Working as an accountant is the diverse range of businesses you encounter and get to work with so it's hard to pin it down.

How much do you make as an accountant with your home office

Start-up cost

$3,000–$6,000

Potential earnings

$20,000–$80,000

Typical fees

$35 and up per hour

Advertising

Membership and active participation in community groups, ads in newspapers and publications for local fundraisers, referrals, possibly your own Web site with tax preparation tips on it as a resource for potential new clients

Qualifications

CPA and some experience with services on which you choose to focus

Equipment needed

Office area, furniture, computer, suite software, printer, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, cell phone is optional but handy

Staff required

No

Hidden costs

Errors and omissions insurance, subscriptions and membership dues, continuing education

What You Do

Th is is a service that virtually everyone needs. Th e challenge is to show potential clients how you can improve their lives by helping them manage their financial affairs better. Th e two major approaches chosen by solo accountants are (1) to work with individuals on tax issues and personal financial planning and (2) to serve the burgeoning small business market with bookkeeping setup, payroll, tax planning, and all the other financial activities that an enterprise requires. You will need to be creative in distinguishing yourself from this rather crowded field. How are your accounting services better than those of the other accountants in town? How can you show an individual that you can serve him better than the big storefront operations that prepare taxes for low fees during the winter and early spring? What You Need

Will you meet clients in your office, or will you travel to their homes or businesses? These decisions will control your start-up costs (which could be as little as $3,000).