Paro connects financial professionals with new clients to obtain part- or full-time accounting, bookkeeping and finance work.
Expected pay: You set it
Commissions & fees: 50%*
Where: Nationwide (remote)
Requirements: College degree appropriate for desired position; pass screening tests and background check; 5+ years of accounting/finance experience; proficiency in Excel and PowerPoint.
Paro aims to connect freelance accountants, bookkeepers and other finance professionals with clients that need help. And, from reviews of independent accountants who work through the site, it’s highly effective at delivering prospects.
However, the site appears to charge an astonishing 50% of your billings in exchange for those introductions. (No one from the site would confirm the percentage, that was mentioned by accountants recruited by the company.) And if you want to take a client off the network, you’ll pay dearly.
Specifically, Paro’s “buy-out fee” amounts to 25% of the freelancer’s annualized marketplace pay rate. (For example, if the freelancers rate was $100 per hour, the buyout fee would be $100 * 2,000 (billable hours in calendar year) *.25 = $50,000.) This fee is applicable within 12 months of the last completed “Statement of Work” and due within 30 days of taking the client.
On the bright side, you negotiate your rates with the client. So, you can raise your rates to accommodate the site’s steep fees. But, in a free marketplace, there may be a limit to your pricing power.
Want to try Paro?
Here’s a direct link to where you can sign up at the Paro site.
If you’re looking for a small amount of supplemental earnings — perhaps to keep busy during slow periods — it may make sense to work with Paro. However, there are a number of other sites likely to deliver clients for less cost. Robert Half, for example, specializes in finding full and part-time work for financial professionals and the site only charges clients, not freelancers.
You can also set your own prices for accounting services on Fiverr, and only pay a 20% fee to the platform.
Other good sites to consider: Accountingdepartment.com, Bookminders, Acuity, WAHVE, FreeUp and Gerson Lehrman.
What their users say (from TrustPilot:
“Process to get hired went quickly and smoothly. Communication was great. Everyone was very professional and friendly to work with.”
“I’ve been really pleased with Paro. I’m a new freelancer with them and, within days of starting, they had connected me to six new clients and every one of those clients has been terrific to work with. They find the client, they handle all the paperwork, they take care of billing and collections. Basically, they’re an off-site marketing and back-office company for financial professionals. For me, that works really well.”
“Great platform! Helpful and engaged team provided support throughout the process. Generating a lot of interesting prospects for my independent consulting business.”
“They make client acquisition extremely easy and support not only the client but myself as well throughout projects.”
Paro has been a huge help during these slow times. When I find myself looking for clients I go right to Paro to find any opportunities that suit my skill set. I’ve been paired with several quality clients without having to invest in expensive marketing tools. Paro has been great for my business growth.”
“This might be a good idea if you are unemployed and desperate, or looking for some side hustle income to supplement a full-time job. But the hoops they want applicants to jump through are unrealistic and will certainly not attract “the top 2% of finance professionals” (their words). Really just looks a lot like Upwork. but instead of taking a 20% cut forever, I was informed they take closer to a 50% cut of revenue. No thanks.”
“I’m a CPA and Advanced Quickbooks Certified. So first they gave me a multiple choice test to do, which took me about 30 min to complete. And they sent me another one — a simulation of a QB data import. It was going to take about 4 hours…Then, after a Skype interview, they rejected me. But said I should reapply in six months. If my credentials and 10 years of experience are not enough for a freelance bookkeeping service, then I don’t know who they accept. I wish I hadn’t wasted my time on them.”
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