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Feel like I should be re-doing my ACCA studies...

Still feeling professional exposure despite CPD. Besides, is it all worth it?

Didn't find your answer?

I'm sure everyone feels down from time to time.  Really having one of those spells now.  It's a mixture of the usual annoyances of the job, constantly feeling anxiety of missing something and the resulting professional exposure (whilst clients do whatever they feel like without consulting and tell me after the fact or with little time to act), and thinking that I'm out of touch because my studies were so long ago.  Day-to-day work in a micro-practice means continual exposure to only a narrow range of issues.  CPD is good for refreshers, but can't match regular exposure.

Then there's all the joys of being the middle man between HMRC and clients, HMRC systems, waiting times, and contradictory guidance.

Can't make it work or pay.  Probably because I'm just out of love with accountancy; which wasn't my first, or second, choice of career.  I mean, who dreams of being an Accountant when they're a kid, anyway?

Replies (18)

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By New To Accountancy
04th Sep 2020 16:37

Look on the brightside, you might get some clients who've received their penalty notices today and want you to appeal. No reasonable excuses, nothing. Or just think of how nice it'll be when you do your next CJRS claims or even better, just think of all the clients you'll have to chase when they are all MTD (over £10k). How can you fall out of love with that??

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
04th Sep 2020 16:50

Maybe branch out into a niche a bit, spend your time studying a particular area/trade etc, then push the niche on your website etc to get some clients within a more stimulating area, maybe that will bring a bit of bounce back to your step.

I suspect if I had not spent time looking at property tax/accounts and had just continued in large part knocking out accounts for corner shops,pubs, taxi drivers etc I would have likely gone a bit stir crazy. By the end of my full time stint in practice the only really enjoyable bit was the few manufacturing clients which I at least got on my list because I had started out in the West and had more exposure re these types of activities/audits that those who had always been Edinburgh based.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Sep 2020 17:04

Jeez - I've always been able to make it pay. The only reason my income's so low at the moment is because I'm working a lot fewer hours.

Although, now I think about it, it's a long time since I put in a full 37 hour week.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By memyself-eye
04th Sep 2020 17:46

A week?
Don't put that much in a month..........

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Replying to memyself-eye:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Sep 2020 17:53

memyself-eye wrote:

A week?
Don't put that much in a month..........

Today I posted a letter which I wrote yesterday.

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By memyself-eye
04th Sep 2020 17:55

If you can't at least make it pay, then there is something adrift...apart from Ben Affleck (in the film 'The Accountant') few dream of 'counting beans' for a living. However it's been good to me so far (who sang that?)
My studies were in the days of negotiable instruments (cheques) and promissary notes (£1 notes) chose in action (no idea what those are) and 'refer to drawer' (go and ask your client why his cheque has bounced). We recently handed a lot of PAYE stuff to a 'big firm' - they are rubbish don't imagine that being big makes you competent!

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Replying to memyself-eye:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
04th Sep 2020 22:25

Joe Walsh

"They say I'm crazy but I have a good time
I'm just looking for clues at the scene of the crime
Life's been good to me so far"

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By SXGuy
05th Sep 2020 07:33

I feel like you sometimes also. I reckon with the recent corona and the fall in clients doing any work has probably made things worse.

I know some have had more work as a result but personally I've had a lot of clients hold off in coming in because they haven't worked to pay my fee.

Look on the bright side, your gonna be busier than ever leading up to Jan when they all start flooding in to avoid the penalties. Oh joy I know I can't wait.

The topper for me was my holiday being cancelled. Really needed to get away and just re charge for a bit but not being able to do that hasnt helped either.

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By Moonbeam
05th Sep 2020 09:56

I agree with others' comments about finding a niche. I don't work for all comers, and my fees are higher than my competitors, but then I spend more time with clients. That is one niche at least.
Even then it's still easy to get caught out when a new client's fixed fees keep not matching what I've quoted. I've got 2 clients where I have to brace up to telling them I need to charge more. But it will be done, as otherwise I'll be working at a loss.
I've got to the stage where I mentally prepare myself to lose any client who thinks my reasons for higher fees won't wash.
And I agree with you about the worries of professional exposure. Not all the helpline people I pay for are truly excellent, and when you need someone more experienced than you to comment it can be very worrying when you can't find someone you can rely on to help.

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By Richard Grant
06th Sep 2020 18:15

Chuck it in and become a stuntman.

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Replying to Richard Grant:
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By Philosophic1
02nd Oct 2020 02:12

Funnily enough, there's more possibility of that than you realise.

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By In a Daze
09th Sep 2020 00:31

To be fair its been ok for me. Although accountancy has never been my main business it would drive me mad. I have 20 clients which is more than enough for me. But it still pays more than if i were employed by a practice working 40+ hours a week.

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By Outofpractice
11th Sep 2020 10:02

This sounds really sad but being an accountant was all I wanted to do since I was in primary school.

I totally get the feeling low, I left practice and moved into industry and always ended up in management accountant roles which wasn't where I wanted to be, I wanted to be in financial accountant roles, as the years went in I started to hate accountancy and wanted to move back into practice knowing that I'd probably earn less but found it impossible, practices just didn't want to know.

At that point I felt like doing all the studying and exams for all those years
& the work I'd put in was a waste of time. I ended up leaving accountancy completely last November and moving into ERP implementation.

While I'm enjoying what my current job part of me will always think what if.

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7om
By Tom 7000
11th Sep 2020 09:44

Its better than working at the Pit.

No dont do your studies again, you learn a million things and then only use 10 in your career.
I have a mate thats a vet. He looks after millions of checkens. He said in 3 years at uni there was one day on chickens....

Just be good at the bits you do and if you arent sure ask the helpline

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Replying to Tom 7000:
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By LAURA BUTLER
11th Sep 2020 10:06

Tom7000 when you say ‘the helpline’ which helpline are you referring to??

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By peter morgan
11th Sep 2020 11:23

Change your area of interest to Practice Management. Keep the day to day going and the productivity up but explore ways of making your job easier using tech across the firm. Xero, QBO, ReceiptBank, Go Proposal, Practice Ignition, Go Cardless, PipeDrive, Xero Practice Manager, Karbon, Office 365, GoogleSuite - plenty of options to make things more efficient to make it pay.

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By Philosophic1
02nd Oct 2020 02:10

Hi All,

I just wanted to say thank you for your responses. There were some great suggestions which I will look at taking further.

Particular thanks to:
New To Accountancy
DJKL (helpful as always)
memyself-eye
SX Guy
Moonbeam
Outofpractice
Tom7000
Peter Morgan

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By Philosophic1
02nd Oct 2020 02:13

.

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