August 1, 2019 en_US Virtual bookkeeping, through the new QuickBooks Live service, will give you time back in your day and peace of mind that your books are organized and accurate. What is virtual bookkeeping?

What is virtual bookkeeping?

By Cathie Ericson August 1, 2019

Most small- and medium-sized business owners (SBOs) start their company in order to do what they do best—whether that’s creating garden art as a landscaper, fix cars as a mechanic or create websites as a graphic designer. However, what most small business owners find is that along with doing the task they love full-time, they also have a wide variety of other jobs they have to attend to part-time—from marketing to accounting services.

And, if you’re not a whiz at those tasks, they often can get put on the back burner, which can cause harm to your business, especially when you consider accounting. After all, doing the work is great, but if you’re not getting paid in a timely fashion … not so great.

Enter remote bookkeeping, a service that will provide SMBs with a dedicated virtual bookkeeper who’s always there to take on this challenging task. Just imagine the freedom of having an experienced bookkeeper who will help you take care of all your monthly financial tasks, thus offering the peace of mind (and free time!) that comes with knowing all your books and finances are up to date, accurate and properly organized.

Here’s everything you need to know about virtual bookkeeping services.

Is remote bookkeeping right for you?

Our research shows that virtual bookkeeping services are attractive for small businesses who would rather have a more convenient option for managing their books, even if they are already using an intuitive accounting software like QuickBooks Online. We have discovered some similar characteristics that remote bookkeeping customers were looking for, which include:


Well, this is obviously important, but bears repeating as a key criterion. After all, turning over your finances to an accountant can feel like risky business. You want to be sure you are dealing with someone who is ethical and honest, as well as dependable. It can be worrisome to choose an accountant without being confident in their abilities, so knowing that a third-party service has vetted your provider provides peace of mind.

Readily available

In the United States, we often expect on-demand service, whether it’s for a car to whisk us to an appointment, the next episode of our favorite TV show streaming when we jump on the treadmill or a hot meal delivered from a local restaurant in minutes. Why should your bookkeeping be any different? SBOs are usually attending to so many fires on a day-to-day basis that it can be difficult to plan ahead for invoicing and other accounting needs. That can leave them feeling stressed when they realize they need to get the task done pronto and appreciative of that instant service.


One of the most important ways to measure the health of your business is cash flow, as depicted in month-end financial reports, which is one of the key services small business owners appreciate from virtual bookkeepers. They also turn to them for help with other accounting tasks like categorizing financial transactions and reconciling credits and debits to keep their books orderly and accurate.

Professionally certified

Tax laws are only becoming more complex, and small business owners often turn to their accountant for advice on what they can legally deduct. After all, you want to maximize your tax savings, but never at the expense of being outside the law, so working with a bookkeeper or accounting professional who is familiar with current tax laws is important. Let someone else stay abreast of the constant changes so that you can devote your time to more important pursuits—whether that’s launching a new product or spending well-deserved time with family and friends.


The main benefit of remote bookkeeping is that it saves precious time—but that can quickly be eroded if you need to continually explain the ins and outs of your specific needs. For example, maybe some customers pay with a credit card each month, while others prefer an e-check. That’s why many on-demand customers request that their bookkeeper get to know them and understand the unique details of their industry and their business, as well as their personal preferences for invoicing and communication, so they are always on the same page.

QuickBooks Live meets your needs

The good news? QuickBooks Live has been developed to meet each one of those needs.

Here are the benefits the remote bookkeeping service offers:

Dedicated team

We’ll assign you a team of QuickBooks-certified bookkeepers, which means you’ll receive the consistency you need to keep your clients happy and your accounting needs streamlined.

Updated books

A virtual bookkeeper will help categorize transactions and reconcile credits and debits, so that your books are always accurate and mirror your bank accounts.

Custom setup

Your online bookkeeper will get to know your business and industry, and customize your setup accordingly. That means that you won’t have to continuously explain your needs.

Improved organization

Your business will run more smoothly than ever when you get your income statements, balance sheet and chart of accounts organized, which allows you to better understand your business performance.

On-demand assistance

Have a question that keeps coming up and don’t know where to turn? You can always connect with a bookkeeper via message or video chat for personalized help.


Maybe, instead of doing your own books, you’ve been contracting with someone locally to help you out. And, you’ve probably realized the frustrations inherent in that. Having to make an appointment, and wait and wait until they are available. Then, when that appointment time finally rolls around, you realize that it’s no longer convenient for you because you’re in the middle of a huge project.

But, you have to keep it anyway, so you tear yourself away. Get dressed. Drive through traffic. Search for parking. Wait in the office. Make small talk. Then, finally get down to business. Is that picture vivid enough to portray the benefits of access to online bookkeeping? Yeah, we thought so.

Time back in your day

What SBO doesn’t wish they could outsource something on their to-do list? With QuickBooks Live, you can check off a task that is both complicated and time-consuming for many. And, it’s a task that feels particularly onerous because even when you’re done, you often don’t feel the satisfaction you might with other tasks.

That’s because you may be asking, what if it’s wrong? Accounting is too vital to the health of your business to risk errors. With a professional helping, you’ll gain peace of mind, along with the gift of time to devote to the parts of running your business that you most enjoy.

Month-end close

Most of us use the saying, “Another (vacation/birthday/fill-in-the-blank) in the books.” That’s accounting speak, right there, and it refers to the “month-end books” that every SBO should refer to in order to gauge the health of their business. With QuickBooks Live, an expert you trust will review and close your books each month.

Year-end report

And, finally, you can breathe easy as you start to wrangle your taxes. Your bookkeeper will put together a year-end report for your business to assist you when it’s time to prepare your tax return.

So, are you ready to have more time in your day? Relief from the fear that your books might be wrong? A more accurate picture of your business through regular financial statements?

Find out today how virtual bookkeeping services through QuickBooks Live can help your business.

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Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer who specializes in small business, workplace issues, personal finance and health. She lives in Portland, Ore. @CathieEricson Read more