What is an online accountant? Are they different from traditional accountants? Do they offer different services? Do they cost more? Do you need to be a computer expert to understand one? Simply put, online accountants embrace today’s technological world thereby making accounting services more convenient and available for their clients. At the same time they offer the identical services as traditional accountants – corporate and personal tax returns, preparation of financial statements, advisory services, audit and review of financial statements, bookkeeping services, accounting systems setup and training.

In terms of their work space, online accountants usually work from home. Meetings are generally held via video conferencing software such as Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts. Video conferencing permits accountants to share their computer screen to help describe financial reports and tax returns. In addition, video conferencing allows clients to join meetings from anywhere in the world without having to travel to see their accountant.

The majority of online accountants use cloud-based accounting software and paperless technology. The objective of an online accountant is to utilize technology that makes clients’ lives uncomplicated, improves the accounting process and increases effectiveness.

When hiring an online accountant, you don’t need to purchase expensive software or hardware to work seamlessly with him/her. Rather, you would easily be able to manage with a laptop and a good internet connection, which you probably already own.

The fee that your online accountant charges at the end of the month is agreed upon beforehand. There is no fixed cost. Fees usually vary from one client to another based on the amount of work needed. This means that you have the chance to negotiate a good deal for your business. You can negotiate a mutually acceptable amount which would then be fixed. In other words no more worrying that you’ll be charged an arm and a leg if you ask an extra question during a meeting. Furthermore, at the end of every month you won’t receive an astronomical bill you weren’t prepared for.

The future is clearly online accountants. As people continue to live more and more of their lives online, a large percentage of companies are shifting from brick and mortar stores to the internet. As we’ve seen with banks, car companies, restaurants and other industries, anything and everything can be done online, including somehow trying on a pair of jeans. Next time you’re looking for an accountant, try an online accountant and watch your costs go down and your free time go up.

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