The idea of choosing an online accountant you may never meet face to face can be alarming for some people. There are many factors you should consider before choosing an online accounting firm that will be right for your small business. These helpful hints will be pivotal to helping your business grow and sustain itself.

The Virtual

It’s vital to decide the level of online accounting services your company requires. Whether you need daily, weekly or monthly online accounting services, it’s imperative that the costs stay within your company’s budget. In other words, don’t request services your company doesn’t need.

Technology, Software and Security

There are some great online accounting software packages on the market today. It’s pivotal to keep in mind your virtual accountant must be extensively trained in accounting software, QuickBooks, Xero or any other software. In addition, regardless of the software your online accountants are using, you must ensure your accounting data is 100% secure. Make certain their servers are based in certified secure facilities and the data is protected using state-of-the-art SSL encryption. Additionally, it’s key your data is backed up regularly to protect against loss.

Team versus Individual

One thing you may want to consider is hiring an online accounting firm rather than an individual because if you’re assigned accountant is sick, another team member can pick up the slack.

Expertise

As with most things, the accounting requirements vary based on your industry and can differ from country to country. The fundamentals are usually the same but the accounting for a restaurant is dissimilar than the accounting for an artist or film and television production company. If you speak to an online accounting firm that may not be the right fit for your business for whatever reason, ask them to give you a referral. They may know someone that’s the perfect fit for you and your business. Failing that, you can also go online and look for a firm that will meet your needs.

Cloud versus Dekstop

Your selection of software and where that software ‘lives’ is very important.

Some individuals or small businesses already have their own software, while others may allow the accounting company to choose what is best for them. For the most part, with few exceptions, it’s recommended that cloud-based accounting software be used.

If it is absolutely necessary that you use a desktop-based accounting software, it is suggested that you have the software hosted on a server for remote access.

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