The reality of today’s job market means that almost everyone you can think of is a freelancer – and it does not matter their job description or training. This is not surprising though, because becoming a freelancer means that you can still deliver very high-quality services without spending too many resources to get there – you can even work from the comfort space of your home.
If you are looking to become a freelance accountant or start your own freelance accounting firm, you no longer need to sink so much capital or money into getting the appropriate infrastructure – all you need is business insurance and a worthwhile laptop. Since many business transactions use online processing and recording methods, the cost of data entry and maintenance is not a major issue anymore; especially with the emergence of the online accounting systems.
If you need a place to start, read our 6 tips to help you get there.
Get an online presence
Because you are working on a freelance basis, it is non-negotiable to have a decent laptop that can handle all the tasks you do on it without slowing down, and an internet connection you can rely on. Other than these, make sure you have a conferencing app that is comfortable for you to use and free if possible (think Google Meet or Zoom).
Along with setting up these elements, it is also important to ensure all the payments your clients make will reach your bank account – so ensure you set a system of online payments in place, like a PayPal account. This is even more essential if you plan to sell an accounting service that uses a subscription model.
Connecting to cloud software
The advantage of using the internet is the ease in facilitating connection with your clients through the cloud software – and this makes it possible to store your data as well. It will also help you to answer the client’s questions in proper context, and reduce the frequency of in-person meetings – a distraction you will likely not need as a freelancer.
There are other benefits to the use of cloud software as well, including allowing automated daily bank reconciliation and data entry, and making payrolls much easier to edit and follow through. You’ll also want to have templates for accountancy engagement letters, which you can easily get from Knuula.
Increasing the average revenue from each client
After taking the time to build your client base, it is important to think about adding value through your work and selling more services. Keep in mind that gaining revenue from new clients is more challenging compared to the existing clients you have, so use the goodwill from existing clients to do some extra things for them. These can include anything from automating their payroll to doing some reports for them at a discount or for free.
Creating service bundles
There are plenty of small businesses that want to improve the reliability and certainty of their expenses, but they do not get that service through hourly billing plans. In light of this, attempt to create a plan where the client can pay you a monthly retention fee, in exchange for you providing them with specific services.
These services can include recording of daily transactions, advising the client on the best practices for the growth of their business, account reconciliation, providing business reports on a periodic basis, and managing bill payments.
Getting some free referrals under your belt
It can be difficult for people to trust freelancers, especially accountants. However, the circumstances demand that businesses search out accountants who have experience in using online software – so boost your chances of gaining new clients by going to the places they hang out.
While there may be plenty of potential clients who live around you, the online space has an infinitely more number of potential online accounting jobs. Since you are a freelance accountant who knows how to use cloud software, you are no longer limited to the people and places you know – so use that to your advantage.
You can do this through:
- Creating a professional website
- Making an SEO-friendly strategy to attract clients
- Writing posts on social media and asking your happy clients to share them
- Writing email newsletters and blog posts
The good news is that the freelance economy is now becoming common, and you can learn to take advantage of the opportunities it presents in the accounting department.