Your Guide to Virtual Accounting Services: Everything You Need to Know
Technology has significantly changed the way we communicate. In-person meetings are now switching to Zoom and phone calls are converting to instant messaging systems. The accounting service realm is no different.
Virtual accounting services are gaining more popularity as business owners seek flexibility and accounting firms are hosting a remote work workforce, making it vital to understand the basics of what virtual accounting services mean for your business.
What are Virtual Accounting Services?
A virtual accountant is no different than an in-house accountant with the same job duties and tasks being performed. Bank reconciliations, financial report creation, accounts payable support, and accounts receivable tracking are all completed with the assistance of a cloud-based software program. Instead of having to wait for your local accountant to come out and look at your books every month, a remote accountant can access your data at any time.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Accounting Services?
Considering the advantages and disadvantages of virtual accounting services will help you decide if this shift is right for your business. The first advantage is flexibility. Virtual accountants work around your schedule and can easily access your cloud-based accounting program to answer questions on the fly. This leads to more informed business decisions.
Another advantage is multiple avenues of communication. Phone calls, instant messaging, Zoom calls, and email communication are a few of the popular methods of communication with your virtual accountant. Additionally, virtual accountants can handle multiple areas of services all at a lower price. Taking out travel time and adding the flexibility of work options decrease the fees virtual accountants provide, allowing your business to save money while still receiving the necessary expertise help.
Like anything, there are disadvantages to consider as well. If you prefer in-person meetings, virtual accounting services might not be the right fit for your business, depending on the location of the accountant. Another disadvantage is a lack of building personal relationships. In-person communication is often the best way to get to know the professional you are working with. Although Zoom meetings allow you to assign a face to your accountant, you won't have the same personal feel when working with a virtual accountant.
How to Choose the Right Accounting Service Provider
If you decide that virtual accounting is right for your business, there are questions you need to ask your potential accounting service provider. First, you want to analyze the services they offer. Make a list of all the potential areas you need help with in your business and inquire if the accounting service provider has the knowledge to tackle these items.
Next, you want to determine the availability of your prospective accounting service provider. How often will they be able to answer questions? What is the turnaround time at month end? If your prospective accounting service provider doesn't have time to answer questions throughout the month, they might not be the best fit.
Many business owners are making the shift to virtual accounting services because of the flexibility and cost-saving initiatives; however, finding the right provider is an aspect that takes time. Luckily, BUSINESS might be the right fit for your business. Online Accountant, LLP is a registered accounting partnership under the laws of the province of Alberta. We provide all the services you would expect from an everyday accountant.
We prepare CPA compliant compilation year end financial statements, offer full bookkeeping services on all leading accounting software platforms, personal and corporate income taxes, or GST/HST and provincial sales taxes. In short, we do it all! No matter what province or territory you reside in. Please contact us with any question you may have regarding our services. Our goal is to answer your concerns within one business day.