6 Vital Qualities you Must Have to be a Self-Employed Accounting Professional

Deciding to create your own path as an accounting professional by working for yourself can be greatly rewarding. Having the freedom to dictate your schedule and workload are many people’s dream jobs. However, starting your own practice or working as a freelancer can be an intimidating lifestyle change for a lot of people. There are many qualities that you must possess to thrive in this environment. Here are a few traits all self-employed accounting professionals have:

1 Forethought

Have an end goal in mind. It’s up to you to decide what  your professional life looks like. Have specific and measurable goals that you can achieve on a realistic timeline. What kind of clients do you want to work with? How many clients can your current workload handle? By what time do you want to accomplish this?

You also need to anticipate risks. Run background checks on all prospective clients to make sure they have legitimate businesses. Have a fallback plan and safety net in place just in case you have a worst-case scenario. Protect yourself financially and legally and keep up with your certifications and education.

2 Determination

To be self-employed, you need to have a hunger for self-sufficiency. You will likely have to put in a lot of extra hours and resources to solidify yourself as a reputable accounting professional. Not everyone can thrive in this environment. It takes a truly motivated person to create a secure, respectable brand that can provide for yourself and your family. To work for yourself, you must carve that path out on your own steam.

However, we live in a time where much of the legwork can be done in the cloud, and branding can be accomplished through resources like social media. It takes dedication to achieve security while self-employed, but it can be done with the right outlook.

3 Organization 

If you are a naturally organized person, it is much easier to be your own boss than if you need to spend extra effort on organization. However, there are tools like Aero Workflow to help you keep track of your work. If you have a system that works for you, your chance of succeeding in a self-employed environment is much greater. You can even use multiple resources to help streamline your workload, but make sure you keep track of everything. It’s easy to let deadlines and documents slip through the cracks, so it behooves you to use all the resources that are available to you.

4 Know When to Ask for Help

To succeed as your own boss, know when to ask for help. Be aware of your own limitations, whether they are professional limits or time constraints. You can hire freelancers to write blog posts for your website, hire part time employees, etc. Once you get overwhelmed, your quality of work has a greater chance of slipping. One of the important things to keep in mind is that you can’t do it all – nor do you have to! Investing in professional help in an investment in yourself.

5 Scope of Services

Know what services you are qualified to provide for your clients. Make sure you have the scope of your services available to clients in a way they can understand. Don’t be tempted to offer services outside of your scope just because it means you could have more clients. Focus on services you can do well, and then find clients who need those services rendered. This leads us to the final point in this post:

6.Right Client Fit

Not every potential client is going to be a good fit for your practice or work. It might be the wrong kind of business, or your personalities just might not gel. Don’t feel like you absolutely must do work for every client who comes knocking on your door. At the end of the day, high quality clients that fit in your niche are superior to large numbers of low quality clients.

While these are very important aspects of self-employment as an accounting professional, it’s hardly the entire list. Working for yourself isn’t for everyone, but it can be tremendously rewarding. If you’re thinking of starting your own practice, doing freelance ProAdvisor work, or something similar, take into consideration what your vision for the future looks like.

Don’t let the workload deter you from self-employment if it’s what you really want. Many people succeed and even thrive being self-employed. Take precautions to protect your personal finances and thoroughly research clients and you should be okay.

You don’t have to be alone in this journey! If you need help with workflow analysis, implementing software, or productivity solutions training, you can contact Think Leader for your consulting needs.