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Site maintenance, Tuesday 30 September - Thursday 2 October

Were carrying out some maintenance work on the AAT discussion forums (forums.aat.org.uk) on Tuesday 30 September 2014, and this is now likely to run into Thursday 2 October. What this means for you:

- You will still be able to search the site and access all threads as normal.
- New users wont be able to register for an account.
- You wont be able to post new threads or reply to existing threads.
- This will have no effect on the AAT website (aat.org.uk).

You should be able to post to the forums as normal (and new users should be able to register) by the evening of Thursday 2 October.

Apologies for the inconvenience in the meantime, and thanks for your patience.

Stuart Waterman
AAT Online Community Manager
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  • Self employed bookkeeper??

    Hi there<BR><BR>I have just finished the Intermediate level (apart from last exam result!), and my aim is to become self employed. The problem being that it is one thing to study this but another to actually do it, because of all the peculiarities of different sets of accounts. <BR><BR>I have written to numerous accountants in the area, and in desperation even offered to work for nothing for a month, just to get some work experience. Nothing came of this, so I contacted some local recruitment agencies for temporary jobs, and they said I would definitely need experience first - it's like the chicken and the egg. I have also tried writing to local charities, to get voluntary bookkeeping work, but have had no positive response.<BR><BR>I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall at the moment, and would like to just put an advert in the local paper (as a self employed bookkeeper) and hope for the best. Unfortunately, I do not feel that I have enough knowledge yet to inflict myself on someone else's accounts. I would hate to make a mistake and bankrupt someone!<BR><BR>Has anyone else had this problem, or got any advice.<BR>Thanks<BR>

  • #2
    Self employed bookkeeper??

    Hi<BR>It sounds like you're doing all the right things. What sort of jobs are you going for on a temporary basis? I would have thought that anything (no matter how lowly it may seem) would be a start. It feels like once you've got a bit of experience in something you might be able to change to what really interests you.<BR><BR>I started off by doing the books for my church (when I had just started intermediate). I then helped a friend set up a small business (by showing them how to set up spreadsheets & advising what records to keep - have you checked out the Inland Revenue website - there's loads of info there). This was enough to enable me to convince an accountancy practice I could have a go at bookkeeping/final accounts etc. In fact my first job came as a direct result of the voluntary work I did - the auditor who checked it contacted me & asked me in for an interview.<BR><BR>I realise this sounds like it happended easily for me but at one time I felt just like you & had no experienc & no hope of getting any. I think you've just got to persevere - you just never know what's around the corner.

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    • #3
      Self employed bookkeeper??

      Hi there<BR>Thanks very much for your reply. I would be prepared to do any work related to bookkeeping/accounts, and have tried for purchase/sales ledger clerk, data inputter etc. <BR><BR>I think that the voluntary work idea may be a good way in, and I think I will persevere with that in particular. <BR><BR>Maybe I haven't enough confidence in myself and my abilities, but I feel that it is a bit of a risk to advertise as a self employed bookkeeper just yet, much as I'd like to.<BR><BR>Thanks again for your advice.

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      • #4
        Self employed bookkeeper??

        I think you probably do need to gain some experience which will in turn increase your confidence. Once I'd been offered some work, I set myself up as self-employed and do work on a 'sub-contract' basis. I do mainly sole traders & partnership final accounts which give me lots of experience of different types of businesses & also do some bookkeeping for them. Once I feel I'm ready to take on private clients I hope it'll be an easy transition as my business is already up & running (setting it up is also good experience because you need to look into what is required & can use this to help your own clients).<BR><BR>Good luck & let us know how you get on.<BR><BR>Sue

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        • #5
          Self employed bookkeeper??

          Im afraid I do not have any advice to offer, as I am sort of in the same boat.<BR><BR>I am half way thru Technician stage and would like to start to do bookkeeping from home (as well as working full-time). I have been working in accounts for 4 years so have got the experience, the only things I am worried about are:<BR><BR>- how do I gain clients? My plan is to start doing the bookkeeping 'on the side' as well as keeping my full-time job Then when I have built up a good client base, quit my job and work as self-employed from home.<BR><BR>- Although I have got a few years experience, and am half-way thru Technican, I am concerend that I lack the knowledge to deal with (as Granby11 rightly put it) 'peculiarities' in different clients accounts.<BR><BR>Any advice from anyone already set up as a self-employed bookkeeper would be greatly appreciated .<BR><BR>Thanks

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          • #6
            Self employed bookkeeper??

            Hi - I'm also in the same boat. I too am looking for work &quot;on the side&quot; as well as working. I've just started working in an Accountancy Practice, which will be great experience once I've been there a while.<BR>I have posted a &quot;flyer&quot; around small local companies in the hope that someone, somewhere would like a part-time book-keeper (self-employed or sub-contracted). I have had no response as yet.<BR>How do you go about approaching charities and churches? <BR>I know that it is better to register yourself as self-employed, and can contact your local tax office, and there is a form - I think its an NW1 form, or something like that. - please correct me if I'm wrong.<BR>I am wondering if it will help my prospects if I have MAAT.<BR>Good luck to everyone wanting to become self-employed, and would welcome any help from those who already are. Lorna.

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            • #7
              Self employed bookkeeper??

              Yes it's form CWF1 you need to fill in - you need to send it to IR within 3 months of your start date (starting from the last day of the month in which you began self-employment). You could get yourself organised & ready to take on your first client, but not actually register straight away if you didn't want to. You can look at the form if you go to www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/startingup. Once you register they arrange for you to pay class 2 NI contributions which are a flat rate of £2 per week & need to be paid from the outset (unless your earnings for the year are likely to be under £4095 after expenses, in which case you can apply for exemption).<BR><BR>Not sure how you'd go about approaching charities etc. What about putting flyers up in local halls/community centres where groups tend to meet?<BR><BR>Sue<BR>

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              • #8
                Self employed bookkeeper??

                I am a self-employed book-keeper. I have just set up my own buisness called 1price book-keeping services. I passed my AAT last year. I contacted the international institute of book-keepers for advice. I am now a registered book-keeper through the institute. I perform book-keeping for a number of small buisnesses in the Midlands (Wolverhampton). I also produce the final accounts and self-assessment tax returns. It is a very good thing to get into but I strongly recommend The Institute of book-keepers website. I am just venturing into the payroll side now as well, as anybody got any advice??????????

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                • #9
                  Self employed bookkeeper??

                  hi, do you have the web address for the bookkeeping site? is it free to register with them and what qualifications do you need to do so?<BR><BR>I am doing intermediate at the moment, i know all about setting up and informing inland revenue etc cos i have been doing our own books for our small part time business for two years doing our own SA for the last two years. we have now started another business though which involves more paperwork so probably will leave SA to an accountant this year ( have found one who will let me do as much work as i can myself and he will do the rest) <BR>Having our own businesses has been very helpful having to learn all about VAT etc as we have just registered but i totally understand where you are coming from regards being 'frightened' to do 'other' peoples books. my brother in law is in business but i declined from having anything to do with his books. <BR><BR>Can you become MAAT if you are not 'employed' in an accounts role? ie like myself, just doing books etc for our own use.<BR><BR><BR><BR>

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                  • #10
                    Self employed bookkeeper??

                    If you go onto www.google.co.uk and type in assiciation of book-keepers the site will come up. There are three levels of membership and all three have different costs. I have passed my AAT and it cost me £20 for my exemption fee from sitting any exams and £55 for my membership. For this you get the letters FIAB after your name, you get a proffessional practicing certificate and you can use the words 'Registered Book-keeper'. You also get an advert in the yellow pages and discount on your professional indemnity insurance if like me you go into Accountancy services. <BR><BR>I am from Wolverhampton and just setting up working from home performing all Accountancy duties for small businesses, if you know anybody who is in need of my services please give them my mobile number 07739730681 and my name is Mark. I am also an agent at the Inland Revenue. I am happy to help so please keep responding.

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