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Advice re setting up in practice

I used to work as an Accountant for a Chartered firm which I left in 2009 to have my 2 children. I'm now looking to get back into this area (self employed) by mainly offering bookkeeping services, as well as some accounts prep (sole traders / partnerships).

I'm really looking for any guidance as to anything I may need to do?! I'm AAT qualifed but due to taking a career break I haven't paid my subs for 3 years. I have contacted AAT and for me to be able to use the letters after my name again, and to be in practice, I have to complete some forms and also prove my work experience since I stopped paying my subs. As I haven't done anything like this for the 3 years I'm waiting until I establish myself a bit before rejoining AAT.

If I'm doing bookkeeping and simple accounts do I need an engagement letter? For example, a painter gave his records to me today to do the bookkeeping & accounts for him. Can it be as simple as just doing the work & billing him for it without all the 'official' bits?! I'm not looking to run a highly successful business - just something for an extra bit of money!

Many thanks for reading

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Engagement Letter

An engagement letter is a must for your protection as well as that of your clients.

It will scope out the engagement and exactly what your mutual responsibilities are.

Additionally, without one, if the client chooses not to pay you then enforcement is all but impossible.

99 times out of 100 you will not need to fall back on one but the 1 time that you do you will be very thankful that you have one.

Jason Dormer

Seahose (UK) Ltd - For Accountants and Bookkeepers

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Call your previous employer?

I am sure they would hook you up with clients who need book keepers and end up with good records to do the job from, it could be a good place to get started, also other local accountants might help in this regard, especially the larger small practices, 500-2000 clients who do not want the hassle of book keeping work themselves.

Anyways worth a try.

Regards

MtF

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AAT in practice

I am a FMAAT & member in practice. I went solo not so many years back. If you are running your own AAT practice you will need to register with them as such, however they do quite a good MIP "kit" with advice, standard stuff etc, such as letters of engagement. Which I think are complulsory if you are operating under their scheme. You will also have to keep your CPD up to date. I recently had to submit mine but as I go on local courses couple of times a year it wasn't an issue.

Good luck :-)

 

 

 

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Money Laundering

It is essential that you register for Money Laundering. AAT are a supervising body but if you don't rejoin AAT you need to register with HMRC.     

Obviously you need to register yourself for self employment.

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Data Protection - ICO. Not expensive but also a must. Around £40 per year.

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PII

Not forgetting Professional indemnity insurance too......which is charged pro-rata to income, but if you can charge on a sub contract basis through another firm you may be covered for those fees. Again not overly expensive but a must!

& AAT like you to have a suitable nominee to cover your clients should you be off sick long term/ more maternity cover etc?

 

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Carefully choose the type of work you want

Hi

I set up an accountancy business four years ago. 

I have a friend who decided just to do bookkeeping and management accounts.  She was able to contact bigger accountancy firms and take over lots of bookkeeping at £25 per hour, mostly Sage work.

The bigger firms did not see her as a threat because she was not offering accounts preparation.

On the other hand I wanted to start a practice doing all of it.  In my case I didn't feel that a firm would help me out because I was 'competition'.

So if you want some extra income at decent rate without the hassle of running a full practice, why not try that approach.  Then once you have a decent portfolio, you can then decide if you want to go the whole way into accounts etc.

Just a thought, hope it helps :o)

Dave

 

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Carefully choose the type of Work......

Hi

I also do self-assessment for sole traders and partnerships, book-keeping and payroll which is what I am qualified to do (AAT practicing member) however I have found myself competing for work against local accountants.  Where I live most of the accounting firms are small to medium sized firms who often offer book-keeping. Which is of course allows them to offer a one stop shop.    Having spoken to another AAT member practising in a nearby city she gets all of her work via the accounting firms, and always has work but does not offer to do tax returns. 

 

If you decide to offer self-assessment then its worth establishing a good relationship with a local accountant who won't poach your work. Inevitably you will find that you start off doing the self-assessment for a sole trader who then asks you about going Limited.   

 

 

All the best 

 

 

 

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More importantly

Vanessa wrote:

Hi

I also do self-assessment for sole traders and partnerships, book-keeping and payroll which is what I am qualified to do (AAT practicing member) however I have found myself competing for work against local accountants.  Where I live most of the accounting firms are small to medium sized firms who often offer book-keeping. Which is of course allows them to offer a one stop shop.    Having spoken to another AAT member practising in a nearby city she gets all of her work via the accounting firms, and always has work but does not offer to do tax returns. 

 

If you decide to offer self-assessment then its worth establishing a good relationship with a local accountant who won't poach your work. Inevitably you will find that you start off doing the self-assessment for a sole trader who then asks you about going Limited.   

 

 

All the best 

If going limited would be best for one of your clients, you should advise them to do so, even if it means you lose work.

Regards

MtF

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Good relationship with Accountant

Yes I agree that is why it good to have someone to recommend.

 

V

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