How to Start a Career as a Freelance Accountant

A freelance accountant, as the name suggests handles the financial accounts of clients he or she works for. Freelance accountants are mostly hired by small businesses as they cannot afford to have a salaried accountant. As a freelance accountant, you will be responsible for supervising, examining and recording the cash inflow and outflow of your client. If you have an eye for detail along with aptitude for numbers, then this is definitely a prospective profession for you. Read the following guidelines to get started as a freelance account.

Educational Qualifications Required

Although you might think mere accounting knowledge is enough to succeed in this field, this might not be the case always. Employers today are looking for people who have undergone proper training to handle the task. Here are few tips to obtain the necessary qualifications to become a freelance accountant:

  • Graduate high school with good scores in mathematics.
  • Enroll in a bachelor’s degree that offers training in accounting or a business degree that also includes accounting courses.
  • If you are planning to obtain Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification, make sure your bachelor’s degree has the sufficient number of training hours in accounting as a minimum requirement for the certification.
  • Choose your sub specialization from public, management, internal, government accounting or internal auditing and become an expert in the same.
  • Take all necessary steps to make your presence felt in the industry. Register yourself on websites that offer accounting assignments, make your own blog to advertise your service, stay current on the industry information and look for other sources to obtain good projects.
  • Work as a part time accountant or an intern during holidays to enhance your experience.
  • Learn modern computer applications that aid accounting process.

Nature of work

As a freelance accountant you are never restricted to work for only companies within your locality, city or even country. With flexible working hours you will get an opportunity to provide your services to clients around the globe. As a freelance accountant your regular tasks include:

  • Recording and saving data related to profits, loss, pending bills, tax, sales and other similar transactions from time to time.
  • Tallying the accounts on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
  • Calculating details about tax returns and conveying the same to the client.
  • Drafting financial statements whenever asked to.
  • Ensuring all financial laws practiced by the company are legal.
  • Taking care of the administrative tasks of your own business.

Advancement Opportunities

Entry level freelance accountants after gaining experience of about 2 to 3 years can pursue career as a full time accountant. Enhancing the business by hiring more accountants for you is a viable option as well. Some accountants after few years of successful career break into the field of financial planner or chartered accountant after pursuing the necessary education. Average salary of a freelance accountant is $32,000 annually. However, this depends on the nature of the project undertaken.