The gig economy in Australia is on the rise. According to a study by Upwork, nearly one-third of the workforce are now freelancers. Also, 746,000 engage in some form of freelance activity or ‘side hustle’. If you’re an accountant, here’s what you need to know to attract more gig clients.
Gig equals grey areas
Thanks to technology and sites such as Upwork and Airtasker, gig economy workers can benefit from a better work/life balance. At the same time, businesses save on full-time salaries, while still getting the right people for the job. However, the legal and tax implications surrounding this particular group aren’t always clear. Some gig workers may not know that what they’re doing is classed as taxable income. Companies, on the other hand, might not be entirely across the payroll requirements for their freelancers.
Client education is key
To fill the knowledge gaps your clients might have, your first job is to make them aware of their tax and legal obligations as contractors. To do this, staying on top of the varying industry requirements is crucial. You could also: · Teach gig workers how to track expenses or businesses how to manage payroll · Make freelancers aware of what they can write off as expenses · Offer gig workers advice on how they can budget with a fluctuating income · Help businesses figure out what they should be paying and gig workers what they should be asking for services so they’re not selling themselves under value
Getting more gig clients
Inevitably, as the gig economy grows and more people branch out on their own, there will be a greater need for specialised accountants. So, branching out to reach this group presents a unique opportunity to grow your existing client base. To get more gig economy clients on your books, you’ll first need to effectively find and target them. Some ideas include: running targeted online ads, embracing local media, placing flyers in local co-working spaces and cafes, and sponsoring freelance events or associations.
In addition, consider demonstrating your expertise in this area by writing blogs, running free talks and seminars, and becoming a contributor on Q&A site Quora and relevant social media groups. If you already have gig clients on your books, start asking for referrals.
The rise of the gig economy opens up a great new range of opportunities for both workers and accountants. With more and more industries embracing this labour trend, you might even consider becoming part of the movement yourself.