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Chartered Accountant wants to work from home - Any advice appreciated

(8 Posts)
AbsentMindedFriends Sun 28-Aug-11 20:38:05

Evening all. I qualified some time ago and have been working in industry for 5 plus years... I'm due to return to work at the end of this year after my second maternity leave but really don't want to! I would love to work from home - perhaps preparing accounts or doing some book keeping - I just don't know where to start.
Has anyone out there done similar? Could you provide me with some hints & tips?

Thank you!

watersign76 Sun 28-Aug-11 21:52:15

Hi

I am not an accountant, but a marketing consultant but my thoughts:

I would ask yourself what your current professional network is like...a lot of work comes from recommendation - are you going to be able to turn people you know into future clients?

I would also think about securing a part-time role which will mean some secured income. I also think it can give a favourable impression of being busy too! I have been freelancing since the start of the year and a number of people I have met at networking etc are doing similar.

This type of website offers a few finance jobs, lots based in London which is helpful, if you are in London but not if you aren't! www.womenlikeus.org.uk/parttimejobs/parttimejobsboard.aspx

I found this book helpful - www.amazon.co.uk/Starting-Your-Own-Independent-Consultant/dp/0273731173/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314564281&sr=8-1

There is nothing stopping you knocking up some cheap business cards (Good Print, Vistaprint, Moo) and attending a networking event and seeing how it feels. There are SO many networking clubs/events out there, just google networking and your location.

There are also websites where you can bid for work. www.peopleperhour.com or elance.com. Clients place jobs, you bid. Price is unfortunately the key, but sometimes a job worth bidding for comes along. I would also try to tailor your response. I have placed work on their and it is amazing to see what cut and paste rubbish people put on there!!

You only pay once you secure a client and some work, so you could put yourself on there sooner than later. It is a way to build up testimonials/experience of consulting.

Good luck.

WS

AbsentMindedFriends Sun 28-Aug-11 22:06:29

Thanks so much WS... Some really useful stuff there. I just need to make a start with some of it now!

TheBends Sun 28-Aug-11 22:22:52

I tried it for a bit when I couldn't find a part time job, but have now gone back to full time employment because it really wasn't very lucrative. Though if you have lots of drive and commitment, you'll probably do better than me grin!

Pros: a bit of extra income, working around family (mainly in the evenings!)

Cons: Costs of insurance and practising certificate.
It took a while to get clients - I live in a village so targetted small businesses via local adverts.
Not having a wealth of technical backup.
If you do bookkeeping, even as an ACA, you don't earn much. (As a result I tended to quote for a job, rather than per hour, except for work outside original scope).

Other bits:
You'll need to invest in some accounting software. When I looked into it I found that Sage although popular is ridiculously expensive, and ended going with VT+ (nice and intuitive and comparatively cheap).
Advertise locally. Get a website set up and some business cards.
You'll also need to register with HMRC as self employed. Once you get clients you'll probably have to register as an agent to submit VAT and Tax returns.

If you need any other advice (e.g. Engagement Letters, pricings etc) please feel free to PM me.

Hope that helps.

AbsentMindedFriends Sun 28-Aug-11 22:46:31

Thanks TheBends. Food for thought there... You've confirmed my thoughts that it might not be workable in terms of earnings. I'm torn really between taking the safe option of returning to my part time job (and I know there aren't many of them around at the moment) or taking the plunge and trying something new.

emma123456 Mon 12-Sep-11 10:29:16

I started up in May and have managed to pick up quite a few clients without any marketing effort! I've been really pleased. I love working from home in school/pre school hours and being around for the kids.
Its expensive though. The PC was £500, PII £270, attended mandatory tax and practice management courses £750, new laptop, still to get commercial software and not much cash coming in yet|!
Also bought standard letters from ICAS inc engagement letters..another £180! And a website, business cards........(Its www.ejaccounting.co.uk would appreciate a few hits! :-) )
Clients have been slow to get records ready, some are new businesses who dont need tax returns submitting until Jan 2013!

munstersmum Mon 12-Sep-11 10:36:03

Agree that some networking will help get you off the ground. Consider volunteering to do the books for the PTA, parish council etc so local people get to see your efficiency in action? Look also for teaching book keeping at night classes.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 12-Sep-11 19:41:05

Parish council books are VERY specialised - no fixed assets in the balance sheet and no depreciation for a start - but a NICE little earner when you get the hang of them. Councils are crying out for good RFOs

PTAs are often registered charities so accounts have o be submitted in the standard format

word of mouth is king once you get going

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