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How to Become a Self Employed Accountant

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Accountants can help individuals and businesses with such things as tax filings and bookkeeping. If you want to work for yourself as an accountant, you can start your own business. You can do this is any state. As a self-employed accountant, you can set your own hours and your own pay rate, and take on as many clients as you want.

Study accounting and earn a college degree in the major. Classes you may be required to take include courses in accounting, finance and business such as managerial accounting, marketing and business finance. This gives you the foundation you need to work as an accountant. While you can earn an advanced degree if you want, a bachelor’s degree is enough to work as an accountant.

Sit for the CPA exam, if you want to earn the Certified Public Accountant designation. The American Institute of CPAs notes that CPAs are trusted business advisors, and this designation can help you land clients for your business. Fees for the exam vary by jurisdiction. Use the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy website to get the application and fee information for your state.

Pick a name for your business, and register with the proper state and local authorities where you reside. To do this, you must pick a business structure such as sole proprietorship or limited liability company. While no typical business structure exists for a self employed accountant, a limited liability company or limited liability partnership is common for new businesses that want to limit personal liability. Your local U.S. Small Business Association can assist you in picking the best business structure, if you have not decided on one yet. You can also use the SBA website ( to find out the licenses and permits you need for the business in your state.

Work out of your home or clients’ homes, or look for office space to lease. If you want to keep costs down, you can opt to work from your own home or clients’ homes. However, it may appear more professional to have your own office space. You can partner with a local real estate agent to look for commercial office space in your price range that you can lease. The SBA may also be able to help you with this part of starting your accounting business.

Open a business checking account so that you will be able to accept and deposit payment from your clients. You can choose any financial institution that you want for your banking needs. Opening deposit amounts vary.

Market your new accounting business to the community. You can do this using a variety of methods. Online advertising, such as Facebook Ads, offers you a way to target online ads to people in your specific local area. You can also advertise in local newspapers or other publications. Also tell friends and family members of your new business and ask them to spread the word to their acquaintances as well. If it is close to tax time, you can market your business by offering a free tax seminar at a local library, which may land you some new clients. Watch for new businesses opening in the area, which may need the services of an accountant. If you see any, you can introduce yourself and offer your services.


Jamie Lisse has been writing professionally since 1997. She has published works with a number of online and print publishers. Her areas of expertise include finance and accounting, travel, entertainment, digital media and technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.

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