Accounting Virtual Assistants: A Complete Guide to Benefits and Hiring

By Holly Stanley | Updated: 23 Feb, 2024

Deadlines are part of life for accountants. Between juggling quarterly financial report deadlines, tax filing deadlines, and due dates from clients, the list can seem endless.  

Add to that task management, general admin, and calendar management, and your workload can feel overwhelming. Instead of closing your computer at five, you may find yourself working long into the evening just to tread water. 

So what’s the solution? 

Hiring employees who understand taxes isn’t easy. But giving up on having a work-life balance isn’t ideal either. 

You probably need a virtual assistant for an accountant

Read on to learn how a managed VA can transform your work life from overwhelm to balance. 

Table of Contents

  1. What are the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant?
  2. What tasks can accountants outsource to virtual assistants?
  3. How to find an accounting virtual assistant: Key considerations and best practices 
  4. Scale your accounting firm with Prialto’s managed virtual assistants
  5. Virtual accounting assistants FAQs

What are the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant?

Working with VAs wins you back time, so you can focus on providing high-quality accounting services to your clients. 

Outsource repetitive tasks 

Tedious tasks like calendar management, replying to emails, and data entry consume hours of your workweek. 

By working with a VA, you can let them handle these repetitive tasks while you focus on high-value activities. 

One of our accountant clients, shares how their VA helps them manage stressful deadline days. 

“Today was another deadline day, and those can be pretty stressful, but [my Prialto assistant] Andi was amazing and made it so much better. She always goes above and beyond, especially during difficult times like the 10/15 filing deadline. She made tax season so much better. I really appreciate her and your company for being everything you promised and more.”

 

Scale up flexibly 

CPAs often face heavier workloads around tax season. Virtual assistants' flexibility and cost savings make them an ideal solution for lightening the load of tax season. Instead of taking on a full-time, year-round employee, you can choose to work with VAs at certain busy times of the year.

With services like Prialto, CPAs can easily scale their support units to meet changing business needs.

Boost your productivity

Ever felt there aren’t enough hours in the day? When you don’t have to spend time on repetitive tasks, you’ll have more time to focus on pressing issues. 

When you outsource tasks like email and calendar management to VAs, you won’t have to worry about those distracting notifications coming through. 

VAs can also work when you’re finished for the day. Imagine finishing a busy day of work with a long to-do list and having everything done the next day first thing in the morning! If your VA’s time zone is opposite to yours, like the Philippines is to the USA, the workflow of your firm can literally go on 24 hours a day.

Read more: 11 Proven Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

 

What tasks can accountants outsource to virtual assistants?

Accountants can offload those time-consuming administrative tasks that take time away from meeting new clients. These tasks may vary between accountants, but here are a few ideas: 

  1. Tax Preparation: VAs assist with tax return preparation by managing client information collection and transferring data into forms for timely completion of tax documentation.
  2. Client Communication: Handling client inquiries about tax documentation, billing, payments, and other financial matters.
  3. Calendar management: VAs will schedule meetings and deadlines. Having everything organized ahead of time simplifies your day, week, and even year.
  4. Payroll processing: A VA will manage payroll, calculate taxes, and ensure compliance with regulations.
  5. Invoice processing: Creating, sending, and following up on invoices, as well as managing accounts receivable.
  6. Bookkeeping: Maintaining basic records of financial transactions, reconciling bank statements, and ensuring accuracy in the books.
  7. Financial reporting: Preparing basic financial reports such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
  8. Document management: VAs organize and maintain financial records, contracts, and other important documents.
  9. Expense management: Tracking and categorizing expenses and ensuring proper documentation for tax purposes.
  10. Social media management: VAs help spread the word about your accounting services on social media.

 

Read more: Simple Pricing That Scales With Your Business

 

How to find an accounting virtual assistant: Key considerations and best practices 

Finding the right accounting virtual assistant for your firm will depend on your budget, workload, and the tasks you need help with. 

Here’s everything you need to consider while choosing an accounting virtual assistant:

Freelance VA vs. managed VA service

Using a managed VA service usually costs more than hiring freelancers. But there are big time-savings associated with working with managed VAs. 

Finding and training freelance VAs involves more work. With freelance VAs, you’re responsible for the hiring, training, and onboarding. When you already have a long to-do list, these tasks can hold you back from outsourcing. 

If you choose a managed virtual assistant service, you won’t need to be involved in these steps. You can simply offload them to someone else to handle. 

If you want to save costs and time, managed virtual assistant services are best over the long term. 

Security 

When you hire a freelance accounting assistant, you must ensure a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) protects your clients' data. As a certified professional, creating the contract for your freelance VA is your job.

A managed service is safer. Companies that manage VAs already have this covered and have professional contracts for their employees to sign. For instance, all employees at Prialto sign NDAs.

Communication preferences

Do you want to be a boss who has to micromanage your VA? Or would you rather let a professional team manage your VA for you? 

Most busy accountants find that letting someone else handle the communication and training of their VAs saves them more time. 

Tech needs

Sometimes it’s unclear how much accounting software experience freelance VAs may have. Even if they say they have experience, it’s hard to know if they’ve received training. 

When you work with managed accounting VAs, you can rest easy that they have training in 

Quickbooks, Microsoft Dynamics, and other cloud accounting software.

At Prialto, we connect directly to your systems and tech stack. Our managers are also there to provide any extra support that accounting professionals might need on the back end.

Backup support

Freelance VAs may come and go as they please. That’s okay if you’re at the end of your busy tax season. But what do you do if your freelance VA announces they’re quitting when you’re swamped with deadlines? 

When you work with a managed VA, you get peace of mind that you’ll always have trained backup help if your principal VA becomes unavailable.

Scale your accounting firm with Prialto’s managed virtual assistants

Managed virtual assistants can be a game-changer for accountants. They take on the routine tasks, freeing you from tedious hours of data entry and organization of financial statements.

With a managed VA on your side, you can streamline your workflow and focus more on strategic financial analysis and advising your clients. You'll be amazed at the amount of time you can save.

Are you ready to unlock over 25 hours of extra time each week? Discover how hiring a managed virtual assistant can revolutionize your accounting practice and give you the freedom to grow.

Virtual accounting assistants FAQs

What are the benefits of using a virtual assistant for accounting tasks?

Using a virtual assistant for accounting tasks offers several benefits, including:

  • Cost-effective: VAs are typically more affordable than hiring full-time staff, reducing overhead costs.
  • Time efficient: VAs handle routine tasks, freeing up your time for more complex financial analysis and decision-making.
  • Flexibility: VAs can work as needed, providing support during peak periods without the commitment of a permanent employee.
  • Scalability: Easily adjust the level of support as your business grows or during seasonal fluctuations.
  • Expertise: Access specialized skills and knowledge without the need for extensive training.

How can a virtual assistant help with accounting tasks?

A virtual assistant can help with accounting tasks, including: 

  • Data entry: Recording financial transactions and invoices.
  • Bookkeeping: Maintaining accurate financial records.
  • Invoicing: Creating and sending invoices to clients.
  • Expense tracking: Categorizing and tracking expenses.
  • Payroll: Processing payroll and calculating taxes.
  • Financial reporting: Preparing financial statements and reports.
  • Tax preparation: Assisting with tax filings and compliance.

What is a virtual bookkeeping assistant?

A virtual bookkeeping assistant is a remote professional who assists with bookkeeping tasks, including: 

  • Financial data entry
  • Invoice processing
  • Reconciling bank statements
  • Preparing financial reports