We get asked a lot about what Virtual Assistants (VAs) can do and how to manage them, especially when it comes to hiring a VA for bookkeeping and making payments.
Outsourcing your bookkeeping is like any other outsourcing you do in your business, but it seems more risky as it is to do with money and making payments. However, it doesn't need to be.
Firstly, let's look at the Outsourcing Definition:
According to investopedia.com:
Outsourcing is the business practice of hiring a party outside a company to perform services and create goods that traditionally were performed in-house by the company's own employees and staff. Usually done as a cost-cutting measure, it can affect jobs ranging from customer support to manufacturing to the back office.
Although investopedia states that outsourcing can affect certain jobs, it can also create them. For small to medium sized businesses, physical staff may not even be an option due to the cost, so the best way to begin for them is to hire a virtual assistant in the Philippines or from any country where a full time decent wage for a Virtual Assistant is not as huge a hit to the costs to the business as hiring from the UK or US.
Back to outsourcing your bookkeeping...
Here are our Top 3 Tips when it comes to Outsourcing Bookkeeping:
1. Trust & Time – as with any new member of your team, there needs to be some time to build trust within the business and time to train your VA for them to understand your business processes and systems before full rights and access is given to anything, especially financial. Therefore, start with less rights and responsibility and build it up over time.
2. Choose & Create – You need to choose your online banking & payment provider to ensure it can be outsourced & create the right user permissions. Generally, all business banks have the ability to add and manage users, however some can be cumbersome to set up (for example Lloyds lost paperwork that I had sent over from the Philippines not once but twice which caused huge delays!), so make sure you speak to people who have experience with the particular bank you want to set-up with.
Also, some may not have the level of permissions you want to implement. For example PayPal’s User Permissions (which can each be turned on or off) are as follows:
So, know what permission levels you want to give your team, and go to the bank that can give you what you need.
3. Review & Reward – Periodically review your systems and your teams progress, accuracy and achievements and reward them with extra responsibility. By staging the increase in permissions your team will feel they are getting recognised for their work, and in turn it will take more off of your plate. Win – Win.
And by reviewing your systems and automating as much as you can, you can reduce the risk of error and ensure you and your team are working effectively and efficiently.
Hope that helps.
p.s. Who out there, like me years ago, has used one of these calculators when doing bookkeeping!
Turner Invest Directors Catherine & Stephen Turner