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Home / Accounting  / Virtual vs. Online Bookkeeping: Is there a difference?

Virtual vs. Online Bookkeeping: Is there a difference?

As any successful business knows, one of the primary goals is to keep costs as low as possible. Savvy business owners are constantly thinking of creative and effective ways to cut expenses, without sacrificing the quality of their products or services.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by contracting professionals to handle tasks that fall outside of your company’s capacity — instead of hiring an entire in-house team of employees to manage it. For example, a marketing agency likely handles its own sales but would work with an outside design firm, or freelancers, to take care of their graphic design needs. 

With this ever-increasing demand for business services, coupled with the convenience of the internet, there are now a multitude of options for hiring bookkeepers and accountants online. But how do you know which of those services will be the best fit for your company? Is there really that much of a difference between virtual and online services? And what is the best option for you and your company? Read on to learn the differences and gain the insights that will help you make the best financial decision for you and your business.


Virtual vs. Online — What’s the difference? 

When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting services, the terms virtual, online, and outsourced are often used interchangeably. And although they may be similar on the surface, once you look a little deeper, you’ll learn that there are some significant differences between each of these services.


Virtual Bookkeeping & Accounting

You’ll often hear the word “virtual” used as a generic way of describing services that can be obtained through the internet. However, what is actually means, is that you will be working with a person(s) online, not locally, and almost entirely via the internet.

As it pertains to bookkeeping and accounting, this can also indicate a single person working as a bookkeeper from home. And while some of these individuals can be quite knowledgeable and capable, virtual bookkeepers often lack up to date training, access to robust technology and don’t have a strong network of peers to ask for advice or assistance.

These bookkeepers and accountants are often not capable of handling management accounting and this can often lead to mistakes and inaccurate finances, unintentional regulatory non-compliance, risk of fraud, ill-equipped technology, messy accounting systems and neglected financial warning signs that can lead to business failure.

If you’re considering this type of bookkeeping and accounting service, you would likely be better off hiring a local accountant to avoid any risk of fraud by giving an anonymous individual access to your record and electronic files


Online Bookkeeping & Accounting

When it comes to online services, this typically refers to a more robust service that is available through the internet and this type of service is an excellent option for small businesses that aren’t having to manage any major financial requirements.

Online bookkeeping and accounting companies usually offer a service and software package that includes a monthly and annual reporting structure. This type of company would handle the function of a part-time accountant and would help streamline many of your accounting and bookkeeping needs.

While you shouldn’t have to worry about outdated practices or inconsistencies with online bookkeeping services, they typically only handle financial maintenance. You’d be hard-pressed to find an online service that offers management accounting strategies and the data insights that come with more personalized services and a dedicated team member to function as your CFO.


Outsourced Bookkeeping & Accounting

“Outsourced” can often refer to services that are located out of the country and overseas. But when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, this simply means that you’re sourcing certain functions of your business from outside the company. And, while some bookkeepers and accountants are located overseas, there are excellent outsourced firms, such as Solve, right here in Ireland. 

As your business grows and your accounting needs become overwhelming, you may think that a full time, in-house bookkeeper and accountant will help lighten the load. But, by outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting needs, you’re saving money by reducing the costs that come with having full-time employees. In addition to this, it allows you and your staff to spend more time doing what you do best and avoid the headache that comes with the hiring process.


The Benefits of Outsourced Client Accounting Services

By outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting services, you have the power to completely transform your growing business for the better. You gain access to a fully functioning bookkeeping and accounting department, with all the capabilities that an in-house staff would have but without the price tag. You also avoid the hassles of having in-house staff such as turnover, training, and staff scheduling. On top of all this, you still receive all of the financial data and insights of a smart back office and dedicated finance department access at a fraction of the cost. 


What can Solve’s Outsourced Accounting Services do for your business?

Solve’s outsourced Accounting and Bookkeeping services provided your business with a dedicated team of highly trained, experienced, and certified financial professionals. We use fully integrated and thoroughly tested tools to streamline your day to day bookkeeping, deliver accurate historic and financial data, provide heightened financial security, and much more.


Contact the professionals at Solve today to see what we can do to help your business grow.

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