Back in the day, accountants needed a lot of corporate-level infrastructures. Things like meeting rooms, dedicated services, expensive software packages, and a ton of paper files were a common sight. Not to mention the fact that there was a need for an entire human resources team in order to achieve most clerical jobs — maintaining journals, filing, documents, entering data, offer payroll services, and produce good business overall.
Things are different these days though. With Xero online accounting tool, you can land your first job as a home-based freelance accountant and do all of those tasks on your own.
Headstarting Your Career with Freelancing
Bookkeepers and accountants these days no longer need to invest a lot of many for infrastructure anymore. The overheads can be as little as desktop computer or laptop, a stable internet connection, and business insurance.
● Accounting software subscriptions cost less and can be easily passed on to your client.
● Some accounting providers actually offer their services free of charge.
● Cloud storage is much safer, with no need for archive paper files or backups.
Businesses that use cloud accounting can easily focus on growing, so you as a first-timer can set up a career faster and easier.
How to Be a Freelance Bookkeeper or Accountant
1. Secure your online environment
Apart from a working computer, your internet connection needs to be reliable. You should also get a conferencing app and set up accounts so you can accept online payments such as PayPal and Stripe. You can use this if you decide later on to sell subscription accounting services.
2. Set up a cloud software
Working with clients can be much easier if you and your partners have access into a single account at the same time. It will help address issues without having to meet up personally. Smart cloud accounting software also allows for daily bank reconciliation and automatic data entry, making payroll much easier.
3. Create service bundles
In any kind of business, the expenses must be laid out clearly. But common in freelancing is the hourly billing type of pay, which doesn’t really give certainty. Instead, you can design a plan wherein you offer your services for a monthly rate. This should include advising on business growth, providing reports, managing bill payments, posting day-to-day transactions, and account reconciliations.
4. Boost your earnings per client
Freelancing allows you to have several clients at the same time. If you believe you’re services are already stable, think of ways on how you can upsell your services. More often, getting more from existing clients is much easier than finding new ones. Pitch new ideas on tax planning, or use your software’s dashboard functions in order to provide strategic business advice. Your options will depend on the skills you already have.
5. Acquire referrals
One benefit of being a freelance accountant is that you get to have free referrals. Businesses are always on the lookout for accountants who have their own online software. You can start by advertising yourself on Xero’s advisor directory to generate weekly referrals.
6. Build a strong online presence
While your local area has a lot of potential clients, expect to find millions online. Being a freelance accountant with cloud software, geography won’t limit you anymore. Use this to your advantage and start:
● Building a professional website
● Share posts and update social media
● Produce newsletters
● Write engaging content and blog posts
● Create an SEO strategy so people can find you easily
7. Work on traditional marketing as well
Old marketing techniques still work. Try these:
● Networking at events
● Hosting your own events
● Creating and perfecting an effective elevator pitch
● Word-of-mouth marketing
8. Stay on top of your expenses
Expenses are often overlooked even when using payment apps and invoicing. Always keep an eye on costs such as software, computers, and phones. Don’t overlook charges associated with website maintenance as well, including hosting, directory listings, networking, advertising, and professional memberships.
A Complete Tool to Start a Career
Freelancing is one trend you shouldn’t miss out on these days, even if you believed before that bookkeepers and accountants should work in a traditional office set up. In the modern world, you only need a few tools, an enthusiastic entrepreneurial spirit, and a good work ethic. Xero online courses will help you build a career easier and make things simpler for budding bookkeepers and accountants.