According to a survey conducted by the Freelancers Union, over 53 million individuals across the nation do some type of freelance work — and you don't have to be a creative to hop on board the self-employment bandwagon. The accounting business sector is a great place to go solo, particularly if you do so in one of the top cities for self-employed accountants.
Zen99 analyzed a number of factors to create a list of cities where financial pros might find the best chance of success when going it alone in the accounting business. Topping the list were Toledo, Denver and San Jose. Each of these cities had an average annual salary of over $75,000 for accountants as of 2013, a higher than average percentage of self-employed pros and relatively low health insurance premiums. Toledo and Denver also boasted moderate rental rates compared to other cities. San Jose's rent was higher than the average, but the city had one of the highest pay rates on the list.
To create its list of the best cities for starting your own accounting business, Zen99 focused on four key factors. First, it looked at the earning potential for accountants in each city and how many self-employed accountants were already located in the area. According to Zen99, cities with a high number of self-employed CPAs likely had a demand for the service and a network that could support new entrepreneurs in the accounting business. Zen99 also considered the typical costs of rent and health insurance premiums.
Other cities that made Zen99's top 30 include Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville and St. Louis. Based on the list, it appears that entrepreneurship in the accounting business is a good proposition in large cities across the country. Accounting pros don't have to live in a big city to start their own firm, though. In fact, in smaller areas where large firms aren't abundant, you might find it easier to ascertain your own clients than a CPA position within a corporation.
Location isn't the only factor that leads to success when starting your own accounting firm, though. Passing the CPA exam and having a few years of experience doing accounting work for someone else can also bolster success. Landing clients may also be more challenging than interviewing for CPA jobs. You'll need marketing and interpersonal skills in addition to tax knowledge and accounting know-how.
If you decide that starting your own accounting business is the right move, do your own research before choosing a location. In addition to the factors used by Zen99, consider your personal needs, the needs of your family and whether you have a professional network already built in a specific state or city.
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