The Book-keepers Forum (BKF)

Post Info TOPIC: Starting out


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Starting out

Hi All

Firstly, my apologies for very probably requesting information that is already on here. However, whilst I have looked through posts, I have been unable to come to a clear conclusion on what's best for myself. To quickly summarise my position, I'm 49 years old and looking for a career change after selling my business earlier this year. It is my intention, once qualified, to offer a bookkeeping and accounts service to small, local businesses. My questions are as follows:

1. Which body would be best to sign up to. A friend of mine who took a similar path approx 10 years ago went with the IAB as he was informed that the AAT was a better option for those intending to work within an accountancy practice. Obviously these things can change and 10 years is a long time. Looking through posts, I also see there are other bodies that I was not aware of.

2. Can anyone recommend a learning provider please? I did contact E-Careers but I haven't felt good about them. They just seem pushy, just wanting to sell the course rather than be sure it's the right one for me. They also have deadlines for their courses and I can see posts on here advising against going with learning providers who set these.

3. Which software provider is the most popular? I get the impression it was Sage but I'm unsure if this is still the case. Xero and Quickbooks appear to be growing in popularity but are they as popular as Sage or likely to become so? I've seen the advice to not limit yourself to just one package but I'm thinking of doing this certainly to begin with and then possibly learning other packages in time if necessary - I have other work I can rely on to begin with so will not be under pressure to be fulltime from day 1.

4. Is there a prestige associated with these software providers I've mentioned and therefore potentially a link to undesirable customers i.e. a software package which is cheap and used by people more likely to complain about/not pay charges or is that just people and I'm just as likely to come across them whichever package I use?

Many thanks in advance for your time and information. I've been trying to do a lot of reading up recently but don't seem to have made much progress so far.


Kind regards Craig
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