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Setting up a practice - advice appreciated

  • Member
  • 12 posts
  • # 117917

I am thinking of applying for a practice licence. Initially I planned to offer Self Assessment Tax Returns to sole traders, but having started the SAT course I have decided this isn’t a route I want to go down. I find the subject very complicated and wouldn’t feel confident to offer this service even if  by some miracle I passed the exam!

I still want to be self employed and am having to reconsider how I can do this. Looking at adverts by other bookkeepers I can see many don’t offer tax returns so presumably I can still make a living without offering this service. I am now thinking about carrying out general bookkeeping at home or at a clients premises, ideally a couple of clients who need one day a week and then some smaller clients who maybe need just a few hours here and there. Obviously I would need to find these clients but just wanted to hear from anyone who has built a practice along similar lines.

Thanks

  • Fellow PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 34 posts
  • # 117969

Hi Farge

I have been a self employed bookkeeper for nearly 27 years when I was made redundant the day after I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Scary times! Over the years, all my clients have come to me through word of mouth, so I must be doing something right! Be very aware that if you advertise as a bookkeeper, you will need a practice licence AND professional indemnity insurance, even if you don't have a client. This is because you are offering bookkeeping services. 

You don't have to offer SATR. I actually only do returns for 4 clients (out of 16). I make a decent living out of doing bookkeeping and payroll. 

I'm out in my clients offices 3 days a week. There rest of the week is spent working on the smaller clients books.

I hope this helps!

Kind regards

Hazel

  • Fellow PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 78 posts
  • # 117970

Farge,

I agree with Hazel,  you can build a very successful bookkeeping business without offering either SATR or Payroll.  It would be worth going to your local branch meeting to get to know some other local bookkeepers and discuss the different set up each member has.  Also you may find someone you could sub-contract the SATR to if you found a client who wanted the whole package.  

 

Lucy

  • Member
  • 12 posts
  • # 117976

Thank you Hazel and Lucy. Your advise is very helpful and reassuring that SATR is not essential to a successful bookkeeping business. I have the forms for the Practice Licence and Professional Indemnity Insurance but think I will take the advice to attend a branch meeting before I go any further with this.

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