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Whether you own a small and growing startup business or a large-scale company, your focus should be on the vision of your company and how to move your business there as quickly as possible. Spending time on tasks you don’t know as well, can cost you more money in the long-term.
However, failing to keep your books up-to-date or falling behind on your taxes, can really harm your company’s progress. This is why you should consider hiring a professional bookkeeper. Read on to learn more about virtual bookkeeping and its significance.
What Is Virtual Bookkeeping?
Virtual bookkeeping isn’t that different from a regular bookkeeping service. The most important difference is that a virtual service provider works remotely and uses computerized accounting or bookkeeping software to prepare your accounts, categorize and post your financial transactions, and update your statements. All without coming into your office.
A virtual bookkeeper collects and documents your daily transactions using cloud-based accounting software. Therefore, you and your bookkeeper can share the same account and collaborate in real-time, without physically being in the same place.
Why Is Bookkeeping Vital?
Regardless of the type of business you manage, you have to deal with money. You spend and earn money, doing what you do best. It is easy to push the bookkeeping aside, but it is vital to track your cash flow, profitability, spending habits, etc.
A good bookkeeper helps you closely monitor where your business earns money from and how you spend it. When your books are organized and up-to-date, you can make informed decisions and grow faster and more profitably.
Virtual Bookkeeping or Local Bookkeeping?
Virtual and local bookkeepers are becoming more and more alike with the software used to bridge the gaps. The end result is the same reports. The biggest difference between a local and a virtual bookkeeper is the physical presence of a local bookkeeper.
Software now allows companies to rather easily transmit paper receipts and documents to a bookkeeper anywhere in the world. However, if you are not ready to make the move to paperless and desire someone to come in and do physical paperwork for you, you will prefer a local bookkeeper.
On the other hand, with a professional virtual bookkeeping firm, you can generally hire a team of bookkeepers from anywhere in the country. Due to the savings from travel and other efficiencies, you can usually get a more qualified team for much less than the cost of an onsite individual.
Regardless of whether you use a local or a virtual office, the bookkeeper will be able to interact with the accountant at year-end as well. This is assuming that the bookkeeper doesn’t also do your tax returns.
Virtual bookkeeping firms tend to have a set of systems they use in place to be more efficient across all of their clients. If you have specific software needs, you should discuss this with the bookkeeping firm before making a decision.
Keep in mind that the bookkeeper will be the one using the accounting software the most. Other than running reports as needed (which the bookkeeper could likely provide for you) and entering in sales, you will not be in the software at all. Make sure the bookkeeper is familiar with the software they are using and don’t let your personal preference get between you and a great bookkeeper.
How to Choose a Virtual Bookkeeper?
While having letters after their name will not necessarily make them a good bookkeeper, it is nice to know that an association is standing behind the bookkeepers work. Anyone can claim to be a bookkeeper or even an accountant, and many that do have little knowledge of accounting. Using a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) or a Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB) gives some assurance that you have a body to take complaints to if something goes awry.
A flashy website does not make you a qualified bookkeeper or accountant either. However, it is good to see that the company you want to hand your financial information over to has an online presence. This is after all the virtual bookkeeper’s “office”. The more established, the more impressive the online profile and be active on social media. To establish their expertise, they should develop valuable content on platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. Also, it is very important to check out their online reviews to see what their past customers have had to say about them.
The more specific your industry’s bookkeeping needs the more important it is that your bookkeeper has experience in that industry. For the most part, finances are finances, but each industry has its own nuances and often software needs. This is particularly tre in the auto repair industry, restaurants, and retail/online stores. A bookkeeper with experience in your industry is a more suitable choice.
Leave It to the Pros
By hiring an experienced and trustworthy bookkeeper, you’ll be sure that your files are in order, all your transactions are properly recorded, and your profit margins are growing. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about taxes and accounting blunders. Finally, you will have all the data to make informed decisions and make better plans.
You’ve experienced putting your bookkeeping on the back burner, feeling stressed about being behind on taxes, and not knowing your numbers or where your profit is going. Hiring Royer Accounting will help you know and understand your numbers, keep them up to date and help you come up with a profitable strategy! Find out more about us here.