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The Challenges Faced By Freelance Accountants

From flexible working hours to increased earning potential, there’s no shortage of advantages to being a freelance accountant. You can start with a stint at a business to gain some years of experience or dive straight into solo working as soon as you qualify.

The benefits of being a freelance accountant are balanced by unique challenges that you should be prepared for before setting out. Here, we’ll explore the potential difficulties and how these risks can be mitigated with proper planning.

The Challenges Faced By Freelance Accountants

Sourcing and retaining clients

As a freelancer, you will be solely responsible for sourcing and retaining clients. Expect to invest significant time searching out suitable candidates and marketing yourself, even once you are well-established, and prepare for the rollercoaster of irregular workloads.

Focus on building a strong CV and stockpile case studies as you go to showcase your skills and demonstrate your worth. Seek out online platforms where you can promote your services – there are generic options or sites dedicated to accountants and the wider finance industry.

Organic marketing can be most beneficial when you’re self-employed. Tap into your network to advertise your venture and enquire about potential positions; as they work in associated industries, there’s a high chance of finding relevant roles this way. These contacts can also kick-start word-of-mouth recommendations to get your name out in the local community and online.

Liable for errors

When you are employed by a business to do the books, you are not usually held personally accountable for mistakes. The company shoulders the responsibility of facing legal action and paying resulting fines.

Operating alone means losing this protection – you are liable for errors made. Clients could sue you for incorrect advice leading to financial loss or legal action being taken against them. Considering the devastating impact this could have on a business, accountant’s insurance becomes a key consideration for freelancers as it can help cover costs in the case of a breach of professional duty of care.

Setting up your business

You cannot just wake up one day and start working for yourself. Protective measures put in place by the UK government mean several steps are involved in setting up your business.

Most importantly, you have to set up a limited company or register yourself as a sole trader to ensure that you pay an appropriate amount of tax on your profits. Check if you need to register for VAT and schedule tax payments to ensure you stay ahead.

Remember that you must operate in line with the laws of your regulatory body such as the Associated of Chartered Certified Accountants. You should also be able to prove that you have the necessary qualifications if asked by clients. Consider displaying these prominently online and in your office space.

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