Whether or not you have employed a virtual assistant already, you may already the most common tasks a VA can help you complete.
Social Media Management,
Being able to delegate these tasks to someone would definitely save dozens of hours of time every week. But what about financial administrative tasks? There are some very important financial tasks that need to be completed each day, week, month, and year so that you can always be sure of where your business stands financially. Not to mention staying in compliance with the federal and state governments where your business resides.
For example, weekly recurring tasks include:
Generating and sending out invoices
Generating reports on billable work hours for the week
Reviewing unpaid invoices and following up with those clients
Tracking your own bills to ensure they are paid on time
Recording customer payments
Monthly recurring tasks include:
Generating balance sheets
Generating profit and loss statements
Making sure every transaction has been recorded
Filing sales tax paperwork and making federal deposits
Now, these are just a few items on your “must-do” finance list. Depending on the volume of your transactions, you may even need to do them more frequently than once weekly or monthly. These activities are crucial to running a business, but the time it takes to do them doesn’t generate any new revenue.
Since you didn’t start a business chase paper and fill out forms and spreadsheets everyday, why not outsource these tasks to your virtual assistant? These are perfect tasks to delegate, whether you’re a “numbers person” or not. Most of these tasks involve generating reports and recording income and expenses that have already taken place. As a business owner, the growth and stability of your business depends on the time you spend and what activities you spend your time on.
So, why a VA and not an accountant or bookkeeper? The hourly rate for a bookkeeper is usually more than a virtual assistant, and if you want to hire an accountant like myself, it would be even higher. Your assistant doesn’t need any special certifications or degrees to carry out basic invoicing, bill-paying, and reporting tasks so you would spend less money per hour paying her than a bookkeeper or accountant. Also, assigning the daily repetitive financials tasks to your virtual assistant will allow you to work more closely with your accountant a few times a year on big picture financial strategies instead of day-to-day basic stuff.
What about your private financial data, you ask? Your virtual assistant doesn’t need to be given access to anything other than what you want them to have. You can set up a limited access to your accounting software, for example. And you can define the scope of what you want them to do. For example, do you want your assistant to pay the bills (giving them access to your bank account or business credit cards) or just get the bills ready in a report once or twice a month for you to log in and pay all at once yourself? (Bill.com is a perfect platform for this type of task)
So you know that virtual assistants can handle many of the financial administrative tasks of your business - invoicing, expense management, etc. How do you know if you’re ready for a virtual bookkeeper?
You’re spending much of your time dealing with missed bills, outstanding client invoices, stacks of receipts in a shoebox
You miss out on deductions you could be taking when tax time comes around
Your accountant/tax preparer has to file an extension for you at tax time because paper is JUST EVERYWHERE!
You’re confused about what you can deduct and what you can’t
You or your business have been audited and you were not organized and prepared for it.
As we said, a virtual assistant can do much more than social media or blog related tasks. He/She can even help you with keeping your business financially organized so that you understand your business’ net worth, keep cash flow positive, and as a result add stability to your bottom line. The sooner you get started setting up your systems and processes, the more clarity you will gain.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tai Stewart is the founder of Saidia Financial Solutions (http://www.saidiafinancial.com ), a full service accounting firm that helps entrepreneurs organize, strategize, and analyze their business finances so that they can focus on running the business of their dreams.
As an accountant and business consultant, Tai helps business owners create systems and processes to grow their business wealth and to remain compliant with tax laws and regulations. She is an Evernote certified consultant, and a Xero and Quickbooks Online certified advisor to online entrepreneurs.
As an educator and course creator, Tai is a Financial Literacy Educator at the Women's Resource of Greater Houston and a leader for the Houston chapter of FinCon. She's been featured and quoted in several financial blogs and business finance webinars.