When Is the Right Time to Start Your Own Accounting Firm?

Every once in awhile we like to discuss the prospect of accounting firm startups. That is, which of you will be the ones to strike out on your own or with a co-founder to build your own firm from scratch.
 
When we’ve discussed starting a new accounting firm in the past, many people admit that it’s not for them, that they got into accounting for the job security. 
 
It's February, so you may be looking around, growing restless, watching your firms struggle with technology, get bogged down by bureaucracy and generally just suck at being a good place to work. Sure, you could look for a new job post-busy season but if your frustration runs deeper than a crappy raise or working long hours for the man, you shouldn’t dismiss the idea of running your own firm.
 
But there are lots of questions around starting up an accounting firm, chief among them — WHEN?
 
Experience is an important factor in building your professional knowledge but you can always say, “I need more experience before I go out on my own.” 
 
Maybe that’s as few 5 years or maybe it’s as many as 10 or more. Or does it matter? If you’re really itching to start your own firm, will you ever truly be comfortable with your experience level? Should you just jump in and figure it out?
 
If you’ve already made the leap, how much experience did you have? For those thinking about hanging the shingle, how do you feel about the issue? 
 

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