Post studying advice

I have just started AAT level 4 with the intention of starting my own business once finished. I am very aware however that I have no experience of day to day accounting since I have done all of my studies from home, I am considering popping along to the local accounting practices in my town and seeing if i can volunteer on the weekends to get myself some experience.
Is there any advice fellow AAT-ers can give on this either on starting up your own business or for my lack of experience?
Thanks in advance :)


  • StuartW
    StuartW Registered Posts: 472 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    edited February 2015
    Hi Luke,

    I'm sure experienced members will be able to advise from their points of view.

    Aside from that, you might be interested to know that next year AAT will be running some events around the country entitled 'Be your own boss: AAT's guide to starting your own accountancy business'. There will be more info available nearer the time, but I can tell you that they will take place on the following dates:

    Saturday March 21 2015: Milton Keynes

    Saturday 20 June 2015: Peterborough

    Saturday 3 October 2015: York

    Saturday 7 November 2015: London

    (I've now added links to more info and booking for these events.)
  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441

    There are a few things to consider. If you are approaching local practices and make your intentions clear (i.e. of starting your own practice) they may feel a little threatened in terms of a risk to losing clients. Volunteer that you will be willing to sign something to state you will not approach clients for a certain period.

    The other issue I see is that most practices don't open on weekends so you may need to give up a weekday to be able to do this.

    Thirdly it's finding the right type of practice. Too small and its highly likely they simply won't have the time to take on someone with little experience. Too big of a practice and I believe you will struggle to get an all round picture as they often have separate departments for different aspects of the process.

    It will be a good way to get the experience but I would expect you may come accross some difficulties.

    Best of luck.

  • Luke_MacKenzie_Hill
    Luke_MacKenzie_Hill Registered Posts: 3
    StuartW thanks for the info I'll keep my eye on those as that sounds like something I should definately attend.
    Burg I totally agree with the struggles you have suggested and I have thought about the disclaimer about poaching clients. I work full time so a day off in the week wouldn't be possible :( but thanks for the possible issues :)
  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    Slightly off-topic Luke but how do you find your Vibram five fingers? Have you always done bare foot running? Unfortunately I'm quite an over pronator and through the fell season with fell shoes I tend to get a bit of foot pain without the pronation support. Not met anyone who has used them yet and they had quite a hard time in the US.

  • Luke_MacKenzie_Hill
    Luke_MacKenzie_Hill Registered Posts: 3
    Love a bit of a tangent burg so :) I'm still training myself to run properly in them. I used to be just a road runner until a year ago when I got into trail and ultra running and sonce joint the ultra scene my eyes have been opened on the possibilities of running forward (I even saw a chap run 100k in strap up flip flops). I'm really enjoying the bare foot running I'm up to about 8 miles in these with no pain though it has taken a while for the arches of my feet to adjust to not having the cushion that normal shoes provide. They make me feel like I'm run in faster and you practically sprint up hills because of the way the shoe falls to go up a hill flat footed just doesn't feel right. My friend has borrowed these however and he isn't a fan of them as he couldn't get on with the lack of cushioning.
    In summary I'd say definitely worth a try if your thinking about it but take it easy and due to their cost if you can borrow some from someone before you buy them then do that as they aren't for everyone. Maybe try some out at your local running shop if you have one.
    Can you tell that I like running?
  • Ellabobbin
    Ellabobbin Registered Posts: 92 ? ? ?
    Hi Luke, 3 years ago I was where you will shortly be. I wrote to local MIPS asking for work experience, though I did have a weekday to play with.

    2 were receptive to helping me - 1 I now work for part time whilst setting up my own practice, and the other is my study partner for my CTA.

    There have been no issues re poaching of clients, though my boss does acknowledge a couple will probably follow when I eventually leave.

    I would STRONGLY advise going on to study ATT after AAT if you want to work as a MIP. The AAT tax modules quite frankly skim the service of personal and corporation tax, I was horrified at what was new when I came to ATT!

    Whilst I am decreasing the time I work for someone else and increasing my own client base, working in a practice is still invaluable as a learning tool and I will probably retain some hours for another year or two. But I appreciate that I am lucky to have a boss who values what I bring to the table and is flexible with my contracted hours!

    Good luck! Btw where are you based?
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