Experience needed for self emplyment ?

John Registered Posts: 52 Regular contributor ⭐
I am thinking of retraining and taking the AAT course, with a view to self employment within a year. I assume that initially I will only be able to offer bookkeeping, but later accounting services. Having discussed my previous business experience (director of property company) with the course provider he suggests that I could skip the foundation level.
Would the AAT course be sufficient to commence self employment or is an amount of axperience also needed within a relevant company/accountants ofiice ? (I cannot afford to retrain for something which takes over say 18 months before I can generate an income).


  • angela27
    angela27 Registered Posts: 40 Regular contributor ⭐
    Hi John im probably not the best person to answer your question as i have not yet completed the AAT i am due to start technician next week but thought i would offer my personal opinion anyway. I too started the AAT at intermediate and my goal is also to become self employed after AAT. I would have though the fact that you dont have experience in an office or in an accountants wouldnt make a difference as such to your clients as once you are qualified and offering services you feel comfortable with then it shouldnt be so much of an issue. Perhaps a member in practice out there can tell John when looking for clients and offering services do clients ask for a copy of a CV to see your past work experience or does the fact that you are AAT qualified suffice? Good Luck with it John
  • Bluewednesday
    Bluewednesday Registered Posts: 1,624 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Would you want an operation from a surgeon who has never operated on anyone but has his medical degree?

    Part of being confident in what you can offer is having experience of it surely. I would recommend some work experience in an accountants practice if this is the direction that you want to go.
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    I'm probably in the minority here but I was a self employed bookkeeper (and did a couple of tax returns) before I started my AAT course. However I had a day a week work experience with a MAAT MiP and he 'held my hand' throughout, and always answered my questions on my own clients as needed. I never undertook anything I didn't feel confident in and a lot of my initial clients were my family and friends who got a free/cheap job and I got experience.

    I'm now a full time accountant and there is no way I could have done it without building up to it first. It is possible, but if you are totally on your own I wouldn't advise it.

    Best of luck :)
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