There’s no getting around the fact that to run a successful company, business owners need to keep their books up to date. Bookkeeping may be a basic accounting function, but ignoring it - or doing it incorrectly - can negatively impact your business in the long run.
Among other things, accurate financials and organized books are essential for:
- Making informed, data-driven decisions
- Understanding profitability
- Demonstrating responsibility and transparency to stakeholders
- Planning realistically for the future
Working with an experienced bookkeeper is the best way to ensure your financial accounts stay in order.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean small businesses have to dedicate resources to filling this important role internally. In fact, enlisting the help of an outsourced, virtual bookkeeping service is often the most cost-effective way to gain control over your finances.
Not sure if virtual bookkeeping is the right move for you? Then let’s take a closer look at what it’s about, and which benefits of virtual bookkeeping your business is likely to gain.
What is virtual bookkeeping?
Virtual bookkeeping is essentially online bookkeeping – a service that allows experienced bookkeepers to provide routine accounting services remotely.
Not only does online bookkeeping provide flexibility in terms of location and hours (an important point if you work from home), it allows for convenient, shared access to your accounting software and financial documentation via a secure portal.
Responsibilities of a virtual bookkeeper
Virtual bookkeepers are typically responsible for the same functions as an in-house accountant or bookkeeper. In addition to recording a business’s day-to-day financial transactions, they carry out important bookkeeping tasks like:
- Recording day-to-day transactions
- Paying bills and invoicing clients
- Reconciling bank and credit cards statements
- Remitting sales tax returns
Just like their in-office counterparts, virtual bookkeepers can also generate monthly and annual financial reports, and liaise with your accountant when needed.
4 biggest benefits of virtual bookkeeping
We’ve already noted that working with a virtual bookkeeper can save money while providing greater flexibility and convenience. Now let’s dig a little deeper into the biggest benefits of virtual bookkeeping.
1. Up-to-date books
With the help of cloud accounting software, virtual bookkeepers can be given online access to your bank statements, receipts, and invoices, allowing them to update your books quickly and without having to wait for paper documents.
Because hiring an online bookkeeper means having a dedicated resource for managing your day-to-day books, you won’t have to scramble to organize your records in time for tax season or when your business gets audited.
2. Accurate financial reporting
Online bookkeeping services and cloud-based accounting software work hand-in-hand. That means you and your virtual bookkeeper can use a program like QuickBooks Online or Xero to integrate labour-saving applications like:
- Dext Prepare (to capture information on receipts and invoices)
- Plooto (to perform online payments)
- Square or Stripe (to reconcile daily sales transactions)
Accounting technologies like these let virtual bookkeepers spend less time on manual data entry, which improves accuracy by reducing human error-related mistakes.
You’ll also gain:
- Better visibility into your cash flow and business performance via real-time access to your books through a web or mobile app, and
- Greater decision-making insight from the monthly financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement) generated by your online bookkeeper
3. Greater flexibility and cost savings
Virtual bookkeeping provides the flexibility to work with accounting professionals outside your geographical area, making it easier to find the right fit for your needs and your budget.
Hiring a bookkeeper full-time or in-house, for example, might not be the most economical choice in terms of:
- Salary (hourly rates vary with location and expertise, but annual salaries range from $34-$77K)
- Payroll deduction costs
- Overhead like benefits and IT equipment
Since keeping your books is a necessary expense, however, hiring a virtual bookkeeping business like Enkel may be the best solution for achieving up-to-date books at an affordable price.
With Enkel, you pay only for the bookkeeping services your business requires. As your transactions or accounting complexity grow, Enkel’s team can provide a wider range of expertise and a broader scope of virtual bookkeeping services.
4. More time to grow your business
Wish you had more time to focus on what matters?
Since it’s unlikely you started your business because you wanted to become a bookkeeper, outsourcing virtual bookkeeping services lets you exchange time spent working on your books and worrying about tax season for greater peace of mind, and more time to grow your business.
Working with a virtual bookkeeper also means devoting less time to training and managing staff. At Enkel, we smooth the transition to online bookkeeping by learning all about your business during the onboarding process.
Thinking about outsourcing your bookkeeping functionality?
Depending on your goals and resources, the time to move your back-office functions to an experienced team of virtual experts might be now. Why not get in touch and find out how Enkel blends the best of people, processes, and technology to get and keep your books up to date.
How We Select and Evaluate Our Recommended Software
We thoroughly research and test the apps we include in our regular workflow for Client bookkeeping services. After deciding on criteria for evaluating the software and then researching the app itself, we tested the app, noting its strengths and weaknesses. We then work with the app for at least a few weeks before deciding whether to recommend it to our readers. We use the software as it was designed for its intended tasks. For a detailed walk-through of how we select and evaluate software, please see the details of our process.