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CPA Now Enjoys Working From Home After Being Away From Family For Almost 10 Years

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We need to work. (Unless you have a business or you’re born with a silver spoon.)

And we certainly need money.

Di pwedeng tambay lang. Kung hindi, nganga kayong lahat.

And this might mean working away from home and family — which has become a necessity for many.

If you have your own family, it’s difficult.

Because you can never bring back time…time to be with your loved ones, time to play with your kids, time to just see them grow.

This is the reason why our JasSuccess guest, Alfie Abiabi, pursued freelancing.

After working in the corporate for more than 10 years, she started doing freelance work while still in the office in 2014.

(If you’re wondering kung pwede bang pagsabayin ang corporate at freelancing, yes it is.)

“I want to work at home to be with my family and my son since I had been away from
them working in Manila for almost 10 years.”

Her family is living in Gensan by the way.

Find out how she did it and eventually become a six-figure freelancer in this JSU episode replay.

INTRODUCTION:

Meet this 43-year-old mom, a native of General Santos City, a CPA by profession, and now, a successful Freelance Virtual Bookkeeper – Ms. ALFIE ABIABI.

Ten years working in the corporate world and four and a half years simultaneously doing freelancing tasks and trying several niches.  Finally, she found it fulfilling and beneficial to focus on her first love in  Bookkeeping.

The road to her success is Not so well neither Not so smooth, but her persistence and perseverance; planning and strategizing, and self investing paid off.

NOTABLE QUOTES:

  • Dahil routinary ‘yong ginagawa ko, na-bo-bored ako. I encountered Coach Joma and I got to know more about the online world sa kanya – all about marketing so doon ako nagka interest. I studied Facebook Ads, Social Media Marketing, lahat lahat na yata halos.  So nag enjoy naman ako, and I got clients din.
  • I was doing it (freelancing) part-time, so after ng work ko, pag uwi sa bahay gawa agad ako ng clients work. Tapos minsan inaantok na, papasok sa office, pero carry lang kasi kumikita ng dollars e aside doon sa sinisweldo.
  • No’ng pinagawa niya (U.S. client) sa akin ‘yong Books niya, napaka simple lang naman pala ng transaction, so sabi ko, kaya ‘to.
  • Kung gagawa ka ng Financial Statements using Microsoft Excel- mga simple formulae lang naman ang mga ginagamit, hindi naman masyadong complicated kasi ang habol ni client is ‘yong end report mo na maibigay sa kanya.  Mga reports na kailangan ng CPA sa paggawa ng tax. Hindi kailangang sobrang complicated – just the simple plus, minus, division, and subtraction.
  • Joining the course, “How to Market Yourself Online” was really really really a big big help, kasi ‘yon ang nakatulong sa akin na makakuha ng client.
  • Kelangan lang talaga nating i-push yong self natin. Focus tayo on skill and paano kumuha ng client, plus confidence, plus yong big why mo – makakuha ka na ng kliyente niyan.
  • Give more value to your clients, tapos come from a place of help.

ALFIE’S JOURNEY TO FREELANCING: 

  • She got to know about freelancing through Coach Joma of whom she learned more about online marketing.
  • 2014, it took her two and a half years of learning and skill discovery. She did not focus on a particular skill yet at the same time had to save money for an emergency fund in case she resigned from her work and didn’t get projects yet.
  • 2017 when she had to focus on one skill – Bookkeeping. She had seen the need for cleaning-up books for U.S.  businessmen clients.  She had seen the potential and marketability of this niche.
  • She enjoyed studying Facebook Ads, Social Media Marketing and learned a lot of skills. She got clients by applying what she learned.
  • She did freelancing on a part-time basis while still working in the corporate world.
  • She started her freelance Bookkeeping niche in 2017. It was also this year that she got to know Jason Dulay and his QuickBooks course online.  QB apps were familiar to her so she focused on that niche.  Hence, got certified.
  • One of her clients had a QB Online Accountant, so she took that opportunity of taking the exams and passed the QB ProAdvisor.
  • 2019 when she was getting a lot of clients and so she decided on quitting her corporate career to focus on freelancing. This time she had to fast track her learnings, be stingy just to save like tighten her belt, and no going to malls. She focused on her goal and went back to her biggest WHY –  to go back to her hometown and be with her family especially with her growing child.
  • It took her 10 years working in corporate and 4 1/2 years doing part-time freelancing before finally settling to full-time freelancing.
  • She had wonderful work experiences with her first two clients that made her stick to her bookkeeping niche. She worked to her clients’ satisfaction that boosted her confidence even more.
  • For her, being passionate at what you do will help a lot in being a success at whatever endeavor she undertakes. Skills are a must but self-enhancements play a vital role in marketing oneself.
  • She made her way up to the ladder of success by hard work, perseverance, focus, and pushing oneself to what she wanted to achieve.
  • You can catch her on the Facebook group – The Shepherds Virtual Accountants and Bookkeepers. It’s free to join to get free lessons found in that group.
  • She is a coach – reach her on the paid Masterclass on Bookkeepers Secret Academy.

QUESTION AND ANSWER:

 

How did you discover the other skills kasi sa bookkeeping ka muna tapos naka focus ka doon.  How did you realize na interesado ka sa other skill?

Dahil siguro masyadong nag-enjoy ako na mag-learn anything lalo na sa online marketing.  ‘Yong coach kasi namin hindi lang siya nagfo-focus sa iisang skill, gusto nya may variety.  So, nag explore ako baka kako makita ko ‘yong gustong-gusto ko.

Hanggang sa nakapag-decide na ako na kailangan ko ng seryosohin ang bookkeeping.  Matagal na akong malayo sa anak ko so isa ‘yon na deciding factor ko.

‘Yong mga natutunan mong skills beforehand, were you able to apply them with your main skill now, main niche now?  Do you regret spending so much time learning other skills?

Hindi naman po.  Actually, ’yong learning journey ko mas nagiging confident ako sa online kaya di na ako natatakot mag explore, hindi na ako natatakot pumindot ng mga bagay-bagay.  Mas nag-boost ‘yong confidence ko  at ginawa ko na rin siyang experience ko.  Pagdating sa bookkeeping hindi na ako nahirapan.  Kung may additional software na ini-introduce ang client, pwede ko na siyang i-explore.

May online course po ba for those who want to be a QuickBooks ProAdvisor?

To be a QB ProAdvisor kailangan kasi natin ang QB Online Accountant subscription.  Kaya lang hindi available dito sa Philippines.  Ang maisa-suggest ko is kuha ka muna ng client at pag nagkataon na mayroon siyang QB Online Accountant then you can ask him na you got to take the exam to be certified.

Advantage po ba if you are a QB certified?

Advantage sya, pero ang masasabi ko lang general.  May mga estudyante din ako na QB Online ProAdvisor na sila pero pag humarap sa client parang natatakot.  Mas okay na kahit hindi, tapos alam mo kung paano mag-operate sa basic QB online, kuha ka na agad ng client.  Once na mayron siyang subscription, you can take the exam from there. Hindi yan tinatanong ni client  if you are QB Online ProAdvisor.  Ang main focus niya, “Can you help me solve my problem?”.  So pag alam mo na, matatambakan na ‘yong issue, kung Proadvisor ka ba o hindi.

 

Is it a requirement na maging certified bookkeeper muna bago ka i-hire?  If yes, are they looking for QB or Xero certifications?

What are the chances of getting hired kung certified bookkeeper ka o hindi?

‘Yan din ang laging tinatanong sa akin, kailangan bang certified?  Based sa experience ko, hindi pa ako certified noong nag start ako.  The client was looking for someone who can fix his Books.  Luckily, na-address ko ‘yong problem niya.

The second client came, who happened to have a QB Online Accountant.  I asked him if I can take the training and take the exam at okay naman sa kanya.  Masaya siya ng na-address ko ‘yong issue niya.  Ang pinaka importante talaga is ‘yong time na mag-usap kayo ng client, bigyan mo siya ng confidence na you can solve his problems lalong lalo na sa bookkeeping,  at hindi na yan magtatanong sa ‘yo ng mga portfolio at certification mo.  Kasi nakikita niya that you know how to clean up and fix his Books.

 

Is it okay from scratch to jump into bookkeeper skills in terms of freelancing, meaning, no knowledge of accounting?

Dapat may passion ka.  Makakatulong pag ang gagawin mo is ‘yong gustong gusto mo talaga.  Hindi sa napipilitan ka just to earn dollars dahil nga in-demand ang bookkeeping online.  Makakatulong din para gustong gusto mong aralin ‘yong mga bookkeeping principles then it could be easy for you to digest things.

 

Newbie and no clients yet.  Before you entered the bookkeeping/accounting niche, did you attend bookkeeping courses online to find clients?  And the platform you used initially to find clients?

Ang kinuha ko lang na bookkeeping course is QuickBooks online, then nag explore lang ako sa YouTube.  Gusto ko lang malaman ‘yong basic although mayroon na akong experience sa bookkeeping and accounting plus sa audit.

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Jason Dulay

Jason Dulay

Jason is the founder and CEO of Work from Home Roadmap and VA Bootcamp. Aside from teaching Filipinos how to succeed working from home, he likes traveling, playing board games, and drinking coffee.

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