Thinking of Setting Up Your Own Accountancy Firm? Read This First
Setting up your own company in any field is always fraught with risks, but the pros – the freedom, the autonomy, the ability to do things on your own terms – mean that few people who take the plunge would ever dream of going back.
That said, just because running your own company is worth the bruises doesn’t mean you have to have the accidents. After all, why learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from someone else’s?
Of course, to avoid the pitfalls, you need to know what they are.
According to AccountingWeb, there are several ways accountants shoot themselves in the foot when they first try to launch their own company. Here’s how to tackle them.
1. Cutting corners in client’s tax returns
You might think you’re adding value to clients by helping them taking easy money-saving routes that aren’t entirely above board – but if you create a culture that lacks integrity, this can come back to bite you in three ways: your clients might suspect you of misleading them, your clients might think it’s fine to take you for a ride, and you could damage your reputation.
Find smarter ways to add value to your clients than tax-dodging guidance. Focus on transparency. On implementing remote working solutions that allow to be responsive and available to clients from anywhere. Offer rock-solid security and cloud backups that keep their data totally safe and secure. Make collaboration a breeze and communication a joy.
2. Doing it for the wrong reasons.
If you’re simply trying to hold onto as much of your profits as possible, you’re condemning your venture before you begin. You need to be passionate about providing great service and willing to make the investments early on that will help your business grow and prosper in the long term.
That means budgeting for top-notch technology or services that can meet the needs of your clients, and innovating to find the perfect solution for you. That said, with the right, subscription-based cloud service, this outlay will end up saving you money and easing the strain on your cash flow by moving you away from costly IT infrastructure and towards manageable, scalable, monthly payments.
3. Failing to set targets.
If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, how will you get there? Make a plan for growth and stick to it. It’s essential that this is woven closely with your cash flow forecast, ensuring you always have the resources to survive and expand, and that you’ve arranged things to facilitate the extra work and clients you’ll need to take on to hit your targets. You need to be lean, and streamlined, and agile if you’re going to hone in on the things your business really needs.
4. Failing to get the help you need when you need it.
First, there’s the attitude that we should be able to do everything ourselves (we can’t) or that seeking assistance is a sign of weakness (it’s the opposite). Then there’s the issue of knowing when we need help – having enough of a grasp of our business to identify the things that are preventing us performing at our best and where problems are likely to spring up along the road ahead.
To get this right, you need to run a very tight ship. Keep your business processes and systems simple and manageable to help you spot inefficiencies or gaps in your expertise. Partnering with a top-notch technology provider is a great way to “outsource” many of the technical headaches that slow you down, leaving you with time to focus on the bigger picture.
5. Not hiring great people.
Recruitment is hard. If you’re a newbie firm, you won’t have the spending power to tempt recruits with huge salaries or shiny offices. Instead, focus on the perks that you can offer over bigger competitors – and which, at the same time, will attract the most competent, self-motivated, ambitious people out there.
Things like remote working and the work-life balance that comes with it. Cloud-hosted desktops that allow employees to work anywhere anytime on any device. Tools that make every moment of their day as potentially productive and efficient as possible. Things that bright, energetic people crave – and will help bring them to your door.