Whether you are just beginning to consider the idea of starting your own accounting practice, are well into the planning stages, or have already opened one, you’ll likely have plenty of decisions to make and questions to ask.
The process of opening an accounting firm is one that is involved and lengthy, and the right approach is crucial in ensuring that the endeavor is a successful one.
As a result, you’ll need to have a clear reason as to why you are starting an accounting firm (and what your goals are), a good idea of the requirements you’ll need to meet, and a comprehensive plan for growth.
Why You Should Start an Accounting Practice
Before you commit to starting an accounting firm, the most important consideration to make is in regard to whether you are committed and have reason to.
Regardless of the type of business a person is starting, the involvement and dedication required is always high, and a lack of motivation will mean that you are invested in a plan with little indication of success.
Consider if you want to focus on a particular niche – whether you focus on one group of clients or keep a broader approach will determine how you can approach the work you do, and the extent to which you can implement set approaches and practices.
Next, think about your experience. This includes not only whether you have the appropriate experience and education to deal with your accounting responsibilities, but also the day to day requirements that come with running a business – dealing with a CRM, insurance, and more.
Another important factor to consider is in regard to clients – whether you already have some leads, or will be starting from scratch, this is an important part of your new business that you will need to have a strong plan for.
Ultimately, the takeaway here is that developing an initial plan will ensure that you can stick to a business roadmap, and compare expected outcomes with actual results.
The Responsibilities of an Accounting Firm
An often overlooked aspect of starting an accounting firm is in regard to the responsibilities that you will hold.
In dealing with the reporting and management of other businesses ’ financial affairs, you are subject to professional standards and legal requirements.
Being aware of these, understanding where you are liable, implementing the appropriate protection and taking measures to cover your business operations is crucial in safe and consistent business operation.
These risks extend further when it comes to property, having employees, and more.
A good starting approach that considers these is to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for professionals – on top of this, a company culture that focuses on education, and involving use of the appropriate contracts with clients are important as well.
Planning For the Future
The final thing to keep in mind is that when starting an accounting practice, you need to have a long term plan that indicates a roadmap for growth, accounts for any potential problems and sets long term goals.
While this sounds similar to the initial business plan you make, the difference is that a long-term plan is intended to cover the entire timeline of the business, as opposed to the initial stages of its existence.
An important part of this plan is in determining the brand image that you want to market your company as – this is what will determine how your potential customers see your business, and will ultimately mean the difference between attracting good clients as opposed to bad ones.
A good long-term plan will also involve implementing the use of tech from the get-go – with accounting, marketing and CRM software becoming more and more advanced, the right choices will vastly impact the way that your business operates.
Finally, a good business plan will take into account scalability – the ability to adapt to needs for growth and benefit from economies of scale is immensely important.
This will include considerations surrounding company structure, the tech used to run the business, and the onboarding processes used for new employees.