While working for as an accountant can be a great career choice, opening an accounting firm has many advantages that shouldn’t be overlooked. Doing so lets you determine where to locate your business when to work, and what services to offer your clients. Since you are the one doing the hiring, you are also in charge of who you work with and who works for you. But, to enjoy the perks of owning your own accounting firm, you must do the following five things.
1. Go to School
Without the right academic qualifications, your dream of starting your own accounting firm will remain just a dream. To make it a reality, enroll in an accredited university, such as Ohio University, and graduate with an online accounting degree.
If you already have a degree, it never hurts to enroll for an online masters in accounting degree. The extra qualifications increase not only your accounting skills but also your chances of success in business.
2. Create a Business Plan
Just as you cannot start an accounting firm without an accounting degree, you cannot run a business without a business plan. You can try, but you will most likely fail, not succeed. A business plan clearly defines your target market, the services you intend to offer, expected revenues, and expected expenses. In short, it puts your mission statement into perspective.
3. Create a Marketing Plan
Remember that after you launch your business, you must market your services. So, a solid marketing strategy should be included in the business plan. For instance, you might have to create a website that contains a list of your services, testimonials, and contacts.
Also, opening a social media account might become necessary. What about word-of-mouth advertising, signage, or listings in the yellow papers among others? What about branding? The name you choose for your business should tell the world what your business is about.
4. Document Your Company’s Policies
Like most small business owners, you might start your business with only an employee or two in a garage or small office. As your business expands, you will be forced to hire more employees. If you do so without first documenting your company’s policies, your employees will not know what you expect of them.
As a result, they might not share your vision nor treat clients and each other as would like them to. You will end up with frustrated clients and never-ending office conflict. To prevent this from happening, create an employee manual that details your company’s mission statement and vision. Then, ensure that new employees read, understand, and sign-off that they have read and understood this manual.
5. Select a Legal Entity and Business Insurance
After you complete the four steps listed above, select a legal structure for your business. For a small business practice, operate as an LLC (Limited Liability Company), which protects you from liability claims.
Without registering as a legal entity, you will struggle to operate your business, open a bank account, or execute contracts. Worse still, you will not get business insurance, including worker’s compensation, auto, liability, and malpractice insurance among others.
To start your own accounting firm, first, go to accounting school to get the right academic qualifications. Next, create a business that details both your long-term and short-term goals. Also, create a marketing plan.
In addition, document your company’s policies to improve service delivery and reduce interoffice conflict. Finally, choose the legal entity that you want your company to operate as. Only then can you get business insurance.