If the global pandemic has left you itching to try something new, and you’d like to apply your skills to a career in bookkeeping and accounting, why not consider making a career change with a bookkeeping franchise? Franchising is a great way to enjoy all the freedoms of business ownership at a lower level of risk.
In 2018, around 275,000 professional accountants were operating in the UK and Ireland [Oxford Economics]. This number has only risen since, and in the world of franchising there are plenty of incredible bookkeeping and accounting franchise opportunities available. Here’s how you can make that change and start your new career as a franchisee with a bookkeeping business today.
Why start a bookkeeping franchise?
Running a bookkeeping franchise can be incredibly rewarding if you’re the right fit for the role. And, beyond the clear demand for accounting services evidenced by the sheer number of accountants currently operational in the country, there are plenty of advantages to investing in this sector, including:
- Lots of opportunities to find a specialism and work in a profitable niche
- Flexible working options, including working from home and working unusual hours
- The mathematical joy of always knowing there’s an answer, and you can find it
- The chance to help others on a daily basis
- The ability to keep pace with a changing world, implementing new technology
- Lots of opportunities to grow as a businessperson (into multi-unit franchising, for example)
The best thing about an accounting environment is the logical approach to the work, i.e. taking something that is disorderly in some way and straightening it out. It's also really rewarding to be able to advise small business owners to help them succeed.
– Lee Murphy, The Accountancy Partnership
>> Read more:
How to make a career change with a bookkeeping franchise
Make a smooth transition from your current role into a role in which you’re running your own business in the accounting industry by completing the four steps outlined below. Remember not to rush into anything before you’ve done your research and thoroughly assessed two things: What will be expected of you and what you’ll receive.
1. Assess your suitability for a career in accounting
The first and arguably most important step will be assessing your suitability for a career in accounting. Not everyone has the skills to succeed as a bookkeeper, and you’ll need to do your research to discover what will be expected of you and then dig deep to ask yourself whether you can meet those requirements.
The average working day for an accountant looks something like this:
- Responding to client queries and messages
- Communicating with clients (in person, on a video call, on the phone and via email)
- Crunching the numbers (VAT returns, tax returns, accounts, so on)
- Researching and staying up-to-date with the wider industry
- Prioritising tasks and meeting deadlines
Sounds good? Then keep reading! Though most franchise businesses in the accountancy field won’t require you to have any specific experience in the industry, you will also need certain transferable skills in order to find success as an accountant, such as:
- Active listening
- Creative problem-solving
- Mathematical ability
- Business acumen
- Provision of quality customer service
2. Evaluate bookkeeping franchise opportunities and narrow down your list
When you’re sure that a career as an accountant with a franchise business is the right fit for you, it’s time to look into specific opportunities and do some evaluation. Assess the franchise opportunities that you find on the grounds of:
- The amount they cost (and the amount you can afford)
- The amount that they interest you
- The opinions of current franchisees and the overall reputation of the franchise
- The franchise locations available to operate in (and the locations you’d be willing to operate in)
Looking into these factors will narrow down your list, but as you might have guessed, the most important factor of all will be cost. You can’t franchise with a business that you can’t afford to invest in, after all.
To give you a sense of what you can expect on that front, the average cost of opening a franchise unit in 2018 was £23,200 [British Franchise Association]. More specifically to the accounting industry, here are a few examples of associated costs, which range depending on the attached brand name, the size of the franchise operation, and the location in which you’ll be operating:
- Accountants247 - To become a franchisee with Accountants247, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £9,999, with a total investment cost of £15,000.
- TaxAssist Accountants - To become a franchisee with TaxAssist Accountants, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £39,950.
- eDivert - To become a franchisee with eDivert, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £9,500, with a total investment cost of £11,400.
>> Read more:
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 1)
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 2)
- New Year, New Career: No Better Time Than Now to Start a Franchise Today
- Franchising 101: 8 Signs You're Ready to Start a Franchise
- Starting a New Business Doesn't Always Lead to Immediate Success: Here Are 5 Ways to Change That
- It's Never Too Late to Start a New Business
3. Do your due diligence prior to signing a franchise agreement
Once you’ve found the right opportunity and you’re ready to take the leap, take the time to cover every base and do your due diligence. Fully appraise the business’s financial situation, have a legal professional look over your franchise agreement, and ask your franchisor plenty of questions to get a clear sense of your roles and responsibilities.
Also, ask about the support and training that you’ll receive in return. If you’re ever unsure about anything, ask. Don’t rush into a legally binding contract with a franchisor without all the answers.
[Due diligence] is the process of ensuring that investors get what they think they are buying - and that what they buy is actually worth what they pay. You wouldn’t buy a car before taking it for a test drive, having it checked by a mechanic and making sure there was no money owing on it.
– Lorelle Frazer and Jenny Buchan, The Conversation
4. Give your all in your brand-new role
At this stage, with the agreement signed and your franchise business finally getting off the ground, you’ve already made that career change that you set out to make. But in order to make that career change successful and profitable for you, there’s one more thing you’ll need to do: Work hard and give your role as a franchisee your all, from providing great customer service to seizing ongoing training opportunities.
Making a career change and entering the bookkeeping industry could be easy with the franchise business model
You should now see exactly where to start the process of changing your career and becoming an accountant and have a strong understanding of whether such a professional move would be right for you. If it is right for you, and you’re ready to move ahead, continue your research on Point Franchise. Discover the state of the finance sector in 2021 or the top five accounting franchise opportunities in the UK.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©