How to get from A to B?

oscardoyle Registered Posts: 7 New contributor 🐸
Good evening/morning/afternoon
to any members in practice out there offering either bookkeeping, accounts or tax services to individuals, sole traders and micro entities.

The forum history shows that you have so much good, practical advice to give to those of us on the other side of the fence - wanting to start our own businesses to offer such services.

I’d like to present my personal circumstances in the hope for any generous career advice members can bestow upon me in order to achieve my goal, bearing in mind I want to get from A to B in the most efficient, smartest way possible.

A )

I started my career at 21 with 5 years employment in an accounts assistant role in a travel business while studying for the AAT professional status. I achieved all my exams first time to become MAAT in 2013. My role extended from bookkeeping and accounts payable to payroll, and I have never looked back, maintaining current payroll and pensions knowledge and experience processing 700+ employees monthly.

I made a move to the finance dept of a legal services firm 3 years ago, and have enjoyed a stimulating, wide range of responsibilities. As well as being responsible for VAT reporting, I am also responsible for the payroll function, including a 500+ monthly payroll with p11d and psa reporting compliance. I also process and reconcile bank transactions, expenses, calculate prepayments and accruals, prepare balance sheet recs and p&l analysis. I achieve CIMA operational level last year.

Overall, I am comfortable in my job and I earn a sufficient annual salary to support myself, my wife and our small children. On paper you might think, what’s the problem here?

The problem is, I can’t stop scratching an itch that I would be more content working alone for myself. I have confident issues at times which make me doubt the idea, but mostly I do believe I have so many of the skills and determination needed to support myself by running a business.

For proof of my genuine passion for accounting, which I believe would be conveyable to clients, I can admit that I even maintain all my own accounting records in full double entry format, having done so for over 5 year. Yes, I even prepay my car tax over the correct period, depreciate my car on a straight line basis and accrue for electricity costs by taking meter readings (doesn’t everyone do this??!! :) )

Which brings me up to today. I want to get to


My dream is to be eventually running a one stop accounting shop (non necessary literal) for start up, sole traders, partnerships and micro entities, by offering any level of service in the range of basic bookkeeping support, perhaps payroll support, through to incorporation and the statutory compliance and tax work that clients need throughout the year. I have read about FRS 105 and cannot help but think there is any opportunity here to enter the market in my area and aim for that size of client to generate consistent fees across a variety of service levels.

I believe I could obtain an AAT practicing license to offer the kinds of tasks I perform now such as Bookkeeping/Expenses/VAT/Payroll.

How on earth am I ever going to be able to learn and become licensed to do the rest?

You know, just the small details like preparing year end accounts, tax computations and statutory filing??? (I hope the sarcasm was apparent there)

I’ve been rolling this question around in my head for a month and I can’t solve it.

I turn 30 soon and live in East Anglia if this makes any difference to the advice anyone can give.


  • Neillaw
    Neillaw MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 301 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    How far does the CIMA operational level take you up the AAT Ladder.

    You've put a lot of information into your post but what I'm not getting is - Do you have a plan?

    Have you considered producing a business plan as all the questions you put into this forum will be answered by your business plan, how many clients would it take to make your required income, how are you going to get the clients in.

    Would you consider contract work which would mean getting to know your recruitment consultants near to you.

    When would you access your potential.

    There are a number of threads on the licensed section relating to transferring from PAYE to Self employment.
    (computer systems etc)

    What you need to do is break things down - if you get a set of stat accounts would you look to hook up with another local Licensed member to complete and submit.

    No - I don't put my car into the accounts as I get more benefit from charging the mileage and the electric is taken care off by the use of home as office allowance

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