Best Side Hustles for Accountants [2024]: Crunching Numbers, Growing Wealth

MAKE MONEY - SIDE HUSTLES
Earn more as an accountant by exploring new income streams, including bookkeeping, freelance writing, and more.
Updated March 22, 2024
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In a dynamic financial world, accountants can leverage their expertise beyond their day job. Among the top side hustles that we recommend for accountants are bookkeeping services, freelance writing, financial coaching, budgeting planning, and more.

These side hustles can potentially provide an income stream of $23 per hour or more. They typically require as little as five to 10 hours a week, but you can scale them up to work more and earn more.

Let’s dive into the accounting side hustles we recommend to help you determine the best fit for you.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • We recommend various side hustles for accountants, including offering bookkeeping services, writing personal finance content, or providing financial coaching and guidance.
  • You can typically earn $23 per hour or more for a side hustle that utilizes your skills as an accountant.
  • Most accounting side hustles require a minimum time commitment of five to 10 hours per week, but you can scale up as you build a client base.
  • Keep in mind that not every side hustle is worth exploring. Before getting started, consider a gig’s income potential, hours, flexibility, and other factors.

The 5 best side hustles for accountants

  1. Bookkeeper: best for new accountants
  2. Freelance writer: best for intermediate accountants
  3. Financial coach: best for advanced accountants
  4. Budget planner: best for new accountants
  5. Virtual assistant: best for new accountants

Compare the best side hustles for accountants

Side hustle Best for Average pay Time commitment
Bookkeeper New accountants $24/hr 10 to 30 hours/week
Freelance writer Intermediate accountants $23/hr 20 to 40 hours/week
Financial coach Advanced accountants $23/hr 5 to 10 hours/week
Budget planner New accountants $32/hr 10 to 20 hours/week
Virtual Assistant New accountants $24/hr 10 to 30 hours/week   

1. Bookkeeper: Best for new accountants

Pros
  • Flexibility
  • Scalability with the potential for full-time income
  • No specific qualifications needed
Cons
  • Frequent promotion of services is necessary to acquire clients
  • Can become a time-consuming side hustle

Bookkeepers record various companies' financial transactions. While no specific qualifications are required to get started, having a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) degree or similar credentials can enable you to charge higher rates for your services.

Bookkeeping services are similar to accounting. But while bookkeeping focuses on compiling data, accountants analyze and present this information. Some platforms, such as Bookkeepers.com, help you learn and grow your bookkeeping skills in an ever-changing market.

Bookkeepers
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Learn more about the differences between bookkeeping and accounting.

Promoting bookkeeping services

As a bookkeeper, you will need to take a more proactive approach to marketing your services. Unlike a full-time accounting job where work comes to you, bookkeepers offering services must reach out to many businesses to see if they need help in this area. Cold outreach is a common method of acquiring more clients. Some accountants also frequently post on social media and create content to promote their bookkeeping services.

Scaling a bookkeeping side hustle

On average, bookkeepers earn $24 per hour of work and may need to commit to as little as 10 hours a week.

However, with time, you can scale up a bookkeeping side hustle to greatly supplement or even replace your full-time job. If bookkeeping services become your career, you might even consider hiring people to do some of the work and provide them with the necessary training.

2. Freelance writer: Best for intermediate accountants

Pros
  • Steady work from returning clients
  • Opportunity to promote another side hustle
  • Potential for a full-time income
Cons
  • Frequent promotion of services is necessary to acquire clients
  • Pay rates vary tremendously

Freelance writing is a side hustle that can potentially evolve into a full-time career. This path offers the flexibility to work as much or as little as you want, and there’s always the possibility of receiving extra work from existing clients.

Promoting freelance writing services

Acquiring clients as a freelance writer is similar to that of a bookkeeper. You will typically need to send cold pitches to publications. Maintaining an active social media presence can also help you find clients. This includes LinkedIn as one of the best social networks for finding freelance writing clients.

One significant advantage of freelance writing is that you might also be able to promote another side hustle you have. For example, if you write for finance publications, you might be able to include a mention of your bookkeeping services in your bio.

Scaling a freelance writing side hustle

On average, freelance writers make $23 per hour and can expect to work 20 to 40 hours a week. Some freelance writers may charge per word, with rates varying significantly. Some writers earn more than $0.50 per word, while other writers earn roughly $0.05 per word.

If you’re new to the field, you may have to start with lower rates, but having an accounting certification can help you start with higher rates. As you build up writing samples and consistently deliver high-quality work for clients, you can begin charging higher rates.

3. Financial coach: Best for experienced accountants

Pros
  • Recurring income from returning clients
  • Ability to charge higher hourly rates based on services provided
  • Potential for coaching clients to become clients for other services
Cons
  • Marketing via social media, ads, and other channels can be time consuming

Financial coaches guide people to make better decisions with their money, covering areas such as budgeting, planning for retirement, loans, and debt management. Some financial coaching clients may even become recurring customers.

Promoting a financial coach service

Becoming a financial coach typically requires you to look for prospects on your own. Over time, filling up your pipeline with social media posts, a website, outreach, and an online funnel can also become necessary. You don’t have to go all-out with the latest technology, but you do have to present your offer to many people.

Some clients may enjoy working with you enough to use other services you offer. For example, a client may end up purchasing a training course you put together or inquire about your budgeting services. You don’t need to pursue every accounting side hustle available, but it’s nice to know there can be great synergies with your offers.

Scaling a financial coaching side hustle

Financial coaches earn an average of $23 an hour and may need to commit five to 10 hours a week. Some charge $100 or more for a one-hour session, but you should account for the prep time needed for your sessions.

You can schedule these sessions on your calendar with an app like Calendly or Acuity because they can streamline the process with your clients. Both of these tools have free versions that are great for getting started.

Some coaching clients will have sufficient budgets for your continued services, making it possible to make a full-time income in this industry. Additionally, witnessing your clients' financial transformations can be very fulfilling.

4. Budget planner: Best for new accountants

Pros
  • Positive impact on individuals and families
  • Recurring business from returning customers
  • Potential to earn a full-time income
Cons
  • Prospects may have lower budgets
  • Clients may only need your services once

Budget planners assist individuals and families in establishing budgets to reduce financial stress. This is done by helping them manage income, savings, and more to get out of financial hardships or grow wealth for the future.

You can pinpoint unnecessary expenses and suggest different ways to save money. Professionals in this field have the potential to generate a full-time income, but it depends on your marketing efforts.

Explore budgeting basics.

Promoting a budget planning service

You may have to develop a personal brand, a common theme among the highest-paying side hustles. Posting on social media, creating content, and leading people to your email list can help you get more customers. These efforts don’t increase your income initially, but they can pay off in the long run.

Another thing to keep in mind is how much your prospects can pay. Budgeting services attract people who want to keep their expenses low. They may not want to pay a high price for a service designed to minimize their costs. If you continue to promote your services, you can generate enough business and work with great customers.

Scaling a budgeting planning side hustle

Budget planners earn an average of $32 an hour and may commit 10 to 20 hours a week. Scaling this side hustle over time takes time and patience.

Initially, you can start by offering your services to a small group of clients to gain experience. As you build a reputation, word-of-mouth referrals can help expand your client base. To reach a larger audience, consider creating a website or a social media page where you can share budgeting tips and advertise your services.

5. Virtual assistant: Best for new accountant

Pros
  • Opportunity to work on various tasks and sharpen your skills
  • Flexible schedule
  • Stable income if you get a few clients
Cons
  • Some clients may require you to be available at specific times of the day

A virtual assistant performs a wide range of tasks for a client. While the responsibilities can stretch beyond bookkeeping and keeping finances in order, these are often key tasks.

Many virtual assistants end up becoming indispensable for their clients, which means steady payments and income You can even expand your horizons and serve multiple clients who need help with extra tasks.

Learn how to become a virtual assistant.

Promoting a virtual assistant service

Promoting your virtual assistant service is crucial for its success. You can list your services on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, but it’s often better to find your clients on a platform like LinkedIn so you can work directly with them.

Each client has varying requirements, and you might find some that let you work autonomously as long as you get everything done. However, other clients may have strict requirements.

Scaling a virtual assistant side hustle

Virtual assistants earn an average of $24 an hour and need to commit to 10 to 30 hours a week. Scaling a virtual assistant business requires expanding your client base. This could mean serving multiple clients or offering a wider range of services. It’s possible to make a full-time income in this industry while maintaining your own schedule.

However, keep in mind that some clients may need you to be on standby throughout the day, which could limit your scalability. Despite these challenges, a virtual assistant side hustle can grow into a successful business.

How to choose the best side hustle for an accountant

Some side hustles are better than others. Knowing how to differentiate various opportunities can help you find a side hustle that offers personal fulfillment and high earnings growth. These are some of the factors to consider when choosing a side hustle.

1. Earning potential

Accountants take on side hustles to supplement their income. It’s important to assess whether a side hustle has the potential to significantly boost your earnings. Some people share their earnings online, providing insights into what’s working for them. Make sure to research the potential income a side hustle can provide before you start it.

2. Flexibility

Your side hustle won’t initially be your full-time job. Some online gigs offer the flexibility to set your own schedule, provided you meet deadlines and deliverables. For instance, freelance writers can typically choose their workload, which can make it relatively easy to fit this side hustle with a day job.

3. Field alignment

Some side hustles align better with your accounting expertise than others. Staying within your area of expertise can help you work more efficiently and request higher rates. Accounting is a critical profession where mistakes can have financial consequences, so individuals, families, and businesses are often willing to pay more for a certified accountant with several years of experience.

4. Side hustle synergies

Some side hustles complement each other and can yield better results when done together. For example, a financial coach may offer budget planning services to their clients. This synergy can help you stand out when approaching your clients and their needs.

5. Work fulfillment

A side hustle can be a fulfilling experience if you enjoy the work. If you enjoy crunching numbers and analyzing spreadsheets, you can find online gigs that offer that type of work.

However, if you don’t enjoy a side hustle, it can lead to fatigue and burnout, resulting in an early exit from your side hustle. Learning how to make money is an art, and you have to stick with it for the long run to experience solid results.

Accounting side hustles FAQ

What side hustles can accountants do?

Accountants can work on numerous side hustles. The accounting side hustles we recommend can earn you $23 per hour or more and include:

  1. Bookkeeper
  2. Freelance writer
  3. Financial coach
  4. Budget planner
  5. Virtual assistant

What type of accountant gets paid the most?

Accountants' salaries vary, but some of the top-paying opportunities include tax accountants, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), personal financial advisers, forensic accountants, and more.

Does working in accounting or finance pay more?

Finance professionals often receive more compensation than accounting professionals. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the median starting salary for a finance professional is $61,456. However, the median starting salary for accountants is only $53,444.

Best side hustles for accountants: bottom line

As an accountant, you have various side hustles to choose from. This includes bookkeeping, freelance writing, financial coaching, budget planning, and virtual assisting.

When choosing the best accounting side hustle, make sure to assess your schedule, the gig’s earning potential, how much it aligns with your field, and what you enjoy doing before getting started. The side hustles with the most earning potential typically involve marketing yourself and your services.

To explore more gig options, explore our list of the best side hustles.

Methodology

To identify the best side hustles for accountants, we considered a variety of general factors. These included the flexibility of the side hustle, the potential income it could generate, the skills required, and how these skills align with those typically possessed by accountants.

We also took into account the level of commitment required for each side hustle and whether it could be realistically managed alongside a full-time accounting job. Keep in mind that we did not include every available side hustle. Instead, we aimed to deliver a curated list of side hustles that can fit accountants and provide them with supplementary income.

Author Details

Marc Guberti, CPFC Marc Guberti is a Certified Personal Finance Counselor (CPFC) known for his extensive expertise in personal finance matters. With a degree in finance from Fordham University, Marc has written on everything from investing to banks and credit cards for more than five years.

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