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Setting up in practice: key considerations

When you are starting up in practice it is important that you are aware of the options to consider. Often the first steps are the most difficult ones. Here, we provide articles and resources to help answer key matters you need to consider when setting up in practice.

Are you ready to go into practice?

The key to running both a successful accountancy practice and making it profitable is to run it as a business. Take business decisions throughout your professional career in practice. It is very easy if you are in practice, particularly if you are a sole practitioner, not to be business like.

Another key consideration is to manage your clients’ expectations of what, how and when you will deliver your service and when you reasonably expect to be paid for the work you have done. Clarification of these issues early on in a professional relationship will prevent misunderstandings later.

Engaging in public practice

Members whose activities fall within the scope of the definition of engaging in public practice will usually require a Practising Certificate (PC) and professional indemnity insurance (PII) plus fall within the scope of Practice Assurance (PA). Once you have decided to set up in practice, you will need to notify us of your firm. This may simply mean notifying us that you are a sole practitioner and the name of your sole practice. If we don’t know that you have set up a practice, we can’t monitor you and supervise you for anti-money laundering.

Practice structure

There are a number of different practice structures used even in ‘start-up’ situations. You will need to consider your own situation to work out what is right for you.

Library and information services

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.