What Does a Virtual Bookkeeper Do for A Small Business?

Even the smallest of businesses have too many important financial transactions to ignore. This is why you might want to hire a bookkeeper. Now, for some of the smallest enterprises, it might be quite difficult to justify this additional hire. Fortunately, there’s a way around it – hiring a virtual bookkeeper.

This concept is fairly simple – you hire a remote specialist to keep track of your bookkeeping processes. For those who are still not convinced that this is the right way to go, here’s what a virtual bookkeeper can do for a small business and why this is such a great idea.

1. More Reliable Data Backup

One of the things that often slips under the radar is the fact that entrusting a virtual bookkeeper with the task of entering data of your transactions actually makes the system more reliable. How? Well, transaction entry and monitoring these entries is their core job. For you, it’s one of the core tasks. So, as their principal responsibility, the task of bookkeeping is bound to get their full attention.

Now, a virtual bookkeeper is an expert that is employed remotely. In order to make data-sharing between your organization and this individual somewhat simple, it’s quite possible that you’ll use cloud-based software. This means that there is a chance that this data exists in more forms than one. Chances are that you’ll have a physical copy (somewhere), that there’ll be a digital trace on the cloud-based platform, and that even they might have a record on their own drive.

Keep in mind that while taking all these steps is not always necessary, just having more options makes a difference. Also, with more eyes on the project – you might want to check it out as well. Chances that something will be omitted are significantly lower.

2. Access to More Talent

When choosing a bookkeeper, you’re usually limited to your regional talent pool. However, hiring a virtual bookkeeper makes the job of finding someone to fill this role a lot simpler. Also, we’re talking about bookkeeping, not accounting. This means that regional tax laws are a much smaller factor and that you can, literally, feel free to hire all over the globe. Still, sticking to someone from your own region (at least for the perk of being in the same time zone) might make a difference.

There are also agencies that specialize in providing you with virtual bookkeepers and bookkeeping servicesThis means that you’re getting all the benefits of having a bookkeeper without having to undergo the ordeal of handling the selection on your own. Chances are that, without previous experience, you won’t have an easy job recognizing the right talent for your job.

Sure, today we have sophisticated bookkeeping tools to help us out. Today, you can scan your physical receipts, connect your cards and payment gateway accounts, and have most of this done automatically. Still, these tools are incapable of replacing an actual bookkeeper. Ideally, you would use both of these methods to make your small business’ financial system ironclad.

3. Better Insight into Spending Habits of Your Employees

Another thing you need is a spying glass on the spending habit of your employees. Even if you are running a small business, chances are that there are a few employees who are free to use corporate funds. Now, we’re not suggesting that you shouldn’t trust your employees, but there’s nothing wrong with verifying that they’re trustworthy, as well.

A virtual bookkeeper can do this effortlessly and in a non-imposing way. How? Well, first of all, it’s important to mention that by making this type of receipt entry and examination systemic, you’ll make this kind of inquiry seem non-imposing. Asking an employee for a full report out of the blue will make the fact that you’re suspicious of foul play quite obvious. However, if you make this a habit, you’ll get a reliable diagnostic method and a deterrent at the same time.

In the end, it’s important to mention that it takes a bit of expertise for this kind of diagnostics, as well. Therefore, you need someone who is well-versed in noticing anomalies and suspicious fiscal behavior. In other words, you want someone who can notice these things even without actively looking for them.

4. Doing Everything on Time

When it comes to financial reports, having things done on time makes all the difference. Without a timely report, everything can get bogged down, even some of the largest, most important projects that you’re engaged in. With virtual bookkeeping, timely data entry will become a part of the routine.

This will also greatly help with the payroll, especially if you have different payment models for different employees. For instance, you may have people on a salary, filling in as part-time freelancers, or those people who are on performance pay. Knowing your exact payday obligations is vital when it comes to keeping track of your operational expenses.

While a bookkeeper may not be in charge of handling your taxes, a vigilant bookkeeping effort will make the job of an accountant a lot easier. In fact, in the majority of accounting teams, the most efficient team composition is to hire a single accountant and a couple of bookkeepers to help them out. For a small business, however, having a virtual bookkeeper may be more than enough to keep everything up to date.

5. Flexibility and Scalability

Hiring a full-time bookkeeper can sometimes be more expensive than a regular small business can afford. This is why a virtual bookkeeper might be a great solution and offer more flexibility. It is also what makes it so great for start-ups. They can work from any location, which means that, if you have such an arrangement, you can contact them, and via a cloud-based platform, they can make updates or corrections in a matter of minutes.

Other than this, the cost-efficiency of this method is simply quite incredible. A virtual bookkeeper is not someone who is on a retainer, which is only fair, seeing as how you will not need their services for 40 work hours per week. Instead, you make an arrangement either with them or an agency that employs them directly (in a scenario where you’re outsourcing) and pays based on the list of services they provide.

This also provides you with quite a bit of scalability, seeing as how these deals can be renegotiated. Also, if you hire additional financial experts, you can establish a collaboration quite seamlessly. To make the long story short, you pay for the number of services provided. When there’s a lot of work, you pay more but get more value. The other way around is true, as well.

In Conclusion

In the end, a bookkeeper is an essential specialist for any small enterprise, regardless of the industry. The only difference with hiring a virtual bookkeeper lies in the fact that their services are now more affordable and simpler to hire. This means that those who were on the fence now have one less excuse to avoid hiring a bookkeeper. It also gives you a flexible and scalable method of keeping up with the future evolution of your enterprise—a win-win scenario for every serious small business owner.


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