• Lyndsey Lee

Virtual Bookkeeping and how does it work?

One of the services I offer is Bookkeeping and a lot 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 often means that you are tied to looking for a bookkeeper that is reasonably local to you, whereas with a remote Bookkeeper you can choose someone you are comfortable with and is more likely to understand your business regardless of their locality.

You may be wondering how is that you can work with someone remotely to do your bookkeeping? Well, it couldn't be simpler, in this post I have explained how you can work with a remote bookkeeper, like myself, really easily.

Most small and 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, through 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 or an alternative but 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 or just simply to be updated on where the bookkeeper is on the entering of 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 (or profit and loss) your sales for a certain period or just a breakdown of your expenditure during a certain time frame.

So 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 on doing this task themselves. 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 up 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!

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