What is Virtual Bookkeeping

Virtual Bookkeeping (sometimes referred to as “Cloud Accounting”) is essentially the process of doing all bookkeeping in a virtual manner which means it can be done anywhere, any time. This is because the systems, apps and software are all hosted online and can be accessed remotely. This computer agnostic approach means that you are not tied to a specific computer or unit and your entire team can access the required programs without being locked into a designated workspace (such as an office setting) or even geographic location. The added bonus of this set up is that the work is paperless.

Virtual Bookkeeping utilizes a variety of technology to make the process more efficient. For instance implanting a process that includes apps that use automation and artificial intelligence, optical character recognition, integrations and video conferencing.

Things to Consider?

There are some obvious benefits to Virtual Bookkeeping. There is no need for backups, no papers to be handed back and forth between clients and team members. There is also the freedom and accessibility for your staff, plus the custom workflow. But as with all processes, there are components that may deter certain businesses from pursuing this method. One thing to consider is the monthly fees for using some of these apps and services. While they are a set fee, it is certainly something to factor in when making the decision. You’ll also want to ensure that the people accessing the programs and apps are tech savvy enough to both understand and utilize them properly. It is always important to consider these factors when deciding if going virtual is right for you.

What is an app ecosystem?

When customizing your process you have the ability to decide what apps and programs you will use and how you will use them. Above and beyond which apps you decide to use, you’ll need to know which apps work with each other and how they coexist. Building a framework of apps that help your process is your own personalized app ecosystem.

Workflow

There are a lot of apps available to you to use, and sometimes knowing which to choose may be challenging. Keep in mind that “out of the box” is rarely the best way to go and most systems, programs or apps will need customization to fit you best. Think of it as buying a suit and having it tailored to fit you. The addition of one or two apps at first may help you transition and streamline workflow as you get to know the new system.

Once your system is set up you will be able to optimize your AR process, bill payments, payroll, timesheets and more.

Communication

Communicating with your team and your clients is more important than ever when working in a virtual capacity. Using programs like Zoom, Slack and Teamwork will allow you to check in with your team, or even meet with clients to set up new accounts. You can continue far and above basic systems such as email when transitioning to a virtual system. Business can absolutely continue as “normal” with face to face interactions when you are able to take advantage of the technology at hand.

Filings and reporting

With any business there is always reporting to be done. Whether it is GST/HST filings or on a bigger scope such as T2 filings & Notice To Reader, your bookkeeping team can set up regular meetings on a monthly/quarterly/annual basis depending on your needs to ensure these are filed correctly and the required documentation is available.