World over, the competition for jobs is ever increasing. Yet, thousands of graduates are joining the job market every year, further dimming employment prospects.
And so people need to be creative and create their own jobs.
Now, the accountancy industry is a bit tricky because unlike in blue–collar areas where college leavers have manual skills, CPAs and other finance professionals have a set of highly specialized professional skills.
This begs the question:
Can accountants be self-employed really?
Well, yeah. It’s possible for you to making a living as a self-employed accountant. Read on to see the opportunities in accounting as a self employed professional.
1. Open your own consultancy firm/audit firm
If you can get it right, this is one of the best ways of employing yourself as an accountant. Here you open an office where you’ll be offering various services to both small scale as well as growing businesses.
A lot of consultants deal with in-demand services like tax consultancy (including VAT and withholding tax), book-keeping, preparation of annual financial statements, and of course, auditing.
With time, you can diversify to areas such as strategic management, TQM (Total quality management), business advisory services, and such lucrative areas.
How to start:
You need to rent an office (even if a small one), furnish it appropriately, and undertake aggressive marketing.
Besides, buy a laptop (if your budget allows) and perhaps a modem to help you file tax returns for your customers.
It’s best to start small then expand it with time as you grow your clientele base.
Don’t forget to get the required practicing licenses from the authorities (Local council and perhaps ICPAK)
2. Learn Forex and make money from trading currencies
Your CPA skills can serve you magnificently in the money-spinning foreign exchange market.
In this case, you buy and sell international currencies like dollars, Yen, the Euro, Sterling pound, and more in the online foreign exchange market where about $5.1 trillion change hands daily.
Your profit comes from selling your currency higher or buying lower.
Let me add that its basically speculating just like you would do with stocks but it nevertheless brings in handsome earnings once you master the trade.
How to start:
- Register an account with a genuine online Forex broker such as FXCM.
- Open a demo (practice) account and learn how to trade.
- Start real-time trading when you feel sufficiently confident.
3. Work as a freelance online accountant
This is one of my favorite ways of practicing as a self employed accountant.
You see, many companies, particularly those that cannot afford a full-time accountant now prefer to outsource their bookkeeping tasks to the numerous freelancer platforms online since it’s cheaper.
I am talking about websites like UpWork, Fiverr, Guru, People per hour, and others.
What I love most about working as an online accountant is that the hourly rates are first, pretty good.
In addition, the job is very flexible so you can choose to work at night or when you’re free.
- A computer/laptop
- A reliable internet connection.
- Knowledge in accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero.
From there, go to the above-mentioned websites (People Per Hour, Upwork, Fiverr, etc), register, and start bidding for jobs.
4. Offer professional accountancy and relates services on a freelance basis
Perhaps you don’t have enough capital to hire an office or you’re still saving for a home work online office.
Well, you can still start by offering small, small services like filing annual tax returns, VAT, pin number registration, NSSF, and NHIF returns services.
You can also include business name registration and daily stocktaking services for businesses in your neighborhood.
This was my first job and it used to earn me more than some of my college mates who went into employment direct.
What you need:
- Knowledge on these type of gigs.
- A personal computer/access to a cyber
- Determination to succeed.
Though you can recruit a marketer to help you get known, it will be easier to retain clients if you have an outgoing personality
How do you win customers?
- Print some business cards and distribute them to every prospect.
- Conduct door-to-door visits to your targeted businesses.
- Promote your services on social media and other internet channels.
- Differentiate yourself from other self-employed bookkeepers by offering additional services such as business planning to your clients.
Self employed accountant: Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Q: What is the maximum self employed accountant salary?
A: The good thing with self-employment is that there is no limit in terms of income. It all, actually, comes down to your effort and the availability of work.
Indeed, if you can get enough customers, the chances of earning a five-figure salary in a few years time are high.
Q: What level of education do you need to become a self employed accountant?
A: You can start even with your technician certificate- unless you’re marketing services which need a full CPA like a full company audit.
But it’s always advisable to try and finish the course as you never know the kind of services your customers will demand in the future.
Now that the job market places can be crazily competitive, you should consider working as a self employed accountant even as you pursue other openings.
You can open a consultancy firm, look for online accounting jobs, or offer professional accounting services such as stock taking and book keeping to small businesses.
Besides, Forex Tading pays as long as you give yourself time to master everything and can even employ you full time.
Like any other business, the start is tough so you will need immense patience and determination to prosper as a self employed accountant.