Thinking of doing Bookkeeping as a side job

louisajones1 Registered Posts: 2
Last year I became AAT Qualified and I have over 15 years experience working in accounts, covering all aspects of Sales Ledger, Purchase Ledger, Bank Reconciliations, Cashflow forecasting & payroll upto 120 p/month.

Currently I work full time as a Nominal Ledger controller, but would like to start doing bookkeeping as a side line initially evenings/weekends and in time reduce my hours as my full time job - if all goes well even - well lets see


A local restaurant advertised on Indeed for a bookkeeper for 15 hrs p/month flexible.
I sent my CV & they called me, but didn't hear no more.
I'm not surprised I didn't really know what to say or what to ask

I don't know if I'm overthinking it, but want to come across as professional, so hear are my concerns:

Do I provide the software? If so what?
I've looked at Xero & QuickBooks for Bookkeepers, where you can have multiple entities on one software but couldn't see much information or pricing.

-Should I get letters after my name? Currently AAT Affiliate member is it worth paying extra for AATQB? or apply to be a AAT Licenced bookkeeper?

-What normally happens? Do you meet client every so often for them to give me all their Invoices/Bank Statements/receipts etc?
-Do I need to register with ICO?
-Would I need Professional Indemnity Insurance? Which Is the best?

I also haven't had much practical experience of VAT returns & Self assessments, other than that studied.

I have also posted this in a Bookkeeper forum, but not sure if I'm more confused & unsure than I was before.

I've also thought about just advertising as some sort of Accounts helper where people could contact me for help with Purchase Ledger Recs/Bank Rec's -I can't believe the mess some people them into and I really enjoy that side of accounts.
But, not sure if there's much call for that time of role, but it could be a way of seeing where things lead.
I do enjoy my job, so it's not that I'm desperate to get out, just thought it would be something I could do for me, but seems a lot of work & hassle.

I would appreciate any help or comments
Kind Regards


  • Beki100
    Beki100 Registered Posts: 7
    I'm am also starting up as a freelance bookkeeper and have found the AAT guidance notes useful. Once you become licenced you will have access to all the resources.

    In answer to your questions....

    Software - optional its up to you if you choose to promote one in particular or if you just wait to see what your clients are using. Costs vary and can be expensive if your clients arnt contributing to your subscription fees.

    You will have to apply for a licence with the AAT as that's who u qualified with of IAB if you'd prefer. The AATQB comes free with membership with AAT just apply. Always helps towards looking professional.

    What you offer depends on your licenced to offer and what your clients want.
    1. Bookkeeping
    2. Financial accounts for soletraders
    3. Taxation - Vat
    4 computerised accounts

    Help producing business plans is not regulated so is optional.

    Yes you need to register with ICO and recommended NCA, ( national crime agency) and HMRC.

    Yes to PII, AAT offer it at a discount to members. Mine was £45 ? for a year

    I too haven't had much practice with self assessment tax returns in practice, only through studies but there is a lot of guidance on the HMRC website.

    This is only what I believe to be true so please correct me if in wrong. Also if any one else would like to comment. It's would be a great help to myself and Louisa ?
  • Neillaw
    Neillaw Registered Posts: 307 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    It may be worth sounding out some other AAT licenced members in your area who may be able to spare some time for a chat into how they transferred from PAYE to self-employment. I'm sure that someone would oblige some free time to discuss with you as we are all in the same situation.
    Software would depend on the size of the client as for some clients I use excel as I can do more with it to provide additional information for my clients.
    While transfering over from PAYE it may be worth looking at some contract work to cover your quiet periods or just to bring in that essential cash.
  • pet3rc
    pet3rc Registered Posts: 7
    I don't think it's posibble to do it as a side job. It takes too much time and need to be up to date with laws etc.
  • Neillaw
    Neillaw Registered Posts: 307 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    Sorry Pet3rc I totally disagree with your statement.
    This is exactly what people on this forum have been doing in transferring from full time jobs to self employment. It's all about the desire to succeed and knowing the right people helps.
    As any qualified accountant should be keeping up to date with your CPD which takes into account things like tax changes and MTD.
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