There’s a lot to be said about breaking bricks—especially if it improves customer service. So maybe it’s time for your firm to ditch a traditional bricks-and-mortar office in favor of the newest trend sweeping the nation—virtual accounting and bookkeeping services.
The internet, mobility, and advances in technology have cultivated business owners accustomed to on-demand service and responsiveness. Practitioners and bookkeepers aren’t expected to travel to offices to collect paperwork and checks. Instead, companies want virtual bookkeeping firms and services that can work electronically.
Sure, online and remote bookkeeping and accounting can save you money. You can shuck the costs of monthly rent, utilities, and supplies. BUT you can also significantly enhance your customer service by going virtual as well.
What does a virtual firm look like?
Going virtual means you can conduct business anywhere, at any time. You aren’t tied to a physical office space to work. Your firm’s data is securely hosted in the cloud. Instead of paper-based workflows, you use digital and automated workflows. You also nix paper checks in favor of electronic payments such as ACH transfers and EFTs.
In short, your “office” is wherever you need it to be—at home, on the beach, or even at your kid’s soccer game.
Don’t think you can do it? This CPA runs his business from a recreational vehicle as he travels coast-to-coast. If he can do it, so can you!
Now, let’s talk about how virtual bookkeeping and accounting enhances your level of customer service.
1. Increase responsiveness
If you have a bricks and mortar practice, customer service may run like this:
You’re out of the office.
Your client calls your office line and gets your voicemail.
Your client calls your mobile and reaches you.
You tell them you’ll call them back later with the information they need.
If your firm has enabled virtual bookkeeping and accounting services, the above scenario completely changes. Your client reaches you. In a matter of a few taps, you have cash flow, documents, and more on demand and in the palm of your hand. The question is answered, and the customer is happy.
2. Offer self-service capabilities
Look, not everyone wants to pick up the phone or send an email for every question. It makes sense to give your customers the ability to go online and find answers almost immediately.
With virtual services, you can offer customers an online portal that houses information such as payment history, financial reports, contracts, and audit trails. They can log in, quickly find what they need, and continue with their day.
3. Develop specialized expertise
You may be based in San Francisco, but you know no boundaries. If you offer (for example) virtual bookkeeping services for churches, virtual services give you the ability to work with any church from the Bible belt to the dairy belt.
Even more importantly, you can now richly develop (and market) industry-specific expertise. You aren’t limited to working with the types of businesses in your geographic area. You can dig deep into a nationwide (or international) bed of prospects to mine for the kind of customers you want.
Your customers, in return, get bookkeeping and accounting services from a professional well versed in their industry, its challenges, and its best practices. Win/Win.
The Bonus Benefit
Virtual services also allow you to tear down geographic barriers when it comes to hiring. Staff can work from any city, state, or country. You can handpick talent no matter where they are. Find a great accountant based in Georgia? No problem. Did you get a lead on a payroll specialist in San Francisco? Piece of cake.
You can focus on a cultural and skills fit, not a geographic fit. You aren’t plugging holes—you’re sincerely bringing on only the professionals that complement your knowledge and work values. Another win for the customers!
Ready to explore virtual bookkeeping or accounting services?