Over the past few years, there has been a lot of disruptions in the accounting industry because of the pandemic. Accountants, bookkeepers, and CPAs were forced to be more flexible during the COVID19 pandemic, all while working remotely and moving their accounting practices to their homes. These days, an increasing number of accounting services are working towards becoming fully virtually functional, with the benefits majorly outweighing the costs. However, the idea of a virtual accountant is still quite new, and lots of entrepreneurs are still in the process of getting used to it. Virtual accountants are, however, becoming more and more in high demand, and there are several reasons why it’s not going anywhere.
What are the Benefits of Virtual Accountants?
Online or virtual accountants are a great way to save time and money, giving businesses the ability to easily access accounting anywhere and at any time, to improve their productivity. Many virtual accountants today are running thriving firms, such as Mike Savage of New Canaan, CT. Some of the main reasons why an increasing number of company owners are hiring virtual accountants include:
More Efficiency and Less Paperwork
Cloud storage, which is used by many virtual accountants today, allows accountants to keep digital client record files. This provides significant benefits when it comes to client data privacy. Virtual accounting firms are able to scan private accounting documents, so clients can easily get access to copies and supporting documentation when needed in the future, while avoiding a lot of paperwork.
Virtual accountants are great for businesses as they can be easily reached with a video or phone call whenever needed. Most virtual accountants are able to get back to clients quickly and easily when they have questions or concerns, with technology that has made them easily accessible without them having to pay your business premises a visit.
Having a full-time accountant for your business has several costs associated with it. You’ll need to pay a salary, payroll costs, insurance, and other expenses if you hire a full-time accountant for your team. Along with this, there is also the potential cost of providing an office space and computing equipment for your accountant to be able to work effectively. On the other hand, working with a virtual accountant can be a great way to save significant amounts of money, as you’ll only pay a regular fee, often a monthly fee to the accountant, who is a self-employed contractor for your business.
Working with a virtual accountant can actually be a way to increase security compared to working with a traditional accounting firm or a full-time accountant on your payroll. Many virtual accountants use highly secure cloud computing programs, which allow companies easy access to financial documents and statements. Companies can get access to these documents from anywhere, at any time as long as they are using a device with internet access, and it’s stored on highly protected servers.
Delivered on Your Timeline
Depending on your business, you may require accounting services on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. A virtual accounting firm will be able to fill your needs easily. This is because unlike hiring a full-time accountant as an employee of your business, when you are partnered with a virtual accounting firm, you only have to pay for what you need. Along with this, your virtual accountant will be able to deliver the work on a pre-determined schedule that is agreed with you ahead of starting the work.
Specialist Services and Skills
Hiring a remote accounting firm allows you to hire accounting talent and professionals from anywhere. Unlike hiring a full-time accountant to work for your business or working with a traditional firm, one of the biggest benefits of working with a virtual accountant is that you can cast a wider net in terms of location, and don’t have to stick with your local area only when it comes to finding an accountant that fits your company’s needs. This makes it much easier for you to find an accountant that has the relevant training, experience and expertise that you are looking for, understands the accounting practices that are relevant to your business, and offers a range of resources. Many virtual accounting firms have a team of different accounting professionals, so there will always be somebody available to ensure that your business needs are met.
Virtual and online accounting firms can easily be scaled up or down to meet your company’s needs. Unlike hiring a full-time accountant to work in-house, your virtual accountant can quickly and easily scale their service package to workload increases, such as more complex transactions, or simply an increase in transactions overall. Or, if your business is hitting a plateau at the moment and you don’t need as many resources for a few months, you don’t have to be stuck paying for services that you are not using right now. Many virtual accounting firms allow you to only pay for what you use, which means you can quickly and easily add more or reduce the number of services that you have signed up for when needed.
Many virtual accounting services have a range of procedures and processes in place in order to offer clients detailed updates on a schedule that works for them. Along with this, you’re also typically going to get regular alerts on any pending issues that require addressing. Virtual accounting firms with CPA status are also able to keep your business updated on any recent changes in compliance and regulation that you will need to adhere to.
Hiring the Right Virtual Accountant
Hiring a virtual or online accounting firm is something that many small business owners will consider. If this is something that you want to do, then start by going online and researching the options available to you. Lots of virtual accounting companies are available to work with, but some might be a better choice for your company compared to others. Some of the main things to consider before you choose a virtual accountant include the services that they provide, whether or not they provide a monthly report of your company’s accounts, whether they offer tax compliance services, and if they are available during your company’s normal business hours.
Tips for a Successful Partnership
When you work with a virtual or online accountant, communication is vital to the success of the partnership. Once you have found the right virtual accountant for your company’s needs, it’s a wise idea to set up regular messaging and other forms of communication such as phone or video calls to stay in touch and stay up to date. This also allows you to easily get any issues or questions that you have addressed by the accountant as soon as possible. And, communicating clearly, especially at the beginning of your partnership with the virtual accounting firm, allows you to set clear timelines and expectations.
While virtual accounting services are different to what most of us are used to when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping for business, there are many different benefits and advantages of working with one, compared to hiring an accountant full-time or even partnering with a traditional accounting firm. While things are getting back to normal in terms of working in the office right now, virtual accounting is one industry that boomed over the past few years and is likely going to stick around.