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Ambition to start a practice

Joining certax as a franchisee

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Hi there

I have the ambition to start an accountancy practice one day. I am still in the process of gaining qualifications at the moment, working towards being aat qualified. I am currently working at an accountancy firm and I am enjoying it very much and feel as though I am learning very well. I just want to know if anyone has had any experience with joining certax as a franchisee. Apparently (according to their prospectus), you can operate a practice under supervision and this counts as experience under ICEAW, is this true? If so I would be very interested in the opportunity in future, even perhaps after achieving MAAT, which I am confident that I can do.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
19th Nov 2021 16:36

Bilal you are not remotely ready to be on your own.
Get qualified
Work with someone at s qualified level for a number of years. 3 minimum (at which point you will still be very green), ideally 5+
Then you can make all your mistakes on someone elses PI insurance and learn so much more than you ever will on your own.
There is so much you cant even start to even start to appreciate you don't know yet.

Franchises are only about marketing. Personally I think they are a waste of time. The franchise accountants I have run into locally have been utterly hopeless, and their local reputations have been similarly poor.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Bilal trainee accountant
19th Nov 2021 16:43

I understand this but with certax I have heard that you can work under a qualified accountant and that this counts as PER

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Replying to Bilal trainee accountant:
the sea otter
By memyself-eye
19th Nov 2021 18:47

I have heard?
you can work?
Qualified accountant?
I've heard you can work as a neurosurgeon just by going on line.

Franchises... avoid like the plague.

sorry - like the coronavirus

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Bilal trainee accountant
19th Nov 2021 16:45

Also I feel that I would benefit from a wider range of experience and getting exposure to the likes of tax returns, final accounts, payroll etc, which I feel as though my current role is not giving me, although I do enjoy it and I feel that I do a good job on the whole.

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Replying to Bilal trainee accountant:
panda ketteringUK
By ketteringUK
19th Nov 2021 17:42

Realistically speaking, you need to work in the practice in a role where you can get hands on accounts, RTI, cis, end of year letters, etc. Best to work in medium size practice. Too small - there won't be much to do , too big - you probably end up in AP only, maybe some vat returns.

Minimum 5-7 years of qbe at the very least. Maat is great starting point but you cannot learn this job at clients cost.

Forget the franchise, save up some money to cover your mortgage/rent for the first 1.5-2 yrs and start on your own. Word of mouth, quality and dedicated service is what your clients want.

But it's harder and harder to get new clients nowadays.

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Replying to Bilal trainee accountant:
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By David Ex
19th Nov 2021 19:53

Bilal trainee accountant wrote:

exposure to the likes of tax returns, final accounts, payroll etc, which I feel as though my current role is not giving me,

You’re not even part qualified yet! Concentrate at getting good at what you are doing and opportunities should come to extend the variety of practical experience.

It’s great to have ambitions but you need to take one step at a time.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Bilal trainee accountant
19th Nov 2021 16:47

Also I said 'in the future' not now obviously.

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By Paul Crowley
19th Nov 2021 18:38

As mentioned above
The qualification mean nothing without the relevnt experience
What Franchisor is really going to give you the relevant experience?

You can get all the qualifications up to ACCA without ever having hands on

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
19th Nov 2021 18:47

What a splendid advertisement for the Dunning-Kruger effect.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Paul Crowley
19th Nov 2021 19:09

Agree
But we all suffer it a bit
Is it good enough to qualify for a blue badge?

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
19th Nov 2021 19:52

Ouch! Cue humility mode:

Yup, that's the trouble with Dunning-Kruger - there's always someone hovering well-above one's own station; generally gazing south and feeling superior in one respect or another. Of course, youth is the ultimate status symbol; which rather places you and I in the shade, I suppose. Still, we were once young (and, I hope, have our own particular fond memories!)

OP, you need to grab on to someone's shirt-tails if you have any desire to avoid re-inventing your own particular wheel. Alternatively, you'll have to beat your own path. (Urghh, I'm so upset by my mixed metaphors.)

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Hugo Fair
19th Nov 2021 19:48

I've always wondered ...
how does that work if I'm so competitive that I challenge you for the crown of most extreme example of "high ability at a task whilst underestimating my own ability"?

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
20th Nov 2021 17:10

Ahha, there is indeed an inverse to the Dunning-Kruger effect (although not quite what you've pondered):

standard DK effect: Over-estimating one's own abilities and aptitudes (aka stupid people are sometimes too stupid to realise just how stupid they really are); and

the other side of the DK coin: Over-estimating others' abilities and aptitudes (aka clever people often don't realise that the rest of us are struggling to keep up with them.)*

* I struggled badly in placing the full stop in that last sentence, above, inside the closing bracket. Inside, outside... OCD time!

DK's all about two misconceptions: over and under-estimating abilities; not only our own, but also others'. (Ahha, not only but also! Back to my comfort zone. Thank you Peter and Dudley!)

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Hugo Fair
20th Nov 2021 17:58

Next you'll be telling me that you've given up working with/on Jayne Mansfield!

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
21st Nov 2021 13:02

Too hot to handle!

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Hugo Fair
21st Nov 2021 13:30

I don't think Derek (or was it Clive) ever mentioned the lobsters being cooked?

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By Paul Crowley
19th Nov 2021 19:19

There is a big difference between between doing a job and running a business

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
19th Nov 2021 20:10

I've had a 30 year battle with that.

My starting point was that if I failed to convey what I wanted, then that was my own particular failing. Nobody else's failure, but mine.

Works so much better with a small hand-picked team. Go figure, OP!

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By Leywood
20th Nov 2021 17:42

You asked for advice, you had good advice from the first respondent but you seem to know better. So why ask?

You’ve done a bit of bookkeeping, doesn’t mean you should be unleashed on the great unwashed to act as their Accountant.

Get your level 4, consider ACCA/CTA and get a job where they can give you tax experience (and be able to sign it off-key!)

Stay away from franchises, you will just waste your money.

Listen to all those who have commented, they know!

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By JD
21st Nov 2021 10:02

Can the DK effect apply to cloud software companies and plumbers by the name of John as well?

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By tom123
21st Nov 2021 13:36

The franchise will be very good at divesting you of your income.

They will not bring clients to your door.

The man in the street has not heard of 'Certax', whereas he will have heard of McDonalds.

So, not really sure what you would be paying the franchisor for. It is certainly not brand recognition.

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By New To Accountancy
21st Nov 2021 15:41

Hi Bilal,
I've read all of your posts and enjoy reading the enthusiasm you have for what it probably feels like you were born to do.
If you were to start on your own, I think you would spoil this for yourself because the enjoyment would be lost, mainly because you're not ready; you deserve the right opportunity/time if you're willing to work hard. I think you should turn that determination into mastering other parts of accountancy firstly. For example, I have no knowledge of CGT, so my next mission is to read, read, read and ask the accountant (who I go to for advice) if I can do returns for free for him, give him all my workings, and ask if he will take the time to criticise everything I've done and to choose silence over 'well done'.
In time, when you do start your own practice, you will know how hard you have worked, and your success will be justified and deserved. But imagine an accountant with much less experience did the same? You'd probably feel insulted, and you may even think this accountant has no respect for the profession to think it is that easy.
I have been in accountancy for four years; I had more confidence when I knew nothing as I thought I knew everything, now the more I learned, the further I realised I had to go. If only you could buy knowledge, I'd be skint, but I'd also not enjoy anything as it'd be too easy and everything would be boring without challenges.
I've thought long and hard about how to go about treating this 'vocation', and we'll both need respect from other accountants to succeed. Just think, in time, you and I could become the wheat of this forum. The 'wheaties' on here have their place for a reason, so keep that in mind and keep going and learning. Become the 'one to beat' and challenge yourself to technical tax discussions on here and you'll then know when you are ready.
This post can be something you look back on and feel proud of how far you've come.
Good luck with everything.

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