These days, almost everyone is freelancing, including accountants. More and more people with accounting degrees are opting for the path of freelancing. Freelance accountants do the same work done by the full-time accountants, except for the fact that there are a few additional perks.
For instance, freelance accountants can take on as many or as few clients as they want. This makes it perfect, especially if they have other responsibilities or just doing accounting work on the side. Freelancing provides more flexibility on the number and schedule of hours the freelancers work. It also gives them control over the clients they choose to work with. Finally, freelancing allows you to be your own boss. So there is no nagging boss. You are your own boss. That’s exciting, right!
So if you have always had an interest in the accounting field, you may consider becoming a freelance accountant. So how can you become a freelance accountant? Let’s find out.
How to become a freelance accountant
Of course, even though you will become your own boss when you become a freelance accountant, you still need specific qualifications. Here are some of those qualifications
For you to become a freelance accountant, you must have education and training in the accounting field. It is rare to find a client who won’t bother about your previous education. Usually, when you find a client, they will want to know about your credentials. Of course, no client would want to work with a freelancer who lacks any past education.
So having a Bachelor’s degree in accounting or a business degree is perfect. You may also want to have initial training or work with an organization that connects with freelancers. Generally, there are many ways you can get an education. Other than getting a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree from a recognized university, you can also take online reputation management courses from a qualified and recognized institution. Depending on where you have worked in the past, you may also get on-the-job education. It’s also helpful to become formally certified as a public accountant [CPA].
Of course, it would be better if you have at least some experience in the accounting field. If you are fresh from the university with your Accounting Degree, and you have not tried working in any organization, it would be quite challenging to try to start a freelancing business of your own.
Having an initial experience is vital as it can help you land clients. You will be able to work with your company directly, and you will also list this experience in your portfolio, hence helping you attract the clients you worked for at the company.
You don’t necessarily have to spend too much time trying to gain experience. You can only work for a few months to gain this experience and start your own freelance business. That few months working can give you the confidence to move on.
If you want to become a successful freelance accountant, you must take your work seriously. In fact, you should treat it as an independent business and prepare a business plan. In that plan of yours, you will need to come up with your goals, mission, strengths, and weaknesses. You will also have to define your brand and your core services. What kind of accounting services do you want to offer to your clients? Who is your target audience? How do you plan to reach them? Who are your competitors? How will you differentiate yourself from them? These are some of the questions you need answers to when preparing your plan.
Once you are done with preparing your business plan, you will need to set up physical space or equipment where you will be doing your work. One of the most significant benefits of freelancing is that it is very flexible and minimalistic. As long as you have a functioning computer or laptop, internet, and a good software program, you are good to go. You can also work from anywhere. However, it’s advisable to invest in a comfortable chair and table to avoid having issues with your back in the future.
One of the most challenging aspects of freelance accounting is getting the first client. If your work is good, then it will be easy to get a client through referrals. You can also market yourself if you have an exceptional portfolio. You can also reach out to people who are already familiar with your skillset. For instance, you can contact your former employer, supervisor, or colleagues to see if they have work they could send your way. Another option would be to join job sites that hire freelancers.