How Can a Virtual Assistant Assist me With My Bookkeeping Virtually?

Bookkeeper Houston
I get this question asked considerably as many small business owners just don't like bookkeeping or do not have the time. I can tell you that virtual bookkeeping can be done pretty easily but it does depend on what system you might have in place and how comfortable you happen to be with delegating in your virtual bookkeeper.

Bookkeeper Houston
The very first consideration:

1. Accounting Program. If you utilize QuickBooks, Peachtree or any other accounting software, you have to make sure that your version is the same as the virtual bookkeeper. Most accounting programs will help you restore a file from either precisely the same version or version below (QuickBooks Pro 2009) then again you would not be able to restore the file back off to your version (QuickBooks Pro 2008). Most QuickBooks ProAdvisors do have multiple versions of QuickBooks on the computers. I personally have clients still using more aged versions and they have opted to never upgrade because the version just works fine for them.

2. An alternative is QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks online allows 3 users to get into the account (business proprietor, bookkeeper and accountant). Precisely what is nice about QuickBooks Online, is basically that you do not need to purchase software each and every year and the file is backed up on the Intuit server each day. You can also access the file everywhere you look you have computer access - in your home office office, if you travel frequently - from your hotel, or even review the file directly from your accountant's office. The QuickBooks Online version differs from the desktop version but if you just use QuickBooks for invoicing and entering payables, this technique will work fine for you. Should you be thinking about using QuickBooks online, please talk to your QuickBooks ProAdvisor and they can explain different packages available as well as help set up your account. The monthly fee is between $9.95 - $34.95 depending on what package you select and keep in mind that a lot of QuickBooks ProAdvisors do pass on their discounts on their clients.

3. You can even use remote access sites for example logmein, gotomypc or pcanywhere where the virtual bookkeeper can log in your computer, access your QuickBooks file increase as needed. The only problem with using this method is it will prevent from using your computer at the same time as the bookkeeper in most cases the entering transactions can take a little bit more time on account of type of internet connection you have.

The second consideration: just how do i get the information towards the bookkeeper. There are a few methods to handle this and again it depends on what process works for you and the bookkeeper.

1. Create a file folder per month of the year - January through December. During the entire month, insert your credit card receipts, vendor bills, and your money outlays into the appropriate file folder. When the bank statement is received, after that you can send the file folder on the bookkeeper via Priority Mail, Express Mail, FedEx or UPS. When the bookkeeper receives the file, the credit card charges are entered into the accounting program and also the statement reconciled along with your business banks. For this method, most clients do pay their vendor bills and send the check stubs for the bookkeeper for reconciling. After the reconciliations have been completed, the bookkeeper will email the particular monthly financial reports (Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet) and mail to you all the receipts, which have now been coupled to the appropriate statements (bank or charge card) for filing.

2. For client invoicing, you can email, fax or mail the information needed for preparing your client invoice. For monthly invoicing, an expert invoice template might be set up with the client filing inside the necessary information and then emailing to the bookkeeper for completion. The virtual bookkeeper can prepare and either mail or email the invoice for your benefit. The virtual bookkeeper may also help you in keeping close tabs on your accounts receivable.

3. For anyone who have online banking, it's very easy to use a virtual bookkeeper. There are a couple of ways you can do this - you can download your bank activity weekly, bi-weekly or monthly and email the data to the bookkeeper for entry combined with the monthly bank statement when it is available.

For those of you who may have had a long, established relationship using your bookkeeper, you can assign use of them through your bank, and they would then be able to join and download the transactions and bank statements themselves. You can also email your bookkeeper vendor invoices with suggested payment dates along with the bookkeeper can setup the vendor for payment using your online bank account.

Lastly, obtaining a virtual bookkeeper. You are able to certainly contact your accountant and enquire of if they can recommend a bookkeeper to help with your monthly transactions. Many bookkeepers do give you results closely with their client's accountants. All through the year I am sending QB files for quarterly or six review for tax planning discussions that my clients have with their accountant. Another idea is always to ask other businesses that you know and ask them who assist's these with their bookkeeping.

1. Intuit (makers of QuickBooks) comes with an online database of their Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors you can find at Intuit's website. You enter your zip code as well as a list will show the Certified ProAdvisors in the area. To become a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor you need to take a test each and every year on the most recent edition of QuickBooks. It is an online test and usually takes up to 16 hours to perform.

2. Another recommendation is to use someone who is a Certified Bookkeeper. There are two organizations that offer certification programs for bookkeepers and they are the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) as well as the National Association of Certified Professional Bookkeepers (NACPB). With organizations you need to obtain CE credits throughout every season in order to attain your certification. Moreover, NACPB provides the nation's leading bookkeeper licenses. NACPB bookkeeper licenses assure small enterprise and nonprofit organizations that NACPB licensed bookkeepers are trusted and competent bookkeepers.

3. The International Virtual Assistants Association - a non-profit organization with over 1,200 members is yet another association where you should be able to find well-qualified bookkeepers or certified bookkeepers. They've got an RFP area where one can post your job requirements and members who match those qualifications will react to your RFP.

These are just a number of the methods that can be used when you use a virtual bookkeeper. Additionally, there are other processes which you can use which I did not cover. It is vital that when you are interviewing to your virtual bookkeeper, that you simply both decide on what process will continue to work best for both yourself as well as the bookkeeper. Of course, when you begin working together, you may find that emailing your QuickBooks file is just too big cumbersome and you may then elect to use QuickBooks Online or one of the remote access programs. It will certainly be the task from the bookkeeper to find the process that will work the best to suit your needs.