How to start an accounting practice
When you start an accounting practice or start working as a freelance accountant, there’s a lot you need to think about. Follow this guide for the steps you need to take.
Decide on a legal structure
When you start your own accounting practice you get the choice of how you want to structure your company. You could work as either a limited company or sole trader, and you’ll need to register with HMRC. There are benefits to both structures, and different responsibilities too. Find out more about setting up as a sole trader or starting a limited company.
Register with a professional body
Registering with a professional accounting body can help your clients gain trust in you and choose your practice. If you’re not already registered, there are several major accounting bodies in the UK. Do your research and find out the best fit for you.
Choose your offering
You need to decide which kind of services you want to offer. From every day bookkeeping to tailored advisory services, there’s a wide scope of what value you can bring to your clients. You also need to decide how much you will charge them, and whether your rate will be fixed or per hour.
Know your market
Once you know which services you’re offering you can decide what kind of clients you want to work with. Do you want to specialise in an industry or area? Is your focus on micro clients or reaching big businesses?
Knowing your potential client base and doing some research will help you narrow down your target market. You can also identify any competitors and see how you can offer a unique service in comparison.
Find your clients
There are lots of ways to reach potential clients! The first thing to do is to make a website for your accounting practice so clients can find you. Detail your services, qualifications, and any other important information.
Marketing is a great way to let potential clients know about your practice. There are lots of ways you can do this, from local advertising to online marketing, like Google or on social media. You can try different solutions and see which works best for your budget and audience.
Get the right insurance
Professional indemnity insurance is really important. It will protect you if a client claims your service is inadequate. Insurance can cover legal fees and compensation depending on the policy.
Once you get your first client, make sure they know the terms and conditions. You’ll also need to set expectations with your client on how you will work together, which services you offer, and where your responsibilities end.
Make use of technology
One key aspect of your accounting practice is which technology you should use. From communication tools like email and video conferencing to accounting software you’ll need to make some decisions.
Choose software that will help make your job easier. Accounting software that automates everyday processes saving you time is a great place to start.
Bokio is a free accounting software that offers bookkeeping, invoicing and expenses management. It’s a great solution for collaborating with micro clients, like small businesses, sole traders and freelancers. Bokio helps you save time and money by using automation, so you can focus on offering high value advisory services or growing your practice.