How to Successfully Start an Accounting Firm

Starting your accounting firm brings a lot of expectations and it can be extremely rewarding. You don’t have to worry about answering your boss and you set your limits. Business owners are only limited by their ability to work and attract clients.

So, if you are going to be starting an accounting firm, you will need a lot of determination, hard work, and persistence. There’s no doubt that there will be ups and downs in the whole process but don’t let that stop you. With motivation and persistence, you can achieve your goals. Here we will highlight some basic steps to help you start your accounting firm.

Planning is the Key

As a new business owner in the accounting field, you must have a well-thought-out strategy that will differentiate your firm between other’s that do the exact same thing. It will assist you in mapping out the specifics of your company and uncovering certain unknowns. To start a new accounting firm, you’ll need a proper business plan that details the firm’s financial goals, accounting services it will offer, the target market or audience, your accounting skills, unique expertise, and the funds needed to get started. The business plan should also include the business structure of the accounting firm. The plan should show that you understand your target market and have strategies in place to manage your accounting firm’s administrative and financial components.

Funds and Finances

A new company should have enough money to start-up and run for at least one year. Start by calculating the cost of a year’s worth of office equipment, office space, living expenses, and marketing. You can estimate the startup costs by first calculating the revenue targets for the company. However, if at all possible, try using lean methodology for the first few years. This means bootstrapping your business, minimizing all costs, streamlining processes and not spending frivolously unless you absolutely have to.

When building your accounting firm, you’ll need to determine if you are going to be an online, direct-to-consumer firm or if you’re going to have a physical location.

The cost of beginning an online business compared to renting and building out at a physical location is substantial. These are important costs to think about when starting your first accounting firm.

Market Research is Important When Starting an Accounting Firm

As a CPA firm start-up, you’ll need to conduct market research to find where your business fits in compared to the competition. If you have the appropriate market execution, training and talent, you can be successful in this business. People use accounting services for a variety of reasons, including tax planning, debt reduction, retirement, changes in tax laws, and advising for investments.

Decide Your Niche

When starting a CPA firm, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is what type of accounting firm you want to start. Self-employed accountants typically run small businesses with only themselves and one or two administrative personnel. Finding your specific niche within accounting can help you establish your firm’s key strengths and differentiate you from the competition.

For instance, if you have experience in the consulting niche, you may start an accounting consulting firm. Your company might be able to help clients streamline their accounting processes and improve their internal controls. Or, maybe, your accounting knowledge and experience may inspire you to start a different type of firm such as ecommerce accounting, where your firm specifically works with online retailers or Amazon sellers.

However, attempting to enter a niche that is too limited may prevent you from obtaining enough clients to get your business off the ground. During the early stages of your accounting career, keep your eyes peeled for fresh client chances.

Some niches of the accounting firm that you want to know are; auditing, bookkeeping, accounting for medical professionals, tax preparation, accounting for real estate, and accounting for insurance companies.

Be Aware of the Challenges

Many accountants fantasize about working their hours, increasing their earnings, and being their own boss. Now is an excellent time for anyone who has pondered launching their accounting firm to do so. However, there are a few hurdles and impediments to overcome while launching a CPA firm, which may include the following:

  • Choosing the type of accounting firm you wish to open
  • Choosing a plan for your accounting firm’s entry
  • Putting together a business plan for your accounting firm
  • Getting your accounting firm off the ground and marketing it
  • Understanding the regulations that control your target market’s financial elements

 Decide a Catchy Name for Your Accounting Firm

Last, but not least. If you want to attract clients or customers in the accounting industry, then you need to create a brand name that develops trust. You’re creating a business that looks over people’s finances, and people need to feel like they can trust your firm and that you will provide them with the right advice and guidance. That’s why many businesses in accounting, finance and law use their last names, because it develops trust with the customer.

Regardless of what your brand name is or the niche you plan to enter, if you use these tips when starting your first accounting firm, you’ll have a jump start on building something successful.