Stay-at-home accountants: how to get started
Being an accountant: on your own terms.
Accountancy is not only an extremely lucrative career with excellent prospects, it’s also a career that could come with great flexibility – allowing you the opportunity to work from the comfort of your own home. But how can you break into a freelance accountancy role, and make the most out of your skills?
We spoke to Kaplan Financial, one of the UK’s leading providers of accountancy qualifications, to find out the best ways to get started as a stay-at-home accountant:
Get AAT qualified
The first step to becoming a qualified stay-at-home accountant is to start studying.
Providing expert knowledge and enabling you to gain practical accountancy skills first-hand, AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) are the industry leader for accountants, and their great range of qualifications will allow you to start looking for roles as soon as you’ve finished studying.
With over 120,000 members in over 90 countries all over the world, AAT is the UK’s leading professional membership body for accounting staff.
Not only are they globally recognised, they’re also sponsored by professional (and leading) accounting bodies such as CIPFA, ICAEW, CIMA, and ICAS – making them the minimum requirement for any accountant in the UK.
And, with courses to suit all experience levels (from Foundation level straight through to fully Chartered) and the option to study full-time, part-time, or entirely online, there’s an AAT qualification out there to suit everyone.
Gain some accountancy experience
Whilst you don’t necessarily need to have worked in accountancy to become a stay-at-home accountant, gaining some experience in the field will certainly help boost your employability.
A portfolio of experience will not only build your practical skills and knowledge, it’ll also help you stand out to clients – as well as grow your professional network.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to secure a full-time job.
There are a variety of part-time roles, accountancy apprenticeships, and internships that’ll help you learn and apply valuable accountancy knowledge in a practical way – without getting tied down.
Carrying out volunteer work in a finance department, or even doing accounting work for your friends and family, is also a great way to break into the industry.
Don’t overlook the legalities
As you’ll be classed as self-employed, it’s important to ensure you’ve got the legal side covered before you begin.
The steps you’ll have to take to make sure your business adheres to legal standards will differ depending on whether you want to operate as a limited company, a freelancer, a sole trader, or another type of business.
For example, if you decide to register as a limited company, you’ll have your own legal rights and obligations; including tax registration, obtaining the necessary permits, licences, and certificates, opening a business bank account, and more.
It’s also important to make sure your business is insured, and you have access to the relevant accountancy software – with scope to purchase more advanced software, e.g. cloud accounting, as your business grows.
Build a client base
OK, so you’ve got the skills; now it’s time to market them.
Firstly, it’s vital to ensure you have a website set up, which not only demonstrates what you can do, but also shows prospective clients how you’re different. In other words, find your USP, and talk about it.
A number of freelance sites will also allow you to advertise your services, without having your own domain.
Secondly, never underestimate the importance of an online presence. As a stay-at-home accountant, the internet is your best friend.
Whether its accountancy forums, social media groups, or industry events, ongoing communication with other professionals and potential clients in your field is key; not to mention constantly learning about the newest developments and updates within the industry.
And, once you start to build your client base, it’s always a good idea to encourage feedback that’ll help expand your network. In addition to asking anyone you’ve worked with for testimonials to feature on your website, you could also consider offering a referral fee for clients who recommend you to their friends.
Benefits of being a stay-at-home accountant
There are many benefits of being a stay-at-home accountant. Here are a few of the best reasons to get started:
- You’ll be able to be your own boss
- You’ll have a better work-life balance
- You can choose your projects
- You won’t have to commute
- You’ll create your own success
- You’ll be able to work flexibly
Why study with Kaplan Financial?
Whatever study method or course you’re interested in, Kaplan have something for you.
Not only are they one of the UKs most respected course providers, offering industry leading training in accounting and business expertise, they also provide a wide range of different types of learning – including classroom, distance and online learning.
Other benefits of studying with Kaplan Financial include:
- Exceptional pass rates across all of their courses
- Interest free payment plans
- 70+ years training accountants
- Prices inclusive of exams and study materials
- Industry leading support – whether online, or in class
- World recognised qualifications, and endorsements from some of the UKs biggest businesses (including all of the top 10 accounting firms)
Ready to start studying? Find an AAT course with Kaplan today.
Kaplan Financial are the UK leader in financial, accountancy and business training. Their mission is to help individuals achieve their goals and realise their potential.