Are you good with numbers and passionate about helping companies maximise their profit margins? Why not join the finance sector by launching a home-based business? Here’s how to run an accounting franchise from home.
More and more entrepreneurs are choosing to run businesses from the comfort of their own home, and accountancy lends itself well to remote work. Using online tools and software, you can set up your very own accounting franchise without even leaving your sofa.
Accounting franchise options
Accountancy has a wide variety of sub-sectors, as businesses in the industry cover a range of different specialisms. Here are just a few of the services you could offer through your accounting franchise.
- Audits - Review businesses’ financial practices and create annual reports. You may need to visit company warehouses and organise valuations for properties, machines and other assets.
- Bookkeeping - Monitor businesses’ financial situations by reviewing incomings, outgoings and liabilities. You’ll also keep an eye on their share values and communicate with external parties.
- Management - Gather information to advise bosses when it comes to making key business decisions. You’ll look at the company’s most lucrative income streams and present your findings with statistics and visual charts.
- Tax - You’ll help businesses navigate the complex world of tax and look at ways to reduce their bills. You may also complete HMRC paperwork for them.
- Forensic - Examine finances to find evidence of fraud, or support other legal procedures such as those involving divorce settlements.
- Full-service - Some accounting businesses cover all bases, but often, this is only feasible in large firms with hundreds or thousands of specialists. Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young and PriceWaterhouseCoopers are all full-service accounting businesses.
Tips on how to run an accounting franchise from home
1. Get qualified
The first step is to gain at least one industry-recognised qualification. There are three key internationally-recognised institutions offering certifications in the accountancy world: CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) and ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). You should be prepared to spend three to five years studying for your certificate, but you can do the work alongside a job. Once you’ve gained your certificate, you’ll be able to display letters after your name, which will help you attract more clients.
2. Get experience
You should be able to gain industry experience while completing your studies, but there are also plenty of part-time jobs and apprenticeships if you’d like to boost your knowledge further. You could even offer accounting services for free or offer to help friends and family with financial services to get some solid experience under your belt.
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3. Create a website
This step is vital when you run an online business; as you don’t have a brick-and-mortar location, customers may never find you unless you launch a website. Use it to tell people more about what you can offer, and why they should choose your franchise over other accounting businesses. You can also display testimonials from previous clients to boost your reputation as a trustworthy franchise.
4. Buy insurance
Starting an online accounting franchise is a great choice if you’re looking for a business model with high income potential, but it comes with its fair share of risk. Taking out policies like professional indemnity insurance will protect you if anything goes wrong. If you give accidentally misguided advice and a client loses money, you’ll be glad you safeguarded your business.
5. Create service packages
You can entice clients to invest more in your business by introducing membership bundles. Provide several financial services for a set price and add ‘top-up’ options like completing tax returns if necessary.
6. Use online tools
There’s a huge variety of innovative software solutions available to accountants, so take advantage of products like Sage to manage your workload. New tools are introduced all the time, so it’s worth doing some research to find the best one for your accounting franchise.
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7. Connect to the cloud
Life is a whole lot easier when your work is updated in real time and saved automatically. With cloud software, you and your clients can make changes to a document at the same time, which should save you time and energy when supporting other businesses.
8. Think big
One of the best aspects of running an accounting franchise from home is the chance to work with businesses from across the country, or even the world. Brick-and-mortar companies might be limited to targeting clients in their local area - but you can work with a broad range of interesting people with different backgrounds, budgets and outlooks.
You’ll be operating your accounting franchise from home, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on industry events. Make sure you take the time to attend franchising expos and annual conferences, and chat to like-minded entrepreneurs on accountancy forums and social media groups. Putting yourself out there will help you keep up to date on any changes or challenges facing the sector. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people and stay sociable.
10. Collect testimonials
Clients want to be able to trust their accountant, so do everything you can to show businesses you offer a high-quality, reliable service. Every time you complete a job, ask the person for a testimonial and display it on your website and social media profiles.
Join the accounting franchise sector today
So, there you have it, how to run an accounting franchise from home. If you’re interested in running your own business in the finance sector but don’t want to start from scratch, why not join a franchise that’s already up and running? We’ve got a selection of accounting and bookkeeping franchise investment opportunities available at the moment.
Alternatively, you could widen the net to consider franchises in the broader business and B2B services industry.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©