I am always amazed at how many accountants  there are in the business world.
The other day, I was in a meeting with a VP at the company I work for and he mentioned in passing that he was a CA. I have worked with him for several years at the company and never put two-and-two together. In fact, of the 12 key divisions, 5 of the VP are accountants and many other accountant hold key positions in non-accounting areas.
I have been toying with the idea of going into public practice for a number of years, but have been held back by the company and industry I work in [Note: as of 2012, I am now in public practice!]. And while I am not involved in sales and do not interact with clients very often in my current role, I am restricted from running an accounting practice by industry regulations.
At this point you are probably asking yourself “where is the Tax Guy going with this?”
Well according to an authoritative source inside the company, I may be restricted from running an accounting practice but I am certainly not restricted from operating a consulting business! As long as I’m not engaged in financial services related activities, preparing financial statements or tax returns, I can keep my job and work part-time as a consultant.
I’m starting a consulting business.
Time To Re-Apply Other Skills
I have been in the financial services industry for over 15 years and have spent the last 10 in a brokerage firm. Most of that time has been in the corporate accounting department, where I had a variety of responsibilities. Much of what I learned and applied was, what I like to call, non-financial accounting: Business planning, developing performance measures, assessing business risk, and managing business continuity.
Sharing The Business Start-Up Process
Over the next several months, I will be starting the business start-up process. I will be refining the mission of my consulting practice, preparing a business plan, marketing plan, operating plan, and implementation plans. I’ll need to make decisions on business structure, insurance, as well as licensing. I will be reporting my progress along the way and looking for input from other business owners.