What You Should Know Before Becoming an Accounting and Finance Contractor

Working as an accounting or finance contractor can be a big change for many accountants. Here’s what you should expect.

We’ve explored how hard it can be to hire a good accounting or finance contractor. But what about those on the other side of the desk – i.e., current or would-be accounting and finance contractors?

If you’re looking for tips on making your way as an accounting contractor, you’re in luck. The following few tips should help you assess whether it’s time to strike out on your own as an accounting and finance contractor. Plus, they should also give you a better idea of what to expect if you choose to do so.

Expect irregular hours

As an accounting and finance contractor, your workload is contingent on the demands, schedules, and (potential) crises of the companies hiring your services. In short, expect your hours to be fairly erratic. That may at first prove to be a shock to your system – but you will get used to it.

Like many self-employed professionals, you may experience a sort of “feast or famine” work cycle. This means that you may have to work 50 hours one week, and only 10 the next. Try to relax, and enjoy your nights and weekends when you do have them!

…as an accounting and finance contractor, your workload is contingent on the demands, schedules, and (potential) crises of the companies hiring your services. 

Understand that you’re a salesperson

To attract business and establish yourself as a successful accounting and finance contractor, you will need to rely on word of mouth, networking, and social media marketing tactics. Building a pipeline of opportunities for yourself requires that you continuously sell your skills and promote your brand.

In fact, some accounting and finance contractors suggest that the gig essentially entails looking for a new job or contract as often as every three to six months. The trick, however, is to keep selling yourself.

Don’t be a generalist 

As an accounting and finance contractor, you need to specialize. Your financial services clients will want you to have a particular area of focus, so that they can count on you to provide specialized competencies – which their existing staff may lack. Instead of billing yourself as a generalist, be prepared to develop and promote specific skills.

Building a pipeline of opportunities for yourself requires that you continuously sell your skills and promote your brand.

Know that you’ll need to go deep on technical

As an accounting and finance contractor, clients will value you more if you have substantial technical skills. That way, you’ll be in a position to help them keep pace with the market and effectively leverage their business.

Before deciding to take the plunge and become an accounting and finance contractor, make sure you understand what you’re signing up for, and that you’re ready for it, both in terms of expertise and attitude.

Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!