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If you are thinking about a career in accounting, you may be wondering if it’s possible to work from home in this field. Perhaps you are someone who is already working as an accountant and you are thinking about trying to find a position working from home so you can get away from the office and lower your stress. There are many legitimate reasons for wondering — can accountants work from home?
Many accountants work from home. They can communicate with coworkers via email, video conference, project management software, and other methods. Some accountants also start their own accounting or bookkeeping businesses that they operate out of their homes.
Consider Starting a Home-Based Bookkeeping Business
A great opportunity for many accountants to consider is to start and grow a bookkeeping business working from home. There are many advantages to doing this instead of working for a company to consider.
First, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of being your own boss. You don’t have to answer to anyone – other than your clients, of course. There are no office politics to deal with, and you can even set the thermostat in your home as high or low as you like.
A home-based bookkeeping business has solid earnings potential. How much you earn as a self-employed bookkeeper, of course, depends on a variety of factors, like how good of a job you do and how many clients you take on. To land clients, you need to continually market your business.
You may also be more productive working from home than you would in an office. According to a scientific study conducted by Stanford University, people who work from home are 13 percent more productive than those who work in offices.
Bookkeeper Launch is an online training program that teaches you everything you need to know to start and grow a virtual bookkeeping business. It’s a proven system that gives you a step-by-step blueprint that includes:
- 21st century bookkeeping skills
- Efficient systems
- Marketing strategies to attract quality clients
One of the great things about running your own bookkeeping business is that you don’t need a degree in accounting to do it. Yes, you do need to know how to do bookkeeping work and be familiar with accounting software, but these are skills that can be learned without having to earn a college degree.
Check out Bookkeeper Launch to learn more about this amazing opportunity.
How to Become an Accountant
If working as an accountant in a remote position or as a self-employed bookkeeper working from home sounds good to you, you may be wondering how to get started.
What does it take to break into the accounting field?
It’s possible to get started working as an accountant with an associate’s degree. Many schools – including community colleges and four-year colleges – award associate’s degrees in accounting. Many people with accounting associate’s degrees work as bookkeepers for companies. To advance in the field, it may be necessary to earn a bachelor’s degree.
The most common credential for breaking into the accounting profession is a bachelor’s degree in accounting from a reputable and accredited college or university. After getting a foot in the door as an accountant with a company, you may have to acquire some kind of professional certification to advance in your career. A master’s degree in either accounting, finance, or a related business discipline may also be beneficial.
The certified public account (CPA) designation is one of the most commonly recognized professional accounting certifications. To become a CPA, you have to meet work and education requirements and pass a rigorous exam. Be sure to check with your state to see what the requirements are to become a CPA where you live.
The CPA is not the only professional certification for accountants – there are many others. Just a few include:
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
- Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
- Enrolled Agent (EA)
- Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
- Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP)
It’s also worth repeating that if you decide to strike out on your own and start a virtual bookkeeping business, you don’t need any formal education or professional certifications. All of the bookkeeping skills you need can be learned through self-study, although it is possible to earn the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation to help market your services to potential clients.
Accounting is a very diverse field. In some positions, accountants work as generalists and do many different things. It’s also possible to specialize. A few typical titles and job descriptions include:
Bookkeepers are people who record all transactions a company makes in an accounting system. Since many computerized accounting systems are now online, bookkeepers may be able to work from home entering purchase order information, recording payments, reconciling accounts, and doing other things.
Accounts Payable Specialist
Many large companies and other organizations have a steady stream of bills that come in every single day. The purpose of an accounts payable specialist is to match incoming invoices with purchase orders, enter the information into the accounting system, and then make payments on bills as they come due.
Accounts Receivable Specialist
Similar to accounts payable specialists, some large companies and other organizations have a continual influx of payments from their customers. Accounts receivable specialists are responsible for recording payments in accounting systems and making sure the payments are deposited in bank accounts.
Many large companies and organizations have hundreds – and maybe even thousands – of employees. Because of their size, they need dedicated full-time people to process their payroll.
Auditors are responsible for reviewing an organization’s accounting records to ensure information security and to manage risk. Auditors can be either internal or external. Internal auditors are employed by the companies they audit, while external auditors examine the records of other companies.
Financial analysts are employed by companies and organizations to examine data to help management make sound financial decisions and to plan for the future. Financial analysts may also manage investment portfolios.
Certified Public Accountant
CPAs are considered the “black belts” of the accounting profession. They often work for CPA firms doing various accounting tasks including tax preparation, advising, financial reporting, and other things. CPAs also work for companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and they may also be in business for themselves.
How to Find Remote Accounting Work
Since it’s definitely possible for accountants to work from home, the obvious question now is: How can an accountant find a work-from-home job? There are a couple of options to explore.
The first is to talk to your current employer to see if a work-from-home option is possible. There’s no guarantee that they would agree to it, of course, but it never hurts to ask.
Before you talk to your employer, take some time to investigate ways that you can continue to do all of your work functions from home. Make a list and also include advantages to the company of you working from home. The idea is to present a strong case as to why both you and the company would benefit from a work-at-home arrangement.
If you are unable to sell your current employer on working from home, another possibility is to ask about a flexible position. With this option, you might come in to work 2-3 days a week and work from home the rest. It may be possible to come in more if needed and also work more days from home in some circumstances.
The next way to find remote accounting positions is to sign up for an account on Flexjobs, a website that is dedicated to work-from-home jobs. FlexJobs uses trained researchers to find the best remote work opportunities in many different categories. The idea is to have a one-stop-shop site where people can browse opportunities while avoiding scams and other junk.
FlexJobs does require a paid monthly subscription to participate, but they have a great money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with the jobs you see listed, you can obtain a refund within the first 30 days of signing up.
The Benefits of Working from Home
There are many great benefits of working from home as an accountant. Let’s take a look at just a few of the reasons why working from home beats working at an office.
No More Commute
It’s almost shocking how much time people spend commuting to and from work every day. If you live in a large city, you know how it goes with rush hour traffic and the related stress. You also won’t have to worry about any traffic delays when there’s a car wreck or road construction work.
Another thing to consider with ditching the commute is how much you’ll save on gasoline and wear and tear on your vehicle. Gas isn’t cheap, and the more miles you put on your vehicle, the faster it will wear out.
No More Office Politics
If you work from home, you won’t be working near others. This means you can avoid a great deal of office politics. Differences in opinions and conflicts of interest are minimized because you may have limited or no contact with coworkers.
Working from home is also great for introverts who find working near others draining. When you work from home, you don’t have to worry about making small-talk with coworkers.
You Can Customize Your Work Environment
Do you like to keep the thermostat set at a certain temperature? Maybe you like to play a little soft mood music in the background as you work. Or perhaps you like to enjoy an occasional snack or beverage while working – something that would be prohibited at many offices.
Being able to have your personal office space exactly how you like it is a major advantage of working from home. This can go a long way in helping to reduce stress, increasing personal comfort, and making work feel more enjoyable.
You Can Wear Comfy Clothes
Another great benefit of being an accountant who works from home is that you can dress for comfort. You don’t even have to wear business casual if you don’t want to. Yes, there may be some times when you have to have a video conference meeting with a client and you need to look professional, but much of the time you can wear clothes that are comfortable and convenient.
Another advantage of wearing regular clothes instead of adhering to a corporate dress code is that you may be able to save money on your wardrobe. Professional clothes can be expensive. Instead of spending a lot of money on dressing to impress, you may be able to wear more affordable clothes that are easy to take care of.
No Office Distractions
Another great advantage of working as an accountant from home is that you won’t have to worry about all of the distractions that happen at most offices. This can help you be more productive and have less stress.
No more office distractions means no more coworkers trying to sign you up for the latest multi-level marketing program. It means fewer interruptions and a reduced noise level. It also means less clutter, fewer pointless meetings, and an end to the noise from all of your coworkers’ cell phones.
No Shoes Required
Accountants can definitely work from home. Many employers offer flexible work arrangements that let accountants work remotely by accessing accounting systems online and communicating electronically.
Thanks to FlexJobs, finding an at-home accounting position is definitely possible. Many different types of accounting positions are listed, and you may be able to find one that matches your unique qualifications and experience.
Many people work from home these days – all of the cool kids are doing it. There are also many benefits to working from home – for both you and your employer. It’s possible to be more productive and you can have a more pleasant work environment.