Bookkeeping checklist

Evening/morning all,

Apologies if this is in the wrong place, it's the first time properly using a forum so amateur traits will show I'm afraid.

So I'm coming very close to finally finishing my studies (L4 Dipl by Sept) and, having worked in industry roles covering most financial aspects over the last two years, I'd like to go SE as a bookkeeper. I'm surrounded by ex-mining towns full of lads on the tools and sole-traders and the potential is there for business, that I don't doubt. What I do doubt is my knowledge of what I need/should be doing to set up SE.

I've read all sorts and being a person who likes straight talking and straight answers I am finding them hard to come by. Could somebody please help me out by providing answers to the following:

- Still being a student AAT member am I bound by the body; could I provide the service now, for example, without any affiliation to the body or do I need to be a full member and MIP?
- If I the above answer is no and I registered with IAB as a full member instead, would I still need to be an MIP too before trading?
- Do I need a practice license to be a bookkeeper?
- I'm right in saying I should be registered with HMRC for MLR?
- Are there any other bodies I should be registering with (Data Protection I'm guessing)?
- Is there anything else, especially blatant, that I am missing that could potentially land me in water if I was ignorant enough to miss it?

I'm sure there is an abundance of knowledge on this forum so I really hope you can help out. I'd love to make a start and stop worrying that I'm missing any vital ingredients. I read read plenty about those who purposely disobey the rules of the game with being self-employed; I'd hate to fall foul of it without even knowing!

Sam (Bert)
Accountant & Business Advisor
Law Student
School Governor (Have you considered becoming one? Schools need Accountants!)
Local Parish Councillor

Do not underestimate your abilities. That is your boss' job


  • MarieNoelle
    MarieNoelle Moderator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,369
    Hi Sam,
    On your question regarding providing services as a student, I remember reading on the AAT website that you will not be able to refer yourself as AAT - only Full Members and MIP are allowed to use the letters.
    A practicing licence can only be awarded by a professional body, so again you would have to be a full member before you can apply for one. I do not know what the IAB requirements are so can not advise on this.
    As you mentioned you need to be registered for MLR and also DP with the ICO if you are handling client's personal data. I would also strongly recommend you get Personal Indemnity Insurance.

    It may be advisable to get some bookkeeping experience first within a local practice and once you are fully qualified apply to the AAT MIP scheme?

    I hope this helps :)
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