Popularized by Uber and AirBnB, the gig economy has grown immensely over the past few years, raking in a workforce from a variety of different industries.
These freelancers, contractors, temps, or “gig” workers, currently make up 34% of the American workforce – expected to grow to 43% by 2020.
The popularity of the internet, advances in technology (in particular mobile banking), and the economic recession, have unlocked the potential for a vast self-employed market. However, the gig economy should not be mistaken for a group of unemployed millennials eager to grab at an opportunity for work in this tough job market. The motivation to join the gig economy is rather due to its greater flexibility, better work-life balance, and higher pay, therefore attracting professionals and experts of all ages.
As the gig economy continues to spread, notable industries jumping on board span from healthcare and education to transportation and computer services. Now, it seems, even the high flying accountants, CPAs and bookkeepers are getting involved.
The accounting and tax industries, which have traditionally been slow to embrace change, are too noticing the benefits of the gig economy. Accounting firms have peak season and low seasons, leaving many CPAs looking for ways to leverage their free time or find flexible working solutions. Therefore, this group of professionals have found the time and ability to apply their skills independently, and where better place to make use of their expertise than the gig economy.
Driven by newer online platforms, CPAs are finding it even easier to dip their toes into this new style of work.
Phlexable, a startup democratizing tax and accounting, has recently launched a new platform that connects experienced financial analysts and accounting professionals with small business owners. Not only is this a foot in the door for CPAs looking for extra work, but it empowers this group of professionals to apply their skills to serve their community’s small businesses.
In fact, despite the 27.9 million small businesses operating in the US, few affordable and credentialed online professional accounting services are within their reach. Now, with Phlexable’s simplified workflow, small businesses and startups can enjoy cost effective accounting services from top-shelf talent. Whether CPAs are wanting to optimize on their spare time, or would merely prefer to work from home, on their own terms, Phlexable provides a seamless platform for communication, file sharing, and final payment.
“Phlexable brings talented CPA, bookkeepers, and financial analysts to the doorstep of small business owners who would otherwise miss out on the unmatched top-tier knowledge and experience offered by our professionals,” said Chad D. Cummings, Founder of Phlexable, in a Press Release. “It also allows credentialed professionals to apply their aptitude and industry experience in a new market, creating a mutually beneficial opportunity,” Chad, 25, added.
The adoption and corresponding growth of the gig economy may have surprised the working world, but there is no doubt that it has created a magnitude of opportunities. It has of course given flexible, freelance workers a leg up, but has also provided smaller companies easy access to a pool of talented and experienced industry professionals.
Uber and Airbnb might have fostered the conversation about the gig economy, but with more industries, such as tax and accounting, offering independent services, it won’t be long till the majority of US workers voluntarily pick up gigs, either as a side job or full-time source of income.