Share this content

Advice sought on setting up in public practice

Five specific queries relating to setting up in public practice


I've browsed this site for some years in my former capacity as an employee.  I'm now planning to move into public practice and to focus mainly on schools and academies;  I have certain specialist skills which I think will be in demand in that sector and I have a marketing plan to attract clients. I expect that my work will mainly be consultancy (say 70%) and accountancy (say, 30%).  As academies are charities I expect that I will also be offering bookkeeping and accountancy services in the general charity sector.   I will need to renew my ACCA practicing certificate which expired in 2010 but I'm not aware of any difficulties that I'm likely to come across - although I'd be pleased to receive any early warning of potential stumbling blocks.  I'd also appreciate any views on some practical issues which I'm trying to work my way through:

1 - Trading status.  Sole trader or limited company?

2 - CPD.  Any likely ACCA requirements prior to getting a practicing certificate (until now I have been doing my CPD as an employee via the unit route)?

3 - Refresher courses to get up to date on knowledge required in public practice.  I've concentrated on becoming expert in the operational issues within the education sector but there might be some basic issues that I've either overlooked or am ignorant of.  Any recommendations on where to get a refresher / crammer course?

4 - Money laundering and professional insurance.  Elsewhere on this forum I've seen mention of any accountancy trade association which provides members with insurance and money laundering supervision.  Is there any problem with joining such a body to benefit from those services whilst maintaining my FCCA membership ?  Or does the ACCA get prickly about its members also joining non-chartered bodies?

5 - Continuity of practice partner.  I can see why the ACCA insist on this, but how easy is it to find such a person or firm?  I'm proposing a start-up business and although I've researched it in depth I am not sure that I can yet answer the question of why someone else should agree to stand in my place should I become incapacitated.  What's in it for them?

I'd be very grateful for any advice.

Thanks in advance






Please login or register to join the discussion.

21st Apr 2017 17:17

#3 Not sure what your 'operational issues' experience is, but I'd get up to speed on VAT in education, academies, capital schemes, partial exemption, land etc etc It is THE tax in charitable & educational world.

Also any EFA reporting requirements

Thanks (0)
By spilly
22nd Apr 2017 00:53

And are you sure the ACCA will reinstate your practice certificate without requiring further verification/input?
The continuity of practice is usually based on a reciprocal arrangement.

Thanks (0)
By rjm
24th Apr 2017 13:02

Which Tyler - Thanks, I had underestimated the importance of VAT in the academies sector, despite being involved a few years ago in a large academy new build project

Spilly - I've spoken to the ACCA twice and yes, I am pretty confident that my practicing certificate can be easily renewed.

I'd still be grateful for the benefit of any advice or experience that colleagues can offer on my specific queries, or on the general transition from 'employee' to 'practitioner'

Thanks (0)
Share this content