Hiring A Virtual Bookkeeper

Is your business short on help?  Good help that is?  Did your best bookkeeper or administrative assistant you ever had leave because her husband was relocated to Timbuktu?  Now what?  You’ve been through countless resumes and none of the candidates seem to measure up.  Are you a small business owner who can’t afford, or don’t have enough work, for a full-time bookkeeper?

Why not hire a virtual bookkeeper (VB)?  Gaining in popularity among large and small businesses alike, VB’s can help bail you out of a rough spot on a temporary basis or even work long-term just like a regular employee.

What does a virtual bookkeeper do?

In short, a VB can do just about anything a regular employee can do. You just won’t see his or her face every day. Many virtual assistants are more specialized, and here’s a list of some of the things a virtual bookkeeper can do for your business:

•        Bookkeeping and Payroll

•        Human resources

•        Word processing

•        Letter preparation

•        Reports

•        Document scanning

•        E-mail processing

Virtual bookkeepers are typically a very intelligent bunch as well.  Many have countless years of excellent business experience to draw upon.  This comes in very handy when you’re looking for ideas.

How does a virtual bookkeeper work?

Virtual bookkeepers come in all shapes and sizes, just as any business does.  Typically, however, VB’s work from home-based offices.  They’re smart when it comes to operating on a low budget and using technology to their advantage.  They will use all of the latest technology to communicate with the client and get the work done as quickly as possible.  And, possibly best of all, they only “clock in” when they’re on your project, not while they’re sitting at your desk, using your electricity, playing solitaire!

What’s all this going to cost?

But aren’t virtual bookkeepers more expensive than regular employees?  Absolutely not!  Actually, a virtual bookkeeper is far more cost effective than a regular employee.  You may pay more per hour than a regular employee, but leave out the FICA, state unemployment taxes, Social Security, health insurance, vacation time, sick time, 401(k), profit sharing, a Christmas bonus, holiday pay, and other benefits you need to offer a regular employee, and a virtual assistant’s wage comes out far lower than that of a regular employee.

A virtual bookkeeper can save money in other areas as well.  How much does it cost you to maintain office footage, a computer, a phone line , a refrigerator, a microwave, a desk, electricity, heat, air conditioning, and parking for your regular employees?  With a virtual bookkeeper, you don’t need any of those things either – They supply their own.

Virtual bookkeepers charge between $25 and $45 per hour.  But, you only pay for the time they actually spend working on your tasks.  Some will ask that you pay for a “minimum guaranteed usage” each week or month.  Many will also agree to work for varying hourly rates depending on the task.  Yet, others may agree to a flat fee based upon individual project requirements.  Either way, you come out ahead.

Why should you trust someone you’ve never met?

VB’s are as concerned with your business success as they are with their own.  In fact, their success depends on your success. So, a virtual bookkeeper can become one of the best assistants and business partners you’ve ever had.  Just like you, they are business owners and very interested in helping their clients.

Virtual versus temp or temp agency

Virtual bookkeepers tend to work harder than the average person issued to you by a temporary agency.  Keep in mind that the temp agency is charging you as much as 20% more than the worker is actually getting paid.  This practice often leads to the use of unskilled or unacceptable laborers. Hiring a virtual bookkeeper allows you to choose who works with you.  You’ll also need to provide all of the temp’s supplies like paper, toner, pens, computer, electricity, etc., whereas, the VB comes with his or her own supplies.

Choosing a virtual bookkeeper

Now that you’ve decided to hire a virtual bookkeeper, there are several things you need to decide before you start looking:

•        What exactly do I need help with?

•        What expertise does the VB need?

•        What’s my budget?

•        How often will I need my VB to work?

•        Is there any specific software they’ll need to have?

•        How do I want to communicate with my VB?  Phone e-mail, text, or a combination of all?

Just as you would screen someone who would apply to work in your office, you’ll still need to spend a little time screening your virtual bookkeeper.  You’ll need to tell them what you need and want. Listen to what the potential VB has to offer you as well.  They may even be able to do several other tasks, which you hadn’t counted on, or even offer some very sound business advice.

At this time, you’ll also need to negotiate pricing and terms with the VB.

Who benefits by using a virtual bookkeeper?

•        Small businesses

•        Home based businesses

•        Entrepreneurs

•        Even individuals who just need a little extra help

Please contact me, so we can discuss your needs…

Denise Weese

Cell: 706-614-8080

Email: dweese@bookkeeping.systems