Remote Work Finances Playbook

Deciding how you’ll do your bookkeeping


As a business owner, you should always keep an eye on your books. Many opt to do their own bookkeeping as it’s a relatively simple task. However, hiring a trustworthy remote bookkeeper can buy you hours of time. Busy business owners have a lot on their plates. Bookkeeping is an easy task to outsource.

No matter which avenue you choose, bookkeeping matters a lot. Clean books will not only make your life easier, but will set you up for financial success when working remotely or experiencing unusual circumstances. 

Why bookkeeping matters

Bookkeeping is essential for a number of reasons, but it’s especially important when working remotely. That’s because you need visibility into the health of your business now more than ever. Here’s why accurate bookkeeping matters:

  • You need it to do your taxes. In order to file business taxes, you need accurate information about revenue and expenses. Bookkeeping ensures that this information is in order. When tax day comes, you’ll be over-prepared.
  • It tells you where your money is going. Accurate bookkeeping is a record of where your money goes each month. This information will help you assess where you can cut costs, maximize return, and increase cash flow.
  • It ensures you don’t miss out on tax deductions. When working remotely, there are a number of tax deductions you may be eligible for. There’s the home office expense, but there are also monthly expenses like phone and internet bills, remote software subscriptions, and more
  • You need it to borrow money. If you want to take out a business loan, you’ll need to be able to present your books. Most banks will ask for an income statement and a balance sheet, which are summaries of your annual bookkeeping records.

Do your own bookkeeping

If you don’t have the funds to hire a virtual bookkeeper, or if you have some extra time on your hands, you can do your own bookkeeping. 

There are a number of DIY accounting software solutions available to help. You can also log income and expenses via an Excel template

As mentioned earlier, bookkeeping needs to be done on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis.

Hire a virtual bookkeeper

A virtual bookkeeper does all of your bookkeeping remotely, which is a great option when working from home. By using cloud-based software solutions, your virtual bookkeeper will be able to help, no matter where you are.

During times of uncertainty, it’s essential to have a sense of where your money is going. A bookkeeper can help you understand how much profit you’re earning month to month, as well as how much cash your business has on hand.

How do you find a virtual bookkeeper? You can hire a freelancer who is used to working remotely or use a virtual bookkeeping service like Bench.

Tips for working with a virtual bookkeeper

Be prepared to send records digitally. Although you may have paper receipts, a virtual bookkeeper will need everything to be digitized. You can use filing and storage apps to scan paper and send it off to your bookkeeper.

Choose a bookkeeper comfortable with your software. You need your bookkeeper to be comfortable with your accounting solution, so if you use something like FreshBooks or QuickBooks, your bookkeeper should be comfortable and skilled at using these programs (the exception would be a bookkeeper like Bench, who takes it off your hands completely and uses their own software).

Understand how they charge. Some bookkeepers charge based on the number of transactions, while others offer an hourly rate. Some offer a flat fee based on the size of your business. Make sure you understand how they charge to make sure it’s within your budget and meets expectations.

Ask questions. If you’re working with a virtual bookkeeper for the first time, no question is a dumb question. When you begin working together, come prepared with a list of questions to make sure you understand how the arrangement will work.

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