A virtual bookkeeper managing financial records

The Benefits of Virtual Bookkeeping Services

Considering hiring your first virtual bookkeeper? You’re not alone – since Covid-19, thousands of small businesses have used outsourced bookkeeping services to work remotely on their books. Entrusting financial records to a virtual bookkeeper might feel unnerving, but the advancements in technology and a shift in workplace dynamics offer a compelling array of options that save businesses money and time.

What is Virtual Bookkeeping?

Virtual bookkeeping is the process of recording a business’s financial transactions remotely. Utilizing SaaS software, virtual bookkeepers can efficiently handle accounting tasks from anywhere in the world, providing flexibility and accessibility to businesses of all sizes.

Virtual bookkeeping services bring 4 key benefits over in-house bookkeepers:

  1. Higher quality and lower cost 
  2. Optimal options for part-time or fluctuating work
  3. Reduced overhead
  4. Faster setup and onboarding

1. Higher quality, lower cost.

The greatest advantage of online bookkeeping is access to a larger labor pool, including offshore and nearshore options. Why limit your choices to your local community? The expanded labor pool means higher-quality talent at a lower cost. Geographical barriers that once limited the search for qualified bookkeepers are now nonexistent, enabling small businesses to find the perfect fit for their accounting needs.

 2. Optimal options for part-time or fluctuating work

The best virtual bookkeeping services use flexible contracts, allowing them to scale up or down work as your business needs change. Think of a time you’ve seen your clerk surfing the internet waiting for tasks to arrive – that time is not wasted with hourly virtual bookkeeper engagements. 

This flexibility means that companies requiring less than a full-time bookkeeper can still receive top-notch financial management without the commitment to a full-time employee or a fixed contract.

3. Reduced Overhead 

Another significant benefit is the elimination of the need for physical office space. Virtual bookkeepers work remotely, meaning you do not need to pay for a desk, utilities, or office supplies for that person.

4. Quicker Setup and Onboarding

Compared to hiring in-house W2 employees, the onboarding process of remote bookkeeping solutions is streamlined and efficient, allowing for a faster setup. That’s because virtual bookkeepers are experienced with new-client onboarding, while W2 employees require extensive training and onboarding from your management team. Virtual bookkeepers can quickly integrate into a company’s operations, minimizing downtime and facilitating a smoother transition.

Downsides of virtual bookkeeping services

There are some challenges associated with outsourced virtual accounting.

To begin, you must be on SaaS accounting systems to use virtual bookkeepers. This is often a challenge for companies on old ERPs or which receive paper bills from vendors. 

Managing remote bookkeeping solutions means a change in mindset from measuring activities to measuring outcomes. While you can see an in-house bookkeeper working hard on a pile of paperwork, virtual bookkeeper performance should be measured on outcomes like the size of the AP inbox or invoice error rate. 

Lastly, remote workers often work asynchronously, potentially causing miscommunications. This is especially pronounced when your virtual bookkeepers are working in dramatically different time zones like India or the Philippines. Near-shore solutions are more appropriate if real-time communication is important for your business.

Despite these considerations, the future of accounting work is undeniably shifting towards virtual bookkeeping, with the benefits far outweighing the downsides.

Learn more about virtual bookkeeping

Switching to remote bookkeeping solutions may feel like a big leap for businesses accustomed to traditional in-house bookkeeping. However, you may be surprised by how easily processes are transitioned to remote bookkeeping solutions. Online bookkeeping advantages will only become more pronounced as AI and technology continue to advance.

If you would like to learn more about what a transition to virtual bookkeeping would look like for your business, book a free consultation with our team.

This article was written by a CFOshare employee with assistance from generative AI for rhetoric, grammar, and editing. The ideas presented are a combination of the author’s expertise, original ideas, and industry best practices.

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