A remote bookkeeper could be just what you need

One of the mistakes some businesses make, is thinking that their bookkeeping function needs to be handled in-house, or just down the road by a local company. You could well find that a virtual assistant might be a more efficient choice for your business.

So, why think about changing? Here are some things to consider. The in-house option means staff time is tied up carrying out bookkeeping functions. If that function requires a part-time commitment, then it can be difficult to effectively manage a staff resource that keeps on top of the issues. If staff have to juggle several tasks, there is the danger that essential bookkeeping functions get left to one side, as sales calls are prioritised.

Alternatively, there is the danger that too much staff time is allowed for the bookkeeping function. So it is worth calculating how much cost is being consumed by employees. When you take into account holidays, sickness, and National Insurance contributions, the cost may be much higher than you initially thought.

The other way you may be getting less than ideal bookkeeping, for too much money, is by relying on a local company to outsource the work to. Sure, if your bookkeeper is just down the road, there is the comfort of dropping off a carrier bag of receipts, and asking for the mess to be sorted out. But let’s be honest, most of us now keep receipts electronically, and there is a real danger that your local bookkeeper may not be the best person for the task.

Here are a couple of things to think about. Does your bookkeeper use one of the latest accounting software packages, such as Xero? Not only are these efficient and more cost-effective, they are also secure, with your data stored in the cloud and accessible by you from any computer you wish to use. If your bookkeeper is still a paper lover, and keeps everything in filing cabinets, that is increasingly being seen as a major security risk.

Second, is your bookkeeper focused on actually helping your business? A proactive bookkeeper will schedule tasks to ensure essentials never get left out of the calendar – making for an assurance that VAT returns and such like are completed in a timely fashion. They will also look for opportunities to ensure your business works in a most tax-efficient manner. And, if they use one of the online systems, they can deliver information to your accountant in a format that is ready to use – potentially cutting your accounting fees as a result.

If you use a virtual assistant, they could be across the other side of the country. So does that matter? With phones, email and online software systems, it doesn’t need to be. Some clients prefer face to face conversations, which these days is easy to do, with services such as Skype or Facetime – so why not set up a call with Time Wise VA today, and discuss how you may benefit from outsourcing your bookkeeping function to a virtual assistant.

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