Post-Merger Integration Checklist: Discover Key Steps to a Seamless Transition

Updated: Apr 12 ‘23 Published: Apr 12 ‘23 35 min read

PWC has found that 60% of CEOs will accelerate M&A activities in 2023. Additionally, over 90% of M&A and private equity leaders achieved desired outcomes with transformation deals and post-merger integration (PMI) in 2022. Still, successful post-merger integration requires careful planning. 

This post describes the importance of integration planning and provides recommendations for smooth integration. Keep reading to discover the PMI place in the M&A timeline and get a comprehensive post-merger integration checklist.

post-merger integration checklist

What is post-merger integration?

The deal closure is just the tip of the M&A iceberg. According to Ernst & Young, the post-merger integration process is the biggest challenge among all M&A activities.

Post-merger integration (PMI) is when two companies combine resources, technologies, people, and business functions to maximize the value of the merger.

In successful acquisitions, PMI activities center around a detailed integration checklist plan. A post-acquisition integration checklist is a multi-step guideline that outlines essential PMI activities in the M&A timeline to realize integration goals.

The importance of post-merger integration

Boston Consulting Group emphasizes that companies still spread PMI activities across the day-to-day chores of their departments. 

However, putting PMI in the background is the reason why 70-90% of deals fail during a post-merger integration phase.

Fortunately, the PMI perspective has changed in 2023.

PWC’s 2023 M&A integration survey shows that addressing integration aspects helps 45% of organizations achieve significant operational success. It’s a 236% increase compared to 2017-2019 measurements.

PWC also considers a well-defined post-merger integration plan the second most important contributor to successful PMI. It allows companies to conduct wise risk management, realize synergies, and generate higher value.

Key elements of post-merger integration

One should build post-merger integration planning around the main business aspects, including but not limited to:

  • Products and services – Integrating and optimizing products and services.
  • Marketing – Rebranding, developing marketing strategies for shared audiences, channeling new and existing customers to the unified brand.
  • Supplies – Reevaluating assets, consolidating suppliers, and optimizing procurement processes.
  • Real estate – Selling redundant facilities or obtaining new holdings, relocating employees, and optimizing production facilities.
  • Human resources – Optimizing employee policies, integrating HR systems, optimizing staff, etc. 
  • IT systems – Optimizing, consolidating, or replacing IT systems, and migrating corporate data.
  • Finances – Combining financial and operations systems, identifying and implementing financial synergies.
  • Legal – Restructuring a merged entity and managing compliance, including regulatory approvals, contracts, agreements, leadership structure, etc.

M&A integration timeline

According to McKinsey, 50% of successful acquirers achieve key synergy targets within the first year. 

PWC’s research on 200+ M&A deals has found that successful dealmakers integrate first business functions three months post-deal and finish PMI within 1.5 years. Finances take the least time, while IT systems require the most effort.

Therefore, you should set PMI timelines within these timeframes and aim to complete PMI in 1.5 years post-deal at maximum. Let us get to the PMI phases in the M&A timeline.

PMI phasePosition in the M&A timeline
Pre-planningFinal due diligence stage
PMI due diligenceAfter primary due diligence, when both parties finalize the deal closing decision
Day 1 readinessThe first day after deal closing
Day 100From day 100 post-deal and beyond

How to achieve successful post-merger integration?

PWC has found that a robust methodology, wise leadership, timely cultural integration, and seamless communication strategy help companies meet PMI deadlines.

Businesses must also build PMI processes around M&A due diligence team findings. As an acquiring company, you should prepare a due diligence request in advance. As a seller, you should consider these questions to ask when your company is being acquired.

Check a comprehensive due diligence data room checklist to build a robust foundation for post-merger integration.

Acquisition integration team roles and responsibilities

Successful merger requires establishing dedicated PMI management teams in advance. They include a steering committee, an integration management office (IMO), and various teams supervising particular business processes.

PMI team Composition Roles and responsibilities
Steering committee

Chief executive officer (CEO)

Develops a general post-merger integration plan

Chief financial officer (CFO)

Supervises the entire merger process

Chief operating officer (COO)

Approves PMI strategies and objectives

Chief HR officer (CHRO)

Prioritizes integration initiatives

M&A and PMI advisors

Conduct post-merger evaluation

Board officers

Ensure project stakeholder alignment


Integration manager

Develops integration checklists
Supervises particular integration activities
Manages integration planning issues

Project managers

Ensure cross-department collaboration
Develop integration strategies

Business analysts

Track PMI process improvement

Functional integration team leads

Report to the steering committee

Functional teams

Technical experts

Execute the post-acquisition integration project


Follow post-merger integration checklists


Engage in day-to-day integration activities

Procurement specialists

Bring the entire process into action


Report to IMO

Post-merger integration checklist: How to implement and customize

A post-acquisition integration plan checklist facilitates deals involving two or more companies and helps executives manage the first acquisitions. One can use the checklist as a reference to keep integration teams on track and increase accountability.

An acquiring company should develop the acquisition integration checklist at an early PMI planning stage and elaborate on it as the integration progresses.

Below, you can check the PMI checklist encompassing everything from preparations to PMI closing activities. As every M&A deal comes with unique challenges, you should customize the checklist based on your workflows.

Day 1 preparation

Integration governance

Establish a steering committee and an IMO

Assemble functional PMI teams

Establish a post-merger integration framework

Define best practices, policies, and priorities in the PMI timeline

Develop the integration roadmap, including Day 1, Day 30, Day 60, and Day 100

Establish must-have and desirable integration goals

Define integration benefits and synergies

Allocate and review legal due diligence results (legal structure, litigations, contracts, regulatory requirements)

Define Day 1 must-have and desired activities

Develop a synergy tracking approach

Establish synergy evaluation criteria

Cash management

Conduct PMI cost analysis

Prepare financial records

Consider financial synergies based on due diligence results

Allocate capital across responsible departments based on integration objectives

HR integration

Conduct employee audits and gather employee lists for both companies

Review payroll structures for both companies

Consider employee benefits for both companies

Identify key talents to meet from the Day 1 phase

Review employee contracts

Consider employee relations with labor unions

Consider employee support and training initiatives

Consider corporate culture initiatives

IT integration

Audit technology systems for both companies

Ensure the IT integration strategy reflects the company’s growth strategy and ensures competitive advantage

Identify technology redundancies and consolidation opportunities

Enable uninterrupted access to current technology systems

Evaluate data security risks and identify weak spots in existing systems and technologies

Marketing and communications

Develop communication frameworks and guidelines for employees, customers, key stakeholders, and partners.

Consider communication channels for integration management teams (virtual workspaces, virtual data rooms, emails, video conferencing apps, etc.)

Consider communication channels for shareholders, board directors, and partners.

Prepare welcoming materials for Day 1.

Consider press releases for customers, partners, and other external parties.

Day 1-30

Integration governance

Ensure Preparation Phase activities are complete

Ensure Day 1 plan execution

Address past and emerging issues

Ensure regulatory compliance readiness


Access the financial systems of the acquired company

Ensure PMI budgeting is complete

Meet key employees to discuss PMI execution

Let employees sign required contracts

Introduce employee support and training initiatives

Access HR systems of the acquired organization

Introduce company culture improvement strategies

IT systems

Ensure the staff has access to respective IT systems

Set up communication systems for employees, customers, external stakeholders, partners, and others

Initiate technology consolidation plans

Marketing and communications

Conduct planned meetings

Distribute planned materials among customers, employees, shareholders, partners, and others

Announce the merged entity’s CEO

Day 30-60

Integration governance

Ensure 30-day goals and activities get completed

Review ongoing issues

Report 30-day milestones to board directors, shareholders, and investors

Assess integration benefits

Track and analyze synergies progress

Implement on-demand policies and new contracts

Ensure regulatory compliance


Ensure consistency in financial statements

Initiate integration processes around the financial system

Review integration budget spending

Analyze growth forecasts for the post-integration period

Establish a financial reporting system for the combined entity

Human resources

Analyze employee metrics (turnover, job satisfaction, performance)

Develop and update onboarding documentation

Establish unified HR policies for the new entity

Identify and eliminate HR redundancies

Inspect how employee support and training initiatives perform

IT systems

Audit existing technology projects

Consider how integrated solutions will perform

Implement necessary IT changes within the integration plan

Review security compliance and security performance

Marketing and communications

Conduct planned meetings and ensure lower management meetings occur as planned

Review marketing campaigns

Develop marketing strategies for the combined entity

Implement marketing (branding, customer experience) changes based on the integration plan

Sales distribution

Ensure customer communications occur as planned

Review pricing models

Revise and combine customer lists of the target company

Revise and combine product lists of the target company

Develop sales forecasts for the post-integration period


Review operations and identify synergies and redundancies

Assess project management performance for both companies

Review inventory systems based on due diligence findings

Identify inventory and real estate consolidation opportunities

Conduct on-site checks

Supply chain integration

Review supplier contracts

Analyze supplier consolidation opportunities

Update vendor contracts

Day 60-100

Integration governance

Complete 30-day and 60-day integration milestones

Track, analyze, and report synergies

Analyze and track integration benefits

Ensure regulatory compliance throughout PMI goals and achievements

Identify and address conflict of interest

Optimize the combined company’s organizational structure


Track and evaluate financial synergies

Consolidate financial records

Report financial metrics for the integration period

Human resources

Address turnover issues

Evaluate and correct HR policies based on performance and integration goals

Evaluate and update employee support and training programs

Manage labor-related issues, such as employee satisfaction or union relations

IT systems

Finish IT performance evaluations

Identify IT consolidation targets based on business functions

Merge IT infrastructure

Implement IT security policies across the combined company

Marketing and communications

Finish branding changes

Update marketing funnels and direct customers to new websites

Update customer touchpoints

Sales and distribution

Update pricing policies if needed

Establish and maintain communication with new clients

Determine a long-term customer relationship management system

Day 100 and beyond

Integration governance

Complete the post-merger integration plan

Analyze achieved synergies and ensure value creation

Finish legal optimization

Wrap up integration work streams upon PMI completion

Remove all redundancies


Fully implement a financial system for the combined company

Review financial metrics for the integration period

Human resources

Fully implement HR systems and policies for the combined entity

Continue employee support and training programs

Implement career development initiatives, benefits, and bonuses

IT systems

Transfer data and workflows to new systems

Finish infrastructure integrations

Marketing and communications

Approve and launch branding campaigns

Launch marketing strategies for the combined entity

Ensure smooth communication between marketing teams and supervise deadlines

Sales and distribution

Implement new business development models

Finish employee training regarding new products and services

Virtual data rooms as a post-merger integration tool

Fortune 1,000 companies, mid-sized, and small businesses use virtual data rooms (VDRs) to facilitate post-merger integration. A virtual data room is a cloud workspace with dedicated M&A lifecycle management tools. 

It drives M&A deals from preliminary acquisition research and cybersecurity M&A due diligence to post-merger integration and daily file sharing. A virtual data room combines the best PMI practices and ensures continuous improvement across the entire M&A timeline:

  • PMI due diligence. A secure central repository and data management tools accelerate integration research. A data room for due diligence helps PMI teams validate research findings and align post-deal integration with growth strategies.
  • Standardization. Standardized document formats, version control, audit trails, and M&A workflows unify integration procedures. It drastically speeds up the process as everyone follows the same framework.
  • Communication. Centralized messaging, document storage, and Q&A tools enable quick file-sharing and reduce communication silos. Tasks, redactions, annotations, comments, and other collaboration tools improve the accountability and engagement of functional integration teams.
  • Cybersecurity. Bank-grade data encryption, role-based access, and document security tools provide top-notch security and compliance. A VDR leaves no room for data breaches, misused documents, or violated agreements.

The virtual data room market enumerates over 100 solutions, and selecting the right one will help a company achieve the best results. To accelerate VDR selection, one can compare key players in the VDR market and use the knowledge and experience of data room reviews.

Key takeaways

Companies should start planning post-merger integrations before M&A closing to harness acquisition benefits and survive in the long run.

For this, top executives should establish post-merger integration management bodies, like steering committees and PMI management offices. 

They should develop comprehensive integration plans to accelerate PMI and address ongoing issues as early as possible. A post-merger integration finance checklist will be the easiest to implement, while IT integration takes the most time.

To kickstart PMI and achieve integration goals, successful companies use technology solutions, including virtual data rooms. 


An M&A integration checklist covers essential tasks and requirements companies should follow to achieve seamless post-merger integration.
Post-deal activities should begin with a comprehensive post-acquisition integration plan checklist. One should develop it before the deal closes to ensure a fast and efficient PMI start.
To create a merger and acquisition integration checklist, one should establish the PMI leadership team and carefully plan the entire integration from start to finish.


Marketing specialist at

Elisa is a marketing specialist with 15 years of experience. She worked for many VDR brands and gained insider knowledge of the industry.

At, Elisa conducts marketing research, develops content plans, supervises content teams, and develops VDR review methodology. She envisions her mission as distributing accurate knowledge of virtual data rooms.

“My mission is to deliver accurate and relevant knowledge of virtual data rooms to as many people as possible.”

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