Be self-employed

Running your own bookkeeping or accountancy practice could be the most rewarding step in your career. You could enjoy greater freedom, more variety and flexibility in your work, higher earning potential, and the job satisfaction and work/life balance you’ve always wanted.

AAT is a well-respected body and has amazing resources and support available for its members, which ensures I'm on top of the latest legislation and regulations. I feel comfortable knowing that I don't need to worry about that aspect and can concentrate on running my business.
Brandon Yeadon MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
A few things to consider before you get started
The challenge

Have you got what it takes?

Running your own business is rewarding, but can be tough, especially in the early days. Think carefully about whether it’s a challenge you're ready for and whether you have the necessary skills. Being your own boss means you have to be driven, highly-organised, motivated and diligent – all skills you’ll have picked up during your AAT qualifications.

How we'll support you

We currently support over 6,000 AAT Licensed Accountants and Bookkeepers in running their own successful practices and we'd love to support you too.

We'll provide useful advice and updates, free and discounted events to help you build your business, free advice helplines, plus CPD and practice management resources, and much more.

Bookkeeping or accountancy?

We offer two types of licence, so you can apply for the one that's the most suitable for your qualifications and experience.

Become an AAT Licensed Bookkeeper

This is a great option if you're still studying, want a taste of running your own business or want to specialise in bookkeeping. As an AAT Licensed Bookkeeper you'll be able to offer up to five services, including VAT and bookkeeping.

Once you've completed the AAT Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping or the AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting you'll apply to become a bookkeeping member, giving you the designatory letters AATQB and the ability to apply for a licence.

Become an AAT Licensed Accountant

As an AAT Licensed Accountant you'll be able to offer up to 18 services from bookkeeping through to payroll, corporation tax, internal audit and forensic accounting.

Once you've completed the AAT Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting and have the required work experience, you'll apply to become a full member, with the internationally recognised designatory letters MAAT. Once you've achieved this professional status, you'll be able to apply to become an AAT Licensed Accountant.

Top tips for starting your own practice
Have a plan
Stand out
Word of mouth
Keep going

Have a plan

Before you leave your day job to go it alone it’s important to have a proper plan. What are your business aims? What are your start-up and running costs likely to be? Where will you find your client base? All these things need to be considered.

Helpful advice
is just a phone call away

Speak to one of our advisors:

Our lines are open Monday to Friday 09.00–17.00 UK time.