Starting Your Own CPA Firm Checklist
Starting your own CPA practice is exciting, challenging, and rewarding. Be prepared for hard work and some periods of tight finances until you're established. Make sure you and your family are prepared for the journey. Invest time in developing a solid business plan. While it doesn’t guarantee success, a solid plan greatly improves your chances for success and will make your path a little easier to navigate.
Summary/Checklist
Have you determined why you want to start your own practice?
Do you have the experience and skills to go out on your own?
Do you have the motivation to attract clients, provide services, and manage a business and employees?
Do you have the discipline to be your own boss?
Do you have the "buy-in" of your spouse and family?
Is your current employer aware of your intentions?
Are you relying on clients leaving your employer to go with you?
Do you have the financial assets to meet your household expenses during your start-up period?
Do you have the financial assets to set up and operate your own office?
Do you need to borrow start-up capital?
Will a Business Line of Credit meet your capital needs?
Do you have a solid credit history?
Is your repayment projection realistic?
Have you determined the best business structure for your practice (i.e. sole proprietor, partnership, S Corp., etc.)?
Have you developed a business plan?
Have you itemized start-up furniture, equipment, and office expenses?
Have you identified the need for staff and planned for the expense?
Have you determined that your area can support your CPA practice with sufficient business?
Have you priced office space in your community?
Have you developed a pricing structure for your services?
Have you checked local zoning and business certification?
Have you developed a marketing plan to attract and retain clients?
Do you have the necessary insurance coverages for your business?
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Looking for inspiration?

“Starting your own business is like riding a roller coaster. There are highs and lows and every turn you take is another twist. The lows are really low, but the highs can be really high. You have to be strong, keep your stomach tight, and ride along with the roller coaster that you started.”
Lindsay Manseau
Note: The information contained in this guide is designed to provide an overview to starting a business, and is not intended to address all issues or provide individual advice. For professional information and advice, be sure to contact your attorney, financial planner, retirement counselor, or others for guidance.
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Aon Insurance Services is the brand name for the brokerage and program administration operations of Affinity Insurance Services, Inc. (TX 13695), (AR 100106022); in CA and MN, AIS Affinity Insurance Agency, Inc. (CA 0795465); in OK, AIS Affinity Insurance Services Inc.; in CA, Aon Affinity Insurance Services, Inc. (CA 0G94493), Aon Direct Insurance Administrator and Berkely Insurance Agency; and in NY, AIS Affinity Insurance Agency.