Not sure where to start with online accounting?
These days, everyone is a freelancer, even accountants and bookkeepers. After all, why not? You may now provide high-end services from the comfort of your own home at a fraction of the cost. It’s a good method to establish your own accounting practise, and the margins can be good.
Accountants used to require a great deal of company infrastructure. This featured things like paper file storage, high-end software, dedicated servers, and conference rooms. All of the clerical work – inputting data, filing records, and maintaining journals – needed a lot of human resources.
And that was simply to deal with the fundamentals of taxation and compliance. Offering payroll services or producing good business management reports took even more time, effort, space, and people. A single home-based freelance accountant may now handle all of this on their own thanks to internet accounting software.
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A fantasy and a laptop
• Accountants and bookkeepers no longer need to invest heavily on infrastructure. The costs of starting a business might be as low as a laptop and business insurance.
• Subscriptions to accounting software are inexpensive, and the costs can simply be passed on to your clients.
• Some companies will provide you with free practise management software.
• There is no need to conduct backups or archive paper files because data is stored in the cloud.
Furthermore, because organisations that use cloud accounting software are significantly more growth-oriented, a freelance accountant or bookkeeper may quickly get up and running.
You don’t need to hire
Because almost all commercial transactions are now conducted electronically, data input is no longer a significant expense. An online accounting system can pull data from a bank account, an invoicing system, a point-of-sale system, an e-commerce system, or even an expense app.
Freelance accountants and bookkeepers are less likely to need hired support now that these basic accounting operations need fewer human resources.
Further Reading: Why online accountants are good for your small business
How to work as a self-employed best online accountants for small business or bookkeeper
1. Log on to the internet
You’ll need a laptop and a reliable internet connection, as well as a conferencing app that you like (many of which are free). Apps like Stripe and PayPal can also be used to accept online payments. If you end up offering a subscription accounting service (see 3. Create service packages), this will come in handy.
2. Use cloud-based applications
Working with clients is considerably easier when you can both log into their account at the same time. It will enable you to respond to queries in context while minimising the amount of face-to-face encounters. This is possible with smart cloud accounting software. It also provides for data entry automation and daily bank reconciliation. It also simplifies the payroll process.
3. Put together service bundles
The majority of small firms want to know what their expenses will be. They don’t get that with hourly billing. Consider working out a strategy in which you give specified services in exchange for a monthly fee. Account reconciliations, day-to-day support posting transactions, handling bill payments, delivering reports, and advising on business growth are all common examples of write-up work. Take a look at how Bean Ninjas built up their packages and launched them in less than a week.
4. Increase the amount of money you make per client
Consider how you can sell them extra services after you’ve had a few retainer clients on board. It’s frequently easier to increase revenue from existing customers than it is to find new ones. Use the goodwill you’ve earned by automating their basic bookkeeping to offer to automate their payroll as well. Alternatively, pitch them on tax planning. Alternatively, leverage the built-in reporting and dashboard features of cloud software to advise clients on important business decisions. There are numerous options available.
5. Get referrals for free
It can be appealing to work as a “cloud accountant.” Many companies seek out accountants that use online accounting software. Visit the locations where those prospects congregate.
6. Establish a digital presence
There are likely many potential customers in your immediate neighbourhood, but there are millions more online. Furthermore, as a freelance accountant using cloud software, you are no longer bound by region. To get the message out, use digital media:
• Create and share social media posts (ask happy clients to share them)
• Create a professional-looking website
• Create a search engine optimization strategy to help people find you.
• Take up content marketing.
• Create a basic email newsletter.
7. Don’t forget about old-fashioned marketing.
Try out these suggestions:
• Getting your elevator pitch right
• Without getting stuck at stuffy events, you can network.
8. Keep track of your expenses.
Revenue tracking is simple with invoicing and payment apps, but expenses are sometimes forgotten. Costs such as phones, laptops, and software should be kept in mind. Charges for website hosting, professional memberships, directory listings, advertising, and networking should all be considered. If you’re not a tax expert, talk to a friend who is and make sure you’re taking advantage of all the deductions available.
You already possess the necessary skills to work as a freelance accountant or bookkeeper.
The gig economy is still growing, and now is an excellent time for accountants and bookkeepers to join in. All you need are a few tools, a strong work ethic, and a can-do attitude. Getting started as a freelance accountant or bookkeeper has never been easier thanks to online tools.
Further Reading: What Are The Benefits Of An Online Accounting System?