HMRC trained start up practice | AccountingWEB

HMRC trained start up practice

God morning. I am thinking of starting up in practice after 20 years with HMRC. I passed the Inspector Training Course including bookeeping and Investigator modules in 1998 and was a SME investigator for 4 years before going on to various Head Office policy/comms roles including liaison with Working Together and Voluntary Sector Groups. I therefore know a lot about tax but less so about accounts. Not being qualified clearly I would be limited in the kinds of work I could do but be happy to train to further my skills and experience and therefore range of client opportunities. I feel there is a gap in the market for someone like me focussing on personal/SME SA returns in my area.

Has anyone else been in the same position? Do you think it would be worthwhile me starting out and investing in some software/IT/marketing? Or will my lack of formal accountancy qualifications be a massive hindrance? Thanks


General practice?    2 thanks

wilcoskip | | Permalink

Hi righthandbat.

Looking at your experience, I wonder if general practice is really the (best) way forward for you.  It seems to me that there would be a role for someone like yourself in providing services to existing small firms with regard to investigations. 

I've worked in a practice where one of the partners was ex-HMRC.  He couldn't put a set of accounts together if his life depended on it, but his inside knowledge of HMRC procedures and thought processes was invaluable, not only in general tax planning, but especially in investigation work.

I really think marketing yourself to small firms in your area on this basis would provide you with a better return than focussing on SA returns.

Good luck.


John Stokdyk's picture

More resources to shape your thinking    1 thanks

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

Good luck whichever route you select, righthandbat.

In response to a continuing flow of questions from members like you, we have put together a dedicated Start-up in practice page and will very shortly release a PDF guide with practical advice.

Do pay a visit there, and stay in touch with us in this group to let us know how your plans evolve - I'm sure other members will be able to offer you advice on all sorts of issues.


mike01 | | Permalink

Hi righthandbat

I am an ex HMIT who left HMRC 29 years ago.

I initially worked as a tax manager for several firms of CAs but found that my skills didn't really fit within their internal structures.However,I know one guy who was admittedly FT who is now a tax partner in a large CA practice! I then concentrated on offering tax investigation services to small firms of local accountants whilst developing my own practice.

I agree with wilcoskip and I certainly don't think you should focus solely on SA returns -  you will get bored with this very quickly.

I think you need to be clear in your mind why you want to leave HMRC and whether you want to take the gamble of self employment.I actually regret leaving the dept but I suppose you never know until you try it when it might be too late!

Good luck


Client for Right and Bat

nasirs | | Permalink

Hi Right and Bat,

I may have one immediate client for you and many more to come.

We have a VAT investigation for one client soon and we are well prepared. However it is always wise to have a second opinion before the investigation in order to make the case fool proof. I was wondering if you have any experience with regards to VAT investigation and if we could work togather. This could be a long relationship in order to make sure we do everything right and be on the fair side of HMRC.

Please let me know if you are interested and drop me a line on [email protected]

P.S. We are based in London

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Group: Start up practice group
A place to discuss all aspects of starting up your own accountancy practice