Starting your own accounting / tax practice post qualification


Hi everyone,

I will hopefully qualify as a CA from one of the Big 4 in London next year (October 2012) and I am unsure of whether to try and start my own accounting / tax practice.

I have a number of queries / concerns, can anyone give any advice or advise where to go for help?

  1. How much money will I need to start own small practice?
  2. I currently work in tax, am keen to stay specialised in this area. Is this advisable or is it best to offer wider range of services?
  3. Is it best to stay in a Big4 for a few years post qualifying for more experience?
  4. Will it be a big pay cut compared to staying in a Big 4 or going to work in tax in Industry?

Any advice hugely appreciated!!!


I will try to address your queries in the order you have asked them.

  1. I would imagine that you will need a relatively small amount to set up your own practice. You can initially work from home and travel to your clients premises for meetings. A PC and a phone line as well as some professional indemnity cover should just about get you started.

  2. I dont see a problem with offering a tax only service and if there is a demand for additional services, then it should be possible for you to employ or sub-contract someone to perform the required services.

  3. I would recommend that you remain with the ‘big 4’ for a few years post qualifying. This will broaden your experience and enable you to develop contacts which may be useful in the future.

  4. The difference in money is highly dependent on the success of your practice, the type of clients you get and the hours you are prepared to put in. Atleast you will benefit from the full rate charged when you work for yourself and will not be suffering earning a percentage of your charge out rate.

Hope this helps