I purchase this question asked considerably as many small business owners just dislike bookkeeping or not have the time. I can tell you that virtual bookkeeping is possible pretty easily nonetheless it does depend on what system you might have in place and how comfortable you are with delegating to your virtual bookkeeper.
Interim Controller Richmond TX
The very first consideration:
1. Accounting Program. If you are using QuickBooks, Peachtree or any other accounting software, you should make sure that your version matches the virtual bookkeeper. Most accounting programs will help you restore a file from either the identical version or version below (QuickBooks Pro 2009) but then you would not be able to restore the file back off to your version (QuickBooks Pro 2008). Most QuickBooks ProAdvisors will have multiple versions of QuickBooks on their own computers. I personally have clients still using much older versions and they have opted never to upgrade because the version just works fine for them.
2. Another choice is QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks online allows 3 users to access the account (business proprietor, bookkeeper and accountant). What is nice about QuickBooks Online, is basically that you do not need to purchase software each and every year and the file is supported on the Intuit server each day. You can also access the file everywhere you look you have computer access – from your home office, if you travel frequently – through the 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 method will work fine for you. Should you be thinking about using QuickBooks online, please check with your QuickBooks ProAdvisor and they can explain the different packages available as along with help set up your. The monthly fee is between $9.95 – $34.95 based on what package you end up picking and keep in mind that a majority of QuickBooks ProAdvisors do pass on their discounts for their clients.
3. You may also use remote access sites for example logmein, gotomypc or pcanywhere where the virtual bookkeeper can log in your computer, access your QuickBooks file boost as needed. The only problem with in this way is it will prevent you from using your computer simultaneously as the bookkeeper and in most cases the entering transactions usually takes a little bit more time as a result of type of internet connection you’ve.
The second consideration: how do you get the information towards the bookkeeper. There are a few approaches to handle this and again it depends on what process works best for you and the bookkeeper.
1. Create a file folder for every month of the year – January through December. During the entire month, insert your plastic card receipts, vendor bills, and money outlays into the appropriate file folder. Once the bank statement is received, you can then send the file folder for the bookkeeper via Priority Mail, Express Mail, FedEx or UPS. Once the bookkeeper receives the file, the greeting card charges are entered into the accounting program along with the statement reconciled along with your business bank accounts. For this method, most clients do pay their vendor bills and send the check stubs towards the bookkeeper for reconciling. After the reconciliations have been completed, the bookkeeper will email the actual monthly financial reports (Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet) and mail back all the receipts, that have now been attached to the appropriate statements (bank or plastic card) for filing.
2. For client invoicing, you can email, fax or mail the information needed for preparing your client invoice. For monthly invoicing, a guru invoice template may be set up with the client filing from the necessary information and then emailing to the bookkeeper for completion. The virtual bookkeeper can prepare and either mail or email the invoice on your behalf. The virtual bookkeeper could also help you in keeping close a record of your accounts receivable.
3. For anybody who have online banking, it is very easy to use a virtual bookkeeper. You can find a couple of ways this can be achieved – you can download your bank activity weekly, bi-weekly or monthly and email the information to the bookkeeper for entry with the monthly bank statement when it is available.
For those of you who’ve had a long, established relationship along with your bookkeeper, you can assign entry to them through your bank, and they’d then be able to log in and download the transactions and bank statements themselves. You can even email your bookkeeper vendor invoices with suggested payment dates along with the bookkeeper can set up the vendor for payment using your online bank account.
Lastly, locating a virtual bookkeeper. You can certainly contact your accountant and enquire of if they can recommend a bookkeeper to aid with your monthly transactions. Many bookkeepers do work closely with their client’s accountants. Throughout the year I am sending QB files for quarterly or six review for tax planning discussions that my clients have using accountant. Another idea is always to ask other business owners that you know and ask them who assist’s them with their bookkeeping.
1. Intuit (makers of QuickBooks) posseses an online database of the Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors you can find at Intuit’s website. You enter your zip code plus a list will show the Certified ProAdvisors in your area. To become a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor you should take a test each and every year on the most recent edition of QuickBooks. It’s an online test and may take up to 16 hours to perform.
2. Another recommendation is to locate someone who is a Certified Bookkeeper. There’s 2 organizations that offer certification programs for bookkeepers plus they are the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) as well as the National Association of Certified Professional Bookkeepers (NACPB). With both organizations you need to obtain CE credits all year round in order to attain your certification. Additionally, NACPB provides the nation’s leading bookkeeper licenses. NACPB bookkeeper licenses assure small business and nonprofit organizations that NACPB licensed bookkeepers are trusted and competent bookkeepers.
3. The International Virtual Assistants Association – a non-profit organization with well over 1,200 members is the one other association where you will be able to find well-qualified bookkeepers or certified bookkeepers. They have an RFP area where one can post your job requirements and members who match those qualifications will reply to your RFP.
These are just some of the methods that can be used whenever using a virtual bookkeeper. There are also other processes that can be used which I did not cover. It is vital that when you are interviewing for the virtual bookkeeper, that you both decide on what process works best for both yourself as well as the bookkeeper. Of course, when you start working together, you may find that emailing your QuickBooks file is simply too cumbersome and you may then tend to use QuickBooks Online a treadmill of the remote access programs. It will certainly be the task in the bookkeeper to find the procedure that will work the best for you.