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Mum and an Accountant
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Mum and an Accountant: My next move

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4th Oct 2016
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Since my oldest daughter's school is now sorted, I've been feeling like I need to do more work or more something with my life. Even though I like the idea of being a kept woman of sorts, it's not all that glamorous and it can get a bit boring. There's only so much cleaning and cooking you can do without going doolally.

Ideally, as an accountant and having trained as an accountant and having my own smallish practice, I should really focus on that. But part of me is scared.

Firstly, there are so many accountants, how am I going to get any new clients and be different. If I do get more clients, I will need to somehow cope with all that work too.

Secondly, when I did briefly go back to work, I hated doing the bookkeeping part and I don't know if there is any way to avoid that especially with MTD coming in. Maybe I  might feel different once I start doing it, but what if I don't?

Thirdly, with so many changes, I have no idea if I'm still good enough to carry on. I do CPD online and keep up to date with that but if I don't work with it and I don't use it regularly, it's hard to feel proficient in anything. Should I retrain in something else and find something new to focus on? If I did retrain, I think I'd still like to have some link to accounts or tax.

For awhile I've been thinking of doing some writing, although even that requires a lot of hard work and dedication and it is a bit different to just blogging and writing whatever comes into your head. I had looked into writing just after my first daughter was born but then after my second daughter, I had put a lot of things on hold. I feel like I might have some more time to think of other things.

Finally, maybe it would be easier to get another sub-contract or attempt to do more work with the sub-contract I have which is like and accounts assistants role for a company. Or even if I could get a job locally that did part time hours. It might be nice to get out of the house and meet other people and then whinge with all the other mums at the school gate about working and doing the school run!

Anyway, in April, we will find out which school my second daughter will go to, so I don't want to get too carried away until then. After the year we've had, I'm almost scared to plan anything or even accept that my life is really good right now. But then I can't spend all my life waiting for things to happen before I make my next move.

Replies (11)

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FirstTab
By FirstTab
04th Oct 2016 21:12

Interesting blog Lilac 1. I also the think the picture on this blog is excellent.

With respect, I think you are underestimating your talent and experience in practice. As you know they are people without accountancy qualifications or that much experience running successful practices. You have a lead over them.

You have a massive advantage of RELEVANT experience, combined with ACCA and ATT.

I agree about the competition that, as you know, will get worse. I still think, if you want, you can run your own successful practice. In my opinion, if you decide to take this route, please make this and obviously your family as your life. Until your practice has built up, rule out any other income earning options.

I have given a tunnel vision male's perspective without child care responsibilities or experience. I may be way out.

Thanks (1)
Routemaster image
By tom123
05th Oct 2016 19:18

What was it you hated about bookkeeping? If you had a job that was, say, one day a week as the finance person for a small firm would you like that?

As I may have mentioned, I have always worked on that side of the fence.

I can see how bookkeeping other people's crappy bags of records could get you down, but this way you would be master of all the organisation etc. Also, by picking 1-2 days per week you would have a bedrock of income around which to add client work, and also not have over committed yourself when it comes to holidays etc.

The only other job I fancy doing is bus driving - but that doesn't pay as well ;)

Thanks (1)
By A mum and an accountant
05th Oct 2016 22:38

Ha! Well that's made me stop and think! What it is I don't like about bookkeeping. I've been saying it for so long that I've not stopped to think about it really.
I like being organized, sorting and filing (virtually or physically) all the paperwork, reconciling the accounts and knowing what's what. I think what I didn't like were the clients or the lack of response from the clients when you have queries (although I've been guilty of that too) until the last minute rush. Also, it can be time consuming and if it takes longer than they expected, I get annoyed at being questioned, although entirely reasonable when working from home. It can be boring but that's not the worst of it. So in a nutshell, deadlines, waiting for queries before I can reconcile and a bit boring.

I do know I need to be a bit more focused and have a tunnel vision, I'm just not sure what on at the moment especially when 'having a niche' seems to be flying out from everywhere I look.

I suppose bookkeeping wouldn't be so bad really, especially if it was only one day a week. Something to think about. Thanks both for your replies.

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Replying to Lilac1:
FirstTab
By FirstTab
06th Oct 2016 07:24

Any accountant doing the bookkeeping is a waste since your time could be better used on higher value business expanding activities.

From day 1, I have not done any bookkeeping.

Best to connect with a bookkeeper and pass the work even when the practice is at an early stage of its development.

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Replying to FirstTab:
Routemaster image
By tom123
06th Oct 2016 22:29

You see this is where my experience will differ from those in practice. I manage the whole ERP system for our company - with AR and AP staff.

For me, there is no hard distinction between 'bookkeeping' and accountancy - it is all on a continuum.

OK so I don't tend to enter purchase or sales ledger unless covering for holidays - but I do close the month end and do bank recs etc, as well as VAT & PAYE.

I imagine a lot of SME finance managers will still be reasonably acquainted with bookkeeping.

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Replying to Lilac1:
Routemaster image
By tom123
06th Oct 2016 22:31

One day a week working in a small business would be wholly more suited to you, I think, than one day a week sorting other people's crap :)

I totally get your thinking on that aspect.

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Replying to tom123:
FirstTab
By FirstTab
06th Oct 2016 23:18

This makes sense.

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By A mum and an accountant
07th Oct 2016 09:52

Or maybe I've just become lazy...

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Replying to Lilac1:
avatar
By LMP
04th Jan 2017 17:32

Hi Lilac,
It sounds like you are having a confidence crisis ??

You are highly skilled / experienced and it is such a waste to not use that in future in any capacity.
Have you thought about training/mentoring others at all ?
If all your experience is in practice, there are lots of people working in companies who are desperate to get into practice and need help ! Me included !!
Also, maybe reading an inspirational book may help - there is one out now, named "the most inspirational accountants in the world " features Jessica Pillow , who runs an accountancy practice using remote staff - maybe worth a read, to give you a new perspective.

Thanks (1)
FirstTab
By FirstTab
04th Jan 2017 17:58

"the most inspirational accountants in the world"

I would never buy a book that had the words inspirational linked to accountants. They are far better books around than reading about the "success" of other accountants.

Thanks (1)
By A mum and an accountant
04th Jan 2017 22:12

I have actually got that book! There were a lot of freebies thrown in when I bought it although I can't remember what now. I started reading it and read the first three chapters and a few of the case studies before putting it aside to read later. Maybe I should have a look at it again.
I'd be happy to do mentoring or training and did do a bit before it just turned into me doing the bookkeeping work on a sub contract basis. Something to think about when the tax return season is over. Thanks!

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