Virtual Accountant – Finding a great virtual accountant for your business
Analyzing finances, preparing tax returns, and examining financial records can be a difficult task for a business owner. If you are having trouble completing these tasks on your own, consider finding a virtual accountant. With virtual accounting, you can allow highly qualified accountants to access your business information and work on your finances remotely. This can help your business flourish in many ways.
If you are considering hiring a virtual accountant to care for the financial aspects of your business but don’t know how to start, read below for key information that could lead you in the right direction. We’ll go through what exactly a virtual accountant is, what one can do for you, and how to find the best virtual accountant for your business.
What is Virtual Accounting
Virtual accounting is the equivalent of having an accountant sitting at a desk in your business office, except they do their job online from their own private or personal location. Remote jobs are becoming increasingly popular in the United States, so there are sure to be plenty of qualified accountants ready to assist you.
Virtual accounting benefits the accountant itself because they are able to process your information calmly in an environment where they are comfortable. It takes people time to adjust to a new environment and this can affect their work. Hiring a virtual accountant can make sure that all the work you need accomplished will be done so effectively and seamlessly.
How Can a Virtual Accountant Help My Business?
Running a business is not an easy task. You must keep an eye on all aspects of your business, including your finances. Finances may be one of the most important parts of the business. If you are unaware of where your earned money is going or how to properly file your business taxes, your business can easily take a turn for the worse.
The best way to keep track of everything happening around your business is by hiring a virtual accountant. The following list includes different ways that a virtual accountant can help your business:
- Expertise and knowledge
- Saves time
- Utilize online software
- Cost efficiency
Let’s take a deeper look into each of the ways that hiring a virtual accountant can help your business.
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Expertise and Knowledge
If you are not well versed in the ideas of finance but have a growing business, it may be smart to hire a virtual accountant. As a business owner, you may have not learned exactly how to properly handle your finances. Having the expertise of an accountant backing you will ensure that your finances will be handled properly in good hands.
Accountants are specially trained in areas such as business, mathematics, the analysis of numbers, and how to handle financial events properly. This may be more knowledge than you have, and therefore it is smart to hire a virtual accountant to keep your business on the right track.
Nobody has said that running a business is quick and easy. With your busy lifestyle, it can be difficult to handle every aspect of the business by yourself and oversee that no issues occur. To save you time and headaches, virtual accountants can help. Accountants can help you gain control when your days as a business owner begins to get busier.
If you had to file taxes for your business and you don’t have high experience doing so, this can take you much longer than it would take an accountant. Additionally, you may miss or mess up vital information that can lead to issues down the line. Lastly, if you are not solely focused on these finances and taxes and your attention is elsewhere, lasting problems can follow. To save yourself time and hassle, hire a virtual accountant.
Utilize Online Software
Having access to all of your business’ financial information with the push of a button is a key reason to hire a virtual accountant. Because the job is fully remote, they utilize online software to share your numbers and figures with you, instead of paperwork. Not only is this more environmentally friendly, but it gives you access to your accounts no matter where you are.
If you need to go on a business trip but don’t want to bring around files of paper that you may lose, having all your information online makes accessing your information easier. Also, having all this information inputted into a program allows you to view and analyze your finances at a glance. Pay bills and manage transactions online more easily by hiring a virtual accountant.
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Full-time, in-office accountants can be costly. For your new, budding, and growing business, having this large chunk of money going straight to an accountant can be financially damaging. Virtual accountants can save your business money because you won’t have to provide them with office space nor other various benefits that come with full-time positions.
On average, a full-time in-office accountant can make about $70,000 a year. This, compared to a virtual accountant, is double that price. Virtual accountants earn around $34,000 per year. Save your company money by thinking outside the box and hiring a virtual accountant to help you with all your financial needs.
When to Hire a Virtual Accountant
If you are new to managing your business, you may be unaware of the best time to hire an accountant. Knowing the right time to hire a virtual accountant can make or break the financial aspects surrounding your business. If you are running into issues or don’t have the proper knowledge and education to manage a large business’ financial issues, it may be time to hire a virtual accountant. The following are a few reasons you should to look out for that signal the proper time to hire a virtual accountant:
- Dealing with governmental issues
- Could you be audited?
- Your business is growing fast
- Will you sell your business?
- Multiple businesses
Let’s dive deeper into each of these subcategories to examine the reasons to hire a virtual accountant now.
Dealing with Governmental Issues
The United States government is a powerful entity that can destroy your business and its credentials in an instant. If you are not trained or knowledgeable about the ways that the government works, hire a virtual accountant.
They are trained and have expertise in dealing with issues such as making sure your business is following proper tax laws in your state and country and filing the appropriate and necessary legal compliance documents. These are complex things that businesses must follow. If they are not completed or processed correctly, you could be dealing with a lot of governmental problems throughout the course of your business ownership.
Could You Be Audited?
An audit is a process where the IRS, or Internal Revenue Services, examines the data and financial records of your business to make sure you file your tax returns properly and correctly. If they come across any mistakes, your business could potentially be hit with plenty of fines. You may be dealing with plenty of legal problems as well.
While auditing is rare and it is unlikely that your specific business could be audited, it is always helpful to have backup protection in case it does occur. If you are worried you may be audited for any reason, try to hire a virtual accountant before you get audited. Doing this can ensure you have completed all the necessary paperwork and followed tax laws beforehand.
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Your Business Is Growing Fast
If your business is new and growing quickly, you could be dealing with a lot of numbers, paperwork, and financial issues throughout the company. If you have a business that is growing fast and exponentially, now is the time to consider hiring a virtual accountant. Growing businesses deal with a lot of numbers, paperwork, and figures that should be kept track of.
Some things that your virtual accountant can help you with are payroll, managing the property tax, and analyzing your cashflow. Hiring this accountant will open up your schedule and create more time to deal with the actual running of the business and managing all other aspects of it. With a virtual accountant, the stress of your business’ finances can be eased.
Will You Sell Your Business?
If you see yourself someday selling your business, hiring a virtual accountant is a great idea. Selling a business requires a lot of time and understanding of all the finances you’ve earned versus how much you’ve spent. Many figures are needed to be put together just so you can express how your business has been running from day one. These are typical things people who are interested in buying your business will want.
If somewhere down the line you are expecting to sell your business, have a virtual accountant on hand from the beginning to develop files of long-term information. This can show business growth throughout time. If you plan to sell your business, hire a virtual accountant to keep track of all of your business’ information.
If you have multiple businesses and are having trouble keeping track of all your financial information individually, it may be time for you to hire a virtual accountant. Virtual accountants can manage multiple business profiles and keep them organized separately from one another. Then, all your data can be analyzed in individual profiles so you can see the progress of each business.
The virtual method is better than paperwork because loose papers can get lost or mixed up between two businesses. Hire a virtual accountant if you have multiple businesses or are trying to acquire more businesses in the future.
What Services do Virtual Accountants Offer?
Virtual accountants offer plenty of help for growing businesses. If you are having issues dealing with your finances and organizing them properly, you should consider hiring a virtual accountant. More cost effective and convenient than an in-office accountant, virtual accountants can aid you with many different services to keep track of and grow your business. Some examples of services a virtual accountant can offer you include:
- Trimming Costs
- Keep financial records updated
- Track payroll
- File tax returns
- Ensure tax regulations are being followed
Let’s take a closer look at these services that virtual accountants offer you.
Running a business is expensive. It is easy to overspend and lose track of where you are using your money when you are trying to juggle every part of managing your business. Delegating financial work to a virtual accountant can help you see where you are spending too much money or where any of your costs can be trimmed. Accountants can save you tons of money over time by doing this.
For example, if you are paying more money for a specific product or service than you need to or if you can change to a cheaper product that functions just as well, a virtual accountant can help you with that. There are plenty of options for saving money in a business, so don’t feel like you don’t need to hire an accountant for something as big as this. Trim your costs effectively by hiring a virtual accountant.
Keep Financial Records Updated
Having a deep understanding of how your business is running is vital to owning a business. If you are blind to any progress it’s making or think your business is running more smoothly than it actually is, many grave financial problems can occur down the line. In order to keep your records straight, you may need to hire a virtual accountant.
Your accountant can help you organize your spending, saving, and recommend how to improve your numbers based on their analysis. If you are not trained to analyze trends and numbers or set up statistical evidence, you should consider hiring a virtual accountant to help you organize all your financial records and data.
Arguably one of the most stressful things to control when running a business is payroll. Payroll includes a list of your company’s employees and how much money is being paid to them. Having a virtual accountant as a payroll advisor can save you the stress of having to make sure your workers are getting paid correctly.
The accountant will handle the numbers so you can go back to managing the people and the business. It is important that you keep track of your payroll closely, as problems can occur if a worker finds out there is a disparity in their checks. Having someone for them to talk to who is highly advanced in the subject can ease tension and ensure your business runs smoothly. Hire a virtual accountant if you need an extra hand dealing with and tracking payroll of your employees over time.
File Tax Returns
Tax season can bring a lot of stress to a growing business, especially if you’ve never filed business taxes before. Virtual accountants are trained in knowledge such as how to appropriately file tax returns to reduce disparity and maximize your financial refund.
Knowing how to properly file your business taxes can save you from headaches because if you mess up any section of them and the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, takes note, they can charge you money or claim you’ve committed a crime by withholding financial information. After that happens, the IRS will be watching your business carefully. Hiring a virtual accountant can save you from the hassle of major governmental and financial issues along the road of growing your business.
Ensure Tax Regulations are Being Followed
Every different state has various tax regulations in addition to the ones that are associated with the United States of America. If you don’t follow the tax laws that are necessary to uphold your business, serious ramifications can occur. Some possible outcomes include a lot of hefty fines or possible legal ramifications. Taxes must be upheld since these are what supports city, state, and federal jobs.
If you are unsure how to follow the tax regulations in your region, you should consider hiring a virtual accountant. Virtual accountants in your area are fully knowledgeable and trained to handle tax regulations in the location they are certified in, so you can sleep easy knowing your tax guidelines are being followed. Hiring a virtual accountant is a great idea for businesses or business owners who are not qualified or are unaware of how to properly maintain tax guidelines in their specific location.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Accountant?
Running a business is definitely not an easy task; it is actually quite the opposite. Running and managing your own business poses many different difficulties. Complications can occur, and if there are issues with your finances, you could be putting your company in harm’s way. To avoid these financial disparities, think of hiring a virtual accountant. Virtual accountants are capable of helping you in various ways. There are many benefits to hiring a virtual accountant, so keep reading for a list of a few of these benefits. Some ways it may benefit you or your business to hire a virtual accountant include:
- Only pay for what you need.
- Save money.
- Put your business first.
- Avoid costly penalties.
- They are trained and certified.
Let’s dive into the details of these specific benefits to hiring a virtual accountant.
Only Pay for What You Need.
Hiring a virtual accountant is more cost effective than hiring a full-time, in-office accountant. This is because with virtual accountants, you can pay them in increments based on the work they do. They do not have to have a full-time salary, and they do work for you on a somewhat freelance basis. If you only have a few tasks that need to be completed or if you don’t have time to finish all of your bookkeeping and financial work, they can be a temporary assistant.
Virtual accountants don’t only need to be temporary, though. They can work for you on a more permanent basis and help you organize your finances over time through the comfort of their own learning environment. Hiring a virtual accountant can improve the quality of your business or company by helping your finances become more stable, so consider hiring a virtual accountant today.
Accountants are expensive, and any added expenses can hurt a growing business. If you need to hire an accountant, a virtual accountant can save you thousands of dollars a year. This is because you do not have to give them any office space or other various benefits such as furniture, utilities, and computers.
Virtual accountants work from the comfort of their own home, so you’ll never need to provide them with any extras. They are just as skilled as regular accountants and are trained and certified equally, so you can ensure your finances are being covered. If you know you do not need a full-time accountant and just need part-time jobs covered, hiring a virtual accountant may be the best move for you and the future of your business.
Put Your Business First.
Most business owners love to work on their own business and have a difficult time delegating various tasks. Sometimes, it is important to understand your limitations in your company. You may be great at expanding your business and managing it, but calculating and managing finances may not be your strong point. If you want to put your business first, you have to delegate.
Hire a virtual accountant to help you with your financial standpoint. You can benefit from a virtual accountant because you’ll be able to focus more of your time on what you’re great at instead of struggling doing something you’re not the best at. You should always put your business first and do what you know best, so hire a virtual accountant to give you a hand as soon as you can’t handle your growing accounts.
Avoid Costly Penalties.
If you are not trained or qualified in the knowledge required for maintaining business finances, you may not be aware of certain things that must be completed to avoid obtaining governmental penalties. Examples of this can be seen while submitting taxes and filing your tax return. If you are unaware of tax regulations in your area, consider hiring a virtual accountant to help you through any processes.
By hiring a virtual accountant, you will be less likely to receive problems with audits or must pay costly fees because of a messed-up tax return. The Internal Revenue Service charges a minimum of $210 for these issues, and these prices can skyrocket exponentially if more than one issue is found. Hire a virtual accountant to make sure you won’t need to pay a lot of extra money. It is safer to pay money to fund a virtual accountant than it is to pay fees from the government due to tax complications.
They are Trained and Certified.
Are you trained and certified to work with business finances? Do you have previous experience working with potential governmental issues that may arise when working with a business? If not, you may want to think about hiring a virtual accountant. They can help you through every step of growing your business. Virtual accountants have prior experience and are trained and certified to help a company manage their money. This allows paperwork and taxes such as tax return papers to be processed correctly and effectively.
If you don’t have a virtual accountant, you’re looking at hundreds of dollars in fines if you process these incorrectly. The best way to avoid this possible issue and take preventative measures is by hiring a virtual accountant as soon as you think you may need one. If you hesitate, further problems could progress.
Are There Drawbacks to Hiring a Virtual Accountant?
There aren’t nearly as many drawbacks as there are benefits from hiring a virtual accountant. All the drawbacks relate to the personal investment and emotional ties you have to your company as a business owner, rather than the numbers behind hiring one. If you’re wary about hiring a virtual accountant and are curious about any downsides that are apparent from doing so, read below to find the two drawbacks. Hiring a virtual accountant is very beneficial if you don’t fear giving up some control. Some drawbacks of hiring a virtual accountant include:
- Having less control
- Hidden costs
Let’s take a closer look into the two drawbacks. Keep in mind these reasons are minimal and should hopefully not influence your desire to hire a virtual accountant.
Having Less Control
If you are the kind of person who likes to have control in your business, giving up full control over how your finances are viewed may seem uncomfortable at first. What you should notice about it, though, is that delegation is an important task in business. Once your business grows to a size unmanageable by one person, you will need to hire more people to help. This is the best place for a virtual accountant to come into play.
Something else to keep in mind is that when you a hire a virtual accountant, it is not like they will make all the moves for you. They act as a more knowledgeable source, so you can ensure no mistakes are made. All choices will be made by you to ensure that they are exactly what you want done. Hiring a virtual accountant can help your company both in the long and short term and ensure your business can thrive with enough finances to cover it.
Many business owners fear having to pay extra prices for virtual accountants. While part of this is accurate, it is irrational to believe this should be a reason to avoid hiring a virtual accountant. Virtual accountants work for you on part-time standards and only complete the tasks you want them to. They are not full-time workers, so “hidden” costs may arise if issues occur within your finances or if extra work needs to be done to get your business up to par.
It is important to understand that virtual accountants want your business to work, and if you don’t hire a virtual accountant, you risk not having your finances controlled properly. If you’re willing to risk high penalty fees or governmental and legal issues that arise from improper paperwork filing, take the risk, but understand this can been avoided through hiring a skilled virtual accountant.
How Do I Know if a Virtual Accountant is Best for Me?
Every growing business should have a virtual accountant. This can ensure they will avoid unnecessary penalty fees and be able to keep better track of their finances. Virtual accountants can help you understand what is happening with your business, where you’re spending your money, and how to minimize your costs. Some factors that assure you that hiring a virtual accountant is best for you include:
- If your business is growing exponentially
- If you are unexperienced in the financial world of business
- If you want to learn how to save a ton of money and cut business costs
- If tax season is coming
- If you don’t know how to manage your finances
Steps to Get a Virtual Accountant
Now that we’ve reviewed all the perks of hiring a virtual accountant, it’s time to discuss where to find them and how to hire them. Virtual accountants will make your business life easier and give you more time to focus your energy on the management of your company, so hire a virtual accountant today:
- Locate a trustworthy virtual accountant.
- Discuss the software being used.
- Video call at least once per week.
- Review their work.
Let’s glance at the specific steps needed to find the best virtual accountant for you and your company.
Locate a Trustworthy Virtual Accountant.
Since virtual accounting is a lot like freelance work, it is important that you locate a trustworthy one who can help you and your business finances. If possible, verify their credentials and talk to them about what you expect from them. Do you think this individual seems worthy of working with you? Ask them to complete a trial run, submit examples of previous work, or see if they’ll provide you with a reference page. If so, review all these documents and make sure they have all the necessary experience needed to complete whatever task you may ask them to complete.
Virtual accountants should be able to work part time and complete any accounting task you ask them to do, especially if they are certified and qualified to do so.
Discuss the Software Being Used.
Before you hire your virtual accountant, make sure they are knowledgeable and have prior experience working with the kind of technology and software you want them to work on. If you are unaware of the software you want to use, see whichever one they have worked with before. Using the best software ensures you can access your financial information from anywhere in the world as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection. If you hire a virtual accountant that is unaware of how to use the software and is unwilling to learn it, find a different accountant.
Video Call at Least Once per Week.
After hiring your virtual accountant, the best way to keep in touch with them is by video call. This creates a more personalized response and reassures you that an individual who cares about helping your business is behind the computer software. Having a direct, face-to-face conversation with your virtual accountant can increase their productivity as well, since they’ll see the effort you’re putting into your business.
Virtual accountants will be able to bounce off your energy through video calls. Talking face to face allows you to share ideas and findings more easily with one another compared to only communicating online. Emailing provides limited conversation and slow response time, so definitely try to video call at least one time per week to discuss how their work is going.
Review Their Work.
Always be sure to check over your virtual accountant’s work; if there are any visible errors or mistakes you can catch them before they cause future issues. If their work is not what you are looking for, communicate this with them and tell them what you expect so they can better understand what they need to do.
Just as other in-office employee you have, you need to be patient with them and understand that everything is a learning process. You cannot expect them to read your mind and know exactly what you expect, so share this with them as time goes on.
Congratulations on hiring your first virtual accountant! Now that you have one on your payroll, they can help you process your financial information and lead you in the right direction that your company needs. Your business will continue to flourish as long as you have a clear financial path. Your new virtual accountant is sure to help you and your business reach the level you deserve.