How to become a freelance CA is the next question, for most of you whether to become one is the concern.
The profession of Chartered Accountant is such that you can choose to freelance easily. Rather, before you get placed anywhere, you might get a couple of projects at hand with a network and references.
From my experience, I feel Freelancing as a CA is quite a good option. However, there are plenty of others who don’t continue to be one. The reason is – “not getting enough projects!”
So, how to be a freelance CA is simply how to get a freelance CA projects. Here is all you need to know before starting your CA freelancing career:
To start with CA Freelancing you need a mindset and your “WHY” clear
First things first. You need to make your mindset such that you will need to have a patience before you make your living with freelancing CA projects.
All the freelancing projects, and especially that of CAs are one time and the annual work. The further tasks should be either automated or needs an action directly the next year.
So, the chances are very high that a freelancer CA might get a gig this month, and would be loaded for month. And the very next month you have got nothing at hand.
Hence, it is very crucial to decide why you want to be a freelance CA. If you are sure to cope with these things initially, you will be able to handle the next phase of freelancing.
The WHYs behind choosing freelancing for a CA are:
- You like liberty while working
- You like managing your things by yourself
- You like Time flexibility
- You don’t like commuting daily in time
- You like creating your own success
- You want to start your own firm in the near future
- You don’t like having a boss. But would like to choose a boss.
- You want to start from scratch.
You are your own marketer, own researcher and own employee
The next thing is managing everything by yourself. Once you have decided to be a freelancer, with all your mindset perfectly set. Here is what you actually need to do to be a freelance CA:
Choose a dedicated niche to specialize your CA service
Before starting your Freelance CA service, do fix the specialization. Like, you are an expert of ITR, or GST.
Now you have a dedicated group of audience. Start creating a package of your service. Like, a ITR consultation, ITR for individual, ITR for senior citizens, ITR for Freelancers, ITR for businesses, ITR for government employees and so on.
How specialization will impact your freelancing service?
You will be providing the specialised service better than other CAs.
You will be extending the life time customer support for the specialised service.
Dedicated CA service vs All-in-one CA service
If a company requires consultation regarding their, for instance, ITR, they will prefer to consult a ITR specialized person. Specialized person is more likely to solve the bug faster. And is likely to provide better and feasible solution.
A senior citizen is more likely to take a ITR service from someone who is expert and provides a customized service.
Similarly other group of people who might require only ITR service from a CA, will contact you. And the one who has found bug and his respective placed CA might not be able to serve right, might hire you as a freelance CA.
Start building your portfolio with case-studies
As a fresher, you might not have your own case-studies to showcase. Utilize others’ case-studies to prmote your services. Let your portfolio teach people some CA skills.
The initial phase of a freelancer CA would be to educate people, and build trust. Once you have built your trust by imparting some really valuable information, you have already converted your audience from cold to warm.
Build a portfolio that extends value more than self-promotion. Value in itself is a potential resume.Swati Kadam
Provide insights of CA tools
Start your blog or help people on various forums like Quora, Reddit, and similar more.
Provide insights and solve the problems related to CA tools. This will help you build your network. Also, people will be aware of your knowledge and will acknowledge you as an expert.
Start building your connections and network. It takes time but at last, your connection and list will make you gain the work.
Usually, the freelance sites don’t work for freshers. Rather, the LinkedIn connections or the questioner on Quora is more likely to turn into your client.
Know your potential client
Know who is your potential client and be active where they are active. The conversion rate on such platforms will be higher, but you will need to have patience.
Just knowing your potential client is not enough. Jot down their difficulties and know where you can serve yourself better. Know what will be your Unique Selling Point. And promote your USP to potential clients.
Do not directly start promote your freelancing CA services. First give, give and give them value. Add the value to their financial life. Ease their financial activities. They are your to-be clients.
When you add value, they trust you. Promote when you are sure that you have created an identity and awareness about yourself.
Create a Funnel for your services
Know what all services can you provide and make a package for your services. Package, ideally should be – A Low Ticket Package, A Mid Ticket Package and A High Ticket Package.
Do provide a value at FREE of cost, then promote the low ticket one. The low ticket package will be your top of the funnel, where you will be creating less profit. But make sure to lock your clients by providing them more for the price. This way, they are more likely to convert for your mid-ticket and high ticket services. That’s where your profit and business lies.
Be active on social media
Be active on all the platforms where you think your potential clients are. Answer them, educate them, make them handle the financial niche with more ease. All these factors are your resume.
You never know which post will earn you a client!Swati Kadam
What skills does a Freelance CA should possess?
Now, this goes without saying that, to become any kind of CA, you need to have a basic knowledge of computer applications and software.
Excel / Spreadsheet
For a CA, complete Excel knowledge is a must. Every CA has this. Make yourself stand out from the crowd by providing some sheet software that automates the things.
Excel and Spreadsheets are a layman CA in themselves.Swati Kadam
Generally, the major work of a CA is to maintain the financial record to analyze the data. For all such jobs, you need to be an Excel specialist. More than that, you need to design a function that is way smarter than in-built excel functions.
These smarter functionalities can be created using some third-party software, tools, or coding.
To become a freelance CA, perfect knowledge of Quickbook is a must.
Basically, Quickbook Online Accountant is a cloud-based software which can be accessed anytime and anywhere, you can handle n number of clients using
Quickbook additionally it offers automatic bank updates of your client.
Your accounting is made more efficient and effective via value-added tools offered by Quickbook. Having a flair hand at Quickbook adds value to your portfolio.
PROS of Being a Freelance CA
Being a freelancer you can work anytime anywhere according to your own schedule.
With a full-time CA job, you will need to work within the scheduled time and at the fixed place.
Freelancers are free to choose the type of service they will provide to the client, and also can fix the rate for the offered service.
But the full-time CA needs to complete any task and gets paid in accordance with the company’s policy.
Freelancers are completely free to operate and control their workload. And can undertake the projects according to their capabilities.
But those with full-time can’t operate or control the workload and are fully responsible to complete the issued work.
CONS of Being a Freelance CA
Each one of us is always concerned about Job security. But job security is not part of freelancing.
But, when we talk about full-time CA, job security is completely assured.
One of the difficulty that freelancer’s face is inconsistent projects
For eg., You may receive a good percentage of the project for a month and next month can result in zero-project too.
But full-time CA gets the consistency in their workload.
Reality Check of a Freelancer CA vs a Full-timer CA
Freelancer CA finds it hard at initial stage, but after couple of years, graph of both are completely different.
Lifestyle of a freelancer is independent.
And above all, after 2-3 years, freelancers are happier than the full-timers.
Freelancers refuse to opt for any full-time job opportunities.
Reality Check of a Freelancer CA vs a Start-up Firm
If you consider Freelancing as a risky career. Start-up is riskier. If you are generation 2 and above start-up, then start-up is the best option.
But for first generation, freelancing is the best and the safest option.
Your successful freelancing career in itself would be a startup.
Final Take Away
Hopefully the article answered all that you needed to know about how to become a freelance CA.
You have to start, get your drawbacks, convert your drawbacks into your specialty, learn through your experience, and strive hard until you reach your destination.
Do let us know in the comment below if you have anything besides these covered up points.