Do you have a brain? Check. Do you have expertise and experience in accounting? Check. Do you have adequate computer skills? Check. Do you have a desire to work for yourself? Check. Well, since you answered yes to everything this is likely a sign that you should consider entering into the world of self-employment and become a freelance accountant or starting your own bookkeeping business.
A lot of professional accountants today are wasting their time working for small firms or tax preparation services. Many of them have the skills to work for themselves and the desire of being successful at it. It just requires a little bit of extra work at first to find your clients and niche, but as time goes by you’ll be pleased you began this new career.
No, you don’t need online cash loans, you don’t need to max out your credit card and you certainly don’t have to work for free to build your clientele. A good accountant is a dime a dozen, but a great accountant is hard to find. Guess which one you fit into
Here are seven ways to become a self-employed or freelance accountant:
Get the Tech
Before even announcing to the world that you’re becoming a freelance accountant, you should first purchase the necessary technology and stuff for your work-space. This will consist of a high-functioning computer, the latest accounting software (Quickbooks, for instance) and a mobile device. If you already have two of the three then you’re already set. Don’t forget about the workstation or home office, which should be close to the entrance door.
Updating Your Skills
Yes, you may have a decade of experience, but it’s always good to freshen up your resume and skillset and see what advancements have been made in your field. You can accomplish this by taking night courses or participating in online education centers, seminars, workshops and association meetings.
By being up-to-date, you can show new clients that you’re keeping up with industry trends.
Defining Your Niche
Now, what kind of niches are you interested working in? Are you a small business expert? A tax preparer? Individual accounting? Whatever the case, you must define your niche and market towards that segment. By honing in on a certain kind of accounting, you can attract various clients.
Be Flexible in Your Work
One thing that accountants who work for companies do not have is flexibility. You can reverse this. By being flexible in your schedule and routine – you can work on-site if the customer requests this, for example – you can impress clients and they will keep coming back to you. Of course, as long as you do your job correctly.
Network Both Online and Offline
Accountants should be able to harness the power of networking both on the Internet and in the real world. On the Internet, you definitely have to utilize social media and search engine optimization. Offline, you should partake in nearby accounting groups, association meetings or conferences geared towards accounting professionals.
Take Advantage of the Internet
The Internet provides an overwhelming number of opportunities. One of them is that you can work with anyone anywhere in the world at any given timezone. This allows you to expand your services globally and work with some very interesting people and businesses. By using websites like Elance or Upwork, you can find clients anywhere from South Africa to Great Britain, Canada to Australia.
Always Backup Your Computer
Finally, you must backup your computer every single day, or at least every second or third day. In the event of a computer malfunctioning, a virus or your hard drive being wiped out, you will have all of your clients’ records and files stored safely and you can finish your assignments without any delays.
Working for yourself, or at least working remotely, will be the biggest trend over the coming years. Accountants will be one of these people participating in the shift towards working from home. Let’s face it: for the most part, accountants don’t need to head to the office every single day. So why not go into business for yourself and become a self-employed accountant?