Virtual bookkeeping is a very important tool to use when providing business services as either an accountant or a bookkeeper. This allows many people to work from home (“telecommute”) more readily as they can provide their services from any location remotely. A virtual bookkeeper is also helpful as business look for ways to reduce hours and cost.
What is virtual bookkeeping?
Technically, there is not much difference between a virtual bookkeeper and an in-house bookkeeper other than the location. A virtual bookkeeper uses bookkeeping software that is computerized, using it to post financial transactions, update statements, review statements and financial details, and reconcile accounts. The virtual bookkeeper is granted remote access (to its server, software and financial documents) by the company who hires them. The bookkeeper then logs in as he or she would for an on-site job. Depending on the arrangement, the company may pay them directly or they may work as an independent contractor (who then invoices the company themselves).
Depending on the arrangement, bookkeeping software may be either provided by the company or purchased at the bookkeeper’s expense. The only requirement is that the software/edition is the same for both the employer and the bookkeeper to allow for proper transfer of data and records. The bookkeeper must be sure to check this at the beginning of employment to make sure what the policy is, as there are many bookkeeping software programs out there (Intuit, Quickbooks, Xero, etc).
Benefits of virtual bookkeeping
There are many benefits to virtual bookkeeping, both for the employer and the bookkeeper. For the employer, hiring a virtual bookkeeper may be enticing because of the cost saving and flexibility of scheduling. The virtual bookkeeper also provides his or her own office space and office supplies, reducing the cost to the employer. The flexibility is scheduled is highly appealing, especially to small business owners who may not need a full time accountant or whose needs may vary season to season. With an appropriate contract, this has the potential to be a huge cost saving move on the employer’s part.
For the bookkeeper, the flexibility is often the biggest lure to work virtually. This tends to be the most helpful for stay-at-home parents and individuals that may have disabilities that make transportation more difficult. As long as their work is completed by the designated timeline, the virtual bookkeeper is free to work according to his or her own schedule (certain days of the week, certain hours of the day, etc). It’s also cost saving for the bookkeeper, removing the cost of transportation related expenses (gas, car maintenance, etc) and child care. Some bookkeepers may even choose to work for multiple clients, which can increase their earning potential significantly.
Virtual bookkeeping has many benefits for both the employer and the virtual bookkeeper. It allows for flexibility and is a potentially cost saving job for both employer and virtual bookkeeper. If you’re interested in learning more, please check out www.bookkeeperco.com.au for more information!