What is a Virtual Bookkeeper? Definition, Examples, & Costs


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A woman offering online bookkeeping services with her calculator and laptop.


A virtual bookkeeper provides services remotely, meaning that they do not have to physically go to an office. Going virtual is popular even among entrepreneurs these days, so hiring a virtual bookkeeper makes a lot of sense. And with the pandemic stirring things up, virtual setups are much more common and desirable. Moreover, businesses are looking to cloud-based solutions to replace local ones. Hiring a virtual bookkeeper give you more flexibility and lowers your costs, too.


What Is a Virtual Bookkeeper?


A virtual bookkeeper today usually works from home (meaning anywhere they can use a computer and connect to the internet), or from their own private office space. This is different from the traditional setup where a bookkeeper would physically go to a client’s business location to do their books. 


That’s not the only difference there is, though. A virtual bookkeeper is probably more likely well-versed in a number of accounting and bookkeeping software solutions, including cloud-based tools. This is because a virtual bookkeeper will be used to computerized or internet bookkeeping software for recording financial transactions, updating statements, reconciling accounts, and even processing payroll and monitoring cash flow. 


How Does Virtual Bookkeeping Work?


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A virtual bookkeeper must have remote access to all pertinent financial documents. This usually means sending over soft copies like snapshots of physical receipts or PDFs of bills and invoices. They also need access to whatever tool a business is using to record financial data. This can be on a local server, but better yet, cloud-based software that can be updated in real time.


The bookkeeper will also need to work only on secured computers, networks, and internet connections. This is necessary to protect client data. This usually means working from home or a private office. Cloud-based accounting software like QuickBooks Online will have security features, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Why Hire a Virtual Bookkeeper?


Hiring a virtual bookkeeper is more cost-efficient and flexible than hiring in-house. Even if you’re not hiring an exclusive full charge bookkeeper, an agency providing services in your local area will charge a lot more than an outsourced solution. 


A virtual bookkeeper does not have to maintain office space or client hospitality areas. You will also find it a lot easier to find freelance contractors who can work the hours and days that you need.


Virtual Bookkeeping vs Local Bookkeeping


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Hiring a virtual bookkeeper means that you will always pay less because they don’t have to pay as much to rent their virtual offices. Most will actually work from home, so they are not going to be charging higher to cover building maintenance fees or furniture, either. What you get is better technology and services because what you pay goes straight to the virtual bookkeeper, minus the usual essentials like taxes. You will also be able to draw from a much larger talent pool of applicants. This is because a virtual bookkeeper can work from anywhere in the world.


The Top Virtual Bookkeeping Services


1. EcomBalance


The virtual bookkeeper team at EcomBalance specializes in eCommerce and provides services  catered to specific business needs. The owners and team are experts in the eCommerce space. Their process is reliable, simple, and easy to build on. The eCommerce bookkeeping team they work with are in active communication with businesses. This means daily emails or calls if needed. These virtual rock stars are proactive to avoid potential problems. They also analyze reports and even share insights and feedback that will help you to improve your financial operations and profitability. 


2. Pilot


Pilot gives startups and growing businesses dedicated accounting, finance, and tax services. You can have peace of mind about managing your finances properly, knowing you can reach the growth objectives you set. This is because you will get strategic finance support, which includes features like forecasting and even fundraising. This way, you can run the business while seeing your finances clearly. Pilot Tax experts help you stay on track by making sure you stay ahead of deadlines and making tax filing super easy.


3. Xendoo


This team boasts of being dedicated to your business success. Xendoo will take care of all the annoying parts of bookkeeping so you can focus on earning more money. And you get this without increased stress or spending more of your precious time. Xendoo gives you access to reliable tech and a dedicated virtual bookkeeper. You can start using the tool for free and still get the team’s 24/7 support to make sure you are tax-ready at all times with up-to-date and accurate financial reports.


4. Bench


This team is composed of small business experts. They take care of importing your bank statements and preparing whatever financial statements you need every month. Bench bookkeepers work in-house, so you can meet with them any time. The Bench Client Research Team gives you intelligent answers to complicated questions. You also get visual reports that help you see what’s going on at a glance. This helps you get the actionable insights you need to grow the business. You can upgrade as needed to get more than what you need for basic tax filing.


What Does a Virtual Bookkeeper Cost?


A profitability projection on paper under a calculator and pen.


As with all things outsourced, what you pay for a virtual bookkeeper will depend greatly on where they are located, what their level of expertise is, and what their specific responsibilities will be. That said, a fair range to expect for a hire outside of the US is around $7-$20 for simple, average, bookkeeping tasks. If you want a full charge bookkeeper, you will pay about $3-$8 more per hour. If you actually want someone who can do more of an accountant’s type of work, you could be looking at $50 or more per hour.


When Is the Right Time to Hire a Virtual Bookkeeper?


If you are already strapped for time, then this is a sure sign that it’s time to hire a virtual bookkeeper. This is especially true if you have already fallen behind on tax filings and it stresses you out to even think about updating the books. If your accountant is also unhappy and you’re wanting time trying to figure things out, think about how much your time means and invest in a virtual bookkeeper.


Finally, if you’re not seeing an increase in profits, a virtual bookkeeper can explain the story that your numbers are telling so you can identify issues and opportunities like how to optimize cash flow and decrease operating expenses.




Hiring a virtual bookkeeper is always a good idea when it saves you precious time, preserves your relationship with your accountant, keeps your books clean, and helps you make smarter business decisions. Virtual bookkeeping is a more efficient and convenient solution for all kinds of businesses and nonprofit organizations.


About EcomBalance


EcomBalance is a monthly bookkeeping service for eCommerce companies. EcomBalance handles your bookkeeping and sends you a Profit and Loss Statement, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement by the 15th of each month. EcomBalance also has a sister company, AccountsBalance, that caters to agencies, software companies, coaches, and other online companies.

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Julia Valdez

Julia Valdez is Freelance Writer and Agency Owner. She regularly writes on topics related to Business Finances, Growth, Hiring, Entrepreneurship, and more.

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