As an accountant, you’re good with numbers, but starting your own accounting firm isn’t simply about being a financial wizard.
Whether you’re a financial advisor or tax prep expert, you may be interested in starting your own accounting firm. Owning your own company is certainly gratifying, but there are several things you need to be aware of when financing your own firm.
Here are a few tips you’ll appreciate before opening your own CPA practice.
4 Useful Tips for Starting Your Own Accounting Firm
Assemble your own financial plan
You’re used to offering financial advice to others, but now it’s your turn. Assess the costs of starting your own accounting firm and build a financial plan. Initial expenditures may include computers, accounting software, and malpractice insurance. Other expenses to consider are marketing costs, required credentials, and any other insurance you’ll need to cover your practice.
The plan should also determine your target market and provide a comprehensive vision on how you will oversee the administrative and financial aspects of your firm. Don’t forget to account for the cash you’ll need to live on while you wait for invoices to start rolling in. Consider that there may be a few months where you are unable to draw a salary.
Ease into it
Leaping into full-time entrepreneurship is a big risk. Hedge your bets by starting your accounting firm with part-time clients. Start with low-maintenance customers and incrementally take on more work. At some point, you’ll have so many clients that you no longer have time for your regular 9–5.
Another idea is to partner with an established accountant until you can get your own business up and running. Take the clients your partner no longer has time to handle. The benefits of working with an established partner include connections, capital, and new client relationships.
Formulate a hiring strategy
Starting out, be prepared to act as your company’s secretary, public relations manager, IT consultant and custodian—in addition to its sole accountant. You’ll also be required to handle all financial aspects of your company from negotiations to contracts. You may work far more hours than you did at a larger firm, but remember you’re wearing many hats.
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Make sure you have a plan to hire help once you hit a certain revenue goal. There are only so many hours in a day and you’ll need staffers to ease the burden.
Build a client base
You may have exited your previous firm with a few clients, but there are bigger fish out there. Clients at larger firms are always looking for more personalized service. Scoop them up and give them the attention they’re looking for.