Is it A Good Idea to Go Freelance as An Accountant?
Accountancy can be a great career if you are good with numbers, have an interest in business, and have a good eye for detail.
A Wealth of Options
Once you are qualified, for instance by doing an online masters of accounting, there are generally plenty of career options if you are good at what you do – almost every business there is hires an accountant as most business owners don’t have the skills to do their own accountancy and a good accountant can help them run more effectively and save money. This means you can effectively choose between getting a job with a company as their accountant or part of their accounting department (for larger companies), work for an accounting firm, or go freelance. Freelance accountants get their own clients and these are usually small businesses who don’t need someone full time.
Advantages of Being a Freelancer As An Accountant
Being a freelance accountant can be great for some people. If you’ve completed your masters accounting degree online, chances are you are already used to working over the internet rather than having to show up every day at an office or client site, and of course, this is the way you would work as a freelancer too. You can fit your work around other commitments, and work as much or as little as you choose by deciding how many clients to take on – effectively allowing you to be part-time if you prefer.
You also could choose to work mostly for local businesses who you can visit on site from time to time if you prefer working for people you have a face to face connection with, though really, it is possible to do most accounting work entirely remotely so you can pick up clients who live too far away to visit if you want, too.
Disadvantages of Freelance Accounting
There are naturally downsides to this way of working as an accountant too, however. One is that it can be hard to build up a good client base at first, so you may find yourself struggling for work in the beginning before you have established yourself. You also need to learn how to market yourself in order to win business.
Another downside can be that demand for your work from your clients can get very high at times, such as the end of the tax year, but be steadier the rest of the year, meaning you will need to be prepared for a workload that fluctuates seasonally.
A third downside a lot of people don’t think about is that as a freelancer, you don’t get the social interaction that comes with working in an office. No Christmas parties or team building events, just working by yourself every day. This is ideal for some, but less so for others.
If you are finishing your degree in accounting and deciding what to do, freelancing has plenty of merits, but you need to be aware of the downsides too before you make your decision.