Are you a professional practicing CPA/ACCA or CA accountant/bookkeeper trying to explore online world to earn extra bucks as a freelancer but don’t know where to start from?
With the emergence of online cloud-based computer accounting software, many companies in different industries have embarked on outsourcing freelance services online and accounting/bookkeeping services happen to be among those.
Based on the advantages resulting from outsourcing services online like cost cutting, accuracy, time-saving etc, the business owners find it profitable to recruit freelancers to perform certain services on behalf of the business at reasonable fees.
So, where does this new development leave the accountants and bookkeeping professionals who are new entrants in accounting field?
That leaves them only two options; either to evolve and be innovative enough to take a plunge into the newly created online marketplaces and provide their professional services as freelancers- as their own bosses, or completely change their careers in case they are not lucky enough to land one of the few available full-time job opportunities.
Even if you are just the aspiring accounting/finance student and worried about your future, let me assure you that you have a bright future in online world once you pass your CPA/ACCA/CA exam, if you can take the right action now and use the little accounting skills you have already mastered in the course of your college study to create your outstanding online working profile. And you don’t need a certificate in accountancy to start with and earn your first bucks online by freelancing.
Since you searched and the search engines landed you here, that is already the first step indicating that you understand what you need and you are on the right path and I am here to walk you through all the things you will need to start off on the right footing and put your accounting career to the next level working online in this vast accounting field. That is if you will take some time on this page and read on.
Assuming you are a greenhorn in matters online working, online accounting work from home jobs, work through the internet, freelance bookkeeping and all related stuff. We will begin by first understanding what one in pursuit for online accounting career will need to ensure that he actually gets linked to the right potential clients online, successfully bids on available accounting jobs and get awarded the project, which he satisfactorily completes and banks hard.
Before we get into the complex stuff of finding the clients looking for accounting services online, you will have to get access to hands on specific tools and equipment required for online bookkeeping to ensure that you will successfully take and satisfactorily complete the client’s work.
Here is a list of the must have tools and equipment for beginner freelance accountants and bookkeepers
- A personal computer/laptop with good memory
- A reliable internet connection
- A back up power supply
- A fax machine
- A printer
Probably, you already have most of the items listed. As a freelancer, you will not need to rent an accounting office- just a reasonable space in your house enough to set up your computer equipment will do the job. This happens to be another advantage when working online as a freelancer as it cuts costs and there is no commuting to work every business day of the week.
Once you have set up your home office with all the mentioned pieces of equipment in place, we will need to ensure we have at least one of the latest versions of the following accounting software installed in your computer;
These are the must have computer accounting software for the beginner freelance accountants and bookkeepers and you will be better off with vast knowledge in several of these accounting software, because they will not only boost your chances of winning more client service orders but also give you advantage over your competitors in case the clients request accounting services where only specific accounting software would be applicable- which is not uncommon case in this vast accounting business field.
- Sage accounting
- Excel accounting
I have listed the above computer accounting software based on their popularity and clients’ priority.
Most of them like QuickBooks and sage come with a free trial package of 30 days. I expressly recommend that you at least have 2-4 of the above software installed to avoid missing on the specific order requests since SERVICE ORDERS ARE HARD TO COME BY WHEN STARTING.
It is also an added advantage to be an all rounded accounting/bookkeeping expert online if you have extensive knowledge of upto 5 best recommended accounting softwares in the world.
It will open more job opportunities online since some accounting professionals usually outsource the services of other freelance accountants regarding the projects which can only be performed using certain specific accounting software they are not familiar with. Out of that, there are professional freelancers out their earning full living online by just offering accounting software coaching services.
You can see that I have also included Microsoft Excel accounting on the list. That is not a mistake; Microsoft Excel is a very powerful accounting tool that many are not aware of. With good command in excel accounting skills; you will have edge over other freelance accountants and be able to access endless requests for online accounting jobs under data entry sub-category.
OK, our office is now well equipped with all the required tools of trade; computers are all set with the important accounting softwares installed and ready to go. Our next destination will be to locate the clients who are the main backbone of our online accounting business we have just set up.
So, where do we find our potential clients searching to outsource accounting services which we are all set to provide?
At this point, the most complex stage in setting up the functional profitable business online has just been started.
In order to find our first potential clients and get our first service order, we will have to head over to marketplaces where they hang out and try to exhibit our skillset as appropriately as possible.
There are many recommended online marketplaces where the freelancers connect with their potential clients seeking to outsource services for their businesses.
Here, I will only recommend the three major online market places for beginners to try out and luckily get some orders completed today and get paid.
Just head over to each of the above sites through the links provided, sign up (is free to sign up), create your profiles detailing the services you are to provide to your potential clients.
You will be all set. Depending on how appealing or unappealing your work profiles appear to your potential clients, you may or may not be able to attract some clients to make order or request job bids- in case of Freelancer.
Always bear in mind; the key requirement to succeed in this field of online bookkeeping is not different from other online business professions- creating a client base that will either recommend you to their business partners or reach direct for you when they have a new project.
That is to mean- depending on the level of satisfaction your clients get in exchange for your services, they will either make your brand stand out from the crowd or shutter your online career in case they post negative reviews to your profiles.
In summary; always aim for SUSTAINABILITY. In fact that is the root for any long term thriving business regardless of whether created online or offline.