May 22, 2020 at 7:12 pm #3007965
Can someone please enlighten me as to why some Employers are so hell bent on employees not having side businesses? If someone is acquiring and servicing clients on their own time with their own resources, what is the big deal? I can understand if there is a worry about taking clients, but for all intents and purposes let's assume that isn't a possibility. What are the other reasons?May 23, 2020 at 8:07 am #3008160Jeff Elliott, CPAKeymaster
Is is any kind of side business or just one related to your job as a CPA?May 26, 2020 at 2:49 pm #3010227
I would assume it's a conflict of interest if you are employed in the accounting field and also trying to have your own practice.
An employer will always have the mentality that they own you. It's just the nature of the relationship.
They expect you to bring clients in to the firm, so they can make money off of you.
There's a whole underlying greed aspect to capitalism in America, but we won't get in to that here.
If you want to have your own side practice, I think most people get industry jobs and build the book on the side without restriction until they reach the point they can be self sufficient without the paycheck. Just something to consider.May 28, 2020 at 7:03 pm #3012156vbmerParticipant
You have a duty of loyalty to your employer, and as Recked said, it can be a conflict of interest in a public accounting firm. If you're doing something unrelated, and it's disclosed to your firm, such as building websites, developing software, or serving in the National Guard, that's generally fine, but if you're a tax accountant and running your own tax business, that's a problem.May 28, 2020 at 7:44 pm #3012201Jeff Elliott, CPAKeymaster
I would assume it's a conflict of interest if you are employed in the accounting field and also trying to have your own practice. (Yes)
An employer will always have the mentality that they own you. It's just the nature of the relationship. (If you are salary, then they should get 100% of your efforts in the ‘area' of work)
They expect you to bring clients in to the firm, so they can make money off of you. (To make a return on their investment, yes)
Another way of looking at it 🙂May 28, 2020 at 8:53 pm #3012234
Thank you all for your responses. I look forward to your guys' input as it is always enlightening. For all intents and purposes, their clients of choice are the Gates, Bloombergs, and Buffetts of the world. My target clientele are a little more common. Therefore, while I can see there maybe a conflict of interest from a profession standpoint. There definitely isn't one from a client standpoint. And I've tried to bring new business (10, 20, even 60k potential billings) and was rebuffed everytime. I'm staying because I'm being told I could be partner once my boss retires….. But doing so means I'm turning away potential clients because (It would be wrong for me to have a side business…)
Note that I understand and agree with everything said. I know where my loyalties lie. But loyalty is a two way street. If I could bring in millionaire/billionaire clients I would in a heart beat. As I am well aware that I am only worth the service I provide/money I could bring into the firm. That siad, I think my only option maybe to find a firm that's willing to take me on and allow me to cultivate my business (profit sharing arrangement, etc) or find an industry position.
Maybe it's because I'm a millennial.. But I just don't understand why the mindset isn't “holy shit this guy means business, he's networking, building a book of business, etc.” Rather the thinking is “we own you. Side business is a no no” .May 29, 2020 at 12:34 pm #3012393
Take my advice with a grain of salt, as Jeff has pointed out there is another way to look at it.
My view point is rather jaded due to my promise of being made partner vanishing, and my employer telling me he can't afford to pay me more, essentially because he needs to spend all the money to afford his lifestyle.
If you don't have the partner offer or agreement in writing, don't place any weight on it. Look out for yourself.May 29, 2020 at 10:55 pm #3012933JayParticipant
As Recked said, look out for yourself more than your employer. I was also offered a partnership but it never came to be because he didn't want to earn less money. Just remember this. When you are an employee you work to make your employer rich. Look for ways to make yourself rich because it'll never happen working for somebody.
Start a side gig when you feel you gained the knowledge and skills to run your own practice and maintain quality work. I think it takes 3 to 5 years before you become good enough. So start a side gig quietly but be ready to leave your job when you see the gig grow into a business.June 1, 2020 at 2:01 pm #3014973
@NYSCPA , I'm not sure where you are in NY. I think you're down in the concrete jungle.
I'm about 2 hours/90 miles from NYC.
I'd be interested to chat. Working on growing my book right now. Sounds like you are a rainmaker.
Open to some solution that keeps you in good standing with your employer, while not wasting your talent/skills.June 3, 2020 at 7:36 pm #3017202
@RECKED what's a good email I can reach you at to schedule something? You are correct, I am down in this, currently semi/hellish, concrete jungle. Thank you, you are too kind. Idk if I'd say I'm a rainmaker, just a light drizzle. I'm trying to build a book of my own. While I see nothing wrong in taking over for someone else/buying an existing practice, its just not the same as building something of your own.June 4, 2020 at 11:36 am #3017634