What to Know Before Hiring A Virtual Bookkeeper

A bookkeeper can serve a small business owner in many ways. Some of the most common wins we have seen are schedule flexibility, an objective opinion on your business’s financial health, accurate financial reporting, time back in the day, and peace of mind.

Business owners have a lot on their plate already and knowing that their finances are being managed closely can provide a sense of relief and mental bandwidth to (re-)focus on other important things. 

What is Virtual Bookkeeping?

Virtual bookkeepers are professionals who have an accurate eye for detail in order to manage and record all of a business’s financial transactions. It is important to have someone with an objective opinion to provide accurate reports of your financial data for your business to run effectively. 

They make sure you have all of the correct systems in place that you need for your business to grow and be successful.

Some of these specific responsibilities include processing payroll and invoicing, managing weekly bill pay, reconciling credit cards and bank accounts, and producing reports and balance sheets.

While business owners are more than capable of managing these tasks, it can get to a point where too many hours are being spent on this when you should be working on strategic plans and relationship-building instead.

A great thing about working virtually with a bookkeeper is that there are endless secure systems and apps for the two of you to use to communicate, creating a seamless process.

How Does Virtual Bookkeeping Work?

Virtual bookkeepers take the pressure off of you to handle all the routine daily tasks that are essential to your organization, but there may be some tasks that you don’t realize they can do. 

We have a full list, but to list just a few … 

A Virtual Bookkeeper Can: 

  • Journal and data entry (coding)
  • Debit and credit card reconciliation
  • 1099 preparation (may include an additional fee)
  • Process payroll
  • Budget to actual (monthly)
  • Pay client’s bills on a weekly basis
  • Maintain and manage the chart of accounts

Along with completing these tasks, there are also common apps our virtual bookkeepers use including CamScanner, bill.com, LastPass, Slack, Expensify, Todoist, and 1Password.

Who Should Be Using a Virtual Bookkeeper?

Having a bookkeeper on your team frees up more time for business owners to do what they do best, such as casting vision, making strategic decisions for their organization, and building and maintaining relationships.

By outsourcing to a virtual bookkeeper, you can also save money by not paying the expenses of full-time or part-time employees and only paying for the essentials. Also, bookkeeping programs are expensive and by outsourcing, you essentially get these tools and experience, too. 

How to Find a Virtual Bookkeeper

When looking to hire a virtual bookkeeper, there are a few considerations to be aware of and make sure you note. We borrowed from some of our most common questions and listed them below.

Are they qualified?

It is paramount to know that your bookkeeper is qualified to manage the financial health and vitality of your organization. 

At BELAY, we prefer that our bookkeeper’s have bachelor’s degrees or five years’ experience. They also complete an online assessment to ensure all candidates have the content knowledge and skills required to complete the standard tasks of a bookkeeper.

Will I have one person or a team of people working on my account?

Many competitors use a team of people to serve their clients which causes confusion on who to call or who is doing what on their account. 

At BELAY, you have one dedicated bookkeeper that completes all work on your account. We are intentional in our placement as we want the bookkeeper to be a great fit for your team.

Will I be charged any additional fees?

Make sure you understand all of the possible fees that could be added to your monthly invoice. 

Sometimes, there are additional fees for more transactions, calls with your bookkeeper, or additional report requests. It’s also helpful to have some baseline knowledge on how much a bookkeeper costs.

How long will they stay with your organization?

Having high turnover on your account makes you feel like you’re always starting over — that’s no fun. 

At BELAY, our current length of service with our bookkeepers is 25 months, although we do have many bookkeepers who have been with us five years or more.

So when your business reaches the point when you consider virtual, outsourced financial solutions, the decision – and pressure – to bring in the right financial leadership may prove daunting. 

But it shouldn’t. 

BELAY offers bookkeeping solutions to companies across the country. Learn more about our services here.

And to learn more about small business bookkeeping, check out our Ultimate Guide to Bookkeeping.