Today’s accountants have an opportunity like no other. For digital nomads to continue their migratory lifestyles, they need your numbers skills. In addition, if you happen to be an Accounting Digital Nomad or want to become one, even better-you’ll better understand the needs of the roaming workforce than someone tethered to a desk in Idaho. You can take advantage of that advantage as a freelancer or small firm startup to attract clients who are digital nomads.
Accounting for digital nomads
Krystal Pino, CPA, PFS, is doing exactly that with her company, Nomad Tax. Pino, as she is known in her communities, started her accounting career at a large firm in the south, but she changed her mind about her corporate path after participating in a year-long program of working abroad in 12 cities. She founded Nomad Tax in 2017 so she could help a community she felt was being underserved by existing tax and accounting consulting services. Now that she runs her own Accounting Digital Nomad accounting business remotely across the world, Pino says she’s happier and more productive than ever before — and is helping others fulfill their dreams. “Starting my business as a digital nomad was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m glad I did it,” Pino said. She wants to demonstrate that people can do this too. It is not difficult. We have fun doing it. If you understand what you are doing, it is a wonderful way of life.”
The birth of the digital nomad community
Though the term “digital nomad” was coined more than 20 years ago by author Tsugio Makimoto (in a book that looks boring and has exactly one Amazon review), the concept was largely considered science fiction until the late 2000s, when a new generation of business professionals entered the the workforce. The worldwide internet and Instagram have enabled millennials to turn their penchant for an adventure into a lucrative business. Our curiosity was piqued: How many Accounting Digital Nomad exist? We haven’t found a clear answer on the internet despite its wisdom, but here are a few sources we found. According to a 2014 survey by oDesk or Upwork or whatever they call themselves, 39% of their freelance client base considers themselves digital nomads. We assume that number has increased in the last five years, but we have no evidence to support that assumption. FlexJobs has no idea how many digital nomads there are either, but it still uncovered some fascinating statistics in a 2018 study. As we read that 70% of digital nomads are women, we wondered if that makes us sexist, and then we gave up and drank some Diet Coke. In addition, 18% of nomads earn more than six figures a year.
Accounting for digital nomads is crucial
It’s no secret: bookkeeping, accounting, and taxes are a major pain in the bidet hole for Accounting Digital Nomad. If you combine multicountry laws, they will have a headache that no amount of Caribbean moonshine, homemade sake, or Eastern Bloc beet wine can cure.
That’s why so many of them are leaving their bookkeeping to professionals like those at a firm that specializes in Accounting Digital Nomad businesses since, well, it’s one of them.
The need for accountants who understand how to meet the needs of Accounting Digital Nomad is on the rise, Pino said. “We founded Nomad Tax so we can help nomads improve their financial outcomes while enjoying the freedom and fun of the nomad lifestyle.”
Advice from nomads is caring
Nomads have been given a community where they can find answers to a range of questions regarding housing, cafes, cheap internet, and finding new clients as a result of the boom of online forums such as Workfrom and Coworker.
Having a community backbone has not only proven invaluable to Pino’s accounting business but also encouraged others to branch out from their desk jobs to start their own businesses.
She says that clients frequently tell her that they have had an accountant for years, but now they want to use us because we understand what this life entails. “We face unique challenges, things that you simply don’t experience if you’ve never lived a life like ours. The people who understand what you do on a daily basis in the community are collaborating and coming together.”