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CIMA accountant moving to Practise

I am qualified CIMA accountant with my entire career in industry, who wants to know about practise

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Hi All,

First time poster here. 

I just have an idea that I want to move away from Industry as I have achieved alot and completed alot of my goals being promoted continusly but now I am a bit disillusioned with working for others and want to try being my own boss. 

I want to know more on how easy and the steps taken if I want to open my own small practise. 

I just want to do the books for mainly family businesses, such as a corner shops, Uber drivers and property businesses. I do not worry about getting these kind of clients mainly because of my family networks. Nothing big just small independant individuals mainly Turn overs will be small. 

I am just wondering, if I need to take any additional exams or courses. I have no back ground in practise and all my accounting experience comes from Industry.

Whats the steps that you guys would recomened me to take? I also dont mind taking voluntary practise work if anyone wants to give me help :D 

Replies (9)

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By paul.benny
08th Apr 2021 15:08

Have you looked at the CIMA requirements for a practising certificate?
Have you ever prepared a set of accounts from scrappy prime records?
How much do you know about tax, specifically tax for small businesses, incorporated or not? Including PSCs, landlords.
How about payroll
And VAT.
And capital gains tax

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By spilly
08th Apr 2021 15:14

If they are all family connections, you may find that they will expect discounted rates from you.
You could end up working for far less than in your current job, and with far more stress and worry.

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By Paul Crowley
08th Apr 2021 15:14

Look at the last two months worth of any answers to see how you would have coped with the query

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Routemaster image
By tom123
08th Apr 2021 15:18


I, like you, am CIMA qualified, and in recent years added ATT.

Even so, with the exception of my wife's and brother's businesses, I have no inclination to move in that direction.

Firms large enough to employ us in house have decent systems. You are probably used to having staff who you can, to a certain degree, control and require to do things.

Small businesses are the absolute opposite. No clear division between home and work expenditure.

CIMA, as you would expect, have extensive requirements to practice.

Software, MLR, CPD,

I wish you the best, but don't fancy it myself.

Many CIMA folk think there is work out there as some kind of outsourced FD etc. Most end up doing once a year self assessment stuff, and payroll.

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By lesley.barnes
08th Apr 2021 15:21

You need to read through these and watch some of the webinars, it will answer some of your questions regarding qualifications. You need to contact your local Mip group they have been through the process, can offer advice, support and mentor you. Personally it was a steep learning curve moving from Industry to practice 15 years ago because what you learn about tax, accounts etc to pass exams goes out of date very quickly. It is possible but be prepared to spend a lot of time updating your knowledge. Clients on the whole don't want management accounts - its personal tax, VAT, PAYE, Corporation Tax and company accounts.

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Replying to lesley.barnes:
By jonharris999
08th Apr 2021 15:40

Wise words from Lesley; and even if they do want management accounts, it's much harder to price these than the other services, because they generally take much longer.

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
08th Apr 2021 16:43

Start by working out how many clients you'll have in years 1, 2 and 3 and how much on average they will pay you. Or do it the other way and set a target income and work out how many clients you will need. Then ask yourself if you are still interested.

That said, if you are financially secure and want to make work for yourself at the beck and call of your family and friends ......

The other thing to ask yourself if do you have any skills that there is a demand for as a consultant. For example, related to your industry, or perhaps it involves import/export.

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By Slim
09th Apr 2021 14:38

If you have achieved in industry it will be a poor use of your time jumping into practice from nothing, you'll likely not earn anyway near the same in the short term and be lucky to match it in the long term.

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Replying to Slim:
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By tom123
09th Apr 2021 15:53

What would your definition of 'achieved' be?

(asking for a friend..)

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