Many people who work as accountants are employed by accounting firms or work in a home office. However, there is a growing segment that offers their services as an accounting consultant, helping individuals and companies to improve their finances. They may restructure their reporting, analyze financial data, and ensure the company conforms to regulations. This is a great career choice and anyone who has an accounting degree can pursue this area by using these methods.
Get a Degree in Accounting
Of course, before you can start working as an accounting consultant, you’ll have to graduate from an accounting program. There are numerous ones available that you can attend, either in person or online. For example, UAB online or the University of Alabama-Birmingham Online has an accounting program that offers this degree. This is a great option for adults who may need to earn their degree in their free time or simply want the flexibility of an online schedule. Many people in this field will also take classes in business administration, as this coursework can help you work for yourself.
Get Licensed as a CPA
Depending on the area where you live, you’ll have to become licensed by taking an exam. Each state has a board of accountancy that will have the requirements listed to take the exam. Some states may require that you show proof you are a resident of the state. Other states may let you get by with fewer credit hours if you have had some experience working in this field. When you fill the eligibility requirements, study and take the test. After you’ve passed the test, you can be licensed by the state. Licensing requirements also vary for each state so check the requirements before moving forward.
Open an Office
After you’ve gone through the steps above, you can open your own office. It’s often best to open a home office, which will be a good way to save money. You’ll be able to work as needed and you won’t have to commute, which most people enjoy. When you open the office, decide on your fees, and keep in mind that they’ll need to be low initially. Check the fees in your area to set the range and set yours on the lower end. You can always increase them later.
Network and Advertise
When you’re ready to take on clients, network with other professionals and start to spread word-of-mouth that you are working as an accounting consultant. You can advertise in your area as well, and it’s always a good idea to have a website to attract clients. Try to build on relationships that you already have and be willing to take on even small jobs to build up your client list.
Now that you’ve gone through the steps above, you’re ready to start working as an accounting consultant. It may take some time to have a booming business, so be prepared for initial lean times. However, with some patience, you’ll likely be able to have a busy career and work on a regular basis.