Tax & Payroll

lmiddleham Registered Posts: 71 ? ? ?

I was wondering how the people who run their own practices managed to get their payroll/tax knowledge from.

I’ve thought about setting up in practice but my knowledge of tax/payroll is minimal and all other practices seem to offer these services. I'm an MAAT and I have some tax knowledge from the Business Tax unit and am now studying CIMA but despite this my tax knowledge is limited and payroll close to non existent.

Did all the MIPs do the AAT payroll qualification or some ATT certificates which I know covers some PAYE issues as well as other tax matters?

I was thinking to start I might just speak to local practices about outsourcing bookkeeping but if I wanted to grow I think tax & payroll knowledge would be a must if I’m to get any business

Thanks for your replies


  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    My payroll knowledge I gained from general studies and plus my wife has worked in payroll for a number of years. I don't really offer payroll services as such. I do do it but I don't really take on clients juts for payroll but will include it as part of a package.

    I have not done the AAT Payroll qualification. Also I have not done ATT although, it was my plan, I just simply haven't had time.

    I gained my tax knowledge from working in a small practice. I had an all round role. I did Accounts preparation, VAT work, Personal tax work and corporate tax work so I gained alot of knowledge. I had interviews at larger firms but I would have been in just tax, or just accounts prep which didn't appeal to me. This together with taking both tax units has given me my knowledge.

    You are right to look at gaining some experience first. I would see if you can get a role where you have some tax exposure and do that for a while before setting up on your own. Bookkeeping is ok if you like it but people often want tax advice so this is a must really to run a practice offering more than just bookkeeping.

    Best of luck

  • Dcollins
    Dcollins Registered Posts: 179 ? ? ?
    You really do need to know what you're doing before offering tax and payroll services. I can't imagine how stressful it would be if you didn't. It also helps your bookkeeping if you know how the accounts and tax returns are prepared, and helps your clients if you know what's allowable and what's not.

    I've not done any specific payroll qualifications, but have qualified with ACCA, which didn't help much with payroll, but was useful for business tax.

    I learned payroll the hard way - doing manual weekly and monthly payrolls (in the days when there was no online anything and all accountants used pencils). Before setting up my practice I'd done payroll and VAT (with complications) for 18 years, and CT for 6 years.

    I've probably learned more through CPD and experience than by qualifying.

    There's no substitute for experience. Why not speak to local practices about getting a job with them doing tax and payroll, rather than doing their bookkeeping as a third party.

    Good luck.
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