Technology has greatly advanced. Today you can perform bookkeeping and accounting duties from the comfort of your home. All you require is the necessary training, a computer, the necessary software and other tools and equipment, and the commitment to work independently.
A virtual accountant works with companies and individuals by helping them maintain business records remotely, including calculating and paying taxes and running payrolls. Some accountants will offer other financial services like financial planning and recommendations for good investment vehicles. Traditionally, accountants work from physical offices, however, things are changing, and we have more and more accountants working virtually. All that they need is a computer, Internet, and training as an accountant.
Many companies and individuals, who hire virtual bookkeepers, do so to save on business running costs. They prefer to work with freelance accountants because this helps them save on expenses that include staff benefits, and paying staff taxes on behalf. By hiring a freelancer, they also save money on the cost of purchasing equipment and office space, because the employees work virtually from their choice location, which in most cases is a home office.
As a virtual accountant, you need to have more than a high school diploma in terms of qualifications, ideally, having professional training in accountancy is required. You will also need to know how to use common accounting software, and keep updating yourself with the latest trends in accounting. Though the industry has not changed much in terms of training, there are new and innovative software that you must learn to use and update yourself with laws that affect accountancy at large. It is also important for you to have good communication skills and attention to detail, since a small mistake can be detrimental to an organization. Employers require people with high integrity, and will even do a background check prior to hiring a virtual accountant.
A virtual accountant earns either a monthly income or an hourly one, depending on how much they have to do and for how long. A virtual accountant will earn from $55,000 to $75,000 annually depending on the amount of work and the duration that they are working, some employers will pay a one off fee for a short term accounting job, while longer job contracts earn you more money. If you agree on an hourly pay, this should be anything from $20 to $100 depending on your expertise and job requirements.
Many medium and small companies hire virtual accountants to help with bookkeeping since they are more affordable to hire, and they can hire them when need arises, without the need to give them any additional benefits.
You can find virtual accountant jobs on the internet and classified listings, including yellow pages. Some employers will require an accountant residing within a particular region for different reasons. While on the other hand, you can register with freelancing websites, which have numerous openings for virtual bookkeepers. Ensure that you create a winning resume and portfolio since competition is stiff for the same jobs.
As the accountant, you have a primary role of maintaining financial records, and ensuring that the organization pays the relevant taxes on time to the government. You may be also required to oversee the use of funds in the organization, and work closely with major corporations’ and other individuals in the same business. Sometimes a virtual accountant is also the virtual assistant, which means that the more skills you have the higher the chances of finding good employment and for the long term.
Your employer may also require you to work closely with clients, explain, and verify any paper work. If you work as a public accountant, you may be required to learn additional skills in that field if you do now have the skills already. If you are working as a certified public accountant, then you can work independently for larger corporations and for a better pay.
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