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The Pros and Cons of a Country Accounting Practice

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There are many benefits to moving your accounting practice to the country. Rural accounting also comes with a lot of risk and potential downside, however.

The substantial benefits include:

  • Much less competition than in city areas which can make picking up new clients is very easy. You can grow a substantial practice very quickly as there is generally a shortage of accountants (whereas in the cities there is an oversupply of accountants).
  • The fees charged for services are at least 50% higher than city prices (and sometimes 100% higher).
  • Often clients/goodwill can be picked up from other practices for free when they retire or leave town.

The downside or problems with country or regional practices such as Alice Springs include:

  • The goodwill can be almost unsaleable. In contrast, city-based accounting practices have 20 buyers for each seller.
  • Recruiting and retaining staff in regional areas can be extremely difficult and expensive. Currently, many regional businesses are simply closing their doors and ceasing trading due to a lack of appropriate staff.
  • The rents and other business costs can be high due to the isolation and distances from cities.
  • Often, spouses, partners and children do not want to relocate and live in country regions. Although the country lifestyle is attractive for many people, for others, it’s like going to the end of the earth. In Australia, the trend is for people to move to the cities whilst regional and country areas shrink.
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