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Accountant Self-Employment: Pros and Cons

The Solo Adventure of Being an Accountant in the USA: The Ups, Downs and In-Betweens

Deciding to become self-employed, especially as an accountant, is like signing up for an epic adventure. It's a thrilling quest full of opportunities, challenges, and a fair share of adrenaline rushes. So, buckle up! We're about to embark on a journey to understand the life of a self-employed accountant in the USA.
Just to give you a sense of the landscape, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 1.65 million number wizards (a.k.a accountants and auditors) wandering around in 2022. Of this crowd, about 10% or roughly 160,000, decided to take the path less traveled and become their own bosses!

Money, Money, Money!

Talking about income, an employed versus a self-employed "bean counter" can have a difference as big as Mount Everest. Picture this, the average accountant or auditor was pocketing about $73,560 per year in May 2020. But for the self-employed mavericks? It's like a treasure hunt! Your earnings depend on the number of clients you can charm and the kind of tasks they entrust you with.

Top 3 Reasons for Going Solo

  1. Captain of Your Ship: Many accountants dive into the self-employment sea for the sweet taste of control. Choosing your clients, setting your rates, and having the freedom to work in your pajamas? That's the dream!
  2. Striking Gold: Yes, there's a risk of hitting a few rocks, but the earning potential can be like striking gold when you're self-employed, especially if your clientele is as diverse as a box of assorted chocolates.
  3. Personal Victory Lap: There's a unique sense of fulfillment and achievement in being self-employed. It's like crossing the finish line after a marathon - the exhilaration of building something that's all yours.

Top 3 Reasons for Jumping Back to the 9-5 Life

  1. Steady Paychecks: After the rollercoaster ride of unpredictable income, the calm and steady rhythm of a regular paycheck can feel like a soothing lullaby.
  2. Benefits Galore: Traditional jobs come with a bundle of benefits like health insurance, paid leave, and retirement plans, which self-employed folks often have to figure out on their own. It's like trading in a treasure hunt for a guaranteed gift bag.
  3. Less Juggling: Working for someone else means fewer plates to spin. You won't have to hustle for clients, less paperwork, and fewer headaches trying to decode the latest tax regulations.

The Good, the Bad, and the Self-Employed

The Good

  1. Flexibility: One of the most significant benefits of self-employment is flexibility. You can set your own hours, work from your favorite coffee shop, or even from a hammock on a beach (Wi-Fi permitting!).
  2. You Call the Shots: You're the master of your destiny. You decide who you want to work with and what services you offer. Don't fancy tax returns? No problem, focus on financial planning instead!
  3. Unlimited Earning Potential: As a self-employed accountant, your earnings aren't capped. The more you hustle, the more you earn. It's like an all-you-can-eat buffet, but with money!

The Bad

  1. Income Rollercoaster: Your income as a self-employed accountant can fluctuate like a wild pendulum. One month you're swimming in cash, and the next, you're counting pennies.
  2. DIY Benefits: As a self-employed individual, you miss out on the usual benefits like health insurance, paid sick leave, or a company pension. It's like being at a party but having to bring your own snacks.
  3. Jack of All Trades: As a self-employed accountant, you're wearing all the hats, from CEO to salesperson to office cleaner. It's a lot of responsibility, and no, you can't delegate to the cat.

Embarking on the journey of being a self-employed accountant isn't everyone's cup of tea. It requires a dash of daring, a pinch of entrepreneurial spirit, and a big helping of dedication. But for those who thrive on flexibility and independence, it can be as satisfying as reaching the peak of a challenging mountain climb.