Throughout the United States, the morning commute for millions of full-time workers spans the distance from their living rooms to their kitchen tables. The internet has revolutionized what the daily grind is like for people in a host of occupations and industries. In fact, based on the most recent statistics available, close to 40% of full-time employees perform 100% of their traditional work-related duties from their house, according to Gallup polling. That’s up from an average of just 4% in 2019. Even prior to the coronavirus pandemic, 39% of Americans worked from home at least once per week, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey. That rate has since risen to 77%.
Some of these telecommuting workers are accountants. As with several other positions that have become available — due in part to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic —accounting jobs are increasingly common among firms of all sizes, given the fact that their job responsibilities are easily done remotely. How can you find these accounting jobs? Are they primarily in only certain parts of the country or are these virtual positions available in all 50 states? Are the assignments that accountants perform virtually the same as those who work in a traditional office setting?
What Does a Virtual Accountant Do?
Whether it’s verifying financial transactions, bookkeeping, preparing tax documents, reviewing transactions or preparing statements, accountants are involved in numerous tasks that are largely administrative in nature. The key distinction isn’t what they do, but where they do it from. Through enterprise resource management software, cloud computing and a reliable internet connection, accountants that work remotely can log on from just about anywhere to complete their work. Traditionally, remote work is done from individuals’ homes, mainly because of the convenience and seamlessness of the transition. Home offices may also have other equipment that can help make their jobs easier. For example, if someone needs to have their taxes reviewed or completed, tax preparers might leverage copiers or printers so they can print out what their clients send them electronically.
Here are a few other common duties of accountants, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Suggest ways clients or businesses can reduce costs or improve profits
- Make best-practice recommendations to managers or executives
- Identify potential external and internal risks for fraud
- Assess and evaluate the efficiency of financial operations and decision-making
Given where these duties are conducted, it’s common for employers to seek experienced accountants who are familiar with accounting software and how to use it via cloud computing.
How Much Do Virtual Accounting Jobs Pay?
Just as accountants may be involved in several different tasks on any given day, the salary possibilities are wide-ranging and frequently influenced by accounting experience, not where they’re performed from. On average, an accountant that works part or 100% remotely can see yearly salaries run around $57,525, according to the best estimates of ZipRecruiter. That’s the case nationally. In certain cities, wages can be considerably higher. In California, annual salaries for virtual accounting jobs range between approximately $60,000 and $70,000. For a senior accounting manager that works from home, the average annual salary is $102,700. Again, the location of the job doesn’t affect the rate of pay.
The rate of pay is usually influenced by supply and demand, cost of living, job experience and whether the position is full time or part time.
Where Can You Find Virtual Accounting Jobs?
Given that work situations have changed for so many people and businesses, virtual accounting jobs are available all around the country. Many accounting firms have gone entirely remote. In situations where certain tasks require reviewing receipts, clients and accountants may need to make arrangements to meet or to have documentation sent digitally. Since more businesses are sending receipts via email, receipt collection can often be done without paper ever exchanging hands.
As far as where virtual accounting jobs are located, they’re predominantly in highly populated states, according to BLS data, such as California, Texas, New York and Florida. But in terms of concentration, the list includes the District of Columbia, Colorado, New York, South Dakota and Delaware, respectively.
While BLS’ list is for all general accountants, 99% of accounting firms nationally offer remote work programs, according to a 2018 report from ConvergenceCoaching. Job search websites and remote apps offer job alert functions that allow users to receive notifications when certain virtual accounting jobs become available. These job alerts can be customized based upon location, type of accounting (e.g. public accounting), or if they’re part time or full time.
From coast to coast, employers are placing “join our team” advertisements on websites like Monster and CareerBuilder and holding virtual open houses. This includes 60% of firms who did so during the pandemic, according to a Robert Half survey. Virtual accounting jobs are among them.
The online Master of Accountancy program at the University of Nevada, Reno supplies you with the capabilities that will serve you well in your job search. With a Master of Accountancy degree, you’ll not only learn the fundamentals of tax law, financial analysis and reporting, but gain the combination of soft skills and hard skills that can help you succeed in business and in life. You’ll also discover the variety of roles that you can fill with a master’s, as the certification gives you the freedom to work in a number of different capacities and industries from the accounting experience you’ll acquire. This includes the ability to spend your typical 40-hour workweek from the comfort of your own home.
Contact us today to learn more about how a master’s degree can open doors for you in more ways than you can possibly imagine.