So you wanna be an accountant?

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

3 years in business!!

Can you actually believe it.
I've now ran my little business for 3 years and so much has changed.
I have been shortlisted in the last 2 years for 2 awards , sadly was pipped to the post but i'm taking it #finalist
Last October i finally left my day job, and now i only work for myself :)
I've now moved my business into offices in Liverpool, and have hugely increased in size.
I know i've slacked awfully with my blog- but i have been putting a lot of effort into business growth, i have also started a new blog attached to my website so hop over and check it out.
As ever, if you need any advice, please don't hesitate to contact me , by commenting on my blog, or email

my web address is

Friday, 11 March 2016

Trains , tubes and blue suede shoes !

So, today I travelled to London for my interview with the AAT Magazine! It was such an amazing , and surreal experience! I'll start from the beginning so I don't leave anything out :)

I woke at 3.50am, to catch the 5.30 am coach from Liverpool coach station to Victoria coach station. Arriving at 11.25am. Got a bit lost, took the wrong tube, on the district line instead of the circle line and ended up in Hammersmith! But eventually I found my way to the capital buildings Paddington.

When I finally met Hannah and Mark, I was so taken aback at how nice they where, not at all the city stand offish types I'd envisioned. They made me feel right at ease, and the photographer was amazing also.

As usual, with my luck something had to go wrong. My dress ripped when I was getting changed, it was a blue dress , id even bought blue suede shoes to match 🙀
However,   I was clever enough to bring a spare (Thankfully) . The photo shoot went well, they had me laughing so much that some times I forgot they where taking photos of me. The interview was nerve wracking, but Hannah was so nice I eventually chatted away like we were old friends.

The view was amazing, in an office on the 8th floor, Mark pointed out marble arch, and the Houses of Parliament. I could really imagine my office being up there 💡. But back to reality, I'm now back at Victoria coach station waiting for my coach home, I feel like today was one big dream!

If you ever get the chance to go and visit these guys , definitely go.

The article will be in the May/June edition of Accounting Technician Magazine.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Almost a year in business

Its been a good 6 months since I update my blog but it has been such a whirl wind of a year. In 2015 I  moved home, job, and started a business!

I'm now a finance business partner for a national charity. This means I travel a lot with work, which can be tiring and can make my home life hectic but I love it.

Also my own business MEND Accounting is almost 10 months old!! I cant believe how fast this year has flown. I have gone from having One client based in Scotland, to having several international clients as well as local.

I have a good range of clientele, from a Quantity surveyor (Ltd co), a Chartered accountant (Ltd co), a Business consultant (Sole trader), a Graphic designer (Sole trader) and several partnerships based in other country's around 11 in total.

My day to day duties of MEND Accounting can range anything from processing invoices, payroll and vat etc to drawing up year end accounts and calculating Corporation tax for Limited companies. Every day is varied and so different from my day job , everything I knew working for myself would be.

One thing I have learned about myself though is that I'm shy!! I went to my first networking event in the summer and I didn't realise how shy I was until I tried Networking. I felt so uncomfortable and out of my depth I have never tried again. This is something I will have to get over though as this is the best way to gain new clients, and build business relationships.

MEND is now coming up to its 1st birthday and we have been nominated and made a finalist in the ''Liverpool Lifestyle awards'' In the Best New Business category. I'm really shocked, and excited to attend the award ceremony.

I've still got so much to learn, and I'm constantly on the look out for CPD tax courses, and seminars to ensure I bring my skills up to date as the rules are constantly changing.  I've had to take a break from CIMA as I was so busy at work and home I couldn't find time to concentrate and study.  I have promised myself ill try and sit 2 exams a year starting in May 2016.

On my to do list for 2016 is:

  • Find a partner to attend Networking events with, would be great to find someone like myself to give each other morale support.
  • Find some office space to operate from (My kitchen has been great up to now, but would be good to get something more professional )
  • Decide whether MEND Accounting should go Limited! (I'm in two minds)
  • Have a holiday :)

Thanks for reading, and if you are a MIP, who needs some morale support to attend Networking events, get in touch.

MAAT, MIP, Cima Dip MA

Saturday, 1 August 2015

HMRC and government gateway.

Hi all, 

it's been a while since I wrote my last blog update but I've moved house and jobs in the last few months so had zero time.

Today's blog update is regarding HMRC and applying for the government gateway. 

To carry out any work for clients you are required to have a gateway code, be registered as an agent, and set your self up for "services you can use" . You can whilst waiting for these things use clients codes (gateway and passwords ) but I strongly advise you to apply for your agent code now as it takes a while to come through.

Firstly register on the government gateway , it takes minutes and they instantly tell you your code. Be sure to write this down or print it off. If you are registering for vat etc you can do this through your government gateway.

Then to register as an agent you need to write to HMRC. 

You need your name, business name, business address, UTR number , services you wish to offer, and who your money laundering supervisor is. 

This may take around a month or so to come through. 

If you need help with this or anything else don't hesitate to email me 


Sunday, 26 April 2015

What you need to do to setup your bookkeeping business.

So lately I've been so busy with my day job (management accountant for pharma company ) and at home setting up my home office and refresher courses in Level 3 CPD course in Tax and a Level 3 CPD course in Payroll to write my blog , I do apologise.

Below I'll run through the steps I'm currently taking to set up , this will help you if you decide to set up too !

I've registered with HMRC as an agent , creating a user number for VAT and PAYE. If you are setting up, do this as soon as you decide as this takes a few weeks to come through.

I've set up my home office ready for clients.  There isn't much of a startup cost where capital is concerned. Just a desk, laptop , printer , lots of stationery and printing paper, envelopes and business cards.

I'm currently still waiting on my MAAT and MIP to come through which will cost me £250 or so but I'm expecting it Monday after chasing them up, and included in this is my money laundering supervision.

I then need to register with the ICO £35.00 before i store any of my clients paperwork. As my first client will be starting begining of May I aim to apply for this on 28th April.

I still need a filing cabinet which can be locked with a key , but will get this also this week before I accept the paperwork from client.

I went with AXA for my professional indemnity insurance , £79 per year but I will be paying £8 per month again this is a bargain. 

So in total startup costs will be in the region of £1000 . If you already have a laptop and printer you could startup for around £300! 

I wouldn't advise taking on any sort of work that you aren't qualified to do or sure you can do. 

At first I don't intend on taking on tax returns until I've had plenty of practice doing my own and family's. 

Instead I am going to concentrate on bookkeeping , management accounts , payroll and vat. I do these on a daily basis in my job so am very confident I will not struggle , or make any costly errors.

Download from HMRC website all your deadlines that incur fines , for example VAT , PAYE and CIS taxation.

And once you've advertised you are ready to start looking for clients, they won't just come to you ! 

Up to now the one client I have got I found from his own advertisement so keep and eye on local job boards etc 

I have placed my advert on online business forums and local newspapers as well as Mumsnet etc I also had a magnetic car sign created but up to now none of these have generated clients . 

I also turned down work for tax returns from friend of friends. Looking back I wish I'd of accepted the work , I'm qualified to do it , but as I don't do it in work , I was concerned I wouldn't be giving my client the best service , and that wouldn't be good for him or me.

To combat this concern of mine I have purchased both personal tax and business tax books to retrain my self in current rules and refresh any knowledge gaps , that way next time I'm asked I can say yes.

So if you are starting up like me , get in touch , maybe we can swap stories and worries and help each other .

Goodluck nicola :) 

Friday, 3 April 2015

MEND Accounting

Hey all,

Have not had much time lately to write my blog as I've been very busy both at home and studying for my exams.
I've recently been setting up my new business MEND Accounting.
As you can see from my previous blogs I really love Finance and accountancy so thought I should set myself up in practice, Now or Never.
I'm half way there at the moment, I've set up my business on HMRC. I've applied for my MAAT/MIP status.
I've purchased AXA Professional Indemnity Insurance and today I'm looking for my software and sorting out my home office.
Its going to take a long time building up from scratch but I'm really excited about it, as its mine.
I still work full time for an employer, and will continue to do so but Ill run my business in the evenings and weekends and study around my free time.

I have contacted a few local accountants to gain a continuity of practice arrangement in the event I can not carry out my duties (because of illness etc) and have spoken to a lovely local accountant who has agreed this with me.

All that's left to do now is wait on my licence to come through and advertise.

I have meetings set up for potential clients, its all vey exciting and early days.

Would be very interested in speaking to local networking organisers, or people like myself starting out to discuss ideas and tips.

Also, if any would be accountants/ bookkeepers would like to private message me to ask anything regarding the above don't hesitate.

My new business website is currently under construction but a basic template can be viewed here:
email address:


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Free Bookkeeping training and forum!

Hey Guys,

Today I found this fab free tuition website for book keeping training and forum.
It looks like it has some good content .
I have just registered for it myself so I will let you know how I get on.
This is the link.