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Setting up a practice

We know that setting up in practice can be a challenging time. The ICAEW Library can support you with guidance, information and a range of practice support services.

How we can help

Saving you time and money

It may be that your previous employer had access to resources you cannot afford as a sole practitioner. 

If a new client works in a sector that's unfamiliar to you, or you need to master a new subject quickly, we can find information to help.

We handle enquiries, offer access to premium content, post out books and supply documents free of charge.

Starting out

For background help and ideas on running your practice, find material in our collection on:

Selected articles and books

Practice management and procedures manual
(CCH, 2003-)
This manual provides a guide to running a small to medium-sized accountancy practice. Chapters cover legal matters, staff appraisal and development, client money, money laundering, quality assurance, practice, promotion and development, good practice management, conduct of work, strategic planning, IT risks and ethical matters.

Effective pricing for accountants: a practical guide to pricing your accountancy services for maximum profit
(2014, 175 pages)
Popular guide covering client relationships, menu pricing, and a seven-part formula for increasing your profits.

Mind your own business
Economia, June 2012
Points to remember for newly independent accountants.

Looking for clients

We can send you mailing lists of companies in your area which could be potential clients. You can customise your list with options such as a specific turnover range, business sector or location. Please note: this service is only available to ICAEW members, ACA students and other permitted users.

We can send:

  • Audit client lists
  • Business sector lists
  • Lists by location 

Our Marketing your practice page also contains advice on attracting the clients you want.

Client due diligence

You can request a report from credit rating agency Equifax, available to members at competitive prices. We offer:

To see an individual's previous and current directorships we can search the FAME database for:

To check an individual or company against global risk and compliance data, select:

These services are not available to members of the public.

Engagement letters and model documents

The library has a wide range of sample documents including:

Please contact us for these and other documents you may require.

Information on a business sector

Our industry guides provide information on a range of niche sectors, including links to market research reports, statistics, trade bodies and trade journals.

CCH's online Business Focus Service contains performance indicators and economic reviews on trades in the following sectors: agriculture, high street, leisure, manufacturing, the professions, services, trades and wholesales.

Stay informed and up-to-date with the Library & Information Service's company research services. Obtain the latest UK and global company profiles, financial data and business intelligence.

Meet your client in our Business Centre

The Business Centre at Chartered Accountants' Hall offers members and their guests a modern space to meet in central London, with wifi, printing and computing facilities. Meet your client in our cafe or book a room for a private meeting.

Example enquiries

The Library & Information Service offers an enquiry service to ICAEW members, ACA students and other permitted users.

Common enquiries include:

I would like a full list of an individual's current and previous directorships

Solution:
We found the individual through the FAME database. We created a list showing the 12 companies and the dates of the directorships, and emailed it to the member free of charge.

What is the best legal form for a new business in the UK?

Solution:
Our page on doing business in the UK is regularly updated with useful guides.

The Library also holds tax books explaining the benefits of different business forms:

Do you have templates for abridged or dormant accounts?

Solution:
Relevant titles held by the library include:

My new client is a wholesale butcher – I need an overview of the market, gross profit margins and main players

Solution:
We emailed a Business Focus report on UK butchers to the member.

We also found the market research report "Meat Industry Profile: the United Kingdom" through the EBSCO Business Source Corporate database. ICAEW members can use this through our search page.

Our food retail industry guide links to market research, statistics, benchmarking reports, legislation and relevant websites. We maintain a wide variety of industry guides, covering subjects from ice cream to space exploration.

I'd like information on taxation in Cyprus, especially for new businesses

Solution:
We sent the member chapters from the International tax handbook and Whillans's worldwide taxes, both of which have sections on Cyprus. 

We also showed them our page on Taxation in Cyprus and offered to send a country tax summary from the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD), a subscription-based database.

ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.

Technical

ICAEW's Practice Strategy team can offer members detailed guidance on practice management and setting up in practice

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by web chat or by email at library@icaew.com.