Author Topic: Non-Tax CPAs here? What side hustles do you do?  (Read 823 times)

Btag84

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Non-Tax CPAs here? What side hustles do you do?
« on: March 07, 2017, 10:06:44 AM »
Hello,

 I am a CPA in Ohio and I was wondering what kind of side hustles other CPAs do that aren't tax related. I did the typical public accounting stint (6 years in audit) after college and then did SEC Reporting at a large bank and now do technical accounting/policy research at a large utility. I know a common side hustle is doing taxes for people/business, but I don't have that skill set. I know bookkeeping is another option, but I think that's pretty saturated with other low cost providers. I would love to get ideas related to SEC Reporting/Technical Accounting types of work, but I think generally bigger companies are the ones looking for those skills and they usually in-source.

If not a side hustle, are there CPAs out there who do non-tax work on a freelance or independent contractor basis? If so, how did you get into that? I would love to explore more flexible and remote working opportunities in the future and would love feedback or advice. 

SeattleCPA

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Re: Non-Tax CPAs here? What side hustles do you do?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 07:08:44 PM »
Since nobody has responded, can I suggest you think about the tax thing? And more specifically entity returns so like partnerships, Sub S corps, and C corps.

No, no, I did read your post and saw the "no tax expertise" comments... but for entity returns, much of the work is general accounting. (In some forms, like 5471s, you need to use GAAP.) Further, while the low-end 1040 stuff is basically sweat-shop territory if you're not careful, with entity returns and all the accounting behind those returns, you might be surprised at how fast you could ramp up a pretty workable side hustle.

Just an idea.

GeorgeWood

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Re: Non-Tax CPAs here? What side hustles do you do?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2017, 02:13:58 AM »
I'm in a similar position, done my share of audit and transaction advisory work, got my CFA charter and never had anything to do with taxes. Finding a side hustle in this field is not easy.

However, there are plenty of low-cost or even free data vendors out there (I like e.g. Quandl, Calcbench and Intrinio). I enjoy viewing the data like some puzzle: there are a myriad of pieces, I just need to come up with a creative way of combining them to create a new, possibly useful product for others (other auditors, analysts, investors, students, ...) - be it a mobile app, a web service, or something else. You need to be a bit tech savvy of course.

Sorry, that's about as specific an advice as I can offer :)

Cpa Cat

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Re: Non-Tax CPAs here? What side hustles do you do?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2017, 02:17:36 PM »
Business valuations?

CargoBiker

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Re: Non-Tax CPAs here? What side hustles do you do?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2017, 09:58:18 AM »
Business valuations?

I think this task is typically rolled under the umbrella of a business broker.  Not sure if you could get any business for just valuing a business.

Maybe I'm wrong though.

Midwest

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Re: Non-Tax CPAs here? What side hustles do you do?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2017, 10:05:11 AM »
I have both tax and audit background and a business valuation certification.  Be much easier to learn tax than business valuation.  I make $75 - $100 an hour on my side tax clients (only do easy ones on the side).

With regard to bookkeeping.  There are plenty of low cost providers.  There are few, if any, moderately priced skilled providers especially ones with a CPA.  Sell it as a CFO for hire.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Non-Tax CPAs here? What side hustles do you do?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2017, 10:29:28 AM »
Business valuations?

I think this task is typically rolled under the umbrella of a business broker.  Not sure if you could get any business for just valuing a business.

Maybe I'm wrong though.

Brokers often provide the service, but a lot of CPAs also do it. You generally need some kind of certification (ABV through AICPA for CPAs is probably easiest). But a lot of businesses need valuations outside of a broker situation - SBA loans, estate appraisals, divorces, that sort of thing.

But Midwest is probably right. Tax might be easier. But if tax is truly out of the question... ABV where you pick up one or two engagements a year probably fits the bill as a side hustle.

Personally, with CPA side hustles, I think the hardest part is keeping it on the side. If you put yourself out there as a CPA doing tax returns... you're going to get referrals and other inquiries, maybe more than you want. If you get an ABV and start offering appraisals, you're going to have to turn down jobs if it's part time.

Midwest

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Re: Non-Tax CPAs here? What side hustles do you do?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2017, 10:39:21 AM »
Business valuations?

I think this task is typically rolled under the umbrella of a business broker.  Not sure if you could get any business for just valuing a business.

Maybe I'm wrong though.

Brokers often provide the service, but a lot of CPAs also do it. You generally need some kind of certification (ABV through AICPA for CPAs is probably easiest). But a lot of businesses need valuations outside of a broker situation - SBA loans, estate appraisals, divorces, that sort of thing.

But Midwest is probably right. Tax might be easier. But if tax is truly out of the question... ABV where you pick up one or two engagements a year probably fits the bill as a side hustle.

Personally, with CPA side hustles, I think the hardest part is keeping it on the side. If you put yourself out there as a CPA doing tax returns... you're going to get referrals and other inquiries, maybe more than you want. If you get an ABV and start offering appraisals, you're going to have to turn down jobs if it's part time.

CPA Cat - I'll have to disagree with you on the business valuation side -

I have the certification and the experience, but have no interest in side hustling business valuation work nor do I think it's particularly feasible.  I leave that work in the office.  This is coming from someone who has done hundreds of valuations -

Few issues:

Liability is one issue (especially in a divorce/litigation situation).  We have professional liability at work.  I think it's a good idea in this arena.  For a side, hustle I'll pass on a venture needing insurance.

In addition, if you are doing divorce work, you need to be available to testify.  Tough to work that in as a side hustle.  Having a tax background for valuation work is very helpful as well because many of the valuations require tax knowledge.

Clients - Tougher market to break into as a side hustle.

Greenstache

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Re: Non-Tax CPAs here? What side hustles do you do?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2017, 10:52:20 AM »
Given your technical expertise, do you have any experience or interest in teaching CPE?  I'm in public which means moonlighting is banned, but my firm is okay with me teaching CPE externally because the visibility benefits them as well.  I'd recommend getting involved in your state society and using that as a way to find opportunities teaching for both the state society and possibly firms in your area.  It's a lot of work to prepare high quality sessions, but is a great way to really dig into standards that you are either interested in and already know, or ones that you'll be dealing with in the future anyway (rev rec and leases, for example).

Another option would be helping companies with implementation of new standards on a consulting basis - a lot of large nonpublic entities don't have good processes for implementation, and are just starting to realize they need help with rev rec.

CargoBiker

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Re: Non-Tax CPAs here? What side hustles do you do?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2017, 12:29:42 PM »
But a lot of businesses need valuations outside of a broker situation - SBA loans, estate appraisals, divorces, that sort of thing. [/quote[

Ah, ok. Makes sense.   I was thinking valuation as it relates to selling a business.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Non-Tax CPAs here? What side hustles do you do?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2017, 01:19:32 PM »
Given your technical expertise, do you have any experience or interest in teaching CPE?  I'm in public which means moonlighting is banned, but my firm is okay with me teaching CPE externally because the visibility benefits them as well.

On that note - what about writing self-study CPE? That's royalties based, and you have to update/review your courses each year.  I've never had the time to actually write a course, so I'm not sure if the royalties you receive are worth the time commitment. But I suppose if you got an initial portfolio of courses rolling, reviewing to update the information from year to year would become easy enough.

You can basically write about whatever you want - audit or tax or other accounting topics - and don't even have to commit to any live teaching schedule.