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Need some advice, new book keeping and accounts role

  • 1 post
  • # 93949

Hi, I've been looking through both this and other forums and website for some time and I'm probably asking the same questions that have been answered before but either way would appreciate a few answers, if possible. You seem a very friendly bunch on here Smile

I've decided I want a new career and feel that this is for me after doing various and plenty of research, although I'm not sure what the best way to go about it is. I'm mid 40's and have plenty of previous progressive Management experience in various roles inc been a Business Manager in the automotive industry to Ops Manager for a busy events company. My last role dictated long hours and lots of travel of the UK and Europe. It's no longer for me so this would be a more suitable career move and something I want to do. I am prepared to learn this industry to where I need to get to.

My end result is to be able to do book keeping and accounts and over time (the sooner the better) for SME and to further my knowledge without spending too much. Ideally, I would like to create a self employed local role on a part time basis leading to bigger, but not to big client base and possibly full time if needed. Don't we all I hear you say Wink

I'm aware that most people that seem to use this forum are either employed or trainers in the industry and would love to hear your feedback along with success and tips to absorb information, along with hearing from people who act on a SE basis.        

  • 103 posts
  • # 93952

Heheh! Hi Nath,

To have a poke at your last comment I am neither employed or a trainer in this industry. I am however very happy that I 'found' it and enrolled on my course.

If I be in a position to give any adice I would suggest you do one of two things, buy a level 1 bookkeeping book or enroll on a training providers level 1 course. Do that and see if bookkeeping is for you. I did (bought the Kaplan book) and ended up enrolling with Ideal Schools for the career path.

Like you I have had many senior and managerial roles. I have even run several of my own businesses some successful, some not. But I always shied away from anything financial such as company bookkeeping, wages and PAYE, that is until my last business where I had to do it all myself. I found that I actually enjoyed the numbers and the sense of acheivement when it all balanced (I eventually lost this business in 2008). This drove me to do several courses with Pitman training where I gained distinctions, confirming my belief that "I can do this". Hence my suggestion that you should do a 'taster' course if you will, to see if you have the aptitude and/or wish to do bookkeeping long term.

No doubt others will have more and better input but I urge you to try your hand before jumping in. If you do and find it is indeed for you, you will find a very warm and friendly bunch here at the ICB and their associated forums.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Wink


  • Associate
  • Practice Licence
  • 19 posts
  • # 93957

Me too.....I was under the impression majority of us were self employed or employed by our own company if limited?? 

Sorry just thought I'd add that Wink 

  • 2 posts
  • # 96592

If you want to keep your book text in your ipad or iphone mobile dvices, here is a pdf mobile viewer from an image reading library, you can convert your book into PDF epub file and load the book text to your mobile device, thus, book reading can be convenience.

  • Associate
  • Practice Licence
  • 495 posts
  • # 96595

Hi Nath,

I'm with Zoe, I thought at least half of us were self employed sole traders or directors of our own limited companies!

To be able to set up as a freelance bookkeeper you will need as a minimum lv2 manual and computerised accounts. Almost any good basic course will get you through lv1 but depending on your motivation and learning style you might want to take a distance learning course thereafter to be sure you have covered everything that will come up in the exams.  Also, some courses come with the software needed to take the exams so there are fringe benefits to using one of the listed providers.

As to how one finds clients having got the exams and earnt ones practice licence - that is the question we all face!

I find networking fun, low cost (pick your network group carefully) and very effective. The adverts available via the practice licence page (you won't be able to see it yet) are a good source, I have a contract from there which I enjoy and the role may well grow as I start working for other businesses owened by the director.

Being self employed is not for everyone - it requires a good self starter and dedication - working from home even more so.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.


  • Associate PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 195 posts
  • # 96663

Hi Nath

It sounds as if cost is a consideration for you in which case just use ICB for Level 1 and 2 and then see if you like it!

Study the manuals and take the exams. Even if you don't go down the self-employed route later it will stand you in really good stead with business knowledge.

I've been in business 3 years and there is no stopping me now!


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