When we meet with potential clients, we often hear the same questions time and again. In addition to questions about data security and the process of remote bookkeeping, we’re often asked about the differences between remote, outsourced, virtual, and offsite bookkeeping. However, the truth is that each of these terms mean essentially the same thing in most cases — that a third party is handling your bookkeeping at a location other than your company’s office.
Language changes over time so that different words are used to express the same exact idea. Sometimes that leaves room for nuance between different expressions, but sometimes, it just leads to misconceptions about the meaning. Let’s take a quick look at each phrase and why people might think they’re different.
This literally refers to hiring a third party to handle your bookkeeping. However, because of the way “outsourced” is often used in American culture today, some people think this means hiring that third party internationally. Though technically that is not necessarily true. You could outsource your bookkeeping to a contractor who did all their work at your office for instance. This is why it’s important to ask for clarity when this term is used. Will services be done internationally--possibly with people in a different time zone or with language barriers? At KYB, all of our bookkeepers and team members work within the United States but are still considered “outsourced” if you hire us to help with your backoffice needs.
The word “virtual” is the tricky part here. Some people think this means your bookkeeping is handled by artificial intelligence, or that the people handling your bookkeeping are hidden by so many computer processes that you’ll never know who they are. While this can sometimes be true, “virtual” really just means that your bookkeeping is delivered electronically, often through the cloud, but still handled by a human. In our case, despite our team working virtually, we find it important that our clients get to know their individual bookkeepers and those that handle their account.
This term is as straightforward as it looks, but how it applies to real life circumstances is misunderstood. “Offsite” simply means anywhere that isn’t your office, but some people worry that it also means they must regularly drive or mail all of their sensitive accounting information to another location. When you choose the right bookkeeping firm, that’s not the case. They just simply do not work onsite are your business.
Like “offsite,” “remote” simply refers to the fact that the bookkeeping isn’t done in your office. However, usually when people use the word “remote,” they’re talking about a member of their team who’s working from somewhere else. Technically, that could be true, but it doesn’t have to be the case.
Why We Choose Remote
At KYB, we prefer using the term remote bookkeeping. That’s because, even though all the other terms are just as applicable, “remote” denotes the idea that our team is an extension of your company working from somewhere else. We believe your bookkeeper should be someone you know and have a relationship with; they should be someone you can trust. The staff we assign to your account may not actually work for your company, but they’ll be just as concerned with your success and growth as you are, and just as accountable as an employee of your business (if not more).
At Keeping Your Balance, we’ve worked with more than 600 companies, from startups and small businesses to well-established and growing brands. Each of our clients gets the same treatment, whether you want to use the term outsourced, virtual, offsite, or remote. We’re set up to be your strategic partners and give you peace of mind when we handle your day to day bookkeeping in the cloud.