Today’s digital landscape has allowed accountants to transition from working at an office to working from a home office. Due to cloud sharing, mobile applications and online communications accountants no longer need to meet clients and perform their regular accounting duties inside a cubicle or a corner office.
A simple search on Google will showcase the plethora of long-term, per-project or freelance accounting jobs that can be accomplished remotely. This is one of the many benefits that is attracting a younger generation of accountants as they no longer have to sport a suit and work standard 9 to 5 hours on-site.
For accountants, the flexible career can allow these professionals to follow through with other career objectives, such as writing in business publications, providing consultancy services to corporations and even part-time teaching. The world of accountancy continues to evolve from the days of Bob Cratchit.
It is important, however, for any young accountant to first gain experience working in an office setting as an accountant as opposed to immediately creating a home office for your business.
Here are six ways to locate accounting telecommuting jobs and land your dream position:
1. Professional Network
Since you’ll be working from home and you’re either creating your own database of clients or you’re carrying out the tasks from your company, it would be hard to connect with accountant and other business professionals. To remedy this, consider joining a professional network or creating a nearby organization - this is prudent if you live in a small town - that is dedicated to partnering with local businesses and providing opportunities to the community.
Whether you’re a full-time employee, a freelance accountant or you maintain your own accountancy business, you should have a website with full details regarding your education, professional experience, certification, contact address and list of services. The website should also have a number of features, such as reviews from previous clients, blog posts, social media links and plug-ins (calendar, scheduler, contact window, etc.).
3. Tax Season
The months between January and May are usually the busiest times of the year for accountants as individuals and businesses attempt to get their ledgers and books in order for the taxman. During this period, be prepared and seek out clients, ask for referrals from friends and family and actively advertise in your neighborhood or online. Always outline the advantages of a home-based accountant as opposed to a corporate accountant.
If you’re in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom, you could work with someone on the other side of the country. In order to do this, you can sign up for various telecommuting, freelance and flexible job websites that can provide you with a long list of employment opportunities. Of course, it’s difficult to perform foreign jobs because of the different tax laws, but if you feel you have the knowledge and expertise then you can take on clients from France, Australia, Hong Kong and elsewhere.
Here is a brief list of some websites to peruse:
One trend to get a foot in the industry’s door is to do pro-bono work, predominantly for non-profit organizations. This allows your self-employed nature to gain references, accolades and perhaps greater opportunities in the future. By listing a local charity as a client on your website list, it can perhaps impress future prospects. Of course, this shouldn’t be done for all of your first-time clients and shouldn’t be part of your long-term sustainability plan.
6. Social Media
Maintaining an active social media profile on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ can only help your career. By connecting with industry professionals and possibly clients, you can engage with them and solicit their feedback, share content with them and gain more referrals. Social networks may be crowded, but this is one of the better methods to continually keep in touch with past and present customers.
Accountancy is one of the most respected professions in the world and still remains one of the biggest jobs in demand, especially as governments continue to pour on red tape, bureaucracy and new taxes and fees. Accounting is a stable career path, and working from home further adds benefits and advantages to a sublime profession.
Photo by Jacob Edward via Flickr.