The traditional job market is struggling. The future for online work is more optimistic than in the traditional job market. Business opportunities are developing for the freelance accountant is. Learn more about the freelance accountant, how to start the business and many other resources to help you making the correct career decision.

Definition of a Freelance Accountant

Business Opportunities for the Freelance AccountantA freelance accountant, as the name suggests handles the financial accounts of clients he or she works for. Freelance accountants are mostly hired by small businesses as they cannot afford to have a salaried accountant. As a freelance accountant, you will be responsible for supervising, examining and recording the cash inflow and outflow of your client. If you have an eye for detail along with aptitude for numbers, then this is definitely a prospective profession for you.

Source: To obtain Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification, make sure your bachelor’s degree has the sufficient number of training hours in accounting as a minimum requirement for the certification.

  • Know modern computer applications that aid accounting process.

As a freelance accountant you are never restricted to work for only companies within your locality, city or even country. With flexible working hours you will get an opportunity to provide your services to clients around the globe. As a freelance accountant your regular tasks include:

  • Recording and saving data related to profits, loss, pending bills, tax, sales and other similar transactions from time to time.
  • Tallying the accounts on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
  • Calculating details about tax returns and conveying the same to the client.
  • Drafting financial statements whenever asked to.
  • Ensuring all financial laws practiced by the company are legal.
  • Taking care of the administrative tasks of your own business.

Accounting in 60 Minutes – A Brief Introduction:

This course will show you the very basics of accounting.  You can complete it in about an hour.  The course includes videos of the instructor at the whiteboard.  You will complete simple quizzes to reinforce what you have learned.  This course is intended for business owners, business students, managers or anyone who wants to understand basic accounting.  It presents the information in an understandable format.  Even if you have taken an accounting course you will find the material insightful.

The course introduces:

  • The Accounting Equation (One you can understand!)
  • Balance Sheets
  • Income Statements
  • Debits and Credits (And how to know which is which!)
  • Why Profit Does Not Equal Cash!

Seek Learning – Accounting Courses:

Accounting qualifications are the framework of the international language of business and can take you around the world.

These accredited online accounting courses offer the most up-to-date, best-practice skills to start or advance your accounting career.

Career outcomes:

  • Forensic Accountant
  • Taxation Compliance Officer
  • Management Accountant
  • Claims Manager
  • Accounts Payable Clerk

WikiHow – Learn Accounting on you own

Accounting is a crucial process required for the success of businesses both big and small. While large businesses will employ sizable accounting departments with many employees (as well as doing business with a separate auditing firm), smaller businesses may employ only a bookkeeper.

Step 1:  Purchase an entry-level book on accounting. If you are starting with no prior knowledge, it is a good idea to begin reading an entry level book. The best books for establishing a foundation of knowledge are the kind you can purchase at any bookstore; “Accounting for Dummies” would be an example. Reading through this book and working the included exercises will allow you to obtain a general overview of fundamental accounting concepts.

Step 2:  Augment your knowledge with online research. The Internet is a very useful tool for learning accounting concepts quickly and inexpensively. Websites like offer free lessons in many areas of accounting. You can also look up the text of nearly any important accounting standard online. Standards and opinions issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) or the Accounting Principles Board (APB) can be located online.

Step 3:  Purchase a financial accounting textbook. After obtaining a broad base of accounting knowledge, you should begin working out of a college-level textbook. Look for textbooks covering “financial accounting,” which provides the basis for bookkeeping and the preparation of financial statements. Work through this textbook, making sure to work plenty of sample problems.

Step 4:  Take courses in accounting if possible. If you can afford to take formal classes in accounting, you will have an opportunity to learn from an experienced professional. Many community colleges and universities have courses in accounting that you can take to earn a certificate; you can also take courses as a non-matriculated student.

Step 5:  Begin applying your knowledge to your own business if applicable. If you are learning accounting to help you run your own business, apply the concepts you learn to your ongoing business practices. For example, you should make the switch from single-entry to double-entry bookkeeping. Double-entry bookkeeping (in which each journal entry involves both a debit and credit entry) is required for larger companies, and allows for much greater control over financial information. Make sure to also apply areas of knowledge such as cash control procedures.

Step 6:  Obtain a job as a bookkeeper if desired. If you are learning accounting so that you can eventually work as a bookkeeper, you should make yourself aware of job opportunities. You may able to get a job working with an experienced bookkeeper with little prior experience. You can also try to get a job in an administrative assistant position with light bookkeeping responsibilities to build your skills.


Accounting Courses for Professionals

Whether you’re starting your accounting career from scratch or enhancing your skills, our range of courses will develop your knowledge and help you gain recognised qualifications. Accredited courses are available at levels 1 to 4 from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).


1:  Taxation

The client base for freelance accounting in taxation consists of local businesses and individuals. This is very like the “local accountancy business” where you’re serving a range of clients across a broad spectrum of needs.

2:  Business Accounts

Businesses with overflow accounts often seek regular assistance. This type of business usually works best in a city environment, where the demand is higher. You can expect to get a pretty broad range of work in this field.

3:  Individual Financial Accounts

This is also in some cases a form of financial advisory work. Make sure you check any licensing requirements before you provide this type of service. As you can see, the range of clients and the range of work overlaps, but the different types of clients can produce multiple forms of demand for your services. For freelance accountants, this situation can pose a few problems, because of the areas of specialization like tax, where you may be able to offer an accounting service, but not a taxation accounting service.

4:  Projects

Project account work is excellent resume-quality work, and it pays very well. Because project work is highly diversified, it may involve working with a range of elements in accounts administration, particularly in construction and IT projects.

5:  Contracts

Freelance accounting jobs based on contracts are highly variable. You complete specific tasks, often over the life of a business venture.


Entry level freelance accountants after gaining experience of about 2 to 3 years can pursue career as a full time accountant. Enhancing the business by hiring more accountants for you is a viable option as well. Some accountants after few years of successful career break into the field of financial planner or chartered accountant after pursuing the necessary education. Average salary of a freelance accountant is $32,000 annually. However, this depends on the nature of the project undertaken.

Spend the most marketing focus, money and time on what already works.

  • What service line do people initially come for? For example, if you offer bookkeeping and tax services, do you get all of your people first with tax, and then they sign on to bookkeeping? In that case, you want to promote tax. It’s almost a waste of money to promote bookkeeping if every one of your clients comes through the door on tax.

Identify your specialty by geography, industry, or other.

  • When you specialize, it’s like putting a magnet on your website to draw people in. Say 80% of your clients are near where you live in Dallas, although you have a couple of clients in New York. Your marketing specialty becomes: “I serve clients in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.” The people in Dallas will want you because you specialize in Dallas, and people from elsewhere who love your website will still call you.

Distinguish yourself by how you deliver your bookkeeping services.

  • Whether you deliver your services via remote, face-to-face, on the phone, through webinars, or e-accounting, make that a marketing specialty.

What software is your expertise?

  • Do you serve different software applications like QuickBooks versus Peachtree? Or do you know more than one? Make that a marketing specialty.

Define how you charge for your bookkeeping or accounting services.

  • You might be very low-cost, or offer the discount method. You might offer fantastic packages. Define what makes your way of charging unique.


–  Home Office

–  Laptop Computer

–  Financial Software (QuickBooks, M.Y.O.B., etc.)

Whether you’re a former Big Five accountant launching a new career, or trying to make a little extra money on the side, starting a freelance accounting business is a fairly simple process. Because most small businesses don’t retain a full-time bookkeeper, there is never a shortage of work for competent accountants and bookkeepers.

Know your stuff. This goes without saying, but your knowledge of accounting rules and tax laws is what you’re getting paid for. If you’re coming out of retirement, or staring new, take the appropriate classes and attain the proper certifications.

Define your niche. The world is full of freelance accountants, so by targeting a particular industry or type of company, you will become an indispensable business associate to your clients.

Offer flexible services, and do what the other guys don’t. This includes working both on- and off-site, preparing tax documents for small companies, or learning a proprietary or industry-specific software package.

Offer flexible services, and do what the other guys don’t. This includes working both on- and off-site, preparing tax documents for small companies, or learning a proprietary or industry-specific software package.

Network, network, network! Knowing where to find clients is key to making a living. Joining or forming a small business networking group can help with leads.

Harness the power of technology. Thanks to the Internet, you don’t have to be in the same time zone as the client. Not having the client looking over your shoulder can be a nice change of pace.

Disaster-proof your business. Maintain local backup copies of all data, off site copies in both physical (burned DVDs in a safe deposit box) and virtual copies (with one of the online backup services).