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Self employed bookkeepers????

(14 Posts)
mycatoscar Wed 03-Oct-12 20:35:33

Does anyone do this as a job.

I'm looking for a change of direction and already keep basic paperwork for my builder dh. What course would be best? How much could I charge roughly? Is there even call for this type of thing?

OP’s posts: |
MrAnchovy Wed 03-Oct-12 21:07:12

Lots of people do. Suggest you look here for training and post-qualification support: and compare with

There is and always will be demand for this, particularly for those with CIS experience which you presumably have, although obviously there is less work for everyone at the moment. Rates depend on local economy starting at around £12-£15ph with a ceiling of perhaps £35ph for someone with a professional set up with ICB membership, Professional Indemnity Assurance and relevant experience, although most businesses like to agree a fixed fee based on you coming in say once a week and doing whatever needs to be done.

mycatoscar Sun 07-Oct-12 20:01:12

Thanks for the advice MrAnchovy

I am looking into basic bookkeeping courses as at least that would give me a confirmation that I am doing things correctly for DH - we are likely to have to become VAT registered and also start paying subcontractors by CIS so it's all ramping up a bit. At least by doing things for dh for a bit I can really decide whether I want to do this instead of my current job as a part time teacher.

I was thinking really that if all goes well I may work mainly for local builders and tradesmen as that would be my area of expertise in the end. I really have started only very recently and at the moment am only keeping basic in and out books so would really like to know a bit more and feel "qualified" so I think a course is the best next step.

I notice the AAT are doing a certificate in bookkeeping starting january 2013 and wonder if this might be a good place to start, as I understand from some RL colleagues, they are a high status provider and I could work towards accounting qualification later.

Does anyone else have any advice?

OP’s posts: |
loachey Sat 13-Oct-12 21:06:40

Hi, I started as a self employed bookkeeper a few years ago. I had had some exposure to the role in various jobs across the years so I started with the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. You can buy past papers from them and then buy some recommended text and self study if you want to or you can pay for a learning provider.

If you are already doing it, you may find the early levels easy. There's a great forum where you will get advice on study material if you do chose to self study. Then when you have completed so many exams (not sure how many because I think they changed it recently) you can apply for a Practice Licence from them and set up a bookkeeping practice. The Practice Licence isn't a necessity but registering with someone for Money Laundering Regulations is. This can also be done with HMRC. I chose the ICB because it also proved I had qualifications to a certain level with a professional body.

Then I decided I was going to do my AAT because I was going to carry on with accountancy training. I am pretty sure that if you complete the AAT it gives you some exemptions of the earlier levels of the ACCA - I don't know about the other bodies. But if I remember rightly you can't self study for the AAT. You have to do it through a learning provider. However, I started it with a distance learning provider so you might be able to work at a slightly faster past and you can pay module by module. (Or at least I did when I did it a few years ago)

I then got so much work I didn't have time to study. I am now in a position again to study after a house move so I lost some clients so I am thinking of doing some more ICB levels but by self study. I think the last level does allow some accounts production and there's a self assessment module but do not quote me on that. I need to double check and clarify this myself.

mycatoscar Thu 18-Oct-12 20:56:22

Thank you loachey smile that's really helpful. Can I ask where you got your work? Did you advertise or just rely on word of mouth. Also, what were the set up costs apart from the icb course? Did you have to buy an accounting package or just do everything manually through excel?

OP’s posts: |
loachey Mon 29-Oct-12 08:03:44

Sorry, not been on for a while...

I was lucky when looking for work. I was working for one person on a PAYE basis two days a week and then I built up my self employed clientele around them. Someone I knew was looking for a bookkeeper so I started with them. I also placed an ad on gumtree and replied to an ad on gumtree. (This isn't so good in my area now but it still seems to be used in other areas - eg Surrey where I've just moved from) Then another person linked to my first client needed a bookkeeper. It snowballed really. Be really careful when setting up you don't over promise and take on too many one point I had too many clients and not enough hours in the day. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown!! We moved house so I had to give some up and I went part time. So I saved my sanity!

My only set up costs was a laptop, insurance and icb membership. The client provided the software. They had it so I installed on my laptop or pc (which I already owned). If this isn't the case there are some free software packages out there but the free ones are a bit basic. TAS and Quickbooks are two I have used. I like TAS but I hate QB's but I would use it if necessary to provide a software accounting package for a client. Sage Instant isn't that expensive if necessary but you can't have more than one sage on a PC. (well, apparently you can but I'm not sure how so haven't ever tried and sage don't help with this) There are also a few cloud accounting packages which aren't hideously expensive/free.

babamummy Thu 01-Nov-12 14:44:38

Coming to this thread a bit late but hoping any bookkeepers out there can help with advice. I'm currently a SAHM to my 17 month old DS and it's becoming clear that we could really do with some extra income. I have started to think about bookkeeping as a potential career option. I was thinking of doing a qualification through AAT or ICB. Do you think it would be feasible to start self-employed work after this or would I really need to up my experience with an in-house role? I don't have previous accounting experience but I like the idea that I could build on my qualifications over time. Do most clients want you to come into their offices to work or is a lot of work at home? I'd ideally like to be working 2-3 mornings per week. Does that sound realistic or would most clients want a bigger chunk of time, working full days? Sorry for the thread jack but would really appreciate others experiences before I commit to anything.

mycatoscar Fri 02-Nov-12 13:12:55

I have taken the plunge and have my first AAT course sitting on the dining room table ATM, I chose it because it could in time lead to being a qualified accountant. I start next week smile Scarey!

OP’s posts: |
babamummy Sat 03-Nov-12 18:56:44

Well done mycatoscar. Was thinking about doing the AAT bookkeeping course which starts in 2013 but they don't have any info out yet. Good luck & would be interested to know how you find it.

MoreBeta Sat 03-Nov-12 19:02:55

My BIL is one and he did the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers courses up to an advanced level. Took him a few years to get a good roster of customers but now means he can cut down on his truck driving job as he does the accounts for other self employed builders and truck drivers.

His advice would be keep up your old job until you can make the full transition. Work does not come flying in and you do need to market well.

mycatoscar Sun 04-Nov-12 15:42:35

Yes, i am lucky in that I teach but only 3 days a week so I have 2 days in which to study and practise my newly learned skills on dh's books. In time maybe I will pick up a few more bookkeeping clients. I cant see me ever giving up teaching completely but I certainly dont want to teach full time as it is so all consuming.

OP’s posts: |
user1482931528 Tue 07-Feb-17 14:30:29

AIPB (American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers) or the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). These to are the best for bookkeeping as far as I know. And I am using a free bookkeeping software now.
Hope it helps.

Sammysquiz Tue 07-Feb-17 14:43:45

This is a zombie thread. And the OP isn't based in the US!

bookker Tue 23-Jan-18 18:37:15

I used to be employed bookkeeper I can say There is and always will be demand, They I lean is by basic bookkeeping courses online for example the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers they actually have a lot of free resources. For me personally after having 3 kids I work full time for know but please pm me if you would like to know more.

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