Why does an accountant needs a Virtual PAs?

There is more to high-quality bookkeeping than just maintaining balance sheets, invoicing, and monitoring bank statements.
As an Accountant, you can quickly get tied up in the every day flow of your operation.

We have found that many Accountants face the following problems:

- Overworked - Some Accountants have a large number of clients; their clients eat up their time which means extra hours of work every day or week.
- Demanding clients - Those particular clients who send you their bookkeeping one day and want it back the next.

We have 9 Accountants that we work with, and have done for 10 years now.

Here are some of the solutions we came up with:

We use Sage, Xero and Excel in our accounting packages, plus a number of bespoke packages also.
This means it’s extremely easy for us to tap right into your workflow.
We can do as little or as much as you want us too but ALL CONFIDENTIALLY.

We can:

- Analyse bank statements, categorise them and produce financial reports on your behalf.
- We can maintain your schedule and take on some of the daily tasks.
- We can answer phone calls on your behalf.
- All of our dealings with your material remain in strictest confidence.

Call Helen now on 0161 507 0656 for further details.

Need Some Help Organising Your Business and Personal Life?

Personal and business lives are often not straightforward, and at times can become a little bit untidy. We can all do with a bit of help now and again to get things organised and back to the way we want. Nowadays, support has never been as readily available, and there are a host of online tools and applications that can help you keep track of your business and personal lives. 

In fact, there are so many organiser apps available that you might struggle to decide which are the best ones for your situation. This brief article aims to introduce some of the best apps to organise your life and hopefully help you choose the right ones.

Asana. Asana is a web and mobile app used by businesses and organisations to help their teams manage their workflows and improve productivity. The app comes with a good pedigree in productivity, having been developed by Dustin Moskovitz (co-founder of Facebook) and former Google engineer Justin Rosenstein. They both worked on productivity in their former roles, so this app can surely help you with that.

Dashlane. This is a cross-platform password management tool that operates on a subscription basis. It is compatible with macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android operating systems. You can use the app for free with the option to pay for upgrades.

Dropbox. Dropbox is a file hosting service offering cloud-based storage for photos, documents, and other digital files.

Evernote. Evernote provides a note-taking, organisation, and task-management application. You can create notes in text, image audio, or drawing formats. These notes can be tagged, edited, exported, annotated, and searched. 

Google Trips. Google Trips allows users to plan their trips along two thousand miles of UK river paths. You can plan your trip to consider crossing bridges, locks, towpaths, and riverside refreshments.

Habitica. This is an online open-source task-management app. The app is structured like a role-playing game, which sets it apart from other task-management tools.

Hootsuite. This tool allows you to manage your various social media on a single platform. You use the system via a user-dashboard, enabling you to integrate your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube feeds. 

Lastpass. This is a free password manager application, enabling you to encrypt and store your passwords online. The basic system is free to use, and various plugins can be accessed through a premium subscription. 

Sortly. Here is a straightforward asset and inventory tracking application. It enables you to track various items and their associated data, including condition, price, quantity, description, etc.

Trello. This one is an online Kanban-style list-making and organising application. Like a basic project-management app, it allows you to track what is being done, by whom, and at what stage.

Wunderlist. This is an online task-management app that allows you to create lists and manage tasks from your smartphone. 

Hopefully, using one, some, or all of these handy tools will help you and your business stay more organised. Still struggling with organising your business? Give us a call at Virtual PA Services: 0161 507 0656

Thinking About Outsourcing? Consider Whether It Is An Expense Or Means Of Growing Your Business

One of the main objectives of any business, and particularly start-ups, is growth. Generally, with growth comes increased business activities and operations. These lead to you requiring additional staff to complete the additional or new workload. 

Hiring more staff or training your existing team to cover new operations is one way to help you achieve growth. Another way is to outsource some of your activities ( for example, hire a VA to answer calls ). However, outsourcing needs to be paid for, so should you consider outsourcing as an expense or a means of growing your business? This brief article aims to help you answer this question.

The Argument For Outsourcing As A Growing Tool For Your Business

If you have activities needed to be done for your business, but you don't have the skills in-house to do them, then outsourcing is a good solution. Here are a few other benefits of outsourcing:

The Argument For Outsourcing Being An Expense

Of course, some argue that outsourcing is an expense to the business, and there are several good reasons why you may consider outsourcing not to be the right thing for yours:

Conclusion

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to consider outsourcing for your business and several why you may not. Hopefully, this brief article will help you make an informed decision on whether outsourcing is an expense to your business or helps your business grow.

Need A Break, But Worried About Your Business Crumbling In Your Absence? Follow These Tips For A Stress-Free Holiday

You might well be the founder, owner, and lynch-pin of your business, but there will come a time when you have to take a break and leave your business in the hands of someone else. Worries about their businesses crumbling in their absence lead many small-business owners to avoid taking a holiday. If you are one of these, here are some tips to help allay your fears.

1. Plan Things Beforehand With Your Team

Before you go, sit down with your team and make sure they know everything that needs to be done while you're on holiday. Put someone in charge of the team, and make sure that every team member knows their responsibilities. Doing this will make sure that everyone is on the ‘same page’ while you are away.

2. Set Up An Email Responder

You may well have informed all your team that you will be away, but what about your clients, key customers, and suppliers? If they send you an email while you're gone and don’t get the usual timely response, they may well call while you're relaxing. Worse still, they might look somewhere else for your service! So, set up your email responder so they know the situation. Input essential information, such as:
When you go on holiday.
When you will return.
Who to contact in your absence.
Emergency contact number.

3. Download Any Business Apps You Need While Away

It is difficult for any business owner to let go of the reins while they are away entirely. So, make sure that you have everything you need to run your business downloaded on your phone, just in case. Hopefully, you will not need them, but they will give you a sense of relief, just in case you do.

4. Snooze Your Phone Notifications

Okay, so you've just downloaded all the apps, as mentioned above. However, the plan is not to use them unless necessary. So, snooze all those unimportant notifications. If there is something critical to deal with, your staff will contact you, as per your planning. Not getting pestered with trivial messages will allow you to relax and enjoy your holiday without constantly worrying about your business.

5. Bring An Emergency ‘Office’

In the best case, you will never have to use it. However, having everything you need to run your business while on holiday will reduce your worry about something going wrong in your absence. Pack your laptop, chargers, phone, essential paperwork, etc. Just having it with you will provide you with the peace-of-mind that you can cope, should you be needed. This tip is particularly crucial if you are travelling abroad or for an extended period.

Conclusion

For many small business owners, leaving their business in someone else’s hands, even for a short break is challenging. Hopefully, following these basic tips will give you peace-of-mind that your business will not crumble in your absence.

Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday - Get Your Business Ready For Small Business Saturday!

Small Business Saturday is an annual non-commercial campaign aimed at helping promote small businesses across the UK. The campaign originated in the United States, where it sought to win back some of the online focus that consumers were paying to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to get out and shop locally. The nationwide event takes place on the first Saturday in December, and the aim is to make an impact with consumers that will last the whole year.

It is crucial that you make the most of this even if you are a small business owner, and make the right preparations to ensure success. But what is the best way to prepare your business for this event?

This article aims to give you some tips on preparing your business for maximum impact on Small Business Saturday.

How To Prepare For Small Business Saturday

1. Tidy-Up

Ensure that your premises are as inviting as possible, and the best way to do this is to give the place a good tidy-up. Remove any clutter or obstructions that will get in the customers’ way, and arrange everything to look organised and attractive.

2. Take On Additional Staff

Small Business Saturday is a special day, so make sure that you have plenty of staff on the premises to make the customers feel special. Adding a personal touch and going overboard on customer service are areas that a small business can out-perform larger or online retailers.

3. Prepare Your Website

Yes, the day aims to get people to your premises and off the internet. However, you need to have your website prepared in case people want to ponder a potential purchase. Treat them well in your shop, and the chances are they'll go to your website to buy later.

4. Prepare Promotions and Special Offers

Everyone loves a bargain or an offer they cannot get elsewhere. Create special promotions or special offers for in-store purchases, issue discount codes, website vouchers, etc, for visitors to use later.

5. Create An Event

Small Business Saturday is a unique nationwide event, so make it unique for those that come to your store. Refreshments, competitions, kids’ activities, and so on are ways of turning the day into something memorable that will get people to return.

6. Advertise the Event

Ensure that people know about Small Business Saturday and the special events you are laying on for it. Contact local online groups, newspapers, and your local radio station so that as many people as possible know about your event and promotions.

Conclusion

Small Business Saturday is a fantastic opportunity for small businesses to win back some of the attention that large companies and the big online retailers have. To ensure that you have a successful event on the day and its aftermath, you must prepare adequately. Don't have the time to dedicate for preparations? Our professional VAs are here to help!

Hopefully, this brief article will help with your preparations and lead to a successful Small Business Saturday.

What’s the Difference Between an Executive Assistant and a Personal Assistant?

The roles of executive assistants and personal assistants often get confused, with many people unaware of the differences between these two key positions. One reason people do not understand the difference is that both the executive assistant and the personal assistant require a very similar set of skills.

This short article aims to detail both the personal assistant and the executive assistant's roles, thereby highlighting the differences between the two.

The Role of the Personal Assistant

A personal assistant can work for anyone that requires their skills. Typical individuals who often need a personal assistant are successful actors, sportspeople, entrepreneurs, and other high net-worth people.

The main reason why these people need a personal assistant is that they are so successful in what they do; all their time is taken up doing it. It means they do not have time to fully organize their personal lives and need someone to assist them.

A personal assistant (PA) will be embedded in their employer's personal life, arranging their travel, meetings, social activities, and even errands such as shopping. The PA has to be ready to deal with no-notice changes to their employer's plans and anticipate what the employer wants.

PAs will also provide administrative support to their employers, such as renewing personal and household documentation. PAs are also expected to attend meetings with their employers and take notes or minutes as required.

Skills required by the PA include excellent written and verbal communication, attention to detail, and organizational skills.

The Role of the Executive Assistant

Whereas the PA generally works for an individual, the executive assistant (EA) works for senior management within a business or corporation. A successful EA will have a firm understanding of what their senior manager's job entails and what the business' goals are.

Like the PA, the EA is responsible for organizing their boss' appointments and meetings. Unlike the PA, they tend to have an active role in such meetings, prepare presentations, analyse data, follow up on actions from the meeting, etc. EAs will often be responsible for delivering projects, and they may even have their staff in larger organizations.

EAs tend to have a higher level of responsibility than PAs, and their role is based around the organization rather than the individual. For instance, if a CEO were to leave the organization, the EA would still be employed by that organization. Of course, there needs to be an excellent working relationship between the EA and the executive officer, so the EA may also be 'poached' if the CEO were to move companies.

Summary

The roles of the personal assistant and executive assistant are often confused. Although there is overlap in what they both do, and similar skillsets are required for each, there are key differences. Hopefully, this article will have established these differences, and you now appreciate the different nature of these two essential roles.