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Post Info TOPIC: Returning to the workforce as a sole trader?


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Returning to the workforce as a sole trader?

Hi all,

when I was young, free and childless I gained my CIMA qualification and worked in finance for years. Very little of that time was spent actually doing accounts although my final role I was in charge of the accounts for a small start up but that was in the US and we hired accountants for the actual filing of accounts.

since then I have been having kids and would now like a flexible job that I can do from home (I know youve all heard that before!).

I believe that with my , still active, CIMA qualification I am allowed to offer accountancy Services but I feel, in no way, practically able to do that. I would like to start as a sole trader offering booking keeping, VAT and year end filing and would like to take a more practical course to get the grounding necessary to do this well, for real people, on my own (large corporations have so many checks and measures in place its almost I possible to go wrong!).

I would like to work for local sole,traders and small companies so I want to do a good job for a reasonable price, Im not looking to set the world alight!

I was thinking IAB might be the place to start as a course I can do from home. Im also looking at ICB but based on cost alone thought IAB looked more accessible. People who have done the IAB course and membership, does this sound like a sensible choice? Im hoping it will give me the practice and awaken the brain cells that hopefully still retain the CIMA information.

I really,appreciate any tips, despite having done this before it is amazing how nervous I feel after a few years wiping actual bottoms, rather than figurative ones!



Master Book-keeper

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Posts: 3813

Hi Rachel, welcome to the forum. ICB and IAB are similar as far as I'm aware, with ICB being the more recognised qualification.

If you're aiming at sole traders, be prepared for them to expect a one stop shop, from bookkeeping through to self assessment. I deal solely with small businesses, and although I initially started just started with bookkeeping, it soon became apparent they were expecting the whole caboodle. I believe ICB do a self assessment course so might be worth looking at.

Have you considered AAT? Might be more expensive but will give you a good grounding and even allow you to take Limited's on. Your CIMA qualifications will stand you in good stead and may well allow you some exemptions



Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.


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Hi Rachel welcome to the forum

Agree with John, that it would be worth looking at AAT



These are only my opinions of how I see things and therefore should not be taken as advice

Senior Member

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Posts: 159

Hi Rachel

Hope you enjoy the forum, it can be very useful.

I'm an AAT fan, great foundation to build on to get going again. I agree with John's comment about sole-traders wanting you to do everything for them - you'll definitely have figurative bottoms to deal with!! :)

Have fun



They keep making the system idiot proof but then make bigger and better idiots!

Veteran Member

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Posts: 52

would you have to resign your cima membership to take a licence from a lessor organisation?

What are you doing about tax training, given most self employeds are only bothered about that. I do wonder how many are paying too much tax who have advisors who cannot advise. Or those who have paid too little for those who DIY and put through everything the MTDTP suggests

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