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Just feel like giving up

RachelRachel Trusted RegularFMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
I became a MIP so that I could work for myself while my children are small.

I feel that every client seems to be a massive learning curve and I feel incompetent, having to research nearly everything.

I am worried that my clients will have an investigation and find that I have made errors.

Do other MIP's feel like this?

I do only take work I am experience to do.

Comments

  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,042
    Rachel wrote: »
    I became a MIP so that I could work for myself while my children are small.

    I feel that every client seems to be a massive learning curve and I feel incompetent, having to research nearly everything.

    I am worried that my clients will have an investigation and find that I have made errors.

    Do other MIP's feel like this?

    I do only take work I am experience to do.

    Re: learning, if there is something you don't know just post it on this forum, I'm sure someone will respond. If it relates to VAT I'll definitely take a look and if it relates to small businesses I'll probably take a look. If you don't know the answer to a client's question then just tell the client that you'll look up their question against the latest tax rules and get back to them.

    I've been in accountancy & tax for around 3 years and I'm still learning all the time (I've probably only just scratched the surface).

    I'm sure there are people with 10+, 20+, 30+ years of experience still learning.

    The more jobs you do, the more research you'll have to do, and the more experience you'll gain.

    It is such a cliche but things will get easier- the first few years are always the hardest because you're learning/researching.

    Just out of interest what areas are you having to research (having to research is normal by the way because rules/rates are always changing).
  • BIG WALBIG WAL Well-Known Registered Posts: 133
    I still get that feeling - and have been entirely on my own for a good 12 or more years. Please do not
    get discouraged.

    I occasionally deal with a large and substantial independent local practice who audit a charity I do the
    bookkeeping for. When we opened a retail shop I asked them about VAT treatment. They admitted to
    not knowing the answer and had to ask an outside VAT consultant.

    Re investigations, I fully understand as it's often a concern for me too. However, I've found most HMRC queries are well within my knowledge to handle. I do make it plain that any work over and above what's agreed can be charged separately, and would outsource anything I really couldn't handle.
  • Laura8192Laura8192 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 95
    I started my practice 6 months ago and am feeling the same to be honest, constantly researching as I don't want to get anything wrong, spending a lot of time reading these forums as normally someone has asked the same question in the past. I think that as accountants we are constantly having to research and learn, as rules change so often. I need to come up with a new way of saying to potential clients "I don't know...!" I like readers comment to say you need to check that against the lastest tax rules, sounds much better than "I don't know...".

    I don't know about you but I am also finding my practice growing at a much slower pace than I originally planned for, luckily I still work 4 days a week to supplement my income.

    I'd say don't give up, it will get easier.
  • AllanAllan New Member Registered Posts: 25
    I echo what everyone else has said Rachael, no matter how long you've been doing it you won't have come across every possible scenario you will face.

    I left industry where I had the same cycle of work every Month that I could do standing on my head and I remember thinking early on that I had made the biggest mistake of my life.

    You'll learn lots on the way and stuff you're worrying about now will become second nature soon, but I don't think learning ever stops, unless you take on the same kind of work/clients all the time.

    I've been a long time reader of the forum, for years (before I was in practice) and others and the knowledge of many of the contributors is superb. You have your local branch meetings to build further contacts, the technical help line etc.
  • RachelRachel Trusted Regular FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
    Thanks everyone.

    I am a worrier and I really worry that I have misinterpretated something incorrect etc.

    I have an ex Lunn & Co client and reading all about it makes me panic.

    One of my main worries is that I class something as subsistance and it should be entertaining.

    From seeing some other accountants work I know that all accounts are not 100% but if I/my clients was investigated anything found will look bad on me. Is this something my PI coverss or does the client just have to stump up?
  • villapbvillapb Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 357
    Some days the stress is so bad in practise i feel like walking out .............then other days its cool........accountancy is a demanding, challenging profession.
    I think many people underestimate what is required...........
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,042
    Rachel wrote: »
    Thanks everyone.

    I am a worrier and I really worry that I have misinterpretated something incorrect etc.

    I have an ex Lunn & Co client and reading all about it makes me panic.

    One of my main worries is that I class something as subsistance and it should be entertaining.

    From seeing some other accountants work I know that all accounts are not 100% but if I/my clients was investigated anything found will look bad on me. Is this something my PI coverss or does the client just have to stump up?

    I've dealt with many ex-Christopher Lunn clients, and as I'm sure you know from your experiences, what his firm was doing re: accounting/tax was completely inexplicable and down right bizarre. I'm sure you're not going to do anything extreme or strange.

    Re: subsistence, I normally have around a £10 cut-off, i.e. if the bill is more than £15 I will generally post it to entertainment.

    With subsistence/entertainment I generally use a common sense approach and just try to be reasonable/sensible with regard to what is subsistence, what is entertainment and what is personal.

    Remember, client entertaining is the provision of free hospitality, i.e. paying for a client's restaurant bill, accommodation, etc. If the bill looks like it relates to entertaining (e.g. restaurant bill, lots of drinks, etc) it is because it probably is entertaining. You'll get better at using your "professional judgement" the more jobs you do.
  • AntoinnetteAntoinnette Well-Known Registered Posts: 118
    A few months ago I wrote a similar post! I know how you feel but it gets better the more clients you get. I also started doing some subcontracting work for another MIP which went a long way to make me feel confident about what I was doing, preparing the accounts. She is also fab for advice etc. One of the MIPs who replied my post also became my mentor and if I get stuck and cant find answers on the forums I ask him as well.
    I still feel nervous especially when I get clients whose previous accountants have made errors in the accounts. Because I feel there is something I don't know that will explain the error. So far I have just asked on forums and been rightabout them being errors. Hang in there it gets better....Working round the kids is a nightmare though(I have three) but I couldn't have it any other way :001_smile:
  • NewbieNewbie Well-Known Registered Posts: 229
    I would be more concerned about those who don't look things up when they should, experience does bring a sense of confidence but I still look things up to make sure I have not missed some form of change.
  • imeldabyeimeldabye Well-Known Registered Posts: 147
    Rachel where are you based? I am convinced there are any people on this forum that feel the same. I would be interested in setting up a regular "meet" where we could come together and brainstorm/offer support. However won't work if you are in Newcastle! I am in London....
  • JanejJanej Feels At Home North YorkshireRegistered Posts: 50
    Hi Rachel
    I know what you mean. I am a new MIP and just finding my way the same as you are. It can be daunting and I am often out of my comfort zone but I have found the support on here great.
    Do you have a mentor on here that you could ask any questions or just get confirmation on things?
    The fact that you research stuff just shows that you want to get it right for your clients, its not a bad thing or a sign of weakness or lack of knowledge. I am sure your clients would prefer you to say you will research it and get back to them than you give them duff info.
    I am sure you will be fine.
    Jane
  • AntoinnetteAntoinnette Well-Known Registered Posts: 118
    imeldabye wrote: »
    Rachel where are you based? I am convinced there are any people on this forum that feel the same. I would be interested in setting up a regular "meet" where we could come together and brainstorm/offer support. However won't work if you are in Newcastle! I am in London....

    If you do get round to organising this Imelda I would like to come. I think its a brilliant idea:001_smile:
  • RachelRachel Trusted Regular FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
    Looks like I have done another error argh, why is it always on the same client. This one is probably in his favour but means 2 years of corrections. Off to bang my head up the wall :(
  • AntoinnetteAntoinnette Well-Known Registered Posts: 118
    Ouch! The learning curve is pretty steep as a new MIP but it means you learn faster. In the beginning I used to run all my calculations past a more experienced MIP before I sent to the client. I still email my mentor if there are calculations I am not sure of. Are you able to do this? Saves you a lot of the head banging:001_smile:
  • RachelRachel Trusted Regular FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
    Thanks, it isn't really in the calculation it is the documentation that I missed, it is the problem with clients having Ltd companies that are their names.
  • RachelRachel Trusted Regular FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
    I think I need a mentor, anyone willing to be it? Please?
  • JanejJanej Feels At Home North YorkshireRegistered Posts: 50
    Hi Rachel
    Have you posted on the "mentoring scheme for MIP" thread? Thats what I did and a very nice man offered to mentor me.
    Jane
  • RachelRachel Trusted Regular FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
    I have asked for a mentor, thanks Jane. I have lost all confidence :(
    I have contacted my client and he was very good about it, so all is well there.
    Thanks again for the support.
  • AntoinnetteAntoinnette Well-Known Registered Posts: 118
    Hi Rachel, I dont think I have enough years under my belt to mentor but you can pm me questions etc if you are stuck:001_smile: Hopefully someone will come along soon
  • villapbvillapb Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 357
    Rachel the team i work with are brilliant tbh and loads of experience, if you need help pm me ill try to help.
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