Do you want to know what an online bookkeeper is, or to find out what virtual bookkeeping online is all about?
You may be ready to outsource your bookkeeping to a service provider but want to know if it's a good idea.
Read on to understand more about:-
- What a virtual provider is
- What the benefits and pitfalls are of using one
- Figuring out if it's right for you and your business
- Protecting yourself
Virtual Bookkeeping Explained
Virtual assistance is becoming more and more popular with the age of high speed internet, and amazing advances in software.
It is quite easy for a person with the right skills and abilities to setup and provide a virtual service.
Online bookkeeping is just one of these virtual jobs. This is how it works:-
- Bookkeeper with experience decides to go virtual
- He plans who his target market is (what country his experience is relevant to)
- He develops a website designed to reach his target market
- His website explains:-
He registers his website with quality web directoriesHe provides excellent and efficient service to his new clients
- What particular services he can offer i.e. bank reconciliations, sales invoicing, debt collecting
- how much it will cost, and how and when to pay
- how to get paperwork to him (usually via fax, scan and email, or upload to document sharing software)
- shares testimonials about his work (even if its references from his previous job until he gets ones from his virtual clients), and describes his qualifications and experience
- The business owner searches the web, finds the online bookkeeper via a directory, studies the website, and contacts him
- She trials his service for a month or two and decides if the service is of good quality
- She is happy and continues with this service provider for a long time
To get you started try VA4U.com which has a worldwide directory of office assistants, bookkeepers and accountants.
Benefits to Using a Virtual Bookkeeper
- The main benefit to start with is that there is no employee costs to cover - no need to find more furniture and equipment, pay a wage, pay employee taxes, vacation pay, sick leave.....
- Another benefit is if you live far from your local town or city and finding a local bookkeeper is hard to do then you can 'shop' online for one
- You would soon get used to the vast array of eletronic methods available for getting your documents and information to the virtual provider
- The range of service providers to chose from will be broader
- If things don't turn out and you have to find another one you won't have to be concerned about bumping into the old one; like you might if you had a fall-out with a local one!
Is a Virtual Bookkeeper Right For You?
Probably not if:-
- You are not good with electronic media, uploading documents or working with computers in general
- You prefer the personal, face to face contact
- Your bookkeeping is very involved, with a huge number of business transactions, or a lot of complicated business transactions such as inventory control or foreign exchange sales and purchases
Protect Your Business from
Illegitimate Virtual Bookkeepers
- If you can find an online bookkeeper through word of mouth that is always a bonus. Nothing can replace the valued recommendation from a friend or business associate
- Phone the virtual provider and have a conversation to get an idea of their personality, and ask for trade references and other customer feedback
- Use them on a trial basis and carefully check the quality of their work; get a second opinion from your friends of the quality. Are they quick to respond when you have queries; are they helpful and go the extra mile?
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