In Pursuit of Profit
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Gig work can trace its origins to before the creation of the internet. However, over the last decade companies like Uber and Lyft have steadily led the push in the mass acceptance of the gig economy. In 2020 as lockdowns swept the nation, hundreds of thousands of new gig jobs became available virtually overnight thanks to Amazon, DoorDash, Grubhub, Instacart, and Shipt. The pandemic accelerated a shift that was already well on its way to becoming the next big trend in work.
But the quickly burgeoning gig economy was not isolated to takeout and grocery delivery. Professional gig work also grew exponentially as workers were laid off and left their traditional office jobs to manage personal responsibilities. According to a Harvard Business Review article on Thriving in the Gig Economy,
Approximately 150 million workers in North America and Western Europe have left the relatively stable confines of organizational life — sometimes by choice, sometimes not — to work as independent contractors. Some of this growth reflects the emergence of ride-hailing and task-oriented service platforms, but a recent report by McKinsey found that knowledge-intensive industries and creative occupations are the largest and fastest-growing segments of the freelance economy.
Careers in accounting have been no exception. The accounting gig economy that had once been mainly focused on tax preparation shifted as well, to encompass broader accounting offerings to support small to mid-sized companies with the full range of their accounting and bookkeeping activities. Freelance accounting became more popular than ever during The Great Resignation as accountants took their specialized knowledge and pursued fractional accounting gigs at established accounting companies or went out on their own to provide accounting services. Therefore, while it was born a number of years before, we have really seen the bookkeeping and accounting gig economy come of age over the last two years.
For Companies: Hiring a Freelance Accountant
Hiring a freelancer is becoming more common as outsourced accounting services grow in popularity. So, what do you need to know about hiring freelance accountant?
Just like any other hire, you need to know that whoever is doing work on behalf of your company is both knowledgeable and also trustworthy. Whether you are hiring for an in-house role, hiring a fractional accountant, or going the freelancer route, the accountant managing your books should have:
Remember, accurate and timely financials are critical to the viability of a business. Do not trust your books to just anyone.
If you have a credible professional recommendation for a freelance accountant, that person may be a good fit for your company. However, in most cases it is typically safest and most effective to lean on an established accounting company to provide a fractional accountant to perform your accounting functions because these types of providers are more likely to have the kinds of precautions in place to protect you against bad actors. Additionally, an accounting services provider is more likely provide higher-level accounting help as well as tailor a platform-agnostic solution to fit your specific needs instead of applying a one-size-fits-all approach. As our team recently explained, when discussing bookkeeping software and services,
Accounting businesses employ highly experienced accountants, controllers, and CFOs that are capable of carrying out more consulting-type advisory work and advanced accounting functions. A reputable accounting organization can provide local knowledge on taxation, compliance assistance, industry-specific experience, multi-platform knowledge, in-depth financial insight, and on-site assistance (where needed). For these reasons, leaning on a respected accounting organization is likely going to be a better option when you want to outsource your accounting activities or need accounting consulting.
If you are looking to outsource your accounting functions, we can provide the accounting services needed to keep your business growing.
For more information related to hiring a freelancer versus finding an accounting company, please visit our article:
For Accountants: Accepting Accounting Gigs
“To go out on your own or join a team of freelancers?” – that is the question!
However, the difference between freelancing on your own and freelancing under the umbrella of an accounting services provider is not merely logistical, it is also sales-related. Much like a doctor may choose to be in private practice or join an established office, an accountant with an entrepreneurial spirit can form their own company. However, starting your own company means you are also in charge of client acquisition, also known as “sales.” (Gasp!) If you have a lot of contacts to draw on, getting your name out there to find new business may not be difficult. But one of the biggest barriers that accounting freelancers face in new client acquisition is proving their experience-level and trustworthiness. This is another area where operating through another provider offers a huge benefit because working with an established accounting company gives you legitimacy. It also ensures that you will be surrounded by a team of skilled accountants to learn from and have access to a network of helpful resources to do your best work.
If you want to find accounting gig work, please submit your resume for consideration.
For more information on how to create a LinkedIn profile that will get you gig work, please visit our article: