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The Rise of the Freelance Accountant – and how it’s changing the industry

The Rise of the Freelance Accountant – and how it’s changing the industry



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min read

The Rise of the Freelance Accountant – and how it’s changing the industry

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic further encouraged a trend that had been developing for some years – working on a freelance basis. Young professionals, particularly, but also older workers, are increasingly looking for the freedom to enjoy a better work/life balance.  


One that is tilted towards enabling people to work when they choose and from a place that is convenient to them. That usually means from a home office, but could just as equally be from a caravan on a mountain or sitting at the beach. The growth in freelance work has been called the Industrial Revolution of our times, as people leave the traditional workplace.  


Younger professionals who are fully comfortable with technological changes are in a strong position to dictate terms as freelancers. The ability to adapt to new technology in the accounting trade gives them a powerful advantage. In the accountancy business, it is not a secret that some firms will keep to old-fashioned ways of operating. They stop talented members of the company from rising by making them wait for relatively long period for partnership. This has been known to be 10 years or more.  

It is precisely this kind of inflexibility that prompts ambitious young accountants to leave this culture behind and strike out on their own where they can advance at their own pace.  


Advantages for accountant freelancers

There are other advantages for freelancers, of course, including: 

  • Working in newer and different areas and types of projects 
  • Not being stuck in an archaic organisational setup 
  • Having time for other activities, such as studying for a higher qualification 
  • Not having a boss breathing done your neck in the office 


Disadvantages for accountant freelancers

There are disadvantages as well, of course: 

  • Not receiving a regular salary 
  • No job security/fees not being paid on time/having to chase firms for payments in arrears 
  • No health/unemployment insurance/pension payments by an employer 

Freelance accountants - what this means for employers  

For employers, there are also very strong advantages:  

  • They don’t need to train staff, but simply employ workers who already have the desired skillset 
  • Companies can save on office space and associated costs 
  • Firms can attract employees who are looking for exactly this kind of working relationship 
  • They can employ core workers and leadership talent, while employing freelancers for the rest of their needs or for very specific tasks 


What are the disadvantages for employers? 

  • The trust gap cannot be avoided. What do employers tell clients if the freelancer is ill and there is no-one to replace him? 
  • How do you safely provide an external supplier with access to internal computer systems? 
  • A big talent pool is required to be able to cover all eventualities; that can mean the need to pay retainers to many freelancers in order to be able to call upon them if unexpectedly needed 


Use this link to find out if you are suited to the life of a freelancer. Good luck! 

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