Does the thought of bookkeeping scare you? Do you dread sitting down at your computer and entering all your receipts, deposits, and making sure everything is documented right for taxes? Never fear, there is a new, more affordable solution to having your bookkeeping done. Two words-Virtual Assistant. The industry of virtual assistance is relatively new, though the concept has been around for some time. With the age of computers, it has made the opportunity for small business owners to outsource their bookkeeping (and administrative tasks-but that is another article) to a qualified individual. This saves time, headache, and the possibility of error. How does this work? Below are some of your questions answered by several experienced Virtual Assistants (VAs).
Is a Virtual Assistant the same as a CPA?
No. Usually a Virtual Assistant will work along side of your CPA. Depending on your Virtual Assistant and their experience, they will handle the daily accounting needs all the way to filing your taxes. Many Virtual Assistants will work with your CPA to be sure your books are in correct order. A Virtual Assistant who is just your bookkeeper will make sure the company is set up correctly (working with your CPA) and entries are posted correctly. A CPA will do the sales, unemployment taxes, and payroll IF the Virtual Assistant is not qualified. Cheryl Almstrom of Effective Office Services once calculated with one client she had cut his bookkeeping costs by 75% over his previous accountant. By finding the right Virtual Assistant, to meet your needs, there can be a tremendous amount of money saved.
The Virtual Assistants who donated their time and information to this article had a vast amount of experience and training. Some had learned ?on the job? bookkeeping, while others had courses and degrees. Some had been doing bookkeeping from a couple years to twenty years. All are dedicated to making sure your books are kept up to date.
Sharing Information with your Virtual Assistant
The wonderful thing about the technology today, is that you don?t ever have to leave your office to get your bookkeeping done. You can choose to enter your information into a spreadsheet set up by your Virtual Assistant (and then email a copy), fax over all the information needed, send everything postal mail, or have your Virtual Assistant pick up and drop off your reports. You can even have the Virtual Assistant work on your computer without having to be in your office with secure online software. Some clients give the Virtual Assistant access to their accounts online to check and balance. It is what you feel comfortable doing and what works best for you and your Virtual Assistant.
You can have your Virtual Assistant print out reports and fax or email them to you. You can keep a copy of the updated file on your desktop by having them send you the file. Depending on how you and your Virtual Assistant set up your relationship, there a multitude of ways to keep you up to date on your books.
The wonderful news is that you, as the client, wouldn?t even need bookkeeping software. Many of the vas I spoke with use QuickBooks, Quicken, and Excel (to name a few). Virtual Assistants have the software on their own computer, and can do your bookkeeping using that software.
The beauty of having a Virtual Assistant is exactly what it says-they are virtual. You don?t have to hire an in-house bookkeeper and provide the space or equipment. Additionally, Virtual Assistants only charge for the time they work. There are no breaks or having to find work for them to fill their hours. A Virtual Assistant can take away the stress and time of doing the books, and allow you to focus on your business.
If you feel you would like to explore the possibility of having a Virtual Assistant work with you on your bookkeeping (or other administrative tasks), you will find a list of all the Virtual Assistants who contributed to this article at this link http://www.jerpat.org/moretime4u/articles/bookkeepers.htm.
An additional article with more information on bookkeeping can be found at http://www.jerpat.org/moretime4u/doyouresist.htm.