Not another one of those "Is this realistic..." threads

jamesm96jamesm96 Experienced MentorRegistered Posts: 523
Hi all,

I'm sure we've all seen the threads by people who want to 'go it alone' and become self-employed who (quite understandably!) want to get a feel for whether or not their expectations and ideas are achievable and realistic.

The problem is that the answer (to whether or not their goals are reasonable) depends on too many variables for any of us to be able to answer with any real accuracy.

So, if y'all don't mind, I'd like to put the question another way...

Who is there, on here, who left their accountancy employment to start their own practice? And, of those people, who is there who might be candid enough to answer a few questions on how it's gone for them? I'm thinking with particular reference to our non-chartered contingent, but not exclusively so. It's research that interests me very much because I've always been interested in practice development, but which I also think many, many others (not just on here either) could benefit from.

I'm not asking anything personal or confidential. Not yet, anyway.

Cheers all, look forward to hearing from some of you.
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Comments

  • Anne BoleynAnne Boleyn Well-Known Registered Posts: 196
    Hi
    I left employment to go on maternity leave but knew that I would start up on my own instead of returning to work. Don't know if this is what you are looking for but am happy to answer any questions. This is now my sixth year on my own.
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,440
    I left employment to start up my own practice. I had started ACCA before realising it was not what I wanted and not with the company I was with. I had decided to leave and been for interviews. One promised a job but I needed to wait for the new partner to join and settle in (a job offer did eventually arrive during my last week before leaving to set up on my own.)

    This was all back in May 2009. I'm glad I did it and would do it again although there are a few things I would change for the better.

    If you need any more info let me know.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    Sorry, not me, can't help!
  • groundygroundy Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 495
    I left a chartered firm to start a practice with a friend who had been offered the oppurtunity to purchase a block of fees from his current employer. That was 14 years ago and were better than ever although still just the two of us. I wouldnt have considered starting on my own from scratch, however it was scary putting house up as security to purchase block of fees plus this was in the same year that I got married and had not long owned my first house!
  • ademooreademoore Well-Known Registered Posts: 146
    I had to quit my career in manufacturing industry back in 2002 due to husbands job being relocated to the US - with no working VISA for me, I had to completely change tack and jumped into full time volunteering running the finance for a charity. On coming back to UK, I wasn't in a position to start employment with a 22 month old and a 6 week old, so started my own practice instead - from the living room, during nap times!! :0)
    Nap times have long gone, but the business is still here, 7 years later!
    Not sure if this counts!!! It's more of a practice developed out of circumstance rather than a leap of faith!
  • jamesm96jamesm96 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 523
    Guys, thank you all very much for your replies (and I'm sorry but, Monsoon, a reply of any kind constitutes willingness to tell all!).

    So, what I'd like to do is to put together some questions (nice and brief) which I'll collate into a meaningful set of data, if that's something that wouldn't be too intrusive. I'll leave it until we've a few more respondents though so that theres a decent spread of results. There'd obviously be some confidentiality issues which we'd want to clear up first too.

    How does that sound?
  • Anne BoleynAnne Boleyn Well-Known Registered Posts: 196
    Hi Mike

    Not sure if we're supposed to reply but ask anything you like, will be as honest as possible.

    Regards
  • JodieRJodieR Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 1,002
    My immediate employment before going self employed was as 'funding co-ordinator' for business link. If that's close enough for you i'm happy to answer your questions.
  • NatsmommaNatsmomma Feels At Home Registered Posts: 39
    I'd had a vision of starting out on my own whilst on maternity leave 7 years ago, but the shock of motherhood :tongue_smilie:Was enough to contend with at that time!

    I'd been in industry as a management accountant for 15 years when I was made redundant 2 years ago and with my son about to start school the timing was perfect. It's been fantastic to work for myself around school hours and I love what I do.

    Happy to help if this fits your criteria!
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    Yep, jacked in my job and went solo. Wasn't Chartered at the time but have since done CTA. Fire away..
  • jamesm96jamesm96 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 523
    Right all, I'm putting together as brief a questionnaire as I can which will allow us to gather enough info together to be useful to prospective MiPs... expect a message in your PM box shortly to all who suggested (or even those whom I just imagined had suggested) they'd be willing to contribute their opinions and experiences.
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    cool, count me in if its helpful.

    Enjoy the 300 second PM limit.
  • jamesm96jamesm96 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 523
    Monsoon wrote: »
    cool, count me in if its helpful.

    Thank you!
    Monsoon wrote: »
    Enjoy the 300 second PM limit.

    The what now?
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    jamesm96 wrote: »
    Thank you!



    The what now?
    You'll see! :lol:


    [As an anti-spam measure, the forum admins have decreed you need to wait 300 seconds (5 minutes) between each PM you send. When you're not a spammer, it's annoying]
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    Might be easier just to use Survey Monkey or something similar and post a link..
  • jamesm96jamesm96 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 523
    What a fantastic tip, thank you Dean. And thanks for the heads-up Jenny!
  • LynWestLynWest Well-Known Registered Posts: 122
    Hi I worked for a lloyds insurance broker for 10 years in their finance department whilst studying and qualifying for AAT whilst with them. I wanted to work in practice though and whilst studying had a baby. Once qualified whilst still keeping my job i wrote to local accountancy practices. One got back to me. They couldn't match my hours at my current job, so we agreed that i could work around my current job which is what i did for a couple of years.

    Then in Sept 2009, i handed in my notice to my full time job, to start on my own with just 1 client plus the accountant i had been doing work for subbing some of his work out to me! It was a leap of faith, but one i wanted to make with my little boy just starting school i wanted to be there for him in holidays, before and after school and career wise it was where i wanted to be. My father has always been self employed and i was brought up helping him, doing his bookkeeping and VAT returns so it was kind of in my blood.

    Its not always easy, but on the whole its worth it. Any questions fire away! :) x
  • jamesm96jamesm96 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 523
    Hi everyone,

    First of all, thank you very much for all of your willing replies. I hope we can put something really useful together for prospective MIPs and, indeed, something which will probably serve as an interesting reference tool to existing MIPs too!

    Please be assured that the replies you submit will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence. All information received will be anonymised for the purposes of the Guide, and your confidential information will be used solely for the purpose of the Guide. I will present you all with the final report before making it available on the Forum.

    I do appreciate that some of the questions relate to personal / private information; one of the most common questions from people who come to the forums is something along the lines of ‘I believe I can earn such-and-such as an MiP, is this achievable’… etc, so there are some questions about practice turnover / drawings. If you absolutely don’t want to divulge this kind of information then I do understand; please just say so. However, please, please do be as candid as you can so that we can provide some really useful information. I will of course be including my own practice’s information in the results.

    If you would like to answer candidly but have any concerns before doing so, you are very welcome to contact me directly on PM to seek whatever assurances you might like.

    I really do appreciate your help in putting something really useful together for our contemporaries so, without further a do, let’s get to the nitty-gritty…

    As was suggested very helpfully by Dean (thanks Dean!), the survey can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MIPGUIDE

    If there's anything that anyone wants to say / ask, then again, please use the above email address, or PM me.
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    Done. I could have done with a comment box at the end, as I needed to qualify a lot of my answers as my practice has not had a linear progression at all!
  • groundygroundy Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 495
    Done
  • jamesm96jamesm96 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 523
    Thanks ever so much to those of you who've replied already! Incredibly useful info, thank you all so much.
    Monsoon wrote: »
    I could have done with a comment box at the end

    I've added one now, thanks for the suggestion! PM me your comments and I'll include them in the overall summary.
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    Done. Although there is a slight problem with Q.10. I only wanted to put something in 'Other' but I have to tick one of the listed options as well.
  • jamesm96jamesm96 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 523
    Thanks for the comment on Q10 Dean, I've now added an 'Other' option to the list and I'll disregard the one you ticked, yes?
  • jamesm96jamesm96 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 523
    Bump.

    See explanation above; here's the link for the Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MIPGUIDE
  • lorlor Feels At Home Registered Posts: 68
    I'm still employed!

    Hi all,

    I'm still employed and part-time running my own accountancy firm, this counts me out doesn't it.

    Also I want to make the jump one day!
  • jamesm96jamesm96 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 523
    No, part time practices are fine; if anything it'll help provide a broader range of data!
  • lorlor Feels At Home Registered Posts: 68
    ok :), I'll have a look later!
  • JodieRJodieR Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 1,002
    Done
  • jamesm96jamesm96 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 523
    Bump, again. [Is there a limit on bump's before it's considered abuse of bumping privileges?]

    We've had a fair few replies already; thank you to everyone who's been so candid so far. Be great to add a few more practices to the population!
  • stevo5678stevo5678 Well-Known Cheltenham Registered Posts: 326
    Done :)

    Do we get sent the results?

    Thanks
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