How To Start An Accounting Business

How To Start An Accounting Business

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Morning all,

Tue 4 May

Top right you’ll see the time.

A little further down you’ll also see the Pomodoro that is setup for another 12 minutes – which is the time I’m giving myself to write this blog today (start it at least)

I’m quite excited right now as I’m getting ready to start my accountancy business – and wanted to run through my plan of attack and reasons for doing this with you.

Why Start A Business At All?

This one I’ll spend a very short amount of time upon. Starting a business offers pain, freedom and everything in between. But if you value your own income, working to your own hours – and starting something that could support yourself and your family ultimately long-term – then this is definitely the way.

One of the things I will say – is that starting a business is no joke – and there are many challenges that you will face along the way. And that it’ll (very likely) take years longer than you think to achieve your goals.

If you’re prepared for all of that though – then it’s definitely worth doing it.

Why Start An Accountancy Business?

Well – one of my good friends Varun (also my accountant) runs an accounting firm. He’s been running it for the last several years.

Here’s the things I’ve noticed when it comes to his business – and my experience of it –

The retention is extremely high. Much higher than marketing. When you find an accountant – because they’re managing your money – you tend to stick with them year in and year out.

There have been times when Varun has been late, rushed things or otherwise…but the cost of me changing the accountancy firm is so high that I’d rather just stick with him.

Having spoken to him about his business growth also has been fascinating. The man just doesn’t lose clients.

He’s never spent a £ on paid advertising and he still grows. From time to time, I’m asked – do I know a ‘good accountant’ – and I’ve referred people to Varun several times.

So given how hard I work to win marketing clients for Pearl Lemon – I figure it’ll be that much easier to win accounting clients for Pearl Lemon Accountants – and that much easier to retain them.

With SEO and appointment setting – we have corporate clients who pay a decent amount of money for returns that are difficult to deliver and not always (SEO) tangible.

With this in mind – it makes the sales process much more challenging.

Furthermore, with the SEO side of the business, I’m competing with a global workforce (i.e Indians and every other economy) – so it makes a differentiation between agencies harder.

I think running an accountancy company is going to be that much easier.

Any Experience As An Accountant?

Have you filed your own accounts? Have you had to figure out basic accounting procedures?

I actually started my life at Deloitte which is going to come in handy as we brand our accounting firm.

And then over the last several years, I’ve had to work through my personal and corporate tax returns and have set up multiple companies.

So I can definitely put it all together from a sales and marketing perspective.

What I think I’ll also do however is watch a couple of basic accounting courses so I can understand basic financial calculations more keenly and add more value on this side of the business.

I think the more I can become conversant with this the better I’ll do in sales calls when speaking with bigger businesses about the ins and outs of accounting.

If you haven’t had experience as an accountant that really doesn’t matter as long as the person running the actual accounts has that experience – and this would become an effective partnership.

Your Experience Working With Accountants?

What experience do you have working with an accountant?

The more you have had – the better….

Mine comes from my journey of being self-employed since I was 23 years old.

Having managed my own accounts for around 5 years, and then sought help from my business partner, then a family accountant and then finally my accountant today.

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I’ve also had financial analysts and accountants as part of the Pearl Lemon team in our earlier stages.

Between all of these engagements, notwithstanding helping my father prepare documents for his accountant and made recommendations to my friends – I’ve had some decent insights when it comes to working with accountants.

So if you have similar experiences – really collate them and consider what insights that do give you into the service levels of different accountants you’ve worked with.

Your Experience Running A Service Business

If you have experience running a service business then this will become powerful when it comes to understanding customer service, building slide decks, proposals and all of the corporate elements of working with enterprise businesses.

For me – this is where moving from selling an intangible service such as SEO to selling a tangible service such as accounting is really going to stand us in good stead.

And working in service is something I’ve done for over a decade at both a B2C level and B2B level.

If you’re still in employment then you’ll still have had powerful experiences of deadlines, customer service, expectations and the like!

Write all of this out in terms of things you’ve done, deadlines you’ve worked towards and what you have to contend with when doing all of this.

Your Competitive Advantage With Starting An Accounting Business?

This is integral to the consideration of starting an accountancy business.

What value can you add that your local accountant cannot? What is possible?

Have a hard think about this – and carve out what these elements are.

The bigger the differences – the better you will do effectively – and this is the way to think about it.

Here are my advantages which I hope can be of use to you:

BrandPearl Lemon is already a trusted brand in the marketplace which is going to help us when it comes to trust

Existing Network of Potential Clients – At Pearl Lemon, we generate 150+ inbound leads for our marketing and property services (which will continue to grow) which we can introduce our accounting services to

The Wider Pearl Lemon Group – Across the board we have a growing list of potential clients with the other brands we own and manage

Marketing Expertise – As we’re an SEO agency, we’ve got an established methodology we use to rank websites on Google – which we will employ for Pearl Lemon Accountants as well

Sales Force – As someone who comes from an outbound sales perspective myself – we’ve got a sales team who would happily also sell our accounting services and we can hire commission-only sales reps to drive this journey as well

Registering The Domain Name

So one of the first things I’ve done (and granted it’s easier in our case) is to register the domain name.

This is psychologically an important part of moving the business forward – because much like a baby – the business has to have a name – and this is where this element comes into play.

In our case, it’s Pearl Lemon Accountants – but I’d absolutely encourage you to think of a name and then build the business out from that point on

Deciding On A Content Marketing Strategy

This is what we’re doing in the Pearl Lemon case.

I’ve done some keyword research and identified around 50 blogs I want to be written for Pearl Lemon Accountants that will be part of our pre-launch process.

I’ve now sent this to my content writing team who will get this going over the next 2-weeks.

Final Thoughts

I’m genuinely excited to start an accounting business.

Now I’ve gone through the challenges of building a marketing agency (which is still growing and developing) and built out operations teams for them on the lead-generation, SEO and PPC side, I’m excited to continue my journey of building small service-based businesses.

And if you’re thinking about starting your own accountancy firm then I definitely think it’ll be an amazing journey and I encourage you to check out Pearl Lemon Accountants and reach out to me if you have any questions!