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Is a "lifestyle" accountancy practice truly possible?

The typical lifestyle business person is likely to be financially established and perhaps starting to wind down towards retirement or could simply be somebody unwilling to commit to the stresses of building a business who is happy enough to earn less but pursue their interests in a timetable that places more emphasis on leisure time.

Some of the best examples are tradesmen and women who  only take on one or two jobs at a time and rarely have forward bookings. they are not phased by having to turn down work.

But what about our august profession - can it work, given the pressures of time limits and client problems popping up out of the blue?

Also, once one's work drops below a certain level questions are asked as to whether the game is worth the candle in terms of regulatory matters.

Furthermore, when a client calls up with an urgent issue you cannot simply respond with an answer-machine message that you are deep sea diving at the North Pole until further notice. It does not quite cut the mustard.

It is  probably more suited to those accountants who act as project consultants but in my view general practice is not designed for those beancounters seeking a lifestyle practice, unless they have a well oiled machine with reliable and competent staff who are as good as partners, but getting your practice to that level is quite a feat because staff who act as partners in all but name do not grow on trees . It is usually the preserve of larger practices but is not for the average high street practitioner.

Ultimately whether you can find your lifestyle niche is going to vary from person to person but it is possible for the "one-man band" to achieve as long as he or she thinks it through carefully. Just make sure that the utopian vision doesn't suffer from mission creep!



I’m Norman Younger BA(Hons) FCCA MCIArb and on this blog I’m going to share over 20 years of professional and business experience at the sharp end of small business in the UK, one of the world’s most enterprising nations. As a professionally qualified accountant I have experience advising start up micro enterprises and multi million pound turnover firms. During this time I have owned several business and gained valuable insight into all aspects of the day to day operations covering everything from staffing to marketing. I established and am currently a working trustee of a charity that helps people find sustainable employment and supports entrepreneurs in getting their feet on the business ladder and climbing higher.

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