Have you noticed that, of late, tech blogs and articles are talking a lot about virtual technologies, such as – Virtual machines and Virtual reality? Lightning fast internet connections supported by even faster microprocessors have enabled computers to perform operations anywhere virtually, without existing at that particular place. Features that existed only in sci-fi movies are now part of our usual routine because of this virtual computing. For example, a number of users can connect using different devices at any point of time to host an online virtual meeting.
Accounting, a critical part of the business world, has relied heavily on the technology to attain better score on efficiency and productivity. As virtual technology has taken the center stage, virtual accounting is not going to miss out.
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What is Virtual Accounting?
Outsourcing with bookkeeping operations was brought many decades back. It allowed the business firms to let a third-party maintain their financial accounting while the concentrated on their core business. Though it saved money, outsourcing with traditional methods proved greatly unsafe and hampered productivity in many ways while the local accounting offered better control over their tasks.
As the cloud-hosted accounting application offered the reliable solution to execute the accounting operations with immense control and precision, it also enabled real-time collaboration to work with the cloud. So it means that client and accountant working even in entirely different time zones can work on the same file seamlessly. It is not like the accountant is working in the cabin, just next to the client. It is, in fact, as if the accountant is working in the same room with the client. That is Virtual Accounting for you.
What is Virtual Accountant?
Accounting firms have their own challenges to work upon and scaling on client satisfaction is one of them. Considering the seriousness of the accounting data privacy, clients find it uncomfortable to get assistance from a different accountant all the time, even if they are associated with a reputed accounting firm. Lately, accounting firms have come up with a solution that offers dedicated accountant to the client.
Working on the cloud, technology offers ample option for accounting firms to offer a dedicated accountant to clients. Since all the works will be executed over the cloud, the accountant can even be working from the home. This makes your virtual accountant. Sufficient access permissions, control, and monitoring options ensure that virtual accountant is will keep up with quality and standard policies.
What is Virtual Accounting System?
This is the system that enables virtual accountant to serve the client with virtual accounting. Accounting software, such as – QuickBooks, Sage, etc. that eased the accounting operations from the local desktop can be hosted on the cloud-based server to provide the system. Moreover, there are a number of accounting applications that work over the cloud only.
These applications offer a medium of automating payments and payment reminders, storing financial transactions, filing tax forms, sharing information between users, processing taxes, managing payrolls, etc. Riding on the power of the internet, such systems can auto-run most of the accounting operations. It remains securely accessible to multiple users at all the time and from anywhere while keeping it error-free without asking for any physical server existence.
Advantages of Virtual Accounting
Following are some of the biggest advantages of virtual accounting:
- Work on the network and does not require local servers
- Flexible to accustom the client requirement
- No major change from the existing computer-based systems
- Highly secure and still maintains the ease of data sharing
- Real-time collaboration between different users to enhance productivity
- Automated operations to work with lesser manpower needs
- Better monitoring options and tracking of user activities
How to be an Equipped Virtual Accountant?
Accounting firms are facing a tremendous amount of competition with each other. To stay afloat in these tough times, it is of optimum priority to serve the customers with best solutions. Virtual accounting could be your way of being superior to others in the market. Now the point is how you can offer virtual accounting to your clients.
First and foremost step is going the cloud way. Either hosting your existing accounting software on the cloud or adopting a new totally cloud-based application is the way to start. Considering that you (and possibly your clients as well) are accustomed to the existing software, the first options seems a better choice. Then according to your employees and clients, lay out the basic functional architecture to create the users and define their permissions and roles with the network. Your choice of hosting provider or application support should be able to guide you through that.
Switching of the platform might initially require migration of the data. Though most of the operations remain same with desktop software the initial usage may take a little doing. You may have to go through some reliable source of learning cloud computing. Apart from that, your basic skills and knowledge with accounting is all you need to impress the customer with the best services.
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Cornelius7 years ago
Basically virtual accounting is just offshoring with better technology.
Schmit7 years ago
Banking has gone virtual to an extent. Payments are now shifting to electronic platform. With almost all financial operations going this way, accounting too had to follow.
Philip7 years ago
Even with so many advantages, concern over reliability and expertise of the accountant will pertain. Virtual Accounting is still nascent industry. Possibly IoT and AI experts will throw efforts into it to avail more substantial performance. Currently, I don’t see most businesses adopting this method of accounting. Maybe just for experimental purpose some might try it.
Taylor7 years ago
There are various concepts of virtual accounting according to the size of accounting needs. Virtual accounting system for a MNC will not go well with that of 20-something employee setup. QuickBooks could be a complete system for the smaller setup, which for the MNC even many such applications working together will struggle.