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Thought Leadership from the Leaders in Virtual Accounting and Bookkeeping Services

The Difference Between Virtual and Online Accounting Services

It's always important for a business to keep its costs as low as it can. Often, this is done in creative ways, but it must be done without compromising the quality of services or products.  Outsourcing professionals to handle tasks outside of the company is a very effective way to cut costs instead of having to pay in-house employees for some tasks. An example of this is when marketing or advertising companies hire outside people or freelancers to develop their graphic design needs. It's an option for hiring in-house employees. With the increasing demands on a business, there are a variety of options for accounting and bookkeeping services today. There are virtual accounting services and online accounting services.  But, what is the difference between the two? And, which one is best for your business? 

Sometimes, the terms online, virtual, and outsourced are used interchangeably. And while there are some things in common, there are some key differences.

Virtual Accounting and Bookkeeping Services

Virtual accounting and bookkeeping services are a generic way of stating that services are game via the internet. The term virtual means working with a person online network or through computers. It implies that the work is not done locally.  You may be working with a bookkeeper who works from home. The downside here is that most virtual bookkeeper does not have up-to-date training nor technology. In addition, they do not have associates available to either back up their services or to ask for advice. This is important if they get sick or just don't know.  And what happens if they go on vacation? This type of service is not designed to assist with management accounting. It can also lead to messy accounting, inaccurate finances, mistakes, and unintentional non-compliance with regulations. This can lead to a failure in business.

Virtual accounting services are similar to hiring a part-time bookkeeper to assist with accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and other typical bookkeeping tasks. Your business just may be better off hiring a person locally to avoid the risks. This way, you also don't have anonymous access to company records.

Online Bookkeeping and Accounting

Online accounting and bookkeeping services are more robust. The companies that offer this usually have an annual reporting structure and a software package that you can choose from. It works well for companies that don't have major financial requirements. An online accounting and bookkeeping company typically performs the function of both an accountant and a part-time bookkeeper. It uses top-notch technology to streamline bookkeeping and accounting tasks.  You do not have to be concerned about any inconsistencies or old age practices with this type of company. Typically, they handle financial reporting, taxes, record keeping, and payroll for you, taking a large weight off your shoulders as a business owner.

Whether you should decide to use virtual accounting and bookkeeping services or online accounting and bookkeeping services, you should check references. Ask the company for names and contact information of previous clients.  This way, you'll know how the company performs and be able to choose the best one for your company's needs and goals.  As with choosing any product or service, it is always important to do your due diligence.  You always want a company with a good track record and a good reputation.

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