7 things to follow to be a successful self-employed CPA
Small business that operates on minimal budgets cannot fit a full time professional into their pay checks. So they outsource their works to freelancers and independent professionals and see this as an effective means of cost-cutting. This has created greater opportunities for individuals to start up their own freelance adventure and accountants are one among them. Independent accountants can help individuals and small business with their bookkeeping and taxes by fixing hourly rates and acquire many number of clients according to your time and potential.
7 tips to be a successful individual accountant.
Qualify as a CPA
Qualifying as a CPA is the first step in your journey as a successful independent accountant. A bachelor’s degree in accounting and clearing the Certified Public Accountant exam is the minimal qualification required to become a CPA. Specializing in public accounting or corporate accounting is the choice you can make depending on your interests and scope of work you are looking for. Adding to that, earning 150 credit hours in accounting and working under the supervision of a licenced CPA for a set number of hours (usually 1800) are other requirements you should accomplish to become a licenced CPA.
Get your business registered
As an independent accountant, decide where you want to do business and register your firm with the state and local governing bodies. Choose your business structure, typically a limited liability company or partnership which is common for new businesses. Get assistance from U.S Small Business Association in setting up everything and know about the licences and permits you need to establish business in your city/state. The rules and regulations may differ from state to state.
Decide you niche
Accounting market is an ocean of multiple industries, locations and businesses of different size. Choosing your niche area helps in promoting yourself as an expert in that particular domain and will help you target a selected audience. Also, concentrating your service to a particular domain will help you land more clients of that sector as businesses prefer industry experts than general accountants. The other important aspect of choosing a niche is to create a strong SEO for your business in the online world.
Find a work space.
Make a work place with productive environment at your home or look out for a cheap office space. Co-working spaces are excellent options as they not only cheaper but also provide you good networking opportunities. Having an office space makes you look more professional and helps you have the work-life balance.
Set your rates
Hourly rates are the best way to value your service if you’re a beginner. If you’re an experienced accountant offering continuous and multiple services to clients, it’s better to adapt to value based pricing and fixed rates. Also offering services bundles with different rates increase the probabilities of landing a client successfully.
Purchase an accounting software.
As individual accounts, the faster you complete you work, the more clients you can have. This also means more revenue. In order to do that, you need an accounting software that can help you streamline you process and automate it. As you work for multiple clients in various locations, choosing a cloud based accounting software could be a game-changer as it provides you ways to work remotely and makes document sharing easy. Another main advantage of cloud-based software is that it eliminates the necessity of investing big on hardware for your computer. With just a mobile phone and an active internet connection you can access client data from anywhere and anytime you want.
Market your business to the community through social media or paid promotions to increase your professional exposure. Precise online ads on social media and local newspapers can land you new clients in no time. Create opportunities by organising a free online seminar on the services you offer or look out for new business openings in your locality and extend your service to them. Attending professional gathering can be a great opportunity to acquire knowledge and extend your professional network that could lead to more clients.