I get this question asked quite a bit as many small business owners just don’t like bookkeeping or don’t have the time. I can tell you that virtual bookkeeping can be done pretty easily but it does depend on what system you have in place and how comfortable you are with delegating to your virtual bookkeeper.you can read more information about bookkeeping rates at http://www.debt-angel.com/bookkeeping-rate-are-you-paying-enough/
The first consideration: how do I get the information to the bookkeeper?
There are a few ways to handle this and again it will depend on what process works best for you and the bookkeeper.
- Set up a file folder for each month of the year – January through December. Throughout the whole month, insert any of your card receipts, cash outlays and vendor bills to a folder for an appropriate file. When you receive any bank statement, you can then send the file folder to the bookkeeper via Priority Mail, Express Mail, FedEx, or UPS. Once the bookkeeper receives the file, the credit card charges are entered into the accounting program and the statement reconciled along with your business bank accounts. For this method, most clients do pay their vendor bills and send the check stubs to the bookkeeper for reconciling. Once the reconciliations have been completed, the bookkeeper will email you the monthly financial reports (Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet) and mail back to you all the receipts, which have now been attached to the appropriate statements (bank or credit card) for filing.
- For those of you who have online banking, it is very easy to use a virtual bookkeeper. There are a couple of ways this can be done. You can download your bank activity weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly and email the information to the bookkeeper for entry along with the monthly bank statement when it is available.click here to read more information about bookkeeping virtually
The second consideration:
- Accounting Program. If you are using QuickBooks, Peachtree or any other accounting software, you need to make sure that your version is the same as the virtual bookkeeper. Most accounting programs will allow you to restore a file from either the same version or version below (QuickBooks Pro 2009) but then you would not be able to restore the file back down to your version (QuickBooks Pro 2008). Most QuickBooks ProAdvisors do have multiple versions of QuickBooks on their computers. I personally have clients still using much older versions and they have opted not to upgrade because the version just works fine for them.
- You can even use remote access websites like in LogMeIn, PCAnywhere, and GoToMyPC where any virtual bookkeeper may log to your own computer, access to your files on QuickBooks and even update it as needed. The only problem with using this method is it will prevent you from using your computer at the same time as the bookkeeper and usually, the entering transactions can take a little bit more time due to the type of Internet connection you have.
For those of you who have had a long, established relationship with your bookkeeper, you can assign access to them through your bank, and they would then be able to log in and download the transactions and bank statements themselves.