How To Make 75% Of Your Annual Accounting Salary, In 3 Months


Last week I talked a about How To Work Two Jobs Without Getting Fired and I got a TON of emails about it!

People want to know more about so many pieces of that story. But one of the main questions was:

Can you really make 75% of an employee’s annual income in just 3 months working accounting busy seasons as a contractor?

Yes. In fact you can make even more!

I’m going to show you an example of a friend of mine who used to be a Big 4 manager. He made $90,000 a year, then quit to start his own company. Along the road, he hit some rough patches and decided to work as a contractor for a busy season.

I was able to help him negotiate a 90/hr rate. Oh by the way, that’s what I’ve been doing at Ten Key Heroes. Helping accounts find jobs as contractors!

Here are the financial details starting with the accounting salary:

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 2.13.08 PM

This same concept applies to any level of accounting work, senior, senior manager, etc.

I know my calculation say ~66,000 and 75%, but we all know how things work in public accounting. Deadlines get pushed back, there are client delays, and what happens? You end up having to work EVEN more!

But, unlike when you’re salaried, every additional hour paid.

Get The CPA: It will help immensely if you want to be a contractor.

He also got all of his travel, room, and food covered by the firm and would be traveling about 70% of the time.

That means he has almost 9 months of the year FREE! Heck, he could just go bum out at the beach and make more than the median household income ($51K) in the US!

As an accountant working in public accounting, you have been gifted an INCREDIBLE opportunity. You can work a small portion of the year and make more than most entire families! So quit complaining!

People wonder, why would the firm do it? It’s actually a lot cheaper than you think.

Most of the money accounting firms make is during busy season. Then the rest of the year, they’re trying to find things for many of there staff members to do. In this scenario they don’t pay benefits (no healthcare, no 401k contributions, minimal training, no internship, etc).

If the guy ends up being a high performing competent contributor, he is almost guaranteed to be asked back the next year!

If you’re interested in getting one of these job, how can you do it? It’s the same process I recommend in my course How To Find Any Accounting Job in 3 Months Or Less!

If you’d like to know more directly from me, or would like help reaching out to a firm, email me at

  • Jennifer

    Anyone who is interested in this, email me at

  • Charmy Añonuevo

    Very interesting article! I’ve thought about going off on my own but not sure where to begin. I currently work at a small cpa firm in NC making 44k with 5k in benefits. We handle 300 clients, 50 payroll clients with 3 people in the firm. So you could say by the end of the season we look like a scene from walking dead leaving the office. My boss refuses to hire or contract anyone so it made think about doing my own thing. I’ve never really even thought about contracting myself but it definitely seem like a great opportunity I would be interested in. I have 2 years of public accounting and 1 year of private in my pocket. I am currently on my way of becoming a cpa. I’ve passed FAR & AUD (in November which was dumb), took REG yesterday, and BEC at the end of this month (another crazy move while in tax season). So you can say I’m a little bit crazy from having no sleep but when I do sleep Mohammad Ali tells me in my dreams; suffer now and be a champion for the rest of your life. I probably read it somewhere and unconsciously dreamt of it but who cares it works. It’s definitely been inspiring and motivational reading this article and How to Work Two Jobs Without Getting Fired. I definitely want to look more into this!

    • TheBeanCountercom

      Charmy – when you’re thinking of making the switch, go ahead and send me an email at You seem like you’d be in a perfect position to be a contractor. It’s one incredible opportunity available to public accountants that doesn’t exist in a lot of other non-seasonal professions out there! Get that CPA, save as much $$ as possible, and take your next calculated risk as soon as you can!

      • Michael R

        I am so interested. I finished the CPA exam this past October and I’m going through my first tax season at a small CPA firm right now. Gotta get my year of supervised experience. I also have about two years of corporate accounting and one year of business operations analysis experience. Would love to do contract work after I get my CPA so that I can pursue other ventures during the off season.

      • Charmy Añonuevo

        Thanks Andrew! You’ll be hearing from me soon!

  • Lifestyle Accountant

    This is great! Thanks for illustrating the possiblity of becoming a contractor accountant. I had thought about this before and thought it would be cool to work hard several months out of the year earning US dollars and then go live like a king in a low cost of living country like Thailand. This contractor type of arrangement is also appealing because it can free up the rest of the year to work on personal projects or make even more money with a side business but allowing to cover one’s annual expenses in a short amount of time. When I was in public accounting, I didn’t like the long hours because it was depressing to calculate my hourly rate, but being paid by the hour is way better and would even be tolerable! And to have expenses covered by the company is nice bonus as well. Curious, based on the Jan – April 15 timeline I would expect your friend was doing tax, or does this apply to audit as well?

    • TheBeanCountercom

      The individual from this post was in audit. Works for both departments and in my experience works well (rate-wise) in Big 4 and other Top 50 accounting firms. You have to shop yourself around as rates vary widely but firm.

  • Lau Vmp

    Is this type of contract work available for auditors or just tax accountants?