Becoming a Remote Accountant in Pennsylvania

A career in accounting offers you the flexibility to build your business in whatever way works best for you and your family. Whether you choose to work full- or part-time, focus on a niche or be a generalist, work for a company or build your own firm, the demand for accounting assures you that you will be able to develop your career to suit your needs. Here in Pennsylvania, we have a wide variety of industries and a strong economic environment, making it easy to build your accounting business and even work from home. 

Build your business model

Think through your personal needs and desires: How much money do you need to make? How many hours would you like to work? Where do you see yourself in 10 years, 20 years?

Now think through your business model, with these personal goals in mind. Consider:

  • What kind of accounting work do you like to do? For example, do you enjoy bookkeeping, auditing, business compliance, strategic planning, taxes, forensic accounting, payroll, or financial advisory services?
  • What additional training or education might you need? PSTAP offers many courses and seminars to help you build your knowledge and grow your business.
  • Who are your favorite clients? Some examples include small businesses, individuals, gig clients, and particular industries such as legal, health and wellness, manufacturing, entrepreneurs, real estate agencies, construction and contractors, and software and tech companies
  • Do you want to be employed by a company as a remote accountant or do you want to work independently? Or both?
  • How will you set yourself apart from the competition?
  • How will you find clients or advertise?
  • Will you try to brand yourself as a thought leader in your niche? How?
  • What kind of pricing schedule will you offer? You might consider offering different packages for different levels of client need at different price points; a monthly retainer; or customized value-based services, determining what you can offer for what the client is willing to pay.
  • How will you avoid scope creep and work bleeding into personal time? Clear boundaries are necessary here.  

What you need in order to work remotely

Once you have a clear handle on what kind of work you want to do, for whom, and how much, determine what you need in your home office to make sure your client data is safe, you’re in compliance with all regulatory requirements, and you have the right software to interact securely with your clients.

This may include:

  • Dedicated office space, quiet and separate from household activity; outside entrance access that does not enter through the house, if you will receive clients
  • Accounting and bookkeeping technology interfaced with the client
  • Software security systems, regularly updated
  •  Protocols for handling all office documents, such as locked cabinets, never leaving any client information out on your desk, shredding all office papers, even scraps with notes scribbled on them

Network with our PSTAP members. Our accountants have a wealth of experience to help answer any questions you may have while building your remote accounting business. Some may even be looking for extra help preparing returns or growing their own team.