Starting up in practice
Taking the plunge? ICAS can help you get started
Making the decision to start up in practice on your own is a big move. It can take a lot of hard work and commitment but is hugely rewarding. ICAS has approximately 1,000 different firms ranging from home-based sole practitioners through to large corporate practices.
Making the decision to set up in practice
To help you decide whether setting up in practice is right for you we've created two resources, Starting in Practice guide and a short factsheet Career Choices - The Practice Option.
How can ICAS help me?
For guidance and advice on what matters you’ll need to consider in setting up your own practice, contact the ICAS Practice Support team. ICAS offers newly set up firms the opportunity for a Practice Support visit by one of our practice experts. Practice Support visits will be for up to a day and will be free, although we will request that travel costs be reimbursed.
For information or advice about applying for a Practising Certificate or obtaining Professional Indemnity Insurance, contact our Regulatory Authorisations team.
If your firm is eligible, ICAS will provide you with the General Practice Manual (GPM) free of charge which will provide you with the tools and procedures you need to run an effective practice.
Practising Certificate (PC) and Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)
Practice is the provision of accounting and related services by trained and qualified persons. Any member offering these services either personally or through a firm will require a Practising Certificate.
All ICAS principals in your firm will need to have a Practising Certificate. Any principals who are members of other bodies will require to check with their membership body whether they require a PC.
The ICAS guide to when a Practising Certificate is required provides useful guidance for those working on a contractor/freelance basis and those individuals who are providing accounting services but are unsure if they require a Practising Certificate.
Your firm will also be required to obtain Professional Indemnity Insurance.
Regulatory authorisation for specialist services
Additional regulatory authorisations will be required for those wishing to be licenced to conduct the following services:
- Audit work
- Insolvency services
- Restricted investment business through the Designated Professional Body (DPB) regime
- Consumer credit activities, including referring clients to a finance company for payments of fees or allowing fee payment by instalment
Once you have set up in practice, your firm will usually get a Practice Monitoring visit after you have submitted your first Firms Annual Return. If you have an audit registration or insolvency licence you will also be subject to audit or insolvency monitoring.
Have a question? Contact our Practice Team