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Key Factors to Consider When Hiring a Virtual Bookkeeper

Hiring a virtual bookkeeper can make a big difference in keeping up with financial records. A virtual bookkeeper can work part-time depending on your level of needs and save you in extra office and utility costs. Many virtual bookkeepers work from the comfort of their home and know the best keyboard and accounting software tricks that streamline processes. If you’re looking to hire a virtual bookkeeper, then it’s important to follow best practices to ensure you find the right candidate for the job. As a fully remote company with virtual bookkeepers, we are experienced with businesses that are looking for these services. Here are some key factors to consider when hiring a virtual bookkeeper.

Hiring a virtual bookkeeper

Define Your Needs

You need to identify what tasks and responsibilities you’d like to delegate to a virtual bookkeeper before you search for one. Start by writing down the specific duties you’d like to hand off. Don’t assume that a virtual bookkeeper will know what to do from the first consultation. It’s up to you to set guidelines, outline goals, and define the work to be done. Plus, virtual bookkeepers vary in their skillset. Some only handle the daily tasks, such as invoicing while others have the education and certifications to handle complex accounting tasks. 

Consider Their Qualifications

You might meet a virtual bookkeeper who tries to sell you services you don’t need. This is why it’s important to document your needs. It’s worth noting their qualifications and gauging whether they are a good fit for your business. Ask if they have a degree in accounting or certifications in bookkeeping and accounting. Your standards might differ from other businesses. Consider if you would prefer someone with a degree and / or certification over experience. If your needs extend beyond daily tasks, then you should consider a virtual bookkeeper with those qualifications. But, experience speaks volumes to those who only need the mundane, less time-consuming tasks to be passed off to a virtual bookkeeper. 

reviewing a cover letter

Verify Their Experience

Past experiences can be a determining factor for hiring a virtual bookkeeper. Ask for references and examples of past work. Search for reviews and look if they have worked with other businesses similar enough to yours in size and industry. For businesses who have never hired a virtual bookkeeper but think they want to eventually upscale delegated tasks, verifying experiences will help you determine if they are capable of handing more responsibility later on.

Establish Your Communication Expectations

Communication is key in a virtual setting. During the consideration process, detail your style and the type of communication you expect to have. Ensure that you hire a virtual bookkeeper who is responsive and communicates effectively whether through phone or video call, text, or email. Having efficient and timely communication will take you far when last-minute or emergency situations occur. Set communication expectations and boundaries early on to avoid tension and frustration later on. If you’re new to hiring a virtual bookkeeper and don't have a communication style and method set, then listen to what they recommend. After all, virtual bookkeepers work with multiple businesses. They’ve had their fair share of learning experiences and might be able to tell what works best for you and them. 

phone with a security lock

Review Their Security Measures

Security is of utmost importance in any virtual work setting. Virtual bookkeepers have access to your sensitive financial information meaning if they are ever at security risk, your data is as well. Review security measures and don’t be afraid to ask how your data will be protected. For virtual bookkeepers under a designated company (such as ours), access to data is held on a company email and related accounts. Freelancers have their own data security policies that you should evaluate before hiring. 

Agree on Mutual Terms

When they seem to check off your requirements and preferences, it’s time to formally agree to service terms. Reference your documentation about your needs, notes you’ve written about the above mentioned factors, and examine the agreement brought to you. Pay attention and correct anything that does not hold enough specificity including scope of work, payment schedule, and confidentiality. Make sure both parties are in agreement before work begins. Don’t undermine your concerns and questions. It’s much better to ask sooner rather than later. 

stopwatch recording work time

Monitor Their Performance

Time will tell if the virtual bookkeeper was the right choice. Keep a communication record about goals, deadlines, and schedules. Stack their performance with their stated intentions and see if they match up. If they are not meeting your expectations, reach out to them and negotiate how they will improve. Providing honest and consistent feedback and allowing them to ask questions will help to address problems promptly and maintain a positive working relationship. 

Bonus: Consider Milrich Virtual Professionals for Your Bookkeeping Needs

Luckily, we have virtual bookkeepers who are ready to help in your daily tasks. Our virtual bookkeepers handle invoicing, tracking expenses, budgeting, backing up your financial data, and more. What makes us stand out? We are a fully remote company that has qualified virtual bookkeepers spread throughout the nation. When you hire us, we’ll match you to a virtual bookkeeper closest to you. We are also flexible, offering our services on an hourly basis. Need a virtual bookkeeper for only a few hours a week? No problem. We have you covered. Looking for a virtual bookkeeper who can serve a more time-intensive role? We got you. So, consider us to get the job done. See our contact page to learn more and schedule a call with us! 

Conclusion: Hire a Virtual Bookkeeper by Determining These Key Factors

Hiring a virtual bookkeeper is a great strategy if you need to delegate tasks to someone else without having them in the office. Before you make things official, make sure you consider the key factors highlighted above. It’s crucial to have your needs, budget, and expectations defined and written down. Plus, knowing and verifying a virtual bookkeeper’s qualifications will help you determine if they are a good fit for the role and your business. Security and data privacy cannot be underestimated for its importance. Only hire a virtual bookkeeper who understands the risks of your financial data being in their hands and who knows how to implement security measures. This is just the start of your working relationship with them. Check in to see if they are meeting your expectations and deadlines. Make sure to ask them questions and provide feedback so they know what needs improvement.

If you’re ready to hire a virtual bookkeeper, then schedule a call with us! Our virtual bookkeepers are QuickBooks Pro Advisors with vast experience in multiple industries. Reach out and let us do what we love, so you can do what you love. 


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