Could I go out as an MIP?

For a while I’ve considered going self-employed on the side of my full time job (management accountant) but I can’t quite pluck up the courage to do so!

I have been accepted as MIP and I am currently studying ATT (having also completed both BTAX and PTAX in AAT) but not having the experience in a practice world scares me slightly... I don’t even know where to begin to get any clients!

My dad has a Ltd company and I have always practiced his tax returns, year end filing etc but have never actually had to submit any of it myself as he has a chartered accountant who’s always done that, so it’s a bit daunting.

I’d really love to have a chat with anyone who is in a similar position to me or who wouldn’t mind giving me a pep talk! :)


  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
    I've not done similar to you at all as I worked in practice first. From my experience of taking on staff from industry the difficult bit is knowing about all the admin type work going on that happens in order to make a practice run smoothly and also being able to quickly chop and change between clients.

    That doesn't mean those who have worked in industry cannot run a practice but it may be more difficult. You are doing the right thing by being cautious. Is there any way you can take a job in practice to gain some experience first?

  • Neillaw
    Neillaw Registered Posts: 307 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    I've actually been in the same position of coming from industry into practice (it's tough!), the advantage with me was that I did a couple of practice jobs before moving back into industry which gave me a refresher course in how practice works.
    I understand why Burg likes to take on practice staff as your multi tasking with clients, waiting for clients to provide you with information etc.
    In Industry you just go and beat someone's door down for the information but that isn't client friendly.

    However your MA skills can be really useful and can be used for additional revenue as well as attracting new clients.
    i.e Treasury work - cash forecasting as cash is king.
    Credit control
    Internal Systems
    Management accounts

    About half my work is cost accounting for a large SME (£30M turnover).

    One area that you could look at is your dads accountant, try and get him on board to be your mentor in the early stages until your comfortable with everything. You could also offer your services to him on a book-keeping basis together with MA's if required.

    I have a really good mentor who pushes work my way as he's coming up to his capacity and it's cheaper for me to do the book-keeping than him and he doesn't like it. (Win Win for everyone)

    Good luck
  • tcudd
    tcudd Registered Posts: 5
    Sorry for the late reply, for some reason I don't get notified when someone answers!

    Thank you both for your advice, I think it is a good idea to maybe speak to my Dads accountant and see if he would be willing to be a mentor because I definitely don't want to take on anything that I wouldn't be comfortable doing and I am under no impression that it would be easy (especially as I come from industry!)

    I sent out some letters to businesses in my area to see if any bookkeeping work was available (which would be unpaid just for experience) and I got a couple of calls but they all wanted someone on site and I couldn't do that due to working full time.

    I am wondering if going to some networking events might benefit me to speak to other people who have been in my position but that seems very daunting!

    Will keep you guys posted on how I get on speaking to my Dads accountant and thank you again for your replies.
  • Neillaw
    Neillaw Registered Posts: 307 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    The word I don't like in your reply is unpaid!
    You've paid for your qualifications in both time and money so why give it away free.
    Your now in the transition area which is the hardest point, if you decide to go it alone and leave your work I would first have at least 3-6 mths money to pay bills etc, if your client base doesn't build up quickly then you may want to look at short term contact working. This isn't for everyone but you should consider as there isn't really any difference to going alone.
    Get to know your local recruitment agencies.
  • tcudd
    tcudd Registered Posts: 5
    Oh no I wouldn't leave my job until I felt like I was getting somewhere, which would be a long while off! Thank you for your advice though, all good points that I need to have a think about. I think the unpaid thing is a bit of a confidence issue where I feel like I'm not worthy of being paid! Silly really after doing all these exams :) !
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