1. Quick Summary
  2. What Are The Best Side Hustles for Accountants?
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. Is it Legal for an Accountant to Have a Side Hustle?
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Accountant Side Hustles are Lucrative

Most people are looking for some extra income, and an accountant is no different. The standard side hustle would probably be doing tax work or tax consulting. But for most accountants, this is already their primary job. What they're looking for is something different.

What Are The Best Side Hustles for Accountants?

Some of the best side hustles for accountants are tutoring for the CPA exam, offering cryptocurrency/eCommerce accounting advice, teaching Excel/QuickBooks, providing budget planning, creating financial resources like templates and eBooks, podcasting, and selling custom spreadsheets or apps.

Key Takeaways

  • Accountants can legally have side hustles by setting up a business entity (LLC, S Corp, etc.) and getting employer approval if applicable.

  • Popular side hustles include online arbitrage, tutoring, cryptocurrency advising, eCommerce accounting, teaching Excel/QuickBooks, budget planning, investment clubs, virtual CFO services, podcasting, creating financial resources, speaking, personal finance YouTube, buying undervalued businesses, developing apps, blogging, online coaching, selling spreadsheets, and working with startups.

  • Side hustles should complement an accountant's expertise without conflicting with their primary job.

Is it Legal for an Accountant to Have a Side Hustle?

It is legal for an accountant to have a side hustle. Ensure you have your side hustle set up as an LLC, S Corporation, DBA for sole proprietors, etc. 

By setting up a legal business, you protect your personal assets. If you work for someone, ensure your employer is fine with your side hustle.

Now that you know it’s legal, let’s get started. There are many side hustles that would complement your profession without conflicting with it. We’ve put together several for you to choose from.

1. Online Arbitrage

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Online arbitrage occurs when you buy products from other online retailers and then sell the merchandise for a higher price.

Some places you could purchase goods are:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • eBay
  • Amazon

You can sell the products on your own website, resell them on eBay or Amazon, or start a store on Etsy.

To maximize your profits, you must discount the products you purchase. Ways and places to find inexpensive goods include signing up for newsletters and looking for sales or clearances on other retailers' websites.

You’ll need to research the best deals by manually sourcing opportunities.

Be sure to look for the hidden gems, if you buy too high, you’ll cut into your profits.

2. Tutoring for the CPA Exam

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A CPA exam is not easy to pass. There are many who want to be CPAs who need help studying for it. You could provide personalized guidance. You also would be able to clarify complex topics.

Based on your expertise and real-world experience, you’ll be able to exclaim complicated concepts.

Develop practice tests and help them manage pre-test jitters.

Preparing for the CPA exam usually takes about one year. This would be a steady income for you. This is especially true if you have several students.

3. Cryptocurrency Advisor

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Cryptocurrency is relatively new to most people. One question most people have is whether they need to pay tax on it or even how to manage it. Whether it is a tax season or not, they'll have to pay a certain fee as a tax.

You can offer your services as a cryptocurrency advisor. Some subjects you can provide advice on include:

  • Cryptocurrency investments
  • Blockchain technology
  • Related taxation

You can offer your insights about market trends and investment risks. How to manage a crypto portfolio is an excellent service to offer.

You'll need to advise on the tax implications of buying and selling crypto. Since this can depend on location, you'll need to stay current with any regulatory changes. You'll also need to understand finance and technology.

4. eCommerce Accounting

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eCommerce businesses can be complex financially. It’s not like the seller is getting a paycheck with an employer W-2 form for taxes.

If the client has a business on Etsy or other third-party platforms they will receive a Form 1099-K for the IRS. This is when the platform reports any income over $600 to the IRS and then sends the form to the client. Many clients don't know what to do with that.

If they don't receive a form because they're selling on their blog, how do they pay taxes? You can help them.

Some services you can offer include:

  • Bookkeeping services
  • Tax management and tax preparation services
  • Financial analysis
  • Financial forecasting
  • Cash flow management
  • Personal finance management
  • Freelance accounting services

The complexities of eCommerce need a specialized accountant. You could make yourself available to these businesses as an expert.

5. Excel and QuickBooks Instructor

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Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet operation system. It can be complicated with all its formulas and formatting. Many small business owners need it but don't know how to use it. Teaching Excel is a service needed and in high demand by these businesses.

You'll need a deep understanding of Excel and be able to teach:

  • Advanced features.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Translating client needs into effective Excel solutions.

You can help small businesses streamline their accounting process by instructing them on how to build Excel sheets. 

Basic accounting is complex for many small businesses. It's often ignored and as a result, businesses fail.

QuickBooks is a complete bookkeeping as well as accounting software system. And although it's not difficult, for those who don't have a lot of knowledge about bookkeeping, it can be difficult to understand.

As an instructor, you could explain QuickBook’s principles and functionality. Its concepts would become more apparent to the client.

A business cannot be run without a bookkeeping system, and QuickBooks could be the answer. And an instructor teaching its ins and outs would be in demand.

6. Budget Planning Services

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Almost all accounting professionals are excellent when it comes to budget planning, so why not provide this as a service to earn some extra money?

Every adult who owns a business or a household needs to manage their finances effectively. This can be done through a budget. But most either avoid making one or don’t know how.

You can set yourself up, promote yourself as a budget service, and help people. You would give personal advice on how to reduce expenses. You’ll do this by examining their finances and helping them determine what is necessary and what can go.

Then, you will develop a budget on an Excel spreadsheet for them to follow. Another aspect of this is helping them download a budgeting app to link with their bank accounts to help them stay on track.

You would be sending the client down the right financial path.

This will require strong analytical and accounting skills and the ability to communicate complex financial subjects. But most of all it needs patience.

7. Investment Club Administrator

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Bringing people together who are interested in the same financial goal helps everyone. They could learn the intricacies of investing. And these investors would have the same interest and pool their resources to make a collective investment. They would split the returns of their investments.

As the leader, you would:

  • Organize meetings.
  • Provide educational resources.
  • Lead discussions on potential investments.
  • Manage the portfolio.

You would need to have a thorough understanding of:

  • Investment strategies.
  • Risk management.
  • An ability to guide and educate members.

You'll be able to share your knowledge and earn a profit not only from members of the group but also from investment profits.

8. Virtual CFO Services

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A virtual chief financial officer (CFO) offers virtual advice that a typical small business couldn’t afford. 

A virtual CFO offers small businesses:

  • High-level financial strategy advice
  • System analysis
  • Decision-making guidance

Virtual CFOs will assist with cash flow management, finance-related decision-making, budgeting and sometimes liaising with financial institutions or investors.

This gives a small business high-level financial help without the expense of hiring a full-time CFO.

You’ll need to have experience in finance and a strategic mindset. It would be helpful if you had great communication skills.

9. Podcast Host

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Starting a podcast can be both a money maker and fun.

A podcast must be knowledgeable about the niche they choose to talk about. With your accounting background, you could easily slip into talking about businesses’ needs or accounting tricks. There’s a range of other topics you can discuss

Besides sharing your own knowledge, you can have guests on the show. Since you have the knowledge, you'll be able to have an intelligent conversation with various experts with whom you interact.

You’ll need to know:

  • Editing
  • Marketing
  • Securing sponsors

To be a financial success, you'll need to build a loyal listenership. This will attract advertisers and sponsors.

10. Financial Resources Creator

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Many people and businesses need tools to help them navigate their finances. As a financial resources creator, you will create and sell:

  • Financial planning templates.
  • Budget planners.
  • eBooks.

You’ll need to understand fundamental financial challenges. Then, create tools to address the client's needs that'll eventually attract clients for sure.

If you are knowledgeable and can present information in a user-friendly and clear manner, this could be a great side hustle.

11. Speaker at Financial Workshops and Seminars

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You have the accounting expertise, so why not share it with people? You can cover various topics like:

  • Basic personal finance.
  • Investment strategies.
  • Corporate finance or tax planning.

You can do this in person or present the material in a webinar. Either way, you'll generate income.

You’ll need to be organized and engaging. A little humor also helps. But don’t try to be a comedian.

The key to becoming a great speaker is practice. Practice repeatedly even if you’re tired of hearing yourself. Practice in front of the mirror or in front of friends and family; but practice often.

12. Personal Finance on YouTube

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Personal finance on YouTube is a big trend. Why not throw your hat in the ring?

You have the knowledge and even if you’re not the most dynamic person, you can still effectively share your information with the public.

YouTube runs ads in all the videos on their platform. They’ll run ads in your video. But you’ll have the opportunity to share the money that YouTube is paid for showing these ads. YouTube will pay you a portion of the proceeds.

There are some requirements you must meet before you’ll be paid. You’ll need to have at least 1,000 subscribers. You’ll also need 4,000 watch hours per year.

If you don’t have a camera, use your smartphone camera to shoot the video. Purchase a microphone to ensure the audio is crisp. There’s nothing worse than a video with bad audio. You’ll want to shoot in an area that’s not cluttered and has good lighting.

I have also shared this method as an excellent way to make a side hustle for teens and therapists too.

13. Buy an Undervalued Business

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An undervalued business is one whose current market price doesn’t accurately reflect its intrinsic value. In other words, it has potential.

As an accountant, you know how to go through the books to see the profit and losses of a company. You can also look out for an inadequate business plan.

There are other factors, but most of them have to do with accounting activities.

Many businesses fail because of inadequate accounting. They experience:

  • Financial instability
  • Cash flow issues
  • Missed opportunities for growth

If you see potential in a business and the owner is selling it low, it might be worth buying. Turning the business around could take work. But as an experienced accountant, you have the tools to make it profitable.

14. Develop Accounting Apps

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Brainstorm some ideas for an app. If it's about accounting, check the competition and ensure it hasn't already been done. If it has, does yours have a twist?

Even if you don't know much about computer programs or app coding, you can build an app with app builder software.

Build one for iOS and Android using an app builder. An app builder has a visual interface that uses a drag-and-drop feature or templates. It helps design, customize, and publicize apps. Some app builders available are:

Once you have your accounting idea or any idea for an app, build it. Then offer it for sale on the Apple Store or Google Play.

With this method, you will be able to build your own business which you can scale however you want in the future.

15. Blogger

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Publishing your accounting knowledge on the internet in the form of a blog can be lucrative. It helps if you can write, but that's not necessary. You can always hire people to write for you, and then you edit it. That way, you know the information is correct.

Google likes people with expertise, and you can show off your credentials on your “About” page.

You’ll need to build your page and have it hosted on the internet. Some companies that provide hosting are:

Some of these will provide you with a template to build your blog.

Once your blog is up and running, you will need to keep track of your views. Google Analytics will do that for you.

Once you have enough views, you can have one of the ad exchanges like Ezoic, run ads on your blog. You will receive a percentage of the ad revenue.

This is a great side hustle to not only earn money but share your knowledge.

I have a passion for writing, you can offer your freelance writing as your service and earn some extra money for yourself.

16. Online Financial Coach

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One-on-one advice on personal finance can be rewarding both personally and financially. Although we're talking about online coaching, you could also do this in person. It depends on how you want to proceed.

You can promote your coaching business if you have a YouTube channel or blog. Even if you don't, you could promote it for free or paid ads on social media.

Although a deep knowledge of finances is imperative, you also must establish trust. This starts with how you promote the coaching business. You can't promise someone they'll get rich, but you can talk about how you can help them turn their finances around.

You’ll need to have empathy and excellent communication skills.

17. Sell Spreadsheets

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Not everyone wants to learn Excel. Some people just want a spreadsheet to work with. If you’re great at making spreadsheets, you can sell them. 

Some spreadsheets you can make include:

  • Budget forms
  • Profit and loss templates
  • Operating statement templates
  • Balance sheets
  • Accounts payable registers
  • Accounts receivable registers

These are all forms that businesses need. A small business would gladly pay to have these spreadsheets made for them.

You're making them, anyway, so why not make a few more and have them make you money?

18. Work with Startups

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One of the most exciting businesses is a startup. The owners are usually full of energy and optimism. But many of them, especially in the technology industry, don't understand accounting.

This is an opportunity to be part of a business from the ground up. You can help them lay the groundwork for the nuts and bolts of the business side of their startup.

You’ll need to be organized and able to communicate well. Remember these are neophytes you’re guiding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Since you can have a side hustle, why not take on one that you’ll enjoy? Many of the side hustles mentioned are both lucrative and fun. We've given you a lot of information about them. But in case you have other questions, we've answered the most frequently asked.

1. Do you need any credentials to teach an accounting online course?

You don’t need to have any special credentials to teach an online course. Your accounting degree is enough. Ensure that you let people know you have one or are a CPA to lend you more credibility in teaching.

2. What is the maximum you can sell before you receive Form 1099-K on Etsy?

The maximum you can sell on Etsy before they report it to the IRS in 2024 is $600. If you go over $600, you will receive Form 1099-K from Etsy to send to the IRS with your tax return.

3. Can you start an accountant side hustle without any money?

You can start some accountant side hustle without any money. If you want to sell spreadsheets and already have the software, you only have to create them to sell. Likewise, online coaching, a personal finance YouTube channel, financial consulting, a virtual CFO, and a budget planning consultant are all side hustles you can start without any cash.

Accountant Side Hustles are Lucrative

Many of the side hustles we mentioned can be fun and lucrative. If you’re going to invest all that time outside of your main gig, it at least better be enjoyable.

If you have an employer, ensure they’re ok with you working a side hustle. Other than that, the sky’s the limit as to what you can do and how much you can make.

Bob Haegele

About the Author

Bob Haegele Bob Haegele

Bob Haegele, your personal finance guru, draws on years of experience to simplify complex financial concepts and offer actionable advice.

Dedicated to helping you achieve financial success, Bob is here to guide you through every step of your journey to financial freedom with expertise in areas such as investing, student loans, and credit cards. His work has appeared on Business Insider,, and other nationally recognized outlets.

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