You can find a plethora of Freelancing Platforms online to find Accounting Outsourcing jobs. However, I have stuck to 1 Freelancing platform since 2012 and recommend it to everyone looking to start Accounting Outsourcing i.e., UPWORK.
Upwork has its roots in 1998 when Elance (formerly known name) was formed. In 2013, two of the largest online marketplace for freelancers, Elance and Odesk, merged, and they branded the new company Upwork.
Upwork had 7,71,000 active clients hiring talents across the globe in 2021. In addition, over $3.3 Billion of earnings was recorded in 2021 by freelancers worldwide on Upwork.
The Nasdaq-listed Upwork reported $503 Million in earnings for 2021. From the statistics, there is no doubt that Upwork is the leading Freelancing platform for finding Freelancing work.
Accounting Outsourcing is one of the fast-growing categories on Upwork with rising of Cloud Accounting software by clients across the Globe. Moreover, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) remain the same across Globe. Therefore, the rise of Cloud Accounting Software led to more outsourcing of accounting by international clients.
For someone looking for an international opportunity as Accounting Service Provider, Upwork is bliss. Upwork is a structured marketplace. You don’t need to build a website or do digital marketing or social media outreach to get in touch with clients looking to outsource their Accounting. On Upwork, you submit your proposal on Finance, Accounting and Consulting projects posted by international clients.
Unique Features – Upwork Freelancing Platform
Let’s cover the Unique Systems of Upwork that make it the Best Freelancing Platform for Freelancers.
There are two types of jobs on Upwork. Fixed Price and Hourly Jobs.
For Fixed Price Jobs, the client deposits the funds in escrow before you start working on the project. And Funds are released automatically within 14 days from submission of work.
For Hourly Jobs, Upwork charges clients with cards on file for hours worked in the last week when the hours worked are within the contract’s weekly limit.
However, there are specific points you need to keep in mind for getting Payment Protection of Hourly Jobs from Upwork like:
- Always work with clients having payment methods verified already.
- In hourly jobs, always use Upwork Desktop App to log time.
- Get your contract amended for extra weekly hours you will work beyond the contract’s weekly limit etc.
But overall, Upwork has come up with a system in which clients and freelancers both have peace of mind for work execution and payment and have fewer disputes.
Feedback is the backbone of Upwork Marketplace’s success. On each job completion, the client and Freelancer can leave feedback on various aspects to each other. This feedbacks are visible to future clients and freelancers on the profile page, along with the money spent or earned.
For prospective clients, it’s easy to track freelancers’ past performance and award the job confidently to the Freelancer. On the other side, Freelancers can showcase past performances to gain more work on Upwork.
The profile page has many other details helpful for decision-making for clients as well as freelancers. For example, on a client’s profile page, the Freelancer can see not only past feedback and money spent but also the Job award rate percentage and country. These additional details help in judging the genuineness of the client.
Upwork has kept evolving its systems to keep “unnecessary traffic” at bay. Now visualize this from a client’s perspective. When a client posts a job on Upwork and receives 5,000 applications from freelancers, will he be able to find the best talent among that 5,000 applications? It’s Impossible for the client to look at each proposal.
That’s the reason why Upwork introduced the Connects system. As a result, each Freelancer gets a minimal number of “connects” monthly and needs to buy additional connects for applying to more projects on Upwork.
With limited free connects and chargeable additional Connects, freelancers are more conscious of applying on the job. Freelancers will apply only for that job where they think they have a good chance of winning and performing the tasks. And if he finds himself not getting work due to his lack of skills or proposal writing, he will eventually stop applying for more jobs.
In the past, Upwork has also removed profiles getting no work from submitted proposals continuously, mentioning your services seem not in demand at Upwork.
Connects system has created a balance where Upwork charges freelancers a little to apply for jobs to optimize their job selection and proposal writing for success.
Talent Badge System
Upwork has designed various Badges to help Freelancers get highlighted to prospective clients. There are mainly 3 Talent Badges awarded based on different criteria.
First, is Rising Talent, awarded to new freelancers starting on Upwork with 100% complete profiles and compiled with all Upwork Terms of service. There are no income criteria or Job Success Score Criteria.
Second is Top Rated Badge, awarded to Freelancers with 90% or above Job Success Score and $1,000 in earnings in the last 12 months.
Last is the Top Rated Plus Badge, awarded to Freelancers with 90% or above Job Success Score and $10,000 in earnings in the previous 12 months.
Communication is the key to online work. Upwork has facilitated not only messages, calls, and file sharing through the Upwork Platform but also scheduling Zoom meetings and recording with Loom from the work room.
Freelancers can also keep notes like Evernote to list important information from communication with clients like due dates, to-dos, client preferences, project plans, etc.
Misconceptions – Upwork Freelancing Platform
Is Freelancing on Upwork still relevant in 2022?
I have heard these questions since I started coaching for Upwork Success in 2014. Upwork was a good opportunity when I started in 2012; it is still the best platform for getting international clients in Accounting Outsourcing. And I can assure you it will be relevant in 2032 as well because of rising in remote work at the global level.
Upwork has been crowded since the beginning because many Freelancers don’t know how to write proposals. As a result, they usually don’t get any contract awarded and are just present to create the crowd.
If you have the right strategy and implement it consistently, there is no doubt that you will land good long-term clients.
What Types of Jobs are available on the Upwork Platform in Accounting and Consulting Category?
On Upwork, Accounting and Consulting Category has these main sub-categories:
- Accounting & Bookkeeping
- Financial Planning
- Management Consulting Analysis
- Other – Accounting & Consulting
Jobs related to Accounting, Finance, and Management of all sorts, are being posted by clients across Globe. To give some examples of frequent job types:
- Virtual CFO
- Cost Management
- Financial Planning
- All sorts of Excel-related jobs like:
- Calculator and Template in Excel
- Dashboards using Excel
- Excel Automation using Macro
- Excel Charts
- Financial Projections
- Financial Modelling etc
Also, there are other categories and subcategories where you can find Finance and Accounting related jobs like copywriting or Database Management & Administration or Data Analysis and Visualisation. So You can go for those jobs if you have skills in those areas.
Clients from which countries post Jobs on Upwork in Accounting and Consulting Category?
Upwork is the number 1 choice from clients across the globe for getting their work done remotely. Clients from the USA, Canada, and Australia post most jobs on Upwork. Also, the trend of hiring remote workers through Upwork is rising in Singapore, UAE, Europe, and New Zealand.
Which Cloud Accounting software does one needs to learn and from where?
If you want to start Outsourcing Practice as a Freelancer from India to remote clients across Globe, the first step is to learn cloud Accounting Software widely used by clients. Read my article on the 5 Best Cloud Accounting Software for Freelancers from India.
Do Upwork charge fees on Freelancer Earnings?
Yes, Upwork charges Service Fees as under on Freelancer Earnings:
20% on the first $500 from a client,
10% on $500.01 to $10000 and
5% on $10000+
Who can do Freelancing on Upwork in the Accounting Outsourcing area?
If you are a Qualified or Semi Qualified CA or are a Graduate/Master in Accounting, Finance, or Management field, and you possess the conceptual skills in Finance and Accounting area. In that case, you are more than eligible to get success in Freelancing on Upwork.
Is freelancing on Upwork professional misconduct as per the ICAI Code of Ethics?
I can write an extended essay on whether getting work from Upwork is allowed as per the ICAI Code of Ethics, but I will summarise as below.
ICAI has not given clear guidelines on whether a practicing CA can get work from Upwork. And many CAs can’t take advantage of this incredible opportunity to export services as Chartered Accountants. While many other CAs are present in Upwork as their own profile as CA or with the floated entity.
In one of the publications by ICAI, Accounting Process Outsourcing, ICAI has listed Upwork under “Methods/ways to reach to target customers” on page 165.
Lastly, suppose in the future, ICAI will take a stance to disallow CAs from working on Upwork. In that case, it will come out as a guideline (just like in the case of BNI) rather than straight away disqualifying each member participating on Upwork.
Is US CPA Degree or US Taxation Knowledge Required?
Most of the time, I get asked: Do we need to pursue CPA or ACCA or some other additional degree before starting to work for Overseas clients? Or do we need to know the Taxation Laws before we begin bookkeeping? etc
Having skills to perform services like Bookkeeping and Accounting with the knowledge of GAAP is sufficient to start freelancing on Upwork. The clients on Upwork don’t give much weight to a degree when choosing freelancers; instead, the skills and attention to detail or proactive approach are what clients are looking for.
Acquiring an additional degree or skill like taxation would not magically make clients appear for your services.
Does working for Overseas Clients require working at Night time all the time?
The short answer is No. Most clients want to meet Freelancers in their timezone to discuss the project. And Freelancers are free to execute the tasks at their convenience.
However, very few of the clients might have requirements of fixed timezone availability to perform the tasks.
I have already tried Upwork but didn’t get any response from clients; what am I doing wrong?
As I mentioned in FAQ no 1, the right strategy is the key to success.
The Client will never start interacting with you if you write a standard proposal format for each job you apply for.
There needs to be a specific approach in each scenario to write proposals that ensure clients reply to you.
Can a Firm work on Upwork?
Yes, Upwork allows the creation of Agency (Firm) Profiles. With Upwork Agency, you can market and get work for your team. Each team member can be assigned to work on a particular client project without complete control of the Agency profile.
Can I make it big working on Upwork in Accounting Outsourcing?
Once you find the right approach to get new clients on Upwork, and if you continue this simple process continuously, you can definitely make it big on Upwork.
If you browse Upwork as a client, you can easily find Agency in Accounting and Consulting field earning millions. They have constantly tried to get new clients in simple job types like basic bookkeeping.
Upwork is a blessing for Freelancers looking to tap International opportunities. Accounting Outsourcing is one of the growing areas on Upwork. Someone can start on Upwork as an individual and reach to Accounting KPO level. The opportunity is enormous. With Upwork’s unique system enabling a healthy marketplace, Upwork is the best Freelancing Platform to start Accounting Outsourcing.
Watch my FREE webinar on how to start Outsourcing Practice within 90 Days, even if you are starting from scratch with no experience, at https://www.smartcapractice.com/webinar33269112.
View fantastic responses from subscribers sharing their success in Outsourcing Practice at https://www.smartcapractice.com/testimonials-success-stories1625832010056
Feel free to ask your questions on Upwork for Accounting Outsourcing area below in the comments section.
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