  • Get presentation approved
  • Distribute presentation to presenters
  • Draft FAQs and get approved
  • Distribute FAQs to presenters
  • Brief presenters/ answer questions
  • Conduct meetings
  • Gather feedback
  • Continue to update and post FAQs on intranet sites

Customer Letters

  • Determine distribution list
  • Determine distribution channel(s)
  • Draft letter and get approved
  • Distribute letter
Additional Communication Checklists:

Sales and Marketing

Excerpt from Sales and Marketing M&A Integration Playbook

Establish a customer loss prevention program

  • Identify and prioritize "at-risk" accounts
  • Develop sales strategies and presentations
  • Update informational brochures and product profiles
  • Create media releases
  • Develop customer service Q&A scripts

Determine account coverage

  • Define main point of contact for each account/customer on Day 1
  • Share customer lists by sales/account manager
  • Define process for how customer interface will proceed with Account Management for day-to-day business operations
  • Separately identify sales agents/representatives by account
  • Create list of short-term policy/procedures required

Develop additional policies and procedures 

  • Employment policies / agreements
  • Incentive / compensation structure
  • Severance and stay packages

Develop plan to capture synergies

  • Markets
  • Number of accounts
  • Average size
  • Customers
  • Territories
  • Products / Services
  • Marketing / Advertising
  • Sales force
  • Call centers

Communicate product issues and organization changes

  • External audience 
  • Suppliers
  • Vendors
  • Consumers
  • Internal audience
  • Sales force
  • Marketing

 Communicate to Acquiree's sales force

  • Prepare clear consistent communication messages
  • Communicate advantages / positive aspects of joint value proposition
  • Determine message delivery mechanisms
  • Establish feedback mechanisms

Identify new performance measures and incentive plan changes and communicate to Acquiree employees

  • Develop and structure retention / incentive programs 

Determine if any immediate brand names / logos / packaging will change

  • If yes, plan for conversion

Determine how Acquiree will position itself 

  • Identify if there is a need to use the Acquiree's name brand for a specified time once the deal has closed 
  • Determine the specific guidelines for usage of the Acquirer's name -  legal / regulatory issues
  • Plan transition to Acquirer's (time frame)

Define training requirements for new staff and sales force

  • Training programs for appropriate groups
  • Product explanations
  • Sales structure
  • Benefits of Acquirer's networks
  • IT system and use
  • Performance measures

Assist in coordination of external communications

  • Provide input for news release to Communications Team
  • Provide input for letters to customers to Communications Team
  • Coordinate communications with Key Customer list

Assist in coordination of internal communications

  • Provide input for internal newsletter to Communications Team
  • Update Acquirer Sales Tool Kit

Implement migration plans

  • Organization changes
  • Sales / Field office reconfiguration
  • Technology transfers
  • New logo, brand names, packaging

Continuously capture feedback 

  • Identify new technologies and capabilities that can increase revenue
  • Assess reactions to new / modified products and adjust marketing and sales plans as necessary

Identify new customer target opportunities

  • Identify potential new customers across businesses
  • Assess customer needs across businesses
  • Identify customer segmentation by product use
  • Determine target customer profitability

Legal

Excerpt from Post-Merger Integration Checklists: IT, HR, Finance, and Legal

Intellectual Property Management

  • Evaluate different system options to manage and rationalize
  • Implement changes to IP management system
  • Identify Acquired Company IP to be incorporated into system
  • Update IP trade secret registry
  • Review patent strategy
  • Review trademark strategy
  • Review Acquired Company Domain name transition
  • Determine fate of Acquired Company mark

Compliance - Code of Conduct

  • Review and analyze Acquired Company Code of Conduct
  • Review procedure of on-boarding new employees / current employees with respect to Code of Conduct
  • Prepare and review gap analysis of compliance review
  • Identify and address need for communication and training on code of conduct and SOX
  • Schedule compliance presentation and training based on findings above
  • Schedule a date for formal presentation (within first 30 days)

Employee Contracts Review

  • Gather and review severance policy
  • Review employment contracts where acquisition triggers change in financial or contract terms
  • Review employee handbooks and ethics policies for legal conformity
  • Review and assess all non-standard employment terms
  • Assess any remaining key contracts/agreements warranting review or that might be impacted by change-in-control
  • Identify any key legal issues relating to any termination
  • Schedule a review meeting with HR prior to planned attrition date to review any key issues
  • Schedule with HR to review the RIF date and plan
  • Review list of key documents necessary for severance packages
  • Verify severance documentation complies with legal requirements
  • Schedule and review final severance process and documentation with HR prior to termination date

Other Contracts

  • Execute change in control notifications
  • Include most favored nations clauses in contracts
  • Review debt covenants
  • Assign contracts when appropriate 
  • Address implications of enhanced safety on Acquired Company's contractors
  • Review IT contracts/license
  • Add Acquired Company leases to database and collect related information to manage leases

Organizational Planning

  • Establish direct report leaders
  • Complete end-state organization chart
  • Build transition plan for each affected group
  • Execute plans, and monitor and adjust as needed
  • Identify personnel who will be incented to stay
  • Onboard all transitioning and permanent employees
  • Ensure appropriate actions on separation of employees
  • Communicate to internal clients about obtaining legal support

System

  • Integrate Acquiring Company's employees into system
  • Develop single records retention policy and schedule
  • Transfer Acquired Company SharePoint legal records to Acquiring Company
  • Align Iron Mountain accounts

Compliance

  • Transfer Acquired Company training licenses to Acquiring Company
  • Reroute ethics hotline to Acquiring Company
  • Consolidate Acquired Company's cases into case management system
  • Add Acquired Company employees to Acquirer's compliance reporting system
  • Prepare any mandatory filings triggered by merger
  • Update corporate compliance reporting