As of 2020, about 36% of Americans had turned to freelancing as a source of income. There are several reasons for this, but the one that resonates the most with you is the opportunity for flexible work hours that most new professionals seek.
One of the most in-demand freelance careers is freelance accounting. Job growth for this field is expected to increase by 7%. This means that entrepreneurs are relying more on freelance accountants than ever before.
If you are thinking about becoming a freelance accountant, but aren’t sure where or how to begin, this guide is meant for you.
Decide if Freelancing Is for You
You have to be sure that freelancing is the right career path for you before jumping in. Although some people find delight in this kind of work, it may not be the best choice for everyone. Therefore, start by evaluating your preferences and working style to see if it can suit a freelance style.
You are ready to become a freelancer if:
- You no longer need supervision to work
- You don’t want to report to anybody
- You can manage your schedules with little or no help
- You love working with multiple clients in different settings
You may also opt for this change if you are not happy with your current job. Depending on your job, you might be ready to move on to something different if the perks of freelance work don’t quite match what you have now.
Learn the Basics of Freelance Accounting
All new accountants should begin by learning the basic principles of accounting that govern how an accountant’s daily tasks run. You don’t need to be an accountant to get a job in accounting.
However, most financial firms require at least one year of working experience. If you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional career in accounting, check out our article on how to become a freelancer as an accountant.
Consider Your Options as a Freelance Accountant
If you’re thinking about becoming a freelance accountant, you likely have different expectations. For one thing, you might have thought you could become a freelancer and make a full-time living.
To work as a freelance accountant, you need to bring a lot of expertise to the table. You need to be at the top of your game, and you can’t do that if you don’t have the proper experience or skills.
If you’ve read up on how to become a freelancer, you probably realize that you’ll need to find clients willing to pay you a living wage to bring in income. You also need to offer the kind of services that clients want. That is why you have no option but to diversify.
Get Educated on Taxes
One thing an accountant will deal with almost exclusively is taxes. Depending on the type of accountant, this could mean merely filing a personal tax return to something larger, such as managing the revenue and expenses for a small business. As such, an accountant will be expected to have a firm grasp on using different tax calculators, as well as the various types of IRS forms, among much, much more. Are you still on the fence about starting a career as an accountant? Here are two ways you can get started.
There are numerous options to learn more about taxes, from IRS-approved courses to credit courses and books. With so many options, you’ll be sure to find something that appeals to your personality, skillset, and schedule.
Increase Your Skills in Accounting and Entrepreneurship
When you earn your CPA license and get freelance jobs from platforms like Taxfyle, you’ll be able to apply your knowledge to several different kinds of businesses.
Though there are various accounting roles within the full-time accounting firm industry, freelancers often work in multiple specializations. This can mean that your workday will take on many different characteristics.
Consider Your Options for Certification
This highly specialized field requires a degree, so you’ll want to make sure you’re earning the proper credentials.
According to the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard, it’s essential to “conduct a thorough search of all programs available and find the best fit for the curriculum, program delivery, learning objectives and campus location.” And it’s important to consider the certification options available for each profession.
An example of this is the CPA exam. Typically, the CPA exam requires that you either be a member of the CPA profession or hold a graduate degree in accounting.
While you can work your way through a series of correspondence courses to obtain a graduate degree in accounting, it typically takes at least eight years to complete the whole program.
Create an Online Profile
The best way to network is to meet people in person. Still, as far as working for other businesses goes, there is a digital age solution to everything, and online networking platforms are no exception.
Besides the benefits of building an online portfolio (and having potential clients evaluate the information you put in it), creating a profile for your accounting services will help you promote your services and the services of your freelancing firm, which should result in more clients.
Make use of LinkedIn, one of the most popular online networking platforms, to update your profile and find potential clients.
Market Yourself to Attract Clients
A critical part of becoming a freelancer is creating a client-focused career website. This will show prospective clients you’re the type of person they want to work with and that you’re committed to client loyalty. If you have a website, but it is poorly constructed, or if it’s not responsive, it could be keeping you from a good client base.
A great way to market yourself to prospective clients is to use freelance jobs boards like UpWork and Fiverr. Make sure to stay within the job description scope, respond quickly to inquiries, and request feedback on your resume.
Get Assistance to Become a Freelance Account
When you know the steps to take when switching from full-time work to freelance accounting, the next step should be finding a mentor. Let someone with experience in this field hold your hand and guide you. You are lucky that you are switching to a freelance accountant when many experts are ready to offer advice.
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