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First things first!

26th Mar 2013
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I have applied for my ACCA practising certificate (non audit). This was not without problems after receiving conflicting opinions from the ACCA as I qualified in industry. I would therefore encourage anyone else in a similar situation to make sure you put questions in writing to the ACCA team as they seem to be treated more seriously/are checked against the most current guidance.

In anticipation of receiving my PC I have also identified the below mandatory admin requirements-have I missed anything? I already had a dormant ltd co setup that I can use to trade through and have registered my preferred/business domain name.

  • Open bank account. I looked at Handelsbanken but have opted to go with HSBC who I already bank with personally.
  • Register with HMRC/ICO.
  • Arrange cover with another ACCA practice. Not sure if this will be difficult but will ring round and find out.  
  • PII insurance. Might look at ICPA as the helpline is appealing as well.
  • KYC checklist / process and engagement letter template.

Any tips or hints?

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Replies (9)

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By Flash Gordon
26th Mar 2013 17:49

ICPA

I can recommend ICPA - good value for money because you get your insurance, tax books, proper CPD, a magazine that unlike the ACCA one you might actually read (it's not based at members in any country except the UK like ACCA seemed to be!), you can get preferential rates on fee protection insurance, they actually represent their members with HMRC etc...... Basically far better than the likes of ACCA et al.

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By Flash Gordon
26th Mar 2013 18:03

Systems and software

I'm assuming you're not that far down the road on setting up so a word of advice - spend time at the start sorting out systems and getting software sorted. It's so worth it. You may think software is an expense you can put off for a bit but it will save you time. And once you're going you don't have time to sort systems out the way you do at the start....

If I was starting again I'd do it all differently!!

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By ShirleyM
26th Mar 2013 18:47

I agree, Flash

ICPA is extremely good value, and the helplines are good.

I also agree that getting systems in place now, will pay off later on. Once you are busy you will really appreciate the reassurance that systems, procedures, and check lists give you, and it will give you quality control.

Software: If you decide to go for the pricier integrated software (I wouldn't personally) make sure you get an idea of costs for increased client numbers and, if possible, some guarantee of prices for the next 3 years.

MLR: you will need procedures from day one. This can't be put off at all. If you meet your clients you can do the checks yourself, which saves money.

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By papalazarou
26th Mar 2013 21:13

Thanks Flash, Shirley

I am starting from scratch so systems will definitely be coming soon but I need to make a decision on ICPA-trying to keep costs as low as possible but think this is a no brainer as I have to buy PII anyway and wanted a helpline as well.

I am used to compiling checklists for work and will look at using Zoho/Access to automate these as I would like to get as close to a 'McDonalds' practice as I can. Did you build your own systems using a database or are they more paper based? Trying to decide if it is worth the time to build a database.

Thanks for the other points which I need to look at in more detail.  

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By ShirleyM
26th Mar 2013 21:16

I built my own

I use a mix of Access & Excel. I've no knowledge of Zoho.

We are virtually 100% paperless, and advise you to do the same. It saves a lot of space, and once you are accustomed to it, it saves time, too.

The only hard copies we keep are the signed engagement letters and the copies of passports etc, but they get scanned in, too.

You may want to consider online real-time backup. Some offer a decent amount of free storage to get you started.

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By Old Greying Accountant
26th Mar 2013 21:27

Where are you ...

... you may find a continuity practitioner on here?

Oh, and I think you need to send your letterhead to ACCA for approval if you haven't already.

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By papalazarou
26th Mar 2013 21:53

OGA

I am based in SE London/Kent. Thanks for the tip re letterhead-I will be designing that with the website so I have single brand/theme.

Thanks for further info Shirley. 

 

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By Flash Gordon
27th Mar 2013 08:20

Ditto Shirley

I use Excel for my checklists, everything is paperless and I scan signed papers in. Miles easier.

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Pillow May Ltd
By pillowmay
02nd Apr 2013 21:36

Centipede Suite

I set-up my practice in 2009 and have spent the last four years selecting, trialling, implementing and integrating high-end software and systems, as well as growing my practice & family!  I now use fully integrated accounts software combined with a document management system on a hosted desktop system which has really made our team and work processes so efficient.

Through a company that I have set up with my husband, we are shortly about to release shared access to this integrated system (including associated workflows) to small accountants for a low monthly cost, with the accounts software priced on a per client basis.

We are aiming to get top-end IT solutions available to the very smallest accountancy practices. There'll then be other services we can get more cheaply on top, by bulk-buying training credits, outsourcing arrangements and admin support to name just a few things...

Interested? Please get in touch with us by sending me a message.

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