Ever considered running your own accountancy practice? Here’s what to expect and how much you could earn.
Abul Nurujjaman is Managing Director at Taj Accountants, a London practice focusing on tax advice for SMEs and sole traders. He talks about his passion for accountancy and how his rapid rise to success has been powered by qualifications.
One of the advantages of running your own business is you can set up solo with less experience than you might need to gain a senior role working for someone else.
What’s it like being the MD of a rapidly expanding firm?
At times it’s undeniably challenging, but equally as rewarding when success is achieved. What gets me out of bed every day is having drive and ambition – I’ve instilled in myself the desire to succeed in every aspect of my life, professional or otherwise. I believe I lead by example in the workplace, setting high standards for my colleagues.
What are the perks of running your own accountancy practice?
Being the sole owner of my firm has a direct positive impact on the salary that I’m able to withdraw from the company.* As a business owner, you can choose how much in terms of dividends to draw down.
How did you build the business – and how do you stay ahead of the competition?
I approached people I knew already, letting them know I’d started my own practice. My initial marketing budget was very small, and I tried to reach new clients through existing contacts. Running a business is about being an entrepreneur – looking after someone’s finances is perhaps the most important thing you can do for somebody. You have to create a good impression. And the rhythm of work is different to being employed. At social occasions, I’ll pick up interesting and relevant information and it helps inform whether or not you would be a good match to work together. If those initial conversations go well, I might give them my card and suggest a call if they are thinking of changing their accountant. I show people I care about them. The successful client/accountant relationship means them trusting you.
Progression can be a powerful route to success. As well as higher income, what are the other advantages?
Initially, you can be paid in a relevant, practical employment at the same time as studying towards your qualification. After that, the world is your oyster. People recognise and respect the AAT brand and this can help you gain the credibility you need to set up your own business. The main thing to say about your income as a self-employed person is that you enjoy the fruits of your work. Recently I’ve had long trips to Morocco, Dubai and I’m about to go on a six-week overseas holiday to South East Asia – these things only really happen because I’m company director and can be in charge of my time.**
The accomplishment you are most proud of?
I helped raised over £60,000 in humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees, by trekking more than 90km along the Great Wall of China. It was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, really pushing me out of my comfort zone – the country, the language, and extremes of weather. It was definitely not what you would call a holiday, but looking back it feels incredibly rewarding and satisfying that I was able to help others who are less fortunate.
Mark Blayney Stuart is Business Journalist of the Year, Wales Media Awards 2017 and Former Head of Research at the Chartered Institute of Marketing.