June 18, 2018

Freelancing CPAs: What’s the Risk?

freelancing cpas

Please enjoy this sponsored content from Beech Valley Solutions. You can read more their partnership with Accountingfly here.

Freelancing CPAs out-earn salaried employees in 900 fewer hours a year.

That’s 900 hours – I repeat – 900 hours to watch all four hundred plus episodes of Law and Order SVU… twice.

That would still leave you time to start your own side project, raise a family, or travel the world. Or, you could just freelance more and get paid a premium for every hour you work (click here to see what your billable rate would be).

I know, sounds too good to be true… I sound like a second-rate huckster, a pimp, a fraud.

But we’ve done it, and countless others have as well. We’ve started two companies, enjoyed multi-month long vacations, and obtained valuable, new accounting and operational skills.

That’s not to say it wasn’t nerve-wracking walking out of that midtown skyscraper for the last time. It can be difficult to break out of public accounting’s golden handcuffs in the form of salary and employee benefits. It’s so common to feel trapped – a prisoner of your email – all in the name of security.

So, if you’re interested in the financial and lifestyle opportunities allotted by freelancing, but afraid of the uncertainty, ask yourself these three questions.

Are you leaving on good terms?

Were you an average-rated employee? Did you suppress the urge to write an unfiltered farewell email? Yes and Yes?

Well then, your old firm will take you back should you loathe being your own boss. 98% of HR managers said they would rehire former employees in a 2016 survey.

After all, who better to fill your former firm’s CPA shortage than you?

Do you have sufficient savings?

Worried about immediate cash flow after quitting?

This calculator will help you determine how much you should have in emergency funds. It’s based off 6 months of unemployment, which is super aggressive for an in-demand CPA, but conservative nevertheless.

If you have enough in reserves, you should be able to weather this transition period. If you don’t, your PTO payout could suffice.

However, working with Beech Valley, you will generally have a short lag. Just plan your last day to coincide with the start of a Beech Valley consulting project.

You can receive opportunities via email by signing up here.

Are you a living, breathing CPA with public accounting experience?

Consider your days in public as failed entrepreneur insurance.

There’s a shortage of experienced CPAs, so if you absolutely hate freelancing, and you’d rather sell your vital organs than go back to your old firm hat in hand, you still have stable, career-building opportunities.

Opportunities, like:

1) Let your client convince you to work for them full-time.

2) Go back to public accounting at a new firm.

3) Pursue an industry niche, and receive a raise from your past salary.

Just remember, you can make a big league amount of money as a freelancer while taking time off to do whatever you want.

And if you ever get sick of it, you’re better off than you were before. You can check off the proverbial “work for myself” box, and then leverage your experience for a more exciting and lucrative role.

Josh Tarica is a co-founder of Beech Valley Solutions, the premier network that connects CPAs with freelance opportunities in advisory, assurance, and tax. Beech Valley consultants enjoy higher pay for every hour worked, the flexibility to accept or reject projects, and the ability to diversify their skill sets.

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Compensation Watch ’10: The Teasing Continues as News from Deloitte Inches Closer

By now everyone is borderline freaking out due to Deloitte partners’ ability to remain coy throughout this process, using words like “substantial” and “better than last year” which, considering the love shown last year, is ironically accurate.

Annnnnnddd it continues. A source dropped us part of an email from Nick Tommasino, Deloitte’s Chairman and CEO of audit and enterprise risk services:

Understand your compensation package
• Deloitte provides a comprehensive Total Rewards package, which is designed to:
· Attract, retain, motivate, recognize, & reward high-performing talent
· Demonstrate the value of individual contributions as it relates to business performance
• When your individual compensation discussions occur in mid-Aug, keep in mind these main financial components of the Total Rewards package:
· Base salary
· AIP*, aimed at eligible high-performing seniors, managers, & senior managers (Reminder: AIP payouts will be subject to taxation & 401k deductions)
· Rewards & Recognition program, which includes Applause Awards, Outstanding Performance Awards, Promotion Awards, & Service Anniversary Awards
• Key compensation dates include:
· Mid-Aug: Compensation discussions begin
· Sun, Aug 22: New salaries effective
· Thu, Sep 2: Updated compensation statements available on DeloitteNet
· Fri, Sep 3: New base salary & AIP award amounts reflected in pay statements available on DeloitteNet

The motivation behind such a message is subject to interpretation. Some may think this is a friendly reminder (one of several, no doubt) of the upcoming discussions OR it’s a friendly reminder that doubles as a reality check that this isn’t 2005-2006.

Meanwhile, in the consulting part of the house, one commenter is claiming that news is going to be extra good, courtesy of some Punit Renjen prognostication:

Punit said “Compensation will be highest in history” via video for Consulting…

So who knows! The good news is that you will know soon enough but numbers remain a mystery. Unless someone finally coughed up a range. In that case, we strongly encourage that you share.