This is the #1 question I’m asked when I first tell someone what I do. It’s understandable. Many people have worked with on-site bookkeepers and can’t quite visualize how that work can be moved off-site.

Virtual/remote bookkeepers do not typically have a workspace in their clients’ offices. Instead, they utilize the cloud to gather, manage and store financial data, transactions, and other information. The cloud simply refers to software and services that run on the internet instead of locally on your computer.

The primary advantage to cloud-based services is that you can access your information 24/7 with an internet connection. They also offer enhanced data storage and backup capabilities that won’t slow down your computer or become compromised if it gets a virus or is otherwise inoperable.

The most functional and popular cloud-based accounting software platforms are QuickBooks Online (QBO) and Xero. These platforms handle every aspect of your business accounting needs, including general ledger, inventory management, accounts payable and receivable, and financial reporting. Because they are cloud-based, these platforms can be linked to your bank and other accounts to import your transaction information automatically. Your virtual bookkeeper then views, processes, and analyzes this information without the need for you to do anything.

The true magic of using platforms like QBO and Xero lie in their ability to integrate with other cloud-based services. For instance, your virtual bookkeeper can help you set up ways to do things like:

  • Snap a photo of a receipt with your phone so that when that transaction is automatically imported in your accounting software, the receipt is attached (a great way to audit-proof your business).
  • Approve vendor payments with the click of a mouse or tap of a finger…no check-writing required.
  • Automatically store a copy of every bill, invoice, and receipt that comes into or goes out of your business in a secure, online storage facility…without having to open or download anything.

As you’ve probably surmised by the above, your virtual bookkeeper will help you streamline your bookkeeping and accounting processes by taking advantage of the latest in financial automation. Our next post in this series will examine how this will benefit your company’s efficiency and – even better – increase profits.