Thinking of giving up the corner office in favour of a home office? Thanks to the rise of technology, accountants and other professionals don’t necessarily need to work in an office. With robust cloud-based accounting software, you can easily telecommute while still providing your accounting clients with the reliable, accurate accounting services they’re used to receiving. Working from home may even help you improve your work-life balance, which in turn improves your health and well-being.
Benefits of Telecommuting
When you work from home as an accountant, you get several telecommuting benefits that help you financially and mentally. Working from a comfortable, familiar environment may help you feel more relaxed and productive. You can save money on your professional wardrobe, commuting expenses, and lunches out when you work from home. If you have kids, you may find that you’re able to schedule your work time around their schedule to save on childcare costs. And cutting out your commute means you have more time to spend with your family and friends, which can also support a healthy work-life balance.
Challenges of Telecommuting
Working from home comes with some potential challenges and it’s a good idea to consider them before you start telecommuting. When you’re at home, you’re surrounded by many distractions, from your daily chores to your guilty pleasure TV shows. You may find it difficult to stay motivated when working on your own without your boss checking in. It’s a good idea to set up a home office that minimizes your temptation to indulge in those distractions.
When you leave behind the office, you also leave behind coworkers and regular adult interactions. Some people find working from home a bit lonely. You might feel disconnected from the team, especially if others work in the office because you miss out on socialization and in-person collaboration. You may also miss out on important meetings, and sometimes the staff working in the office may forget to keep you in the loop on communications. Checking in with your colleagues regularly can help avoid those issues. If you ever meet with clients in person, you may need to arrange a meeting at the office, which means you sometimes do have to commute.
Finding Telecommuting Accounting Jobs
Many accounting firms and companies recognize the benefits of outsourcing work through telecommuting, and they offer a range of telecommuting opportunities. Some jobs are freelance, which means you work as a self-employed independent contractor. Some companies may offer full-time telecommuting jobs for accountants. 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.
You can also build your home-based accounting practice on your own through current contacts and word-of-mouth advertising. Say you have acquaintances who run their own businesses. You might reach out to them to find your first clients. As you provide quality services and reliable customer service, you’re likely to get more referrals from those initial clients.
Telecommuting as an accountant can give you greater flexibility than a traditional job at an accounting firm. That freedom, along with the potential financial savings and lack of a commute, can improve your work-life balance. With the right tools, you can deliver accounting services that help you grow your business quickly. QuickBooks Online Accountant offers powerful tools for accounting professionals. Sign up for free.