Are you looking for a great career change? Are you also hoping to transition to freelancing?
If you’re looking to make a lucrative income through freelancing, you should consider becoming a freelance accountant.
Accounting is a profession that’ll always be in demand and is one that you can charge top dollar for.
It’s hard to find a great accountant, so you’ll also not have to worry about much competition. This is one field that hasn’t become oversaturated in the freelancing sphere.
Here’s how you get started as an online accountant:
Join a Network
The first step is to join an accounting professionals network, such as Taxfyle. Here you’ll get to register yourself as an accountant or a CPA.
You’ll be able to find clients who are looking for professional accounting services. You can also apply for freelance accounting jobs through such a network.
Here you’ll also get a chance to network with other accountants. You’ll learn about what skills you’ll need to develop to succeed as an online accountant.
The next step is to build your online presence outside of a network. You can create a website where you advertise your accounting services. Alternatively, you can also add your accounting capabilities to your LinkedIn profile.
If you have any other social media profiles, make sure you advertise your accounting services on them.
You can also consider creating a QR code to link to your profile on an accounting network or to your website. Print this QR code on stickers or your business card so potential clients can connect with you.
It’s also wise to always have at least 20 business cards with you at all times to hand out when you meet potential clients.
Make sure you also discuss the types of clients you wish to serve on your online platforms. As a beginner, you might want to offer basic bookkeeping services for individuals.
Once you improve as a freelance accountant, you might want to offer your services to small businesses. As your business grows, you can start offering services to medium and large-sized businesses.
Skills and Services
So what skills do you need to succeed as a freelance accountant? What services do you wish to offer your clients?
All online accountants must know the basics of bookkeeping. You’ll also want to know how to use spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, and Google Sheets.
At a higher level, you might wish to study the tax code and tax laws to offer this as an additional service. For some freelance accountants, you’ll have to apply for certifications to provide certain services.
As such, if you don’t have a background in accounting, you might wish to consider pursuing an accounting degree. You might also want to qualify as a CPA to gain more clients.
As a beginner, you can start by offering basic bookkeeping services. If you find your client base grows you can stick to this service. If you find that business is stagnating, you might want to offer more advanced services.
So what tools do you need to succeed as a freelance accountant?
The first is to ensure you have a robust laptop. As a freelance accountant, you’ll spend hours each day crunching numbers into spreadsheets. You need to ensure you have a laptop that has high-speed RAM and sufficient storage space.
You also want a laptop that has high-end security features. As you’ll be handling your client’s financial information, you want one that can’t get easily hacked or infected.
You can also invest in storage services, such as a cloud storage service. You can also keep spreadsheets saved on external hard drives or USB drives.
Make sure you have your client’s consent before storing their financial records anywhere!
You should also keep a copy of the latest tax code with you at all times if you offer this as a service. If you meet a client, they’ll want to see the tax code as a reference.
Make sure you always keep a calculator with you at all times. This should be a separate device, and not the calculator that comes with your laptop or smartphone!
How Much Do I Charge?
This is the challenge that freelancers of any background have to deal with! As a freelance accountant, you’ll likely be worried about charging enough to sustain your lifestyle.
The goal is to replace your current income with your freelancing income. In most cases, this won’t happen overnight. But within 1 or 2 years, you want to replace your current income with your freelancing income.
As such, you want to think about how much you’ll charge for your services. As an online accountant, you might get tempted to charge low prices just to acquire clients quickly.
But freelance accounting is a service with little competition. As such, charging $5 on a service such as Fiverr is something to avoid! If you charge low prices, potential clients will suspect you of offering mediocre services!
You want to charge at least $50 for basic bookkeeping services. Your ultimate goal should be to have each of your clients on a retainer. This means they’ll pay you a regular fee to manage their accounting needs.
If you offer advanced services, such as tax planning or filing tax returns, you want to charge at least $500. If you handle tax obligations for small businesses, you can raise this to $1000 per year.
As a beginner, you might get tempted to keep your prices low to compete with other online accountants. But if you do this you’ll attract clients who’ll always want to short-change you.
Start Your Career as a Freelance Accountant
Now you can begin your career as a freelance accountant and earn a lucrative income online!
Make sure you start by joining a network to find freelance accounting jobs. You also want to start developing skills to find clients seeking an online accountant.
Make sure you also create a website or update your LinkedIn profile. You want to start advertising your services as soon as possible so you can get clients quickly!
You can find more great career advice and information on freelancing on our blog!