I understand there are many posts on this website folks asking about starting their own accounting practice, however, I have to ask the similar question tailored to my situation
I have in total 5 years experience in a global manufacturing organisation, where I started as a Finance Placement moved on to be a Finance Graduate, then to Financial Analyst, and in the end as a Senior Financial Analyst. I qualified for CIMA and quit my industry job to move into Financial Services industry for a change. I currently work as a business partnering role in one of the top British retail & commercial Bank. I consider my self as a people person with strengths in Business Partnering i.e. advising business to improve commercially, cost reductions etc. My technical accounting skills are between good to strong for a corporate organisation. However, I only have some experience in small business accountancy when I was looking after the accounts for a Social Club, included PAYE, VAT and Year end accounts.
I am really not enjoying being an employee anymore, specially in a financial services industry due to culture. Also, we have always been living pay cheque to pay cheque which we are tired of as it is affecting our lives. I always wanted to start my own business and have a lot of respect for people who have done it. I don't have savings to quit my job, so I want to start something on a side but as it would pick up I want to leave my job and dedicate all my time to it.
In terms of the business:
1- I know what would be the name of my business
2- I am in process of building a website myself using one of the free websites builders
3- I know that I would need to get PI Insurance, register business, get domain name, have some social media presence, get Marketing material ready i.e letter heads, Welcome Pack etc, decide on Software, decide on Pricing. I also need to apply to get Members in Practice Certificate.
4- The services I am looking to offer are, Bookkeeping, VAT, PAYE, Payroll, Budgeting, Accounts Submission, Cashflow, Business Improvements and Probably Tax
Advice and Guidance:
Below are the questions I have in mind and need some advice and guidance in:
1- Have I missed out anything from above which I must do before I start thinking about finding clients?
2- In terms of Pricing, I am thinking of calling local accountants to find out how much are they are charging and use that as a benchmark. To win new clients I would have pitch lower prices to win the business, is this the right strategy?
3- By being member in Practice for CIMA, can I sign off the accounts or do I have to take on extra qualification? Also, is there any comprehensive training available which I could do accounting for specialising in small businesses?
4- What is the best way of finding new clients apart from networking? I will be taking part in local networking events.
5- Software: Should I get Sage? this seems to be widely used by a lot of accountants and would it help if any clients would like to transfer to our firm? Is there any better software you could recommend?
6- I am looking to start this part time and will work from home whilst keeping my day time job, has anyone else done that and how do they manage clients calling them between 9-5?
Thank you all in advance for your opinion.
Also, I am looking for a Mentor in Buckinghamshire/Northamptonshire area. If you would like to help someone get on the feet please do let me know.