How To Contact Any Firm For A Flex Accounting Position

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As a “Flex CPA”, you’ve got to be a bit of a go-getter. Working in a flex accounting position requires trust. With that trust, comes autonomy and freedom.

People tend to trust self-starters more when it comes to flex arrangements. It helps to display you are the first to jump on the phone or tackle a problem.

If you’re working in a flex accounting position, chances are nobody will be looking over your should saying, “Hey, can you work on X, then Y, then Z and get it to me by 3pm?”

One of the best ways to display this during the interview process is by being a self-starter when it comes to the job search.

Don’t just wait jobs to be posted, go out and start contacting potential employers.

The truth is…

“[There are] millions of openings that never get formally posted. It now accounts for up to 80% of hires, according to some estimates.” [Forbes]

If you’re waiting for a job to be posted, you’re only looking at 20% of the opportunities.

So what do you do if you are looking for a flex accounting position?

1. Build a list

Using LinkedIn, Twitter, and major accounting publications to put together a list of the 15-20 firms you would be interested in working with.

Start with the “Best Accounting Firms to Work For” put out by Accounting Today:

Comb through LinkedIn groups like this one “Top 1% of CPA Firm Practice Owners“.

Hubdoc recently put out a list of the Top 50 Cloud Accountants all across the US.

You can also use Twitter lists like this one called, “Accounting Leaders“.

And any other sources you can think of, get creative!

2. Define your terms

While you shouldn’t immediately say, “I want a 10% raise, brand new laptop, 2 months vacations, and to work 100% remote….”, you should know what you want.

The things should come out during the interview and call stage, rather than in any initial messages.

The truth is, many more firms are hiring for a flex accounting position than you can imagine, even if they never post them.

And of the firms that aren’t currently using flex methods, many would be open to it if they could find a solid hire (like you!)

So define what you want from a flex accounting position because it’s important that you don’t mislead anyone and commit to something you don’t actually want to be involved in.

3. Reach out

Now comes the exciting part, get connected with them! No matter where you found them or their company, LinkedIn is the best place to connect. If you’re looking at a firm with 200 or less people, I always recommend reaching out directly to the CEO or Managing Partner for the entire firm.

While I know this may be awkward at first, it works! If he/she can’t help you directly, they will refer you to an HR or recruiter to work with you and that is an amazing hand off to get. The CEO say, “Hey Recruiter, can you please get in touch with XXX?”.

Money!

I’ve found that two messages work best when connecting via LinkedIn:

Hi [First Name]!

I noticed that we are in a bunch of similar groups and thought it wouldn’t hurt to reach out. Would love to connect here if you’re open to it.

Thanks!

[Your Name]

OR

Hi [First Name]!

I came across your profile and saw you’re in the forward thinking accounting space. I thought it might be interesting for me to connect with you.

Thanks!

[Your Name]

For the first one, you actually have to be in the same group, but you get the picture.

Then, there’s a little-known trick. You can export all your LinkedIn connections and their email address right here.

This is perfect because the best way to connect with them is via a personal email.

Subject Line: Quick question about your company

Hi ,

Good morning!

I’m glad we were able to get connected on LinkedIn! I noticed on your profile that you are a [Enter Title] for [Enter Company]. I am currently doing some research about new age, forward thinking accounting firms and to learn more about your firm.

I am currently a [insert position and a little acount yourself].

If you are interested in discussing, how your calendar look? If not, who do you recommend I talk to?

Thanks,

[NAME]

If they don’t answer send 2-3 follow up emails over a 2 weeks period.

You’ll be shocked at the number of responses.

Once you’re on the call, you can start by just asking them about their firm:

  • How many employees do they have?
  • How long have they been around?
  • What technology do they use for work & team management?
  • Do they have any remote workers or flexible positions? Do they see that increasing over time?
  • And whatever else you’re curious about!

If they mention anything about need new hires or want to go more “Flex”, you can start the conversation from there.

By the very fact that you’ve reached out to them in this manner and have such poignant and thoughtful questions, it shows, you would make a great potential hire over the next random Craigslist applicant.

So what do you think? Are you going to apply for the next positions that happens to be open?

Or are you going to pick the companies where YOU are interested in working and make it happen?

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