Build your own virtual accounting and virtual bookkeeping office
Virtual is not where the profession is heading … it’s where the profession is. Advanced cloud-based technologies allow firms to operate at maximum efficiency – supporting streamlined, paperless and collaborative workflows. This is where firms want to be, because being anywhere else (that is, still following traditional modes of operation) will eventually bring a firm to a halt.
So, where does a firm start in order to accomplish a virtual work environment? Building a virtual office all starts with a vision! Do you realize that most practitioners have never taken the time to actually think about what they want their firm to become? Firm owners and partners are barreling down a path of software selection, IT infrastructure implementation, recruitment of new clients, web development, portal implementation, and more, without taking the time to articulate where they want to “be.” The fact is that you can’t build a successful virtual office until you have a clear vision for your business.
QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping
Are you familiar with QuickBooks® Live Bookkeeping? QuickBooks Live is a monthly subscription service intended to fill gaps for small businesses and self-employed who aren’t currently connected to ProAdvisors® and accounting professionals. Many who use QuickBooks Online are connected to ProAdvisors through our Find-a-ProAdvisor platform, but research shows that 40% of small businesses don’t currently work with ProAdvisors or bookkeepers. That said, 89% of small businesses say they’re more successful when working with accountants. That’s where QuickBooks Live enters the equation.
For ProAdvisors and bookkeepers, QuickBooks Live provides a new opportunity to earn extra money, plus offers the flexibility of remote work and setting your own hours—all while elevating the value of human-powered financial management. This is the next step in Intuit’s continued effort to partner small businesses and self-employed with ProAdvisors and bookkeepers, and something worth looking into to build a solid virtual practice
Building a virtual practice
This article offers a high-level glimpse at how to build your own virtual office. Be sure to read the white paper to follow this article: Building Your Virtual Office – A Comprehensive Look at How to Get Started.
Steven Covey, author of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, describes creating a vision as “starting with the end in mind.” He’s spot on with this description. Practitioners must be able to envision the business they want to operate first and then the building can begin. The question here is, how do you get started with your vision? Consider the following:
- Ask yourself the right high level questions – What are my core competencies? What are clients asking for? What services do I enjoy offering?
- Ask yourself what kind of life you want – Do I want a better life-work balance? Do I want my firm to operate smoothly even if I’m not there?
- Ask yourself how you want to serve your clients – Do I want to serve clients online, 24/7? Do I want clients to be able to access their information anytime, anywhere and from any device?
These are just a few examples of ideas to get the ball rolling on developing your firm’s vision statement. From here, it takes dedication to craft your unique statement, as I’ve done for my own firm. You can see my complete vision statement in the follow-up white paper.
Once you’ve answered these higher-level questions, you can then get into more detail. For example:
- Identifying the type of clients you want to serve.
- Identifying how you want to serve clients (a closer look at the right technologies).
- Identifying the right staff.
- Mapping out the internal infrastructure required to support your business – for example, to support a completely online, collaborative client accounting service or a paperless tax workflow.
In Conclusion … for Now
Remember, to build the virtual office, you must start with the end in mind. Your vision is the foundation of your firm’s transformation to virtual. Be sure to read the white paper to get all the details!
Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 16, 2013, and updated with new content on Aug. 8, 2019.