Starting your own practice

The top considerations practice owners wish they’d known!

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Taking the leap into starting your own practice can be daunting, but it can also be the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do! How you go about practising is always a popular area of discussion at Accountex. We gathered together fellow practitioners and members of ACCA’s authorisation team to share their own experiences. 

Being disillusioned with your current workplace, aspiring to change ways of working, passion to create and grow your own business are just a few of the reasons why people look to start their own practice. It could just be the best thing you ever do, but in a highly complex and regulated environment it’s important that you are aware of your requirements but also have a strong idea of the business you want to build.

Peter Jarman, CEO & Founder, PJCO Chartered Certified Accountants, spoke passionately about the change in mindset required from practitioners – it is no longer enough for you to be a great accountant, you need to shift to become a great business owner.

Becoming the driving force in your business, from sales generation, setting the vision and culture through to strategic decision maker. Having a clear vision and being able to articulate that to staff, clients or potential clients is crucial. Finding yourself simply doing the work isn’t enough and will stifle the growth and potential of your firm.

The timing of when to make the leap isn’t an easy decision. Your current contract clause should be reviewed and negotiated, as should factoring in how you fund the leap – savings or loan? Where one may arguably give you more upfront investment and therefore set yourself up quicker, as many panellists confirmed, there is nothing that fills your belly with fire more than a diminishing amount of time to make something profitable!

Our panel also discussed the paralysis of choice that comes with making key decisions around your tech stack! The starting point of whether to become a niche expert or use multiple providers is the first consideration; the panel also advocated reaching out to your networks for insights and bringing your choices back to the sort of client you want to attract. 

Jenny Bowden, Founder, Aivilo Digital Accountancy, highlighted the need to network to attract new clients, but not to panic and accept clients who will not align with your vision, and recognise that accounting is more than just about numbers, it’s about building personal connections, which naturally leads to better client satisfaction and ultimately referrals. As Seth Godin so eloquently said, ‘People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.’ 

There’s lots of support online for those taking their first tentative steps into setting up their practice within out Creating tomorrow’s practice, today – including practical considerations, as well as offering toolkits and highly practical support and guidance to those already in the process of setting up.