In my last blog, I wrote about the concept of remote bookkeeping or telecommuting. I explained what it is, why I do it and how it works. I ended the blog by saying that remote bookkeeping can only work well when there are good communication systems in place. This applies to both the bookkeeper and the clients. If either party falls down on the job, then the professional relationship is threatened and can possibly fail. In short, the key to a successful remote or virtual bookkeeping relationship is clear and constant communication.
In my experience as a teleworker, communication is king. It is important in any professional relationship but even more so when that relationship is virtual i.e. you do not work face to face with someone on a daily basis. Put simply, the virtual relationship can be devoid of all key indicators that help us connect as human beings like:
Okay so you run a small business and things are super busy! You’ve got lots to organise – employees, clients, projects, supplies, website, marketing and dare I say it, yes, the bookkeeping and tax compliance tasks! Some business owners prepare their own books but many are outsourcing the task to professional bookkeepers instead. Some prefer to employ an onsite bookkeeper but others have chosen to use the services of virtual bookkeepers. They have done this for various reasons, the main ones being:
As small business owners, they are probably operating a home-based business and do not want someone regularly coming into their home/family space.
They operate from a formal office which does not have the space for another worker, desk and equipment etc. or
Their business is primarily mobile and as such, they don’t really utilise a physical office.
So just what is a virtual bookkeeper and how does virtual bookkeeping work? What are the pitfalls or cons or virtual bookkeeping? Today we answer these questions and more……..
A virtual bookkeeper is someone who works remotely, utilising current technologies and the internet to complete bookkeeping and other tasks for his clients. Virtual bookkeeping is not location-dependent. A virtual bookkeeper can offer services to clients Australia-wide (or perhaps worldwide), without leaving his office. The internet, current technologies and cloud services all make this possible. At e-BAS Accounts, while we do have some local clients whom we see in person, we are essentially virtual bookkeepers and maintain clientele in several Australian states even though we are Victorian-based. To ensure the virtual relationship runs smoothly, we use a system which we will share with you today. Here is a summary of how our virtual bookkeeping system works. If you would like to read the extended version, head here.
Done well, the virtual bookkeeping relationship can be very beneficial for both the bookkeeper and the business owner. Done poorly, the virtual relationship will fall over leaving all concerned a little worse for wear. So are there any pitfalls to virtual bookkeeping? Unfortunately yes, as with any system, things can go wrong. Here is our list of common pitfalls:
Many SME’s are outsourcing their bookkeeping and BAS tasks to professional bookkeepers. This frees them up to get on with running their businesses and gives them peace of mind that their bookkeeping is correct and compliant. It’s a great thing to do especially if you loathe bookkeeping! While some SME’s prefer to employ an on-site bookkeeper, many are turning to virtual bookkeepers for assistance. So just what is a virtual bookkeeper and how do you work with one?