Bookkeeping Remotely – Consider the Advantages

Why Bookkeeping Remotely is a Win Win for Both Bookkeeper and Client

So what exactly is bookkeeping remotely? Simply put, it is when you create an arrangement with your bookkeeper so that they don’t need to be physically present in your office, in order to process your accounts and provide you with financial reports, Business Activity Statement, etc. There are many benefits in this arrangement for both bookkeeper and you, the client, which we’ll now proceed to summarize.

Advantages for the Client

  • No need to provide office space, stationery, computer, internet connection.
  • A better return on time invested by the bookkeeper.
  • A “paperless” office which minimizes filing and storage.

The first of the above is probably self evident, but let’s consider the second one for a moment. If your bookkeeper has to attend your premises, then they will probably need to factor in “travel time” to either the hourly rate that you are charged, or include it in the number of hours charged.

Not only so, but once they are at your premises, you will be charged for the time that they are present. This will include things like socializing, idle chit chat with the owner or other staff, toilet and coffee breaks, etc. But a remote bookkeeper who works from his or her own office will not be distracted by such things – and therefore, will provide you with better value for money.

As for the third item above, this can be a big one! Imagine not having to physically file all your receipts, invoices and other documents – and instead, to have them all stored safely “in the cloud” (i.e. on a remote computer server via the internet).

If you’re ever audited, you’ll be able to easily access any source document that you are required to produce. Think of the time that physically filing hard copies takes! This will become a thing of the past.

Not only so, but if you have a large amount of documents to process, it will be much easier for your bookkeeper to “find” the one that is relevant to the bank statement transaction, if they are electronically filed and appropriately named in a “folder” on a computer. We’ll discuss this in more depth later in this article.

Advantages for the Bookkeeper

  • Eliminates travel time.
  • Allows the bookkeeper to more efficiently schedule time for attending to your needs.
  • Your work can be attended to at (theoretically) any time of day or night.

So what’s in it for your bookkeeper? If your bookkeeper has multiple clients who require his or her physical attendance, it is much more difficult for the bookkeeper to schedule attendance at various locations in the most time efficient way. For example, one client needs you in the northern suburbs on Wednesday morning, followed by another client in the eastern suburbs that same afternoon.

So bookkeepers have to battle their way through suburban traffic conditions. This not only includes the cost of running a motor vehicle, but also “downtime” or non-chargeable hours. This being so, their hourly rate will need to reflect this downtime, otherwise they won’t be much longer in business.

But with bookkeeping remotely, everything can be scheduled in the most efficient way, from the bookkeeper’s office. This will allow them to provide you with a much better and probably more reliable, service.

So What is the Process – How is Bookkeeping Remotely Done?

Here is what the client needs to do:

  • Allow the bookkeeper to use their own online accounting software, or purchase a subscription to one yourself. If you already have your own accounting software, allow your bookkeeper to use it by providing access details.
  • Scan or photograph any invoices, receipts or other documents that are relevant to each bank statement transaction and send the scanned files to your bookkeeper via the internet.
  • Answer any queries via email.

That’s it!

There are a number of online accounting solutions available these days. The most popular of these appear to be, Xero and MYOB AccountRight. Your bookkeeper will likely have their own subscription to one, or both, of these. The basic idea is, that although the accounting software resides on a local computer, it communicates with “cloud servers” owned by the software provider (e.g. MYOB) for storage of your accounting data files.

For you, this means greater security and eliminates the need for regular backups. It also means that your tax accountant can easily access the data when “tax time” comes around. Subscriptions start at only $20 per month.

Scanning or photographing your documents can be a bit of a challenge at first, but a remote bookkeeper can show you how to do this easily. If you don’t have a scanner or multi-function printer, then you can use a mobile smart phone.

Your bookkeeper will provide you with a system for naming your scanned files, so that they are easily found and matched with bank statement transactions.

Some of your supplier invoices will come to you via email. All you need to do with these, is copy them into an appropriate folder on your local computer and then name them appropriately. If you have a remote cloud storage system such as Dropbox or OneDrive, then you can simply allow your bookkeeper to access the relevant folders where your files are stored. Alternatively, you can email the files to the bookkeeper by “zipping” them into one big compressed file and then sending via email attachment.

Here is an example of how a photographed receipt might be named:

Officeworks_OPS_STY_$35.95

Where “Officeworks” is the name of the suplier; OPS is the job or project such as “General Operating” (you can leave this out if you don’t wish to track these); STY is a code for “stationery expense”; and finally, the dollar amount on the invoice.

This will allow your bookkeeper to easily identify how any given bank transaction should be correctly processed. A complete list of codes can be provided by us, if you choose to use our services.

Your bookkeeper will then begin the task of processing your transactions in compliance with relevant tax laws and requirements. Once a given month has been completed, you will receive a package of monthly financial reports and any comments worthy of note. When your BAS is due, it will then simply be a matter of either providing you with the figures so that you can lodge your BAS, or making arrangements for your BAS to be lodged by your bookkeeper or BAS Agent.

If you would like further information or would like to enquire about the remote bookkeeping services that we offer, then . . .

Give us a call on 0435 990 480 or drop us a line anytime

Bookkeeping Adelaide – “Always Ready to Help”