Virtual Accounting Services
The status quo for accounting has quickly changed with the dawn of today’s technology era and cloud-based platforms. Before, every business was accustomed to having an in-house accounting apartment that would log entries, cut checks, and manage bills. Now, most accounting work occurs virtually. Read more to explore what virtual accounting services are, how they work, and how much they can cost.
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Is payroll taking up to much of your time?
We are payroll experts. We have a depth of experience processing and optimizing payroll for companies of all sizes. Let us help you with the day-to-day complexities of your payroll administration.
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Do you understand the complexities of hiring employees in multiple states?
We can guide you through the maze of federal, state, and local requirements. Be confident you are ready to pay and onboard employees in any location around the Country.
System Selection & Implementation
Are you thinking about implementing a new payroll software?
Milestone can help you select the right system for your business. We can help implement and onboard your new payroll software, and even run the day-to-day execution.
We’ll own the payroll function, so you don’t have to.
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What Are Virtual Accounting Services?
Virtual accounting services involve outsourcing your accounting tasks to professional accountants who work remotely, utilizing advanced technologies and cloud-based software. These services are designed to provide businesses with comprehensive financial management solutions, including bookkeeping, financial analysis, tax preparation, and more.
Accounting services can help handle things like:
- Monthly financial statements
- Tax services
- Financial reports
- Tax advice
- Payroll support
With the proper accounting software, a dedicated bookkeeper or dedicated accountant can help a small business save time and energy on their bookkeeping and accounting services. Those time saving can then be reallocated somewhere else in the small business.
What Is Virtual Bookkeeping?
Virtual bookkeeping is a subset of virtual accounting services focusing on managing and recording daily financial transactions. Bookkeepers handle tasks such as data entry, bank reconciliations, invoicing, and expense tracking. By leveraging cloud-based software and secure online platforms, virtual bookkeepers can efficiently handle these tasks remotely.
Is Online Bookkeeping Service the Same as Virtual Bookkeeping?
Online bookkeeping services are essentially the same thing as virtual bookkeeping. It is remote, virtual, or online accounting services that leverage cloud-based software.
Can a Bookkeeper Do Accounting and Payroll Services?
Bookkeeping is the most basic level of accounting. Even though it’s the lowest level of accounting, doing it accurately and timely is difficult, especially for complex industries. Bookkeepers play a vital role in managing daily financial transactions, they primarily focus on recording and categorizing financial data. Controllers, also called accountants, provide higher-level financial analysis, tax planning, strategic advice, and financial reporting. While a bookkeeper may possess some accounting knowledge, the depth of expertise and scope of services a controller provides are typically broader.
Who Needs Bookkeeping Services?
Every business needs bookkeeping services, whether in the form of an in-house employee or an outsourced firm. Bookkeeping services are essential for businesses of all sizes, from startups to well-established enterprises. If you want to maintain accurate financial records, track expenses, manage payroll, and generate comprehensive reports, bookkeeping services are crucial. Small business owners, in particular, often benefit greatly from outsourcing their bookkeeping tasks to professionals who can ensure accuracy, compliance, and timely reporting. Outsourcing saves small business owners time and money, and ensures expertise in a critical function of their business.
How Does Virtual Bookkeeping Work?
Virtual bookkeeping operates through cloud-based software and secure online platforms. When you engage with a virtual bookkeeping service, the first step is to provide access. Generally, accountants need access to your accounting platform, bank and credit card reports, and other tools such as bill pay or expense management platforms. The bookkeeping team will then enter and categorize your transactions, reconcile accounts, generate financial statements, and provide ongoing support remotely. This collaborative approach allows real-time access to your financial information while keeping your data securely stored in the cloud.
What Are the Categories of Accounting Services and Online Bookkeeping Services?
Accounting services encompass a wide range of financial management activities. Here are the common categories for professional accounting services:
- Bookkeeping: The main function of bookkeeping is recording and categorizing financial transactions. Bookkeepers can also reconcile bank and credit card accounts, manage accounts payable and accounts receivable,
- Controllership: Controllers provide higher-level analysis, reports, and advice to help guide decision-making. Controllers analyze financial data generated by bookkeepers to provide insights into the financial health of the business. Controllers can also maintain forecasts and manage financial and operational efficiencies. Controllers are in charge of providing meaningful financial statements as well.
- CFO Services: Fractional CFOs help with high-level strategic finance. These services could include helping with fundraising, oversight of financial processes and tools, financial model builds and maintenance, and being the financial representative for stakeholder meetings.
- Tax Preparation: Tax accountants are trained differently than corporate accountants. Tax accountants ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations, prepare tax returns, and provide tax planning strategies.
- Payroll Processing: Payroll processing can be an accounting service, an HR service, or its own service, depending on the outsourced company. Payroll processing services include handling payroll calculations and tax withholdings and ensuring timely and accurate payments to employees.
Accounting Services for Small Business Cost
The cost of hiring a virtual account for a small business is very dependent. It’s difficult to know what is a good price for your business without getting quotes. Some companies charge more in their respective pricing model because of their reputation for accurate work and quality of accountants. This results in vastly different prices.
Here are guiding ranges for both hourly and monthly pricing models:
$20-$75 per hour. The variance comes from the complexity of financials, the qualifications of the accountant, and the scope of services.
$100-$175 per hour. Higher prices come from the need for more strategic financial support and highly qualified accountants.
$200-$400 per hour. CFO services mainly vary in price based on the qualifications of the CFO. More experienced and successful CFOs will charge more per hour.
$200-$750 per month. Monthly bookkeeping services vary depending mainly on transaction volume and the complexity of the financials.
$750-$2000 per month. Monthly controllership depends mostly on the strategic nature of the financials. More involvement in review meetings, forecast maintenance, and cash flow is more costly.
$1200-$3000 per month. CFO services pricing is directly correlated with time. The more time a client’s projects and work will require each month, the more the cost will be.
Is It Worth It to Hire an Accountant for a Small Business?
Hiring an accountant for a small business is highly beneficial when the needs meet the service. Whether it’s managing payroll services or helping with accounting software, hiring accounting services can provide some much-needed relief to small businesses. Accountants bring in-depth financial knowledge and expertise, helping you navigate complex financial regulations, maximize tax benefits, and provide strategic advice for business growth. While there is a cost associated with hiring an accountant, the value they bring in terms of financial accuracy, compliance, and long-term financial planning can outweigh the expense.
Online accounting services for small businesses create value by being cheaper than a full-time hire, having more access to expertise, and still taking time off of the business owner’s schedule. Time and insights are where accounting services for businesses show their true value.
How to Find the Best Virtual Bookkeeping Service for Your Business:
- Assess Your Current Needs: Determine the specific bookkeeping tasks you require assistance with, such as invoicing, bank reconciliation, or payroll management.
- Asses Your Future Hopes for Your Financial Department: Too many businesses make decisions that are tunnel visioned on their current needs. Look for a virtual bookkeeping service that has the potential to expand into controllership and CFO services. This way, your accounting solution can grow with your business.
- Research Virtual Bookkeeping Services: Leveraging your trusted network is the best way to find a reputable virtual bookkeeping service. It trumps any search for “accounting services near me.” After finding a few worthwhile candidates, read reviews, check their credentials, and evaluate their experience.
- Evaluate Price: Compare the pricing structures offered by different virtual bookkeeping services to ensure they align with your budget and requirements. Outsourced companies typically charge by considering factors such as transaction volume, complexity of financials, and level of expertise provided. Different pricing models may be better suited for your business and its future.
- Consider Security and Technology: Bookkeepers handle lots of sensitive information from bank accounts to payroll. Ensure that the virtual bookkeeping service utilizes secure cloud-based software and has robust data protection measures in place to safeguard your financial information.
- Communication: Communication with a virtual bookkeeper is pivotal to a successful relationship. Note how well their salesperson communicates and ask references about their communication tendencies.
- Expertise: Search for businesses with a wealth of expertise. See if they are posting virtual accounting jobs and searching for more experienced candidates. Even if their individual accountants are not all experts, the business as a whole should be run by experts and their processes.
- Industry Experience: Look for virtual bookkeeping services that have experience working with businesses in your industry. Ask for references with similar sizes and services. Understanding industry-specific accounting practices and regulations can be invaluable. For example, non-profit grant reporting is a niche skill that needs additional training.
How Milestone Can Help:
At Milestone, we understand the importance of accurate financial management and strategic guidance for your small business. Our virtual accounting services are tailored to meet the unique needs of your business, providing comprehensive solutions for bookkeeping, financial analysis, tax planning, and more.
With our team of experienced accountants and bookkeepers, we leverage advanced technologies and cloud-based software to deliver efficient and accurate financial services remotely. Our dedication to excellence, commitment to data security, and personalized support ensure that your financial management needs are met with the utmost professionalism and expertise.
Contact Milestone today to learn more about our virtual accounting services and how we can assist you in achieving your financial goals.