2020 proved to be a disruptive year for accounting professionals due to the pandemic. Bookkeepers, accountants and CPA’s were all forced to be flexible, while moving their practices to home and working remotely. More and more accounting firms are striving to become fully functional virtually as the benefits seem to outweigh the costs. However, many small businesses are still warming up to the idea of a virtual accountant. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons virtual accounting is here to stay.
Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Accountant
Online accountants are one way to free up time and give you the convenience of anytime/anywhere accounting to improve productivity
- Less Paperwork and Increased Efficiency
Cloud storage technology allows virtual accounting firms to keep digital copies of their client’s records, providing significant benefits to their clients’ data retention requirements. Virtual CPA firms have the ability to scan all sensitive documents, so clients can easily have access to the copies and all supporting documentation without the need to have physical copies.
2. Online Accountants Are There Whenever You Need Them
Your virtual accountant is accessible via a phone or zoom call whenever you need them. If you have a question, they will quickly get back to you. Technology has made virtual accountants easily accessible, without them having to present on site at your business.
3. Virtual Accounting Services are Delivered on Your Timeline
Depending on your business, you may need daily, weekly, or monthly accounting assistance. A virtual accounting service can easily fill those needs. Unlike an in-house accounting professional, you only have to pay for what you need, and your virtual accountant can deliver the work on the pre-determined schedule that meets your business timelines.
4. Power of Technology and Increased Security
Advanced cloud computing gives businesses access to financial statements via email on a pre-set schedule. Business owners will have access to financial documents 24/7, from any device with secure internet access. Your financial data is securely stored in data centers, which are protected from any natural disasters such as fire or floods.
5. Significant Cost Savings
Hiring a full-time accountant has many costs associated with it, including a salary, insurance, payroll and other benefits. You may even be required to provide an office space for the accountant to work effectively. A virtual accountant can offer significant cost savings by paying a specific cost without any additional overheads. You only pay for what you need, so you won’t be paying someone extra money if there is not enough work to do.
Online accounting services can easily scale to meet the needs of your business. A virtual accountant can quickly adjust to an increase in work volume, like increased transactions or complexity. Additionally, if the business ebbs after a period of time, you won’t be stuck paying for more resources than you need. Most virtual accounting services have the option to pay-as-you-go model. If your business quickly grows, or needs extra assistance, you can immediately scale up without bearing overhead costs and spending ample time trying to hire new resources.
7. Specialized Services and Skill Set
Hiring a remote accounting firm means that you can hire talent from anywhere. You can find an accountant that has the exact industry expertise you are looking for, that understands the relevant accounting practices to your business. Additionally, virtual accounting services have a team of accounting professionals, so if you need more than one resource, your virtual accountant can easily involve his or her team to ensure your needs are met.
8. Detailed Reporting at Your Fingertips
Most virtual accounting firms have processes and procedures in place to be able to offer clients detailed reporting on an agreed upon schedule. You are also likely to receive timely alerts about any pending items that need to be addressed. Additionally, virtual CPA firms can help update your business of any changes in the regulatory and compliance environment.
How Do I Hire a Virtual Accounting Service?
Many small businesses may have never considered hiring an online accounting service before. The first step is to go online and do your research. There are numerous virtual accounting firms, but some may be a better fit than others for your business. Here are some questions to consider before hiring a virtual accounting firm:
- What services do they provide?
- Do they provide a monthly reconciliation of your business’s accounts?
- Are they available during your business’s work hours?
- Will they make sure your business is tax compliant?
- Will your business truly benefit from this service?
How To Succeed with a Virtual Accounting Firm
Communication is key when working with a virtual accountant. We suggest setting up regularly scheduled meetings so questions can be addressed by your service provider. Setting clear expectations and timelines can also help the virtual accountant succeed as your trusted business partner.
The Bottom Line
Although virtual accounting services may seem unfamiliar and unattractive, they actually offer numerous benefits and advantageous over hiring an in-house accountant or working with a local firm. Although the pandemic is beginning to wind down and many accountants will return the office in some capacity, virtual accounting is here to stay due to the numerous benefits it provides businesses.
Exemplar Companies: Virtual Accounting Firm for Small Businesses
Exemplar offers a variety of skilled experts qualified to assist your business’s needs. Our goal is to provide you true accounting freedom, while equipping you with financial data to make better business decisions, so you can grow your business. If you are interested in learning more, talk to an Exemplar professional by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Director, Exemplar Tax & Accounting
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