Starting a CPA Practice - Page 2

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  • #1559337

    Has anyone gone out on their own as a side gig? I work in private industry as a Senior in a publicly traded company 2.5 years and worked in public as an auditor and a tax preparer for about 3 years. I am thinking about starting a CPA practice working nights and weekends. I’m thinking I will start by focusing on individuals and small business returns. Try to pick up some book keeping work as well. I am curious if anyone has taken this route and been successful. Any advice would be appreciated. P.ass A.ttitude
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  • #1564758

    RWCPA and M123,

    It takes a few years to ramp up. You're building your revenues via arithmetic growth, so you pick up, say, 15 good clients year 1, add another 15 year 2, another 15 year 3, and so on. Progress is slow but should be steady.

    This is a GIGANTIC topic, but you almost more than anything else need to have two or three marketing efforts you go really strong on and which get you good quality, profitable clients… then, whatever works, you do LOTS more of that.

    This caution: The mistake new solo CPAs make is focusing on revenue rather than profit. That seems smart short-term. Why not attract (say) 500 $200 tax returns… you'll work like a maniac but instantly make maybe $75K… Problem is that's not a profitable practice. You'll essentially be working double shifts making $30 an hour. Further, when the superb client comes along and they are willing to pay $300 an hour, you'll have tools and a practice model that isn't the right approach for them.

    This is why I say you want to consider buying a truly profitable firm. With that model, maybe you make (say) $150K a year… though use $50K of that to pay off the loan… but then a few years down the road have the entire $150K all to yourself.

    Some people in this situation will also have decided it's worth it to figure out how to double or triple the $150K a year so they're making $300K or $450K.

    I don't really remember my CPA exam scores. I've been a CPA for decades... I run a four CPA firm in Redmond WA. I'm the author of a bunch of books about small business accounting including QuickBooks for Dummies and Quicken for Dummies.

    Thanks again.

    AUD - 77
    BEC - 81
    FAR - 77
    REG - 81
    REG - 1. Becker only - fail (forgot to study depr - oops); 2. Becker only - Pass
    FAR - 1. Becker only - fail; 2. added Ninja Notes and MCQ - Pass
    AUD - 1. Becker videos; Ninja Notes, Audio, MCQ, Becker Notes - Pass
    BEC - 1. Ninja Notes, Audio, MCQ, Becker Notes - Pass

    What about rural areas….Is buying a practice better than building a practice. I guess my question is how long will it take to build to $150,000+ per year. I have lost a lot of tax clients when the rapid refunds ended and it was tough getting the small business clients to extend their tax work to bookkeeping all year instead of bags/ boxes of receipts. So I am working diligently to get the cpa license to rebuild. I had not considered buying a practice but for me this a good discussion. Are there sites to visit? I have a how to start your own bookkeeping/accounting business book ( not very good though). It is more on the lines of teaching accounting, not so much the marketing and etc. I must add there are no new firms or tax offices in my area, but none had closed either.

    It begins with a 75
    Been here too long as a cheerleader.....time to pass

    It begins with a 75
    Been here too long as a cheerleader....ready to pass


    I would look at the main brokers, including Accounting Practice Sales… and then look at all the CPA firms for sale at someplace like

    BTW, another thing you can do as a “fill in the gaps” measure is work seasonally for a firm. E.g., first year, you tell them you're building a practice so you want to work M, W, Th and S… thereby leaving T and F for your practice…

    Over time, you fill in more and more of your time… and then you scale back the seasonal contract work.

    As long as you're not in the exact same space as the firm you're contracting for, people are often okay with this.

    I don't really remember my CPA exam scores. I've been a CPA for decades... I run a four CPA firm in Redmond WA. I'm the author of a bunch of books about small business accounting including QuickBooks for Dummies and Quicken for Dummies.

    Employee voice is a source by which people communicate their views to their employer and influence matters that affect them at work. It helps to build open and trusting relationships between employers and their people which can lead to organizational success.
    According to the article of neathousepartners, Employees' contracts must give the company the right to vary their hours of work as necessary given reasonable notice. The business need may be that they want to streamline your team with the customer service department. The additional hours will not take you over the WTR so you would not have the option to opt-out.


    Starting a CPA practice can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and execution, it can be a successful endeavor. The first step is to choose the right location. The practice should be situated in an area with a strong potential client base, good access to public transportation, and ample parking. Next, it is important to build a team of qualified professionals. The staff should include CPAs, bookkeepers, and administrative personnel. Finally, the practice must be marketed effectively to attract new clients. A well-designed website, promotional materials, and word-of-mouth are all excellent marketing tools. With hard work and dedication, starting a CPA practice can be a rewarding experience.

    AUD - 100
    BEC - 100
    FAR - 100
    REG - 100
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