There’s never been a better time for small business owners to grow their business than the last few months. As the nation recovers from a post-Covid scenario and the economy booms, there are quite a few opportunities out there for businesses to exploit to their advantage.

However, growing and scaling your business comes with its own set of challenges, which include ensuring your accounts team can manage the increased volume of business transactions. Early-stage startups have fewer bills to process in their initial days. In short, bookkeeping is easy to manage. However, as soon as your pool of clients grows, bookkeeping becomes more complicated and time-consuming.

In such a scenario, the need of the hour is a solution that is easy to implement and affordable.

While there are many options that start-ups can turn to, such as hiring more full-time accountants or outsourcing their bookkeeping to small business accounting services, the best and most viable option is to hire a bookkeeper who works remotely.

Bookkeeping virtual assistants are online accountants for small businesses and help them manage their accounts from a remote location, i.e., they are not present physically in the office or business premises. They offer the same services as virtual accounting services but more efficiently and at comparatively lower costs.

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But some business owners may be a bit confused about the role a virtual bookkeeping assistant will play in their organization. Furthermore, some entrepreneurs may find it challenging to decide which tasks they can delegate to virtual bookkeeping assistants.

Distinguishing what a bookkeeping virtual assistant does with what they do not do can be tricky. The lines get blurry when business owners deal with terms like Balance Sheets, CPA, Indirect Taxes, etc.

In addition, questions like - how much does a virtual assistant bookkeeper charge? Or where to find a suitable professional? add to the confusion, and may lead to small businesses avoiding hiring one or looking up other virtual accounting services.

In this blog, to help business owners and entrepreneurs better understand the role of a bookkeeping virtual assistant, we share some of the tasks they are best suited for and what you cannot delegate to them.

13 tasks that a virtual bookkeeping assistant can do for you

  1. On-time bill payment

You must ensure timely payment of vendor invoices and other payables to ensure the smooth functioning of your business.  Timely payment is also essential to ensure the credibility of your business and build your reputation among vendors.

As your business grows, it would be best to hire a virtual assistant with experience in bookkeeping to manage all your bill payments to ensure that you don’t miss out on any of them. The payments that don't need your approval can also be made directly by a VA.

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2. Creating invoices

Accurate invoicing is essential for every business, but unfortunately, it is a repetitive, mundane task that takes up far too much time. Time that entrepreneurs can better use to grow their business.

Companies must also ensure that the correct invoices are dispatched on time to ensure timely customer payments. That, too, is a time-consuming task that could be better handled by virtual bookkeepers who offer professional-level accounting and bookkeeping services.

3. Coordinate with customers on invoicing and other financial issues

As your list of clients grows, communicating with all customers on their invoices, payments, etc., becomes more complex and tiring. It gets more troublesome and time-consuming, especially when there are errors in some transactions or invoices, as it leads to a lot of back n forth to get the errors sorted.  Entrepreneurs cannot afford to drain their time and energy in such interactions.

The solution is a bookkeeping virtual assistant who can communicate with customers and notify them about transaction updates on your behalf.

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4. Sending payment reminders to customers

Sending payment reminders is a common recurring task across all businesses - big or small! Unfortunately, business owners have hectic schedules, and such recurring & non-productive tasks only usurp their time. Delegating it to a virtual bookkeeping assistant is an intelligent way to tackle this problem.

5. Making entries for payables and receivables

As your company grows, keeping track of all the payables and receivables is a considerable challenge, which is best left to accounting professionals. A virtual bookkeeper can easily collect and record this information and share detailed reports whenever required.

Also, keep in mind that managing financial data is not a simple task. Some firms may have a large number of financial transactions daily, which need to be accurately and regularly updated for a quick analysis of the company’s financials. Here too, a virtual bookkeeper can plan an important role as compared to the best outsourced accounting services.

6. Making financial reports easy for you to understand

Every startup founder comes from a different work area. Technical and financial terms are challenging to understand for individuals from non-financial backgrounds. A knowledgeable and experienced bookkeeper can convert financial reports into a format you can easily refer to and analyze for a better understanding of the company’s finances.

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7. Helping with year-end document completion

The end of a financial year comes with many challenges - taxation, financial statements, balance sheets, and more. Not completing and submitting the same on time can also lead to legal problems.

A bookkeeping assistant can handle this task, ensuring that all paperwork and documentation are organized at the outset, saving you time and legal hassles during the financial year closing.  They are as good, if not better, than the best outsourced accounting services you can hire for your taxation documentation.

8. Handling bad or delinquent accounts

Every company has to deal with bad and delinquent customers, who may delay or, worse, not make the payments due to you. However, entrepreneurs may find it challenging to handle these problematic accounts since they may also need to prioritize other tasks. As such, a bookkeeping virtual assistant is your best go-to person for payment follow-ups and ensuring that payments are collected on time.

9. Assisting with tax submissions

The virtual bookkeeping assistants can keep track of all the taxes due by your business and set payment reminders for the same to ensure that all tax obligations are met on time. Their expertise in this field can be compared to the best outsourced accounting services available globally.

10. Helping you prepare sales tax reports

Sales tax reporting is a challenging task that calls for knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, many business owners are unaware of their tax obligations until it is too late and do not fully comprehend how to calculate taxes. As a result, many view the preparation of tax reports and their submission as a nightmare.

11. Data maintenance in the software of your choice

You need to keep accurate, up-to-date financial records of your business to plan your finances accordingly. While numerous accounting software is available online for maintaining the records, knowing how to use them requires training and time.

Virtual bookkeepers are familiar with many accounting software and can even recommend the best one for your business based on their experience. They can also help you migrate your accounting data from one software to another.

12. Preparation of general ledgers

Identifying and recording each financial transaction in general ledgers can drain your energy and time. Luckily, virtual bookkeeping assistants have expertise in maintaining general ledgers and can regularly update them on your behalf.

13. Reconciling Bank And Credit Card Statements

It can be pretty challenging to reconcile your business bank accounts and financial documents. Moreover, it needs to be done regularly to avoid errors in your accounts. To ensure timely reconciliation and accuracy of all transactions, delegating this task to professional accounting services or a virtual bookkeeper is recommended.

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Can my virtual assistant do other recurring tasks?

A virtual assistant can add immense value to your business by freeing your time and allowing you to focus better on your business. Here are the tasks they can help you with other than bookkeeping.

Calendar management

Scheduling meetings

Preparing workflow

Task prioritization

Task Reminders

Answering calls

To-do list management

And more!

What to not expect from a virtual bookkeeper?

This section deals with what are NOT the responsibilities of a bookkeeping virtual assistant. While everyone researches - why I should hire a bookkeeping assistant - it is crucial to know what not to delegate.

Bookkeepers are not financial advisors.

Every financial transaction is recorded in the accounting books by a bookkeeper. But they do not have the expertise to analyze them. These books are examined by a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), who also provides financial guidance according to the situation. So, if you want appropriate financial advice, CPAs can help you.

Can they help you with business strategy?

Virtual assistants are hands-down the best option when it comes to administrative work and recurring tasks, but they can't make strategic or growth plans on your behalf. That is best left to business owners and entrepreneurs.

Virtual assistants can help you with their research skills and conduct in-depth research on any product, service, or business studies you require, to help you make better, well-informed decisions for your business.

They cannot make financial decisions for you.

How much should a customer be charged? Should there be a penalty for late payments? Which services should be discounted? - A virtual assistant can't be a decision maker for these problems. These are core business-related issues that affect your revenue and sales, which are best handled by you.

Hire a Bookkeeping Virtual Assistant for these Top 5 Benefits

AccountingToday.com, in its report, states that 74% of startups and small businesses in America do not hire full-time, in-house accountants or professional-level accounting services. This is because they lack funds and also want to save themselves from the hassle of managing more team members. Hiring virtual assistants can solve both these problems and more.

Your Finances are in Trusted Hands

More than 30% of small business owners think their accountants are trustworthy and honest. They believe in the accounting services offered and consider their virtual assistant's advice when making judgments.

It is a relief to know that your money is being handled honestly. But not just anyone can be that "someone." You require a knowledgeable, accountable professional, such as a virtual bookkeeping assistant!

A virtual bookkeeping assistant will also alert you to upcoming tax payments and other important transactions. Moreover, they will manage your bank transactions, check credit card bills, reconcile financial statements, make payments on your behalf, manage invoicing, and other financial activities.

Cost-efficient Approach

It is difficult to save money when you hire a full-time in-office bookkeeping assistant due to the overheads and other financial obligations involved. In addition, if you handle bookkeeping tasks on your own, you won't have time to focus on expanding your business, which could prove disastrous in the long term.

Additionally, even while some accounting software is reasonably priced, they frequently offer essential functions at additional costs. So, working with a tool is not necessarily a cost-effective way.

You may ask, how does a virtual bookkeeper help me save costs?

Bookkeeping virtual assistants are usually available on an hourly basis. It means you only have to pay for the required/productive hours. In addition, hourly payments replace a fixed salary with virtual assistant services, helping you save considerably in the long run.

Save Time = Money

Managing finances and accounts can take hours. It also depends on the size of the company and the client base they have - more clients means more finance-related work.

While any professional virtual assistant can take over the bookkeeping tasks for you, they cannot attend sales meetings or make business strategies on your behalf.

Startup founders also have other business areas to focus on, including networking with customers, investors, partners, etc. So hiring a virtual assistant to handle all finance-related tasks makes good sense in such a scenario.

Moreover, virtual bookkeeping virtual assistants are more efficient as they update their skills regularly to be more productive and efficient.

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Better efficiency.

The only way to manage finances is to accurately track money coming in and going out in a structured manner regularly. A virtual bookkeeping assistant will ensure that your financial data is organized and accessible whenever you need it by documenting and monitoring daily cash flow and all other details.

You can study your finances and comprehend your business better if it is systematic and make game-changing business decisions.

Be more Productive

Getting someone talented on board with years of expertise to do the work is a simple method to boost productivity. Most virtual bookkeepers are skilled and knowledgeable in the techniques needed for expert accounting and financial management.

Additionally, virtual assistant companies and platforms employ only qualified bookkeepers who receive additional training for better performance.

Save Time and Make processes efficient with Virtual Bookkeeping Services

That was all about what a bookkeeping virtual assistant can do and what they can't do for small businesses. Virtual assistants can help you achieve a better work-life balance and save time that can be used to grow your business.

To know more about the value virtual bookkeepers can add to your business and help you grow, schedule a free consultation with Wishup or mail us at [email protected].

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Priya

Priya

Writer with Wishup. Reader. Avid Movie Watcher. Apart from that, I thrive on apps and naps.

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