Advice: Connect with Other Freelancers

For those of you out there who run their own business, as I do — whether you’re a fellow accountant, bookkeeper, tax preparer… or you freelance (as many of my clients do) in a particular field such as photography, architecture, psychology, acupuncture, consulting, etc. — this advice is for you. Your colleagues are not your competition (even when they technically are).

Networking and building real relationships with people who are in the same field as you is essential — invaluable for so many reasons. You can learn from each other, refer business to each other, and get together to vent so that you don’t feel so alone (as we often do when working on our own).

I have four main work-related facebook groups that I participate in: one for tax preparers, two for QuickBooks ProAdvisors, and one general QuickBooks group. It’s been easy to see which of the other regular contributors fit my style and knowledge level, and when I (or a client of mine) need assistance, I feel comfortable reaching out, knowing they’d do the same for me. A local bookkeeping group has an annual retreat that I recently attended, and I met many others who have the same work ethic as I do. We have overlap in our abilities, but there are some areas where I can see that they’re clearly the resident expert — I can reach out to them or connect a client with them directly if there’s a need I can’t fulfill. It’s been a lifesaver. And lastly, I have three colleagues I meet with in-person a few times a year, just to rehash tax season, vent about new local laws, and enjoy each other’s company. When you don’t work in the office, these types of get-togethers are a wonderful substitute for the camaraderie and connections we would otherwise build on a daily basis.

This article inspired me to write this post, and they make many of the same points I did, but with a slightly different angle and some helpful links. A recommended short read: Hustle&Co – The blog for freelancers, entrepreneurs and other hustlers – Forget Freelance Sites: Connect with Other Freelancers to Find New Jobs

IRS MeF System down for maintenance 7/22 & 8/5

Heads-up for tax preparers — the IRS’s Modernized e-File System will be down for maintenance on Saturday, July 22 and Saturday, August 5.  We will not be able to transmit tax returns or other submissions, get acknowledgements, retrieve state submissions, send state acknowledgements or submit any other service requests during these times.

Source: Modernized e-File System to be down for maintenance | Accounting Today