Want to hire a virtual assistant bookkeeping service?
There’s no denying that managing small business finance can be either too tedious or too complex to understand.
Fortunately, you can hire a virtual assistant bookkeeping professional to do the job.
They’ll help keep your finances up to date so that you can focus on crucial tasks and grow your business.
In this article, we’ll explain why you should seriously think about outsourcing financial tasks to a virtual assistant. We’ll also provide a guide to help you hire and manage virtual assistants with ease.
This article contains:
(Click the link to jump to the section)
- Who are Virtual Bookkeeping Assistants?
- 5 Key Benefits of Virtual Bookkeeping Services
- What Can Virtual Assistant Bookkeepers Do?
- What Should You Look For in a Virtual Bookkeeping Assistant?
- How to Hire Virtual Assistant Bookkeeping Services?
- How to Manage a Virtual Assistant Bookkeeping?
Let’s get started.
Who are virtual bookkeeping assistants?
A virtual bookkeeping assistant is a professional independent contractor who remotely manages the day-to-day finances of a firm.
In short, you’ll have a virtual assistant bookkeeper working for you, but not from your office. They’ll be working from home, and are usually self-employed or working with an agency.
Why do you need a virtual assistant bookkeeping service?
Conventionally, a business hires an accountant solely to manage finances and perform bookkeeping tasks — a luxury most small scale businesses can’t afford.
For example, accounting services cost around $54,775/year in the United States.
So hiring a regular bookkeeping assistant isn’t worth the money for an SMB.
Your second option is to use accounting software.
Even though software makes the bookkeeping process quicker, getting used to the tool will take time and training. Additionally, most of them can be expensive.
Your third option is to do it all by yourself.
However, when you run a business, you’ll hardly have the time to look after the finances. Additionally, a trained accountant will be able to avoid financial errors that you wouldn’t have noticed.
That leaves us with the best option: hiring a virtual bookkeeping assistant.
They address all the issues that you might face with the above three options.
Let’s have a look at why you should give virtual assistant bookkeeping services a shot.
5 key benefits of virtual assistant bookkeeping services
A firm’s growth depends on both inflow and outflow of cash — or, more importantly, keeping track of it.
Here’s how a bookkeeping virtual assistant will benefit your business:
1. Improve finances
Around 31% of small business owners believe their accountants are honest and dependable. They trust the accounting services provided and make decisions with their VAs opinion in mind.
Having someone honest look after your money is a relief.
However, that ‘someone’ can’t be just anyone.
You need a professional who’s responsible and has the expertise, like a virtual bookkeeping assistant!
A bookkeeping virtual assistant will warn you about tax overloads and other transactions that you need to make.
And that’s not all.
They’ll track bills, invoices, credit cards, bank transactions, and perform other money-related tasks.
2. Saves money
Saving money is out of the question with a full-time in-house bookkeeping assistant.
And doing finance-related work yourself doesn’t save money either.
By spending a lot of time handling finances, you won’t have time to focus on growing your business — which can cost a lot of money in the long run.
And while some accounting software can be affordable, they usually have additional key features that are available only if you spend more money.
What about a virtual bookkeeper?
Most VAs charge only based on the number of hours they work and not a fixed salary.
That’s why seeking virtual assistant services can be the most cost-effective solution.
3. Saves time
Finance management and accounting are time-consuming tasks.
Being a small business owner, you’ll have to focus on hundreds of processes and tasks.
Unlike accounting, which can be done by anyone, many business tasks like client meetings and product marketing, require your input.
That’s why you should consider handing over your finances to a virtual bookkeeper.
A bookkeeping VA takes the repetitive accounting load off your shoulders and helps you spend time on other essential tasks. You’ll also have more downtime so you can improve your work-life balance.
Moreover, bookkeeping VAs are adept at the latest accounting systems that help them work quicker.
4. Financial transparency
Finances can only be managed by systematic, organized tracking of inflow and outflow of money. So you need someone to arrange and present the data whenever required.
A virtual accounting service will ensure that your financial data is organized by recording and tracking daily cash flow and all other details so that you can access it whenever you want.
Once it’s systematized, you can analyze your finances and understand your business better. This will help you make game-changing business decisions.
5. Better productivity
An easy way to increase productivity is by getting someone with talent and years of experience to do the work.
Most bookkeeping virtual assistants possess unique skills and know the tricks required for smart accounting and finance management.
Moreover, freelancing platforms and agencies hire bookkeepers only if they are skilled. They are assessed via tests and are later subjected to rigorous training.
What can a virtual assistant bookkeeper do?
Virtual assistant bookkeepers are similar to in-house bookkeepers.
They manage your business finance, remind you to pay bills, help you calculate tax, and manage money.
What makes a virtual assistant bookkeeper different is that they work remotely and only when you need their services.
They are trained to:
1. Document financial records
Virtual bookkeeping assistants can help you document various accounting and bookkeeping tasks like:
- Prepare balance sheets.
- Create general ledgers.
- Organize financial statements.
- Manage employee reimbursements.
- Handle pricing and invoicing.
- Manage data entry and bank reconciliation processes.
Some bookkeeping experts also recommend changes you should make to increase the firm’s profit.
2. Paying bills
When you have a lot on your hands, your family and friends might understand when a thing or two slips your mind.
The same can’t be said about banks or credit card companies to whom you owe money.
If paying bills leaves a hole in your pocket, a bill payment delay will only make it larger!
So to pay bills on time, you could simply ask your virtual bookkeeper to keep you posted on it.
Bookkeeping virtual assistants will help you remember to pay the interest for loans, credit cards, and other bills. They’ll also remind you about payroll and utility bills.
3. Manage invoices
Just like how paying bills on time is necessary, so is getting paid.
Receivables are essential, especially when the business thrives on customer’s payments.
Unfortunately, some clients can forget to pay and require someone to remind them regularly. And you might not always have the time to mail, message, or call them.
Virtual bookkeeping assistants will mail or, if needed, call your clients/customers and remind them of their payment. They know how to keep your business healthy!
4. Tax management
Business owners dread that time of the year when they have to pay tax.
What’s worse is that since owners might not know how to calculate taxes, they remain unaware of the amount they have to pay until the last moment.
Virtual accountants trained in tax preparation can keep you updated about the taxes you’ll have to pay by organizing them quarterly or annually.
What should you look for in a virtual bookkeeping assistant?
Different virtual bookkeeping assistants specialize in various areas of bookkeeping.
So you have to decide on the requirements of your firm and hire someone best for the job.
Here are a few qualities you should look for in a virtual bookkeeping assistant:
1. Industry-specific experience
Bookkeeping isn’t the same across the world.
It varies with industries and from one country to another. This means the bookkeeping virtual assistant you hire has to be familiar with accounting rules in your niche.
You would know that everyone isn’t reliable.
Quite a few are irresponsible while handling cash. And some might be scammers – looking to make a quick buck.
Consequently, you must hand over your financial data to only someone you trust – such as professional bookkeepers who have a stellar track record or positive reviews by industry peers.
Technology makes everything uncomplicated — including bookkeeping.
While most virtual assistant bookkeepers know how to use essential accounting software, it’s best to hire someone who’s up to date with the field’s technological advances.
Just like how you have more than one customer, virtual bookkeeping assistants might have multiple clients.
So you have to ensure that the one you want to hire has a schedule that can accommodate your business needs.
Additionally, you should ensure that your schedules align. This means you’ll have to inform them in advance and book a slot when you need their virtual bookkeeping service.
5. Necessary qualifications
While it’s up to you whether you want to hire someone with more qualifications or not, ensure you hire a skilled virtual assistant.
As mentioned before, they should know how to use the latest accounting software and also understand complex financial data.
How to hire a virtual bookkeeping assistant?
Virtual bookkeeping assistants are usually self-employed. There are also agencies with skilled bookkeepers.
Let’s take a look at the different ways you can hire a virtual bookkeeping assistant:
1. Freelancer platforms
These two platforms can help you find the best freelancing bookkeepers:
Fiverr is a freelancing platform with highly skilled accountants with expertise in different areas. The platform helps ensure quality, provides support and security throughout the hiring process.
Upwork is a popular freelancing website. It enables you to connect with professionals who work remotely.
Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to hire a freelancer through these sites:
- Step 1: Post your expectations about a virtual bookkeeper. This way, the candidate will be aware of the services you want and apply only if they want to.
- Step 2: Ensure they have the required knowledge to provide quality virtual accounting services. Quiz them about your firm, as a genuine and dedicated virtual assistant would want to know more about your business.
- Step 3: Make sure you hire someone who will provide the work quality you expect. For example, test them with a sample project. It’ll give you a clear idea about their potential.
Hiring an agency for virtual assistant bookkeeping services is better and dependable.
However, it’s comparatively more expensive than freelancing platforms.
Here are some agencies providing excellent virtual bookkeeping assistants:
Belay’s virtual assistant bookkeeping services include:
- Preparing financial reports.
- Balance sheets.
- Reconciling bills.
- Managing payroll.
B. 24/7 Virtual Assistant
If you are looking for a virtual bookkeeper who will do more than just bookkeeping, you should check out 24/7 Virtual Assistant.
They offer an extra hand with organizing files, making calls, and other simple administrative tasks.
Their bookkeeping virtual assistant services include:
- Managing bank reconciliation.
- Annual or quarterly tax returns.
- Accounts receivables.
These virtual assistants are proficient in using Quickbooks, Quicken, Freshbooks, and other relevant accounting software.
C. Finance Pal
Finance Pal is an accounting firm helping small businesses by providing almost every virtual bookkeeping service.
Here’s what they offer:
- Payroll management.
- Transaction Tracking.
- Preparing balance and income sheets.
How to manage virtual bookkeeping assistants?
With several cloud-based software available today, managing virtual assistant bookkeeping is a piece of cake.
Here are some tools to help you get started right away:
1. Communication tools
Communicating with a person even if they are on the other side of the world can be done quickly with tools like:
- Instant Messaging tools: Slack, Telegram.
- Audio and video calling tools: Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom.
These tools have exciting features that support searching, archiving, deleting and, editing messages, file sharing, etc.
This way, your virtual assistants can collaborate with your in-house team with ease.
2. Productivity management tools
Your next concern could be how to manage the productivity of the virtual bookkeeper.
A productivity management tool like Time Doctor can help you here.
Time Doctor is a productivity management tool that is used for tracking time and boosting team productivity in SMBs like Thrive Market and large companies like Ericsson.
With Time Doctor, you can:
- Track the exact amount of time spent on each task.
- Monitor time a VA spends on websites and applications.
- Know the websites visited during work hours.
- Automatically pay your VAs for hours worked with Paypal and Wise (formerly Transferwise) integrations.
Hiring a virtual bookkeeping assistant is an excellent option for all sorts of firms, especially for small and medium businesses.
You don’t have to worry about the inconveniences of software nor the expenses of hiring a full-time accountant.
Moreover, once you hire a bookkeeping virtual assistant, you can manage and monitor them effortlessly with the tools we covered above.
Have more doubts regarding virtual assistant bookkeeping?
Let us know in the comments below.
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.