Whether you are a fresh graduate or you have been in the business for years/decades, going solo is an exciting opportunity for every accountant. You can choose your own clients, work from home or anywhere else and, thanks to cloud accounting solutions, do your job quicker and in a more effective way than before. However, every freelance accountant has to start somewhere, hopefully without major hiccups along the way.
If you follow our advice, your freelance career will definitely have a head start.
Your Own Accounting First
Literally the very first step you have to take as a freelancer is to go with an online accounting solution to manage your own business. This way you can easily invoice your clients, set up an inventory (to keep track of your provided services), manage your expenses (and attach them to invoices), track your time, and the list could go on.
Before you ask whether cloud accounting will cost you a fortune, let us assure you that it won’t, if you use a little trick. Subscribe as an accountant/bookkeeper first, because the accountant version of online accounting software usually comes free of charge or at a reduced price. Furthermore, you have the option to recommend the chosen software for free or for a reduced price to your potential clients as well, increasing your chances to grow your clientele. This is especially true if you get certified by the accounting software company.
Accounting Software Certifications
Like we said before, you need to choose a (cloud-based) accounting solution for yourself to get started. However, there is a special option for accountants and bookkeepers through which you not only learn the use of your chosen software on a professional level, but you also get a certification. This means that the developer of the accounting solution – whether it is Xero, FreshBooks, Sage, QuickBooks Online and so on – certifies that you are able to provide quality accounting services using their platform, allowing you to be featured in their directory of recommended accountants. Thus when business owners are looking for certified accountants/bookkeepers, your name will definitely pop up.
Other Ways to Be Noticed
Putting your name onto the list of accounting solution providers is just one thing; you have to think on a broader scale.
The best way of doing so is to create a website and/or a blog as your resume (or create an online resume using cloud-based software), to be searchable on Google, which is like striking gold for you and your clients. If you don’t want to create a website or a blog, a LinkedIn profile is mandatory. In fact, LinkedIn is exactly created for this reason: broadening your clientele while marketing your expertise.
Another way is to register to freelance sites and marketplaces (Freelance.com Upwork, PeoplePerHour and the list goes on) which only charge you with some fees if you are successfully hired and you get paid. To go fully pro, we recommend joining the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) which charges you on annual basis but guarantees that your name will be on their list for a whole year.
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