Hiring a virtual bookkeeping assistant is a logical next step for a company that wants faster growth. To build a successful business, owners need to maintain a good cash flow and protect their assets. The groundwork for both of these is having up-to-date books.
Although bookkeeping is a simple, basic process, doing it haphazardly (or worse, forgetting about it) can lead to losses. And there is a lot to lose, or that can slip through the cracks, in a business poised for expansion.
An accurate picture of your financials prevents you from:
- Making baseless decisions
- Overestimating your profitability
- Losing current or potential stakeholders’ trust
- Being unable to forecast for development
The perfect solution is getting a managed bookkeeping service that can handle the more tedious aspects of maintaining your books. Wondering if getting a virtual bookkeeping assistant is for you? Keep reading! We’ll break down what they do, who should hire them, what tasks you can offload to them, and what tools you can use to manage them.
What is a Virtual Bookkeeping Assistant?
A bookkeeping virtual assistant handles the administrative tasks related to maintaining a business’ financial records. They keep track of transactions coming out and going into your business while looking out for inconsistencies and irregularities.
Typically, businesses have accountants who manage the company’s finances. However, not all businesses can afford to hire accounting services. In the United States, for instance, accountant salaries range from $49,702 to $61,717 per year, depending on experience.
Another option would be for the business owner to use accounting software and handle their own bookkeeping. Though software does make bookkeeping easier, all tools have a significant learning curve. Also, you need to pay for most accounting software, and subscription fees don’t usually come cheap.
Who Should Hire a Virtual Bookkeeping Assistant?
Many businesses would benefit from hiring a virtual bookkeeper, but hiring one would be advantageous to certain types of companies:
Small business owners, especially ones just starting out, handle most of their company’s finances. From bills and invoices to balance sheets and bank statements, these things typically fall on the owner to complete. Sometimes, if they have other equally demanding tasks, entrepreneurs overlook these things entirely.
Hiring an accountant to handle these things is the quickest solution, but getting a full-time, in-house employee can be expensive. So, many small business owners hire virtual assistants who specialize in accounting and bookkeeping.
2. Accounting Firms
Accounting firms have more than enough tasks on their hands, and they’re keenly aware of the relationship of productivity to costs and a company’s net income. As such, it makes sense that they will outsource some bookkeeping tasks–especially ones that are tedious or time consuming. Offloading to a virtual bookkeeper helps them save thousands of dollars.
What Tasks Can a Virtual Bookkeeping Assistant Handle?
Virtual bookkeepers are just like in-house ones. The only real difference is that they work remotely, and they often use their own equipment. Bookkeeping virtual assistants can take on a variety of tasks–here are the most common ones:
Bill or Invoice Management
It’s challenging to keep up with due dates for payments. Whether you’re the one sending the bill or receiving it, deadlines get a bit tricky to follow when you’re handling several other aspects of your business. Having a bookkeeping assistant means you don’t have to worry about unnecessary delays when making or receiving payments.
Credit Card Reconciliation
With a virtual assistant, you can also let go of managing your credit card or bank statements. You can have your remote bookkeeper keep track of your business expenses and watch out for inconsistencies in your records. Organizing your bank and card statements will be much easier.
Creating documents that itemize the cost of services rendered or products purchased can be a pain. It can also be time consuming to send and track these invoices to customers. When you use online bookkeeping, you don’t have to handle this aspect of your business. Let your bookkeeper leverage software for creating and sending invoices.
You could also ask your bookkeeping VA to email payment reminders to customers or follow up with them through the phone. Offloading this function ensures that you have a dedicated employee working on getting your business paid on time, which maintains your cash flow.
Organization of Financial Statements
Maintaining financial data in your chosen software or application will be simple once you have a bookkeeping virtual assistant. Your assistant can do everything on most accounting software, from managing data entry to processing accounts payables and receivables, and more.
Why Work With a Virtual Bookkeeping Assistant
If you’re still on the fence about getting a virtual bookkeeping assistant, we understand. Making any sort of change in your business can be intimidating, and you might have a lot of questions about offloading to a remote worker.
First of all, if there’s something you’d like to know about remote bookkeepers, book a call with our team! We’ll be happy to share everything you should know about hiring a virtual bookkeeper.
Also, there are simply a lot of benefits to hiring one. Here are a few!
Cost Savings with Virtual Bookkeepers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in-house bookkeeping clerks earned an annual median salary of $45,560 in 2021. In comparison, a Wing Executive Assistant costs approximately $13,200 per year to hire.
Hiring a virtual bookkeeping assistant from Wing can help a company save at least $32,360 in operating costs per year. That number does not even include opportunities that a skilled bookkeeper can bring into your business.
Things like suggestions for boosting your sources of income, reducing your expenses, and consolidating your taxes represent savings that you can’t quantify at the outset.
Time Savings with a Virtual Bookkeeping Assistant
In a 2016 survey of UK employees, respondents rendered, on average, just 2 hours and 53 minutes of productive work in the office. A common problem among in-house employees is the need to enact some sort of “productivity theater,” or to show their managers that they’re working – when in fact, they are doing other things.
When you hire a virtual bookkeeping service, though, you pay for the work you get. There are also plenty of studies which show that virtual assistants are more efficient than their in-office counterparts, because they control their time and are in the comfort of their own home.
Skills You Can Access with a Remote Bookkeeper
A bookkeeping assistant has skills that you might not have. They are adept at using certain databases and accounting software, can identify errors in bookkeeping, and prevent issues from occurring in the first place. It’ll be invaluable to have someone on board who knows the ins and outs of recording financial data.
Managing a Virtual Bookkeeping Assistant
Now more than ever, it is easy to manage a virtual assistant. You don’t need a ton of tools to make sure your assistant is on track—here are software you can start with:
Wing Assistant’s Complimentary App
You need not go far for an all-in-one software for managing your virtual assistant! Wing incorporates a Kanban board, workflow tool, messaging platform, password vault, and screen recording tool, all to help you manage your VA’s daily tasks.
What’s more, if you’d like your VA to pick up a certain skill, you don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars for their training.
Simply browse our managed training center, pay the training fee (starting from $99), and wait for your VA to complete their training.
Other Communication Tools
Perhaps you’d like to integrate your assistant with the rest of your team at work. If so, you can ask them to use messaging tools like Slack, Discord, and Telegram, or audio and video calling software like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Zoom.
Accounts Payable Automation Software
You might also want your assistant to use Bill.com, Stampii, Airbase, or other cloud-based software for financial operations. Platforms like these allow remote teammates to view and monitor invoices and financial transactions from a business to its suppliers.
Expense Management Software
Some virtual bookkeeping assistants handle processing, paying, and auditing expenses that employees incur. VAs use expense management software like Expensify, Airbase, and SAP Concur to do this.
No Regrets When You Get a Bookkeeping Assistant from Wing
With an experienced bookkeeper, you’re sure that you’ll be working towards profitability in a data-driven, transparent, and responsible manner. But for smaller businesses, getting a dedicated bookkeeper is easier said than done.
If you’re bootstrapping your venture or just starting out, you might struggle to fill this role internally. Let Wing find you a bookkeeping assistant – book a call with our team to learn how we can help you own your time!
Aya is Wing Assistant’s blog manager. When she’s not wrangling content briefs, editing article drafts and handling on-page SEO, she is crafting messages for Wing’s other communication materials. Aya writes about SaaS startups, marketing for startups, search engine optimization, and pop culture.