The prominence of the “gig economy” includes more independent finance professionals (IFPs). What is the gig economy and what does it mean in the context of the accounting profession?
AICPA® & CIMA® staff members Kyle Hannan, Rosie McKeown and Carl Peterson answer this question in the Go Beyond Disruption podcast "Going 'gig.' Getting started as an independent finance professional.”
The gig economy is growing exponentially
Within the next five years, the gig pool is forecast to take on as much as 20% of the workload. And we’re not just talking about Uber and Doordash.
We discovered in a 2020 survey that 30% of AICPA and CIMA members were considering becoming independent.
Likely spurred by the pandemic, many accountants and finance professionals have been moving into contract work and consultancies. As when working at a temp agency, you can provide a service — from six months to multiple years — from one organization to another. There’s freedom in providing services for a short- or long-term engagement.
Employers also find freedom in contractual work. According to the PWC’s Productivity 2021 and beyond: Five pillars for a better workforce, firms plan to expand their on-demand talent.
In light of the research and the economic trends, we asked AICPA and CIMA members: What are your concerns or reservations about working as an IFP?
Top 5 concerns members shared about self-employment
Finding clients, marketing oneself and setting prices were frequent concerns. For seasoned accountants, the concerns became more nuanced, including: How do I communicate my value to clients?
We reviewed the data and bundled the concerns into five groups:
Being your boss
Clients and brand
We’ve developed a set of resources — IFP essentials: Gig economy guidance and tools — to get accountants working in the U.S. on their way. Accountants in the U.K. and Ireland will soon have guidance; the online offerings are presently being tailored to explain regulations and other important factors specific to Europe.
You can feel confident as a skilled, trained finance professional.
If you want to explore self-employment, go for it! Gig work can lead to work-life balance and financial independence.
We’ll continue to provide resources and tools, including more podcasts, for independent finance professionals. Stay tuned.