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Setting up a practice

We know that setting up in practice can be a challenging time, with many important business and financial decisions to make. The ICAEW Library can support you with our resources, helping you to have the edge over competitors.

What's on this page?

  • How we can help: free resources, client mailing lists, company credit ratings, directorship reports, model documents, industry guides, Business Centre
  • Example enquiries

Contact the Library

Expert help for your enquiries and research.

E  library@icaew.com

T  +44 (0)20 7920 8620
F  +44 (0)20 7920 8621

How we can help

Saving you time and money

It may be that you've been used to working in a practice with access to information resources you cannot afford now you are starting out on your own.

If a potential new client works in a niche sector that's unfamiliar to you, or if you need to master a new subject quickly for the next client meeting, we can find information fast.

We respond to enquiries on UK and international topics within 24 working hours, give you access to premium content, post books out on loan and can email, post or fax documents directly to you free of charge.

Starting out

For background help and ideas on running your practice, find article and book titles in our collection on:

Or, you can search our catalogue on any other topic.

Selected articles and books

Click on the links below to see our catalogue record and holdings for each item. Please contact us if you would like to borrow a book or request a copy of an article.

Practice management and procedures manual
(CCH, 2003-)
This regularly updated looseleaf 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
Mark Wickersham (2014, 175 pages)
Chapters include: What's at stake?; Your "magic price"; Time's up - an end to time-based billing?; Charging clients what they are willing to pay; Menu pricing in practice; The seven-step "fastest way to double your profits" formula.

The intentional accountant: your roadmap for building a next generation accounting firm
M.D.Root (Rootworks, 2014, 179 pages)
This book aims to be a practical, end-to-end roadmap of the strategic process and organisational methods that help accounting professionals grow beyond merely working at a job and start building a true enterprise. 

Mind your own business
Economia, June 2012
Presents advice for newly independent accountants. Weighs up the relative advantages of starting a business from scratch, buying out another business or using a franchise. Also recommends establishing an online presence and looks at how to identify clients.

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.

Mailing lists available include:

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

For more details and our order form, see Mailing lists. Please note: this service is only available to ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. 

Additionally our Marketing your practice page contains advice on how to stand out from the competition and attract the clients you want.

New client - check their credit rating

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

For a company credit rating, including financial data, credit limit history and county court judgements

To uncover deliberate attempts to hide and blur company and director linkages, and identify directors with a track record of company failure.

For an individual's directorships, previous and current, from the FAME company database.

We can provide reports to ICAEW members, ACA students and other permitted users. This service is not available to members of the public.

Need an engagement letter or other model document?

The library has a wide range of sample documents including:

Please contact us for these or other letters and legal documents you might require.

Working with your client – want 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.

The CCH 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 offers members and their guests a modern space in central London, with wifi, computing facilities and cafe. Located in Chartered Accountants' Hall, it's a bright and spacious area to meet and work in.

For private meetings, there are three meeting rooms for hire.

Example enquiries

The Library & Information Service offers an enquiry service to ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. You can contact us by email, phone, fax or by visiting the Library at Chartered Accountants' Hall.

Example past enquiries and their solutions include:

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

The individual was found via the FAME database, to which the Library subscribes. A list was created showing the 12 companies and the dates of the directorships, which was emailed to the customer free of charge.

I am seeking articles on what the ideal business set-up is for a new business established in the UK

Our page on doing business in the UK includes guides from various sources that you may find helpful.

There are also a number of tax books in the library which compare the different business forms that can be used in the UK:

Do you have templates for abbreviated or dormant accounts?

Relevant titles held by the library include:

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

Sections of a report on butchers from the CCH online Business Focus service, with the relevant data, were emailed to the member.

We also discovered a recent Datamonitor market research report - "Meat Industry Profile: the United Kingdom" through the EBSCO Business Source Corporate database. ICAEW members can access this through our Business Source Corporate search page wherever they are in the world.

Additionally our online Food retail industry guide page provides links to relevant industry market research, statistics, benchmarking reports, legislation and websites.

A large variety of other industry guides are also available, helping you find industry specific information for clients. The series aims to provide a package of information on each sector, with over sixty guides available – we even cover ice cream and space!

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

Lending copies of The international tax handbook and Whillans's worldwide taxes, both of which have chapters on Cyprus, were provided for the member.

The Library and Information team also showed them our web-page on Taxation in Cyprus and offered to email a country tax summary from International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD), a subscription-based database.

See also:

ICAEW's Practice resources provide guidance and advice on practice management compiled by the Practice Strategy department, including the key matters you need to consider when 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.

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