What Is Virtual Accounting?

I hear many asking, “Virtual Accounting… what?” Fair Question.

Accounting is perhaps one of the oldest professions. From the days when trade first commenced, accounting was born. Over the years, conformity and consistency were introduced to the profession that enabled readers of financial statements to interpret the data and be able to compare it with other data. That has never changed, and although the principles may change periodically, the purpose of accounting has not changed.

However, as you peer back through the looking glass of history, you will notice certain significant changes along the way. These changes are more a reflection of how accounting is done, eg what tools are used. To illustrate, take a look at a cartoon that was produced by the Academy for Growth Ltd…

Do you remember the counting beads? I don’t!  But in the early days, before the internet, before computers, even before calculators, tools were used to perform the function of accounting. These were reliable, consistent tools of the day that seemed perfectly fine, right? Looking back, I think you will agree that using a computer is much more accurate, efficient and reliable than the tools of old. However, as progression materialized, not all the users of the day had the foresight to see the benefit in the next stage of accounting evolution. There was fear, uncertainty, CHANGE!

CHANGE is that 6 letter word that accountants often associate with a common four letter word… am I right fellow bean counters? There was resistance, for example, when we moved from primitive “bean counters” to the calculator. I can hear the screams of horror! “We can’t use that machine, what if the power goes out? What if the batteries die”? After hesitation, the calculator, or adding machine, was universally adopted by those that stayed current and relevant in accounting. And heaven forbid when we moved to the mainframe computer. This was an even more significant change as work was actually performed and saved on the mainframe. Again, resistance ensued. But, sure enough, we moved into the computer age… at least those that stayed relevant. In more recent years, accountants started using servers and hosting client documents and data on the “office” server.  This also was met with resistance. In fact, each time our profession, and other professions, progressed in the tools we used and the way we do business, it was met with fear and resistance. Looking back, I would suggest that the resistance was really the “fear” of the unknown. Human nature is to fear those things we do not comprehend.

So, what is Virtual Accounting? Simply put… it is a change in the way we execute the function of accounting services. It is the use of cloud based technologies to execute the functions of the back office processes, as well as accounting and finance processes, including bill payment, collections, payroll, tax remittance, transactional processing, CFO services, Controller services and many more. It allows accountants to perform all the regular duties required of them, remotely, by utilizing best in breed technology and cloud computing and communications. In essence, that is it. However, the benefits are huge! These will be detailed in a future article outlining the reasons why companies should switch to virtual accounting.


About the Author

Gerard Jones is a Chartered Professional Accountant and is President and CEO of Atlantic Canada’s first Virtual Accounting firm, BAGE Tax and Accounting Inc. Gerard is very well versed in understanding the intricacies and challenges that small and medium sized businesses face in the 21 century.

Gerard's passion to see small business thrive in the 21 century fuels his determination and "can do" attitude. He balances knowledge gained through practical experience with common sense learned through professional life, to design an affordable solution to ANY business.

If you are a business looking to improve efficiency in your back office, achieve cost savings, embrace technological advances and want to benefit from a new "paradigm", please reach out to Gerard, or BAGE Tax and Accounting by email, phone, or visit www.bage.ca .

Gerard guarantees a cost savings for all new clients. Typical savings will average 25%.

Call now at (902) 407 4204 or email cgj@bage.ca