Virtual bookkeeping means freedom and efficiency; freedom from client visits and having your tools of the trade close at hand.
If there is one thing we learned from the 2020-21 Pandemic is that effective work can be done without a commute and travel. We all became adept at using online communication to do our job and maintain relationships. This, of course, includes providing bookkeeping services.
So, how is it done?
First, I’m assuming you are a trained bookkeeper with accounting software. Although QuickBooks Online (QBO) isn’t the only software to use, it is one of the better ones that can be mastered as a QuickBooks Specialist. It permits downloading transactions from the client’s bank account directly into the software so that you don’t need to rekey much of the data. The software is even able to assign a category to common charges and income items.
Getting the source data and backup is probably the most complicated process. There are a few things you can do:
1) For income, as much as possible, the process should be computerized in a fashion that you can access. If that’s not possible, a snapshot will work.
2) For expenses, train the owners and anyone that works with invoices/credit card charges to send you a snapshot of any documents. These pictures can be attached to the QuickBooks charge as backup.
3) If you will be preparing the payments to vendors, have the invoices sent to your address or emailed to you.
Once all the information is entered into the accounting software, you can print all reports into a pdf document and email them, as an attachment, with a note of their contents, concluding with an invitation to call you if the client should have any questions.
Using a document management system to exchange documents and pictures, such as eFileCabinet will reduce paper and time.
Having an in-person meeting once a quarter is a nice touch, if practical. This will enable you to sell your services, seek any recommendations for new clients, and refresh your professional relationship.
To learn more about how to start and run a successful virtual bookkeeping business, be sure to check out Universal Accounting’s Professional Bookkeeper program as well as the Virtual Bookkeepers Roadmap.