What Are Virtual Bookkeeping Services?

The Milestone Team September 3, 2021
what are virtual bookkeeping services

It used to be common that every business had its own accounting department. Accounting and bookkeeping are vital functions to any business—large or small—but today, many are opting to use outsourced accounting services. Continuity in accounting is important, which means you need an accounting team you can rely on to help you make financial-related decisions. 

Virtual bookkeeping services are becoming increasingly common as companies take advantage of the gig economy and teams move to remote work. A bookkeeper works in tandem with an in-house accounting team or outsourced accounting firm to help meet financial goals, calculate important KPIs, and make thoughtful decisions. 

But what are virtual bookkeeping services, exactly, and what does a virtual bookkeeper do? Let’s look at some services they provide, plus a virtual bookkeeper job description to really make it clear.

Virtual Bookkeeper Job Description

In reality, a virtual bookkeeper isn’t much different than a traditional bookkeeper, whose job is to manage the day-to-day finances of a business or organization. There are several key tasks that any bookkeeper is responsible for. A list of accounting and bookkeeping services include things like: 

  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • Payroll
  • Expense reconciliation 
  • Expense management
  • Bank and credit account management

The main difference between a traditional bookkeeper and a virtual bookkeeper is where they work, and the software they use. 

A traditional bookkeeper shows up and works in your office every day. Usually they’re paid as a full-time employee of your business. They use local software like Quickbooks desktop to manage accounts receivables, invoices, and the flow of financial transactions into and from the business. 

On the other hand, a virtual bookkeeper will use a cloud-based software that allows them to work remotely. As long as they have an internet connection, they can do their job. And a variety of communication tools, like Slack or Google’s suite, makes it easy for a business owner or in-house accountant to manage the bookkeeper virtually. 

Do I Need a Virtual Bookkeeper? 

As discussed above, many companies both large and small are moving toward using virtual bookkeeping and other outsourced accounting services. Even if these businesses have an in-house team, using an outsourced accounting service offers them talent and specialities they may not have available from their full-time employees. 

While there used to be a large focus on in-house teams, the recent pandemic saw many businesses change their work structure to be more flexible—and that has made companies realize they don’t always need to be in-person in order to get quality work accomplished. In the same way, it’s no longer necessary to have an accountant in the back office. Instead, you can have a team available virtually that can execute everything from lower-level accounting functions like bookkeeping up to higher-level services like an outsourced CFO

Start-ups and small businesses often find value in outsourced accounting services and virtual bookkeeping, because it allows owners and operators more time to focus on their business without having to add additional headcount.. Conversely, when larger companies hire a full-time, in-house accountant, that person will definitely be able to keep the books. Depending on skill level, talents, and specialization, they may be able to offer other value to the company as well. That said, when you hire a mid-level accountant (who may have other skills) to primarily do bookkeeping, it may be difficult to keep their interest—and that could lead to turnover – which leads to major business disruption like missed invoices when the books aren’t kept up with.

Is a virtual bookkeeper right for you, or even a full outsourced accounting partner? Contact Milestone, where you can find virtual bookkeeping and other outsourced accounting services that can help take your business to the next level. We use the latest in cloud-based software to provide you with the insights you’re looking for. 

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