Table of Contents
- Tax Consultation
- Forensic Accounting
Doing a side hustle, in other words, doing an extra bit of work for that extra bit of cash is something a lot of people consider, but often don’t end up doing. And “hustling”, does not have the nefarious connotations it once used to have. What it is looked at as these days is an attempt at entrepreneurship. This is assuming that you do not work in public accounting, because you would want to avoid that clash. However, you may want to make things clear with your employer beforehand, so as to avoid any work clashes later. You never know though, your side-hustle gigs might soon start making you more income than your regular job and you might consider taking it up full time!
Let us take a look at some of the side hustles accountants may want to consider.
This is one of the easiest and the most natural side hustles accountants can do. After all, all corporations, medium or small are dependent on good bookkeeping, and it is not an exaggeration when one says that it is the one thing that holds the economy together. If you are great with numbers and have considerable organizational skills, bookkeeping is something that you must consider as a side hustle, because the supplement income it would provide is superb.
In general, bookkeeping is a skill set which will never go out of fashion, and it is not a very difficult skill to learn. But of course, if you are an accountant, it would come naturally to you. You can start off by working for friends, family and coworkers at heavily discounted rates, to build your reputation. You can start for as low as $20 an hour, but you will be pleased to know that the rates only go up as you have established your credentials. Bookkeeping side hustles can earn you as much as $60-$180 an hour.
At the minimum, you should be well versed in all the modern accounting practices and principles, reacquaint yourself with tax laws and so on. You should also concentrate on your niches, whether you want to concentrate on specific kinds of business. It may also be a good idea to set yourself up as a limited liability company (LLC) if you are serious about this venture and it will come in handy if you decide to hire a few employees later on. And while you are at it, taking out an insurance policy for this newly-formed business would also help you in the long run.
Once you have done the preliminaries, you should invest in some home-office hardware, such as a couple of dedicated computers and backup storage. You could also invest in some great bookkeeping software such as Quickbooks Enterprise or Freshbooks.
Once some word has gone around about your bookkeeping skills, you can start paying more attention to marketing your budding business. The best way to do this is word-of-mouth and keeping in touch with small and big business firm owners and accounting firms. You can also promote yourself using social media networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for a larger outreach.
Almost nobody likes doing their taxes. For the most of us, the tax filing times are the most harrowing times of the year when you are nervous because a lot of things can go wrong while filing your taxes. The presence of loads of forms can be very confusing indeed, and it is not uncommon for people to leave some fields blank and then later be yelled at by the accounts department. And those are the times when they think there was someone around to help them out.
This is where your expertise would come in handy because seeing and dealing with numbers is a part of your job anyway.
Usually, these types of requirements crop up around the tax filing season. Though this is only feasible because work during this season soars and you will hardly have time for your other job. The trick here would be to keep the hours low at tax season and keep a schedule that is manageable and one that keeps you busy during off the season. These kind of jobs are lucrative and pay as much as $50-$75 an hour, and there is no dearth of clients once the word has spread.
A good idea would be to start off with tax filing companies such as Turbotax. While the pay isn’t as good as you would expect, it is a work-from-home opportunity and a great idea to get a feel for the inner workings of how a tax consultant works. Since most people don’t like doing this on their own, you can start by offering your services to friends and family at a low cost and then let the word spread. It is also a good idea to promote your services a couple of months before January.
You can start by first brushing up your own skill set by analyzing and scrutinizing information from financial documents such as mortgage rate interest statements, wages and so on. You can also get your credentials by clearing the Certified Public Accountant and enrolled agent exams, and gain experience by serving as an accountant for an audit or accounting firm.
Auditing is examining an individual’s or an organization’s financial records to ascertain if they are in accordance with the laws and regulations and to see if they are accurate. Auditors are individuals who are not from the organization and are called to inspect the financial records as well as accounting of that particular organization and dispense an individual opinion on books of the business.
There are internal auditors as well, who are employees of that organization and assist in improving internal processes such as governance, risk management and operations.
As an auditor, you will find work in many industries such as healthcare, education, technology, non-profit, retail, insurance and many others. Auditors are highly sought after and are paid high remunerations. While starting, you can make as much as $45, which can go up as you gain experience.
You will need a bachelor’s degree in business in any of the subjects such as accounting, data analytics, business, economics or any of the related subjects. You will also be required to have a good understanding of accounting principles. Having another qualification in data analytics would be a definite plus. Also, staying abreast with the latest financial and business news will also develop your knowledge in these fields and help you keep track of the latest trends.
Apart from this, you will also need to work on your interpersonal, analytical, mathematics, organizational and communication skills. Also, you will also be required to maintain your connections and allow your professional network to grow.
Interning at a public accounting firm in your formative years also helps. While the CPA license is not really required, many firms insist that their employees acquire one. After you have acquired your CPA, you will be required to engage in continuing professional education (CPE) every year. You will also need to prepare a really strong resume which highlights your qualities as an auditor.
This is a rapidly growing area, with an element of detective work, and is slowly gaining popularity in the world of accounting. And these detective jobs are related to revealing financial truths. Forensic accountants work with government, law and banking agencies to uncover fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.
Forensic accountants help uncover irregularities that may help uncover major fraud and criminal activities, assist in legal proceedings and serve as witnesses in courtrooms. This is a highly valued and lucrative job that can fetch you upwards of $40-$75 an hour.
One needs a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting or business, while sometimes a certification in advanced coursework in criminal investigation or fraud is required. You would also be required to have knowledge in criminology and detection of questionable practices. There are many colleges that offer a degree in forensic accounting. You should also be able to operate computer software and hardware to analyze financial information, be skilled in online research and various database management systems.
Other important requirements are your integrity and honesty, and you would be required to pass background checks and security clearances. You would also need to be up-to-date with the advancement of the latest technologies that help in combating fraudulent activities.
The many potential places that a forensic accountant can find work are law enforcement, small and mid-sized businesses, state and local government agencies (these may include the Internal Revenue Service, the Central Investigation Agency or the Federal Bureau of Investigation). Forensic accountants are also hired privately. If you have been already been doing audits for a number of years (3 years required), you are already a good fit for the role.
Let’s be clear; your side hustle is your second source of income. Also, a side hustle usually means that you will be gaining new skills and it will help you achieve new freedom. As long as you can balance your time between your regular job and your side hustle, you are golden. As we said earlier, always make things clear with your higher ups before you start your hustle if you are in any doubt.