Virtual Bookkeeping and how does it work?
Updated: May 10
One of the services I offer is Bookkeeping. Alot of people still like to hand over a bag full of receipts at the end of the month, and that's fine! But there is another way! Handing over a bag of receipts limits you to using local services. With a remote Bookkeeper you can choose someone you are comfortable with who is more likely to understand your business, regardless of their locality.
You may be wondering 'how can this work?' Well, it couldn't be simpler. Read on and I will explain how you can work with a remote bookkeeper, like myself, really easily.
Most small to medium-sized businesses start their companies to do what they do best, whether they create beautiful hairstyles as a hairdresser, fix cars as a mechanic, or design stunning properties as an architect. What they most likely didn't expect to be the best at was their admin or bookkeeping, and why should they?
As a bookkeeper, I have worked with clients from across the country, from the West Sussex coast, where I am based, upwards to Nottingham. In fact, I have been asked whether it is viable to work with clients using cloud-based bookkeeping software whilst living abroad. My answer was 'absolutely, and I've done it!' Being a virtual assistant or virtual bookkeeper means I'm not restricted by geographical location when it comes to helping my clients.
Step 1 - Choose a cloud-based accounting package. I recommend Xero but I'm experienced with Sage (it will always have a place in my heart), FreeAgent and Kashflow. If you don't currently have a package in place it's worth looking at two or three online and looking at their demonstration videos, as you need to feel comfortable with the package you choose. At the end of the day, regardless of using any accountant and /or a bookkeeper, you remain solely responsible for your companies finances, so you need to be able to interpret the information just as easily.
Step 2 - Once you have chosen your accounting package you need to enable a bank feed. This duplicates your bank statement as a live feed. You will need to update this connection every 90 days.
Step 3 - You'll need to photograph or scan any receipts or invoices as you get them and then send them via email to me. Forward any received by email straight on to me too. If I have access to your emails then you don't even need to worry about that, as I will have already done it.
Step 4 - I will then enter your receipts and invoices into the accounting package as a transaction.
Step 5 - Once these transactions have been entered into the software I will match them to your bank statement, this is called a bank reconciliation or 'bank rec' for short.
Step 6 - I am also able to produce invoices and credit notes for your business. Some accounting packages like Xero also allow for producing quotations and estimates which you can later convert straight into an invoice.
Step 7 - You should, via email or an alternative agreed-upon method, introduce your bookkeeper to your accountant. Throughout the tax year and especially at year-end, your accountant may want to speak to your bookkeeper to clarify any queries that they may have. They may simply want an update on where the bookkeeper with entering transactions during a certain period.
Step 8 - Should you require reports, I will be able to produce these for you. This could be anything from your P & L (profit and loss!), your sales for a certain period, or just a breakdown of your expenditure within a certain time frame.
As you can see, working with a remote bookkeeper is not difficult and can be achieved by any business owner looking to save some time. It is important however to make sure that your bookkeeper is registered for anti-money laundering with HMRC, and /or has a registered accountant to double-check all of their work. A copy of your passport or another form of Photographic ID should be requested by your bookkeeper, as proof that you are who you say you are, should HMRC ever need to do an audit on your company.
If you would like to learn more about my bookkeeping services you can find that here!