Register a Company
- Register your company with Lawpath in just 10 minutes.
- Simple step-by-step process with instructions
- On-demand phone, email and chat support
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
To launch an accounting firm, you'll need a little more than a knack for numbers. From understanding your target market, setting business goals and ensuring the right legal documents are in place, we've outlined the best steps to take for a successful venture.
An accounting business takes care of other people's finances, whether they be business or personal. Accountants are trained in summarising, analysing and reporting annual income and expenses to help businesses track and manage their money effectively.
It takes a certain type of person to become a highly skilled accountant. You'll need to be able to summarise and analyse financial data effectively while creating comprehensive and user-friendly reports for clients. While you will need to undergo training to become an accountant, you'll also need to possess these additional skills:
The very first step in opening your own accounting business is to make sure you're qualified for the job. Here's a quick overview of the qualifications you'll need...
The first step is to gain a diploma, bachelor's or master's degree in accounting, allowing you to apply for your practising licence.
A bachelor degree is the preferred option, as this will allow you to apply for entry to Australia's top professional accounting bodies.
A Bachelor in Accounting takes between 3 or 4 years of full-time study to complete and will cost around $11,000 per year, depending on the institution that you choose. To make your life a little easier, there are numerous online accounting courses that you can complete from the comfort of your own home.
If you already have an undergraduate degree under your belt, you could opt for the 2-year Master of Professional Accounting which will set you back around $14,000 per year of full-time study.
The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) and CPA Australia regulate the Australian accounting industry. With a Diploma or an Advanced Diploma of Accounting, you can apply for entry to the IPA. For CPA and CA ANZ accreditation, you will need a Bachelor of Accounting degree.
You will need a Professional Practice Certificate (PPC) before you start offering accounting services to the general public. You can usually apply for this through the board you're registered with, but you will need professional indemnity insurance to do so.
Here's a list of websites that offer accounting courses:
Choosing a name for your business can be a key factor in its success. Here's a quick step-by-step guide on choosing a name that reflects the services you provide while staying relevant:
To transform your business idea into a legal entity, you'll need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). This is a unique number that will identify your business to the government. You can use it on an invoice, on tax payments to claim goods and services tax (GST) or to get an Australian domain name.
To do this, you'll need to know how you'd like to structure your business. Depending on the size of your business and how you see it developing in the future, you may want to consider one of the following structures:
It's worth noting that you can change your business structure later down the line as it grows and evolves. If you're still unsure how to register your business, you may want to seek advice from a small business lawyer.
Although a business plan isn't a legal requirement to open a business, it can be a useful tool. Understanding your market, gaining insights into future finances and setting goals are all benefits of writing a business plan.
Here are a few elements to include:
When it comes to starting an accounting business, you will need to invest a certain amount of money. Luckily, there are a number of financing options available, ranging from personal loans to small business loans.
The table below shows a number of personal loan providers. Be sure you're able to afford the repayment plan, along with any added fees or charges, prior to applying for any type of loan.
If you're setting up your accounting business from home, a large part of your initial investments will go into buying the right equipment and software to run your business. We've put together a list of essentials.
You'll want to invest in some quality office furniture if you're launching your company from home or providing work areas for your employees. Basic accounting office furniture includes desks, office chairs, bookshelves and filing cabinets.
A computer or laptop is essential to running your accounting business. It will help you keep a log of customer's records, and organise and analyse financial data.
To make your life easier, you may want to invest in accounting software such as QuickBooks or Xero. Both can assist with forecasting and analysing data, helping to reduce human error in the long run.
As is the case with any new business, it's important to understand your legal rights and obligations before setting up shop. A good place to start is thinking about the legal documents that you need to get in place. You can do this yourself using online templates or contact a lawyer to do it for you.
Here's a list of a few essential legal documents you'll need to have in place to start your accounting business:
Generally, accountants charge for their time in two ways: They either provide clients with a fixed-rate fee for the project, or they decide on an hourly fee and bill their client at the end of the project.
Choosing how much to charge clients can be tricky, especially when you're first setting up in the industry. It's worth spending some time researching how other accounting businesses in your area charge their clients. This will give you a general idea of how to price your services and how to stay competitive.
Marketing is an essential tool when it comes to starting an accounting business. To kick-start your marketing, consider printing business cards and flyers to hand out in your local area. You could also consider buying a magnetic sign to advertise on your car.
Social media channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, along with email marketing, are effective methods to promote your services to a broader audience.
Online marketplaces also offer an excellent opportunity for selling your services. Airtasker, hipages and Oneflare are just a few examples of this hassle-free service. These types of websites help you to gain access to potential markets and maximise sales.
Online business directories are also useful assets to add to a small business's marketing plan. They are comprehensive and can help you reach new customers.
What are the different types of accounting fields?
There are various types of accounting available, including auditing, tax accounting, managerial accounting, cost accounting and fiduciary accounting.
Can you start an accounting business from home?
Yes. In fact, many new accounting businesses choose to work from home to cut down costs while they find their feet. Most of an accountant's work takes place online or with clients, all of which can be done from the comfort of your own home.
How much do self-employed accountants earn?
According to PayScale, an accountant can earn between $58,000 and $80,000 annually. When you're self-employed and set your own rates, you have the potential to earn this and more.Back to top
Today's best online deals include: $324.95 off Dyson V8 Animal Extra, 55% Workoutwiz Exercise Bikes, 47% off Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones.
SPONSORED: Here are 5 simple tips to help you gain exposure to a wide range of investment opportunities on European stock markets.
Nexo is a cryptocurrency lending and borrowing platform that offers high interest rates on cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and fiat. We review the features available and look at how safe your funds would be on the platform.
CommBank has launched its 0.99% green loan following a pilot in February this year. Here’s how to get this ultra-low home loan rate.
SPONSORED: The founder of a much-loved Sydney bakery has shared advice on standing out and staying ahead of the competition.
Steps to owning and managing F45 Training Holdings shares.
Learn how to use crypto for everyday transactions like payments and income.
Staking VeChain is a way to earn extra interest on the cryptocurrency that you hold. Here's how it works and what to be aware of.
SPONSORED: We explain the basics of forex trading in Australia, what a currency pair is and the benefits and risks of trading foreign currencies.
Centrelink might block your business idea from taking off, but a variety of finance options including government schemes can help your business succeed.
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money here.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.