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A virtual bookkeeper is a remote bookkeeper that handles your small business bookkeeping needs without having to be on site. He/she usually uses a remote desktop software such as logmein or RDP to logon to your QuickBooks computer.

  • Avoid virtual bookkeepers not associated with an established business like the plague.
    • A virtual bookkeeper who is not associated with an established business usually operates out of his/her home. Homes usually do not have any of the built-in security and privacy mechanisms.
  • Get a list of bookkeeping companies that offer the lowest cost.
    • Low cost is not necessarily an indicator of low quality. In fact, low cost providers service a large number of small businesses. As a result, they often have the most experienced staff. Further, such providers are usually based in India and have access to a rich pool of educated talent.

 

  • Is the service incorporated in the USA?
    • Being incorporated in the USA means that the service has to adhere to US laws and regulations.
    • A company with account management in the USA and operating out of India can give you the best of both worlds – it lets you benefit from the economics of operating in India without having to deal with the communication/culture gap.

 

  • Is the bookkeeping service well established and has it been in business for a while?
    • Being well established with a good history is a testament to the financial stability of the company. It is also usually associate with a high level of experience.

 

  • Does the bookkeeping service have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
    • An A+ rating from BBB means that the bookkeeping service has had no complaints for at least the past 7 years and has been taking care of its customers.

 

  • Is the bookkeeping service certified by QuickBooks?
    • QuickBooks is the most popular bookkeeping software in use. Getting certified is a good indicator of expertise and quality.

 

  • Will more than one virtual bookkeeper be familiar with your accounts at any given time?
    • Bookkeeping services that assigns two virtual bookkeepers to a small business is preferable.
    • Having two virtual bookkeepers familiar with your accounts means that you do not have to deal with the turnover headaches. In other words, if one person falls sick, takes vacation, leaves the company, etc., your operations continue without any hiccups.

 

  • Has the service been verified for privacy and security?
    • Look for certifications from TrustGuard on security and privacy. Also, look for membership with American Association of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB).

To summarize, while a virtual bookkeeper can add a lot of value to your company, it is very important to select one associated with a well established company that is incorporated in the USA and has an A+ BBB rating. It would be ideal if the US-based bookkeeping company can take advantage of low costs by having their operations based in based in a low-cost country like India.

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