Let’s dive into the advantages of a remote bookkeeper.
Advantages of Hiring a Remote Bookkeeper
I’m writing this in the COVID era, so the world has woken up to the power of remote work. What didn’t seem possible in 2019 seems practical in 2020. So here are some of the major advantages of working with or hiring a remote bookkeeper:
The single biggest advantage is that you can find someone excellent. You are not constrained by geography and who happens to be working in the town that you live in or work in. Accounting is one of those businesses that lends itself to technology really well, which makes remote work possible.
Diving deeper into the technology that’s now available to bookkeepers: There is a ton of structured data coming out of the bank feeds, out of Plaid. There’s been a ton of progress in software solutions like QuickBooks, Bill.com, Expensify, a lot of the virtual credit cards even like NetSuite, some of that stuff.
And the bookkeeping firms have evolved to continue to serve their clients during the pandemic. Kruze is a remote bookkeeping firm serving startups that has spent a lot of money and time on building our own solutions that plug into the big applications like QuickBooks. So like for us, we can actually get about 70% of transactions accepted, labeled correctly in QuickBooks, just through software we’ve built ourselves. A human never has to look at it. So you’re getting a solid, remote bookkeeper who doesn’t have to be in your office to do your finances or record your company’s transactions.
And you’re also, you know, you can also benefit from firms like Kruze that have figured out how to structure all the bookkeeping processes and create multi-level review, and again, building our own technology and having great project management and leveraging some of the other best software tools to provide a really high-end service for a pretty low price point. And so, if you’re limited to only people that are in your city or down the street, the odds of you finding someone excellent are pretty low. But the internet’s a magical place and allows all of us bookkeepers who’ve committed to this way of work to reach clients all across the United States.
At Kruze, we went remote three years ago. We like to call it distributed, not remote. And it started, it took a little bit of work but you really have to commit to it. But our communication is really strong. We use Slack. We use Zoom like crazy. And we have a real culture of having those face-to-face Zooms when there’s ever an issue.
And so, for us, it’s been really great and for our clients. Our clients, they’ve been really happy and surprised at the kind of quality of service we can deliver for the price point we’re offering. Our ability to deliver high quality bookkeeping at an affordable price point is driven by the combination of our remote first hiring and our technology.
Tips for Hiring a Remote Bookkeeper
Great remote bookkeepers are harder to find than you’d think. Here are some tips that will help you hire a solid remote bookkeeper for your startup:
- Hire someone in the United States - if you are metrics-driven, you’ll care about your financials. You’ll want to be able to reach your bookkeeper during normal business hours, so hire someone in the United States. While you can save a lot of money by going overseas, you’ll lose the ability to have spontaneous business hours conversations.
- Go with a firm, not a person - people take vacations, get different jobs, have sick kids. Firms have staff that can step in and handle your books even when your particular bookkeeper is busy.
- Choose someone who understands your industry - startups are not like traditional small businesses. Bookkeepers who know how to do accounting for a coffee shop may not understand revenue recognition for a SaaS business. Pick an expert that knows your particular industry!
Why Our Employees Like Being Remote Bookkeepers
I’m just a huge fan of remote bookkeeping. We are never going back. And I think there’s one other aspect that people don’t often think of, but just team member/employee happiness, like, your accountants that are remote can have a lot of flexibility, especially if they have young families. It helps us hire experienced professionals who are excited to work with cutting-edge technology companies.
And so I know at Kruze, a lot of the people we hire have young families, and they really value that remote nature and being able to pop in and pop out if needed. They’re there all day, but sometimes an emergency comes up with children or getting kids to school or whatever it is. And so, you know, you may not be thinking of this when you pick a bookkeeper, but the happiness level and the amount of time they’ve actually spent at a given firm is much, much higher with a remote bookkeeping firm. I think the employees really enjoy the experience. And at the end of the day, it’s really helpful as a startup founder or someone building a business to have continuity in your relationship with your bookkeeper. And if they’re enjoying work, they’re happy they have that flexibility.
And oftentimes they’re, you know, making a relatively high salary relative to other options that are local. And so they tend to stay in the position a lot longer too. And so those are all the reasons why remote bookkeeping is working so well.
And again, we did it four years ago. It’s been nice to see other people take advantage of that in all across different industries. And I have to say our client base, I would say nine out of ten founders in our client base were comfortable with remote from day one, because oftentimes they have remote software development teams or remote customer service. But there was maybe one in ten holdouts and I’m very happy to report that those holdouts, via living through the COVID era, are now very, very comfortable with remote bookkeeping. And so it’s been a sea change in the industry.
We’re excited to be part of it. And we’re also excited to take advantage of it, and we really do think it pays off for our team members as well. So that’s the scoop on remote bookkeeping.