Thanks to the rise of technology, accountants and other professionals don’t necessarily need to work in an office. Instead, they can telecommute. If you’re trying to achieve a positive work-life balance, this may be an idea to consider.
Benefits of Telecommuting
As a telecommuter, you get to work in your pajamas every day unless you have a teleconference, and even on those days, you only need to look nice from the waist up. In addition to saving money on your professional wardrobe, you also get to enjoy the comfort of your own home office, and you save time and money on commuting. You can invest that extra time into working more, spending more time with your family, or exploring your hobbies.
Many people juggle telecommuting with raising babies or toddlers, and even if they hire a parent’s helper or a part-time nanny, they may still save a lot on childcare costs.
You can also reap the benefits of productivity. According to one study, telecommuting two or three days a week boosts productivity levels by 10 to 20 percent. Just imagine how much more productive you’re likely to be if you telecommute every day of the week. Finally, as you establish yourself as an online accountant, you may create opportunities to expand your client base. Rather than just getting jobs from people in your area, you can potentially serve clients all over the country.
Challenges of Telecommuting
Before you quit your current job and dive into the world of telecommuting, you need to make sure you’ve fully considered all the aspects of working remotely. If you currently have a job, you probably have a guaranteed income. If you’re planning to launch your own business offering online accounting services, your income is not guaranteed. It’s safest to make the jump when you have enough money in savings to get by on until you get enough clients to cover your bills.
Whether you get a full-time remote position as an employee of an established company or do your own thing, you also have to consider the implications of working at home. Are you going to be distracted by housework? Do you like the social aspect of working in an office? If you plan to meet clients in person, do you have a place to do that at your home? Do you have the equipment you need to run an office remotely? Are you staying motivated when working on your own? If you work through questions like that, you can get a good sense of whether or not this is the right move for you.
Finding Telecommuting Jobs
Many accounting firms and companies are recognizing the benefits of outsourcing work through telecommuting, and they’re offering a range of telecommuting opportunities. Some jobs are freelance, while others are full-time telecommuting opportunities. To find one of these opportunities, use the same jobs boards you usually use to search for jobs, and narrow down the results so you just see telecommuting or remote positions. Sites such as Monster, LinkedIn, FlexJobs, and Indeed all have listings for virtual or remote accounting opportunities. You can also put ads up on sites such as Fiverr and Upwork. On those sites, you basically describe what you can do, put in your rates, and wait for clients to contact you. Then you finalize the details and get to work. These sites take a commission of the money you earn, but they also help with billing. Your client pays the site, the site holds the funds until the work is complete, and then you get paid. You don’t have to worry about ignored invoices or clients who refuse to pay.
Telecommuting offers a host of advantages, but also has its disadvantages. If you’ve considered both aspects and you’re still interested, it’s time to start looking for opportunities.