Are YOU Ready to Work at Home?

2 in 3 CPAs call it "great!." How do they do it? Join the survey, get the answers.

by Rick Telberg

The dog may be barking in the yard, the kids screaming upstairs and the spouse bugging you. But, what the heck, you're working from home and the odds are you love it.

Two thirds of CPAs who work from home classify the experience as "great!" – whether they're running full-time practices, side businesses or handling overflow from their office day jobs,

Just the same, they're also quick to warn that not everyone is cut out to conduct business in the bosom of their families. Most of the tales that work-at-home CPAs reveal in a CPA Trendlines study could serve as scripts for happy situation comedies, but some also have the makings of high drama.

"I get to see my family a lot and my clients enjoy coming to see me," beams W. Dale Keown, who runs a practice out of his home in Mauldin, S.C. Talk about the setting for a happy television show: "My wife works with me and we don't have to leave our home to fight traffic to go to an office." And, "my overhead is less."

Herbert V. Morrison, an at-home sole practitioner in Farmington Hills, Mich., also describes a work life that could be fodder for an "I Love Lucy 2008" TV series: "No commuting, cut down on my gas bill, can wear anything, no overhead expense and I can work late at home without feeling guilty because I'm on time for dinner every night. My wife loves that."

Like anything at which you want to be good at and enjoy, dabbling is not recommended for at-home workers. CPAs who work the most hours at home also tend to rate the experience more favorably.

More than 80 percent of those working at least 35 hours per week at home rate their experience as "great," compared to "great" ratings from 53% of those working 5 to 10 hours at home.

Douglas Berry, a principal with the SVA Consulting affiliate of the super-regional Suby, Von Haden & Associates, who occasionally brings work home, gives his experience only an okay rating.

Rather than a situation comedy, he sees some high drama elements: "Working at home can be more stressful than at the office due to increased distractions and fewer resources nearby-including co-workers and technology support."

Gerald Mayerhoff, who runs a practice at his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home, counts not having to commute and being able to see the kids when they return from school among his blessings. The negatives for him include too many distractions and "the spouse peeking too much at what I'm doing and giving opinions, such as "why are you working on that client?'"

.Copyright 2008-2012 BSG LLC. All Rights Reserved. First published by the AICPA.



9 Responses to “Are YOU Ready to Work at Home?”

  1. leigh bautista

    How can i be part of your company :( I wanna earn from home. Thanks

  2. Future Professional

    You’re all my heroes… mind giving me a good idea of what you can make annual working from home?

  3. Molli

    Great stuff, been browsing around and found it all enjoyable. Selah

  4. Michelle Briggs, MOM, CPA

    I’ve been working out of my home for 10 years and I love it. It takes a lot of sacrifice and discipline and a very supportive husband, but I have all of that so it works. I have 3 little boys, 6, 4 and 3 years old. It’s been a lot to juggle, but I’m always home and I thank God for nap time! My clients all know the best times to call and in a few years it will be a whole lot easier, but it’s been so worth it.

    There were the times when clients were coming to my house and my boys were acting very much like little boys (let your imagination run with that) and my husband would just smile and say, “Don’t worry Michelle, it humanizes you.” I guess he was right because my clients have always thought my boys were great. Did I mention that all my business owners are men!

    That’s all o.k. because I don’t mind matchbox cars on my conference table… :)

  5. Mike Selen

    Been doing it since 2002. The only way to fly.

  6. samuel b galloway

    i am not ready to retire yet- see comment above- but just thinking down the road. what i see in my clinets is that most do not want to retire all togehter but instaed want to cut back and have more free time as they get older. job sharing, senior consulting, etc – society needs to take advantage of us old farts experience.

  7. Samuel B. Galloway, Jr.

    OK. A friend of mine storage devices to radiologists says now there are organizations who will hire radiologists to read exrays from home say in fla for patients of a hospital in rural Oklahoma etc.

    So how about us older CPAs. Suppose I wanted to semi retire? Is there a clearing house where I could for instance review a tax return online for a cpa firm across the country who is over laoded?

  8. Thomas W. Cate, CPA

    Golly, how many years does it take for our profession to learn about closing the formal office, working from home, and working while also watching today’s Sudden Death U.S. Open Playoff today.

    I’ve been doing it since 1991. I must be a pioneer. Or maybe just an old Fart, and I haven’t worn a dress shirt and tie for even one day during those 17 years.

  9. Chad Bordeaux

    I for one could never work from home. I would get absolutely nothing done. My wife on the other hand worked from home for about 8 years and built an extremely successful practice that way. More power to those that can.

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