Practice Feasibility

Bmer82 Registered Posts: 69
Hi all

I am a FMAAT & also an FCMA and am cosidering becoming an MIP. I appreciate that my Tax knowledge needs to be updated and as such I am considering offering only Management Accounting, Bookeeping and general business advisorary services initially until I have raised my skill set sufficiently in other areas.

That said I am not sure that there will be sufficient interest in only these services without the tax element would be interested to hear the views of current MIPs on this

Thanks in advance



  • reader
    reader Registered Posts: 1,037 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Personally I would say your minimum offering would need to be bookkeeping, VAT and payroll in order to help your clients with monthly and quarterly compliance.

    Ideally, you should then try to add on financial accounts (to Companies House and HMRC) and tax returns (corporation tax and self assessment to HMRC) in order to manage their year end compliance.

    In a perfect world, you should be able to offer a monthly, quarterly and year end compliance service as this will help your clients keep all their compliance under one roof (a bit like using the same provider for gas and electric). It may be difficult for you to sell yourself as an accountant without knowing about tax.

    Finally, things like management accounts and business advisory would be good add on services in order to help you differentiate your services from inexperienced compliance-only accountants.

    If I was you I would think about doing a tax qualification such as ATT before you move into setting up your own practice. This should help you with your knowledge, confidence, and potentially may even help your offer more services.
  • Bmer82
    Bmer82 Registered Posts: 69
    Thanks for your response reader. I am definately looking at a tax knowledge refresh have covered personal tax previously at aat and CT through cima and have touched upon them within my CPD so whilst comfortable with principles I do need to refresh legislative knowledge. I have been looking at ATT but struggling to find a self study route at present.
  • Bertie
    Bertie Registered Posts: 376
    edited February 2017
    +1 for the ATT.

    I agree too that small businesses aren't fussed about analysis.

    To be able to turn a mid year audit trail into opening balance figures, reconciling debtor and creditors lists, together with up to date asset registers and VAT accounts is ultimately the basic requirements.

    What software? cloud, VT, Excel? A mixture of the aforementioned?

    To add, who takes responsibility for what? Will you provide a full bookkeeping service or one where you'll just keep an eye on things on the fly?

    (Make sure your letter of engagement covers XYZ)

    Then on to year end accounts.

    Not knowing what you've experienced in your past leaves it rather difficult as to what to say.

    Aside from direct tax, the tricky element will be (for the first few times anyway) dealing with small business owners and getting your opening balances right from the data you've been provided.

    In fairness after that everything is rule based. (Which of course you know)
  • David Ballantyne
    David Ballantyne Registered Posts: 105 New contributor 🐸
    For info I'm not in practice as yet.

    When I have been doing my own research into how get my tax knowledge up to a professional standard I have found the following.

    It would seem from comments on this and other forums that ATT has the breadth and depth to provide you with the knowledge you need. Actually doing the exams and passing them should give you some confidence that you know what you are doing.

    If you were thinking of just buying the ATT textbooks and studying without doing the exams, then from comments I have seen on the ATT forum you cannot do this, you have to at least buy the distance learning course offered by Tolleys (who provide the only authorised texts anyway).

    Other alternatives;
    You could buy the tax texts for ACCA from Kaplan or BPP and work through these.
    You could buy the tax texts for ICAEW from their authorised supplier and work through these.

    Obviously if you took the ACCA/ICAEW study books option you would not get an actual tax qualification but it would be substantially cheaper than doing the ATT qualification. If you still wanted to have a tax qualification after doing this, you could join the Federation of Tax Advisers (part of the Institute of Financial Accountants), your CIMA tax studies would exempt you from the FTA exam.
    David Ballantyne
    Connect with me on LinkedIn!
    Ballantyne Accountants
  • Bertie
    Bertie Registered Posts: 376
    Hi David,
    You can buy the texts from Tolleys, they are circa £100 each.

    Using F6 and P6 to pass ATT is possible.
    Where you'd be at a slight disadvantage would be the lack of reference to legislation in the ACCA texts.

    I'd personally say ATT goes further into detail than ACCA.

    That being said, having the knowledge ingrained from reading F6 and P6 would put you in a reasonably comfortable position.
  • Bmer82
    Bmer82 Registered Posts: 69
    Yes am contemplating reading ACCA/ICAEW texts as have found i study better in my own way rather than using a provider. From my reading of ATT i would struggle to actually achieve member ship after sitting any exams isnt it 2 years experience within 3 years of passing signed off by a supervisor? Or am I misreading? Which would essentially mean any delay in taking on tax work would considerably hinder membership also who would sign off??
  • Bertie
    Bertie Registered Posts: 376
    The only member bodies with stiff requirements are the ACCA and ICAEW.

    That's not to say the others are 'easy' to get into, there is a little more leeway.

    For ATT membership - self employment counts. Start networking with fellow ATT members, they are able to provide a reference on your behalf.
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