Client LoginAbout UsOutsourcing DefinedDaily BookkeepingMonthly BookkeepingFrequently Asked QuestionsContact Us
Outsourced Online Bookkeeping

Frequently Asked Questions

On-line bookkeeping is a new concept for most people.  We’ve tried to answer the most frequently asked questions here.  If you have a question that is not answered in our FAQ, please email us your question.


FAQ:  Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping

Q.  What is “outsourced,” online bookkeeping?

A.  Accountants Virtual Services, Inc. (AVS) uses the power of the Internet to provide our clients with online bookkeeping services.  The technical term for this service is an ASP or Application Service Provider.  An ASP allows companies like yours to rent software (like QuickBooks ®) that is updated and maintained by the service provider.  By using the services of an ASP, your company will experience the convenience of 24/7 access to information on a secure network server, anywhere there is an Internet connection.


Q.  Won’t I lose control if the books are done by an outside service?

A.  The short answer:  No.  You will actually now have more control since you will have improved financials at your fingertips and have more time and money to plan instead of simply reacting to business events.


Q.  How can outsourced, online bookkeeping help me manage my business?

A.  By outsourcing your bookkeeping position(s), your company will no longer have to endure the hiring process and lose value time and money training bookkeepers.  Or, if you have been doing the bookkeeping yourself, you can finally free up your time to focus on things more important to you and your business.  You’ll be able to make informed decisions based on more than just your cash balance at the bank.  Outsourced online bookkeeping gives your company accurate financial data so you can determine what customers and/or products are the most successful.  You can concentrate more time on the more profitable aspects of your company.  This capability allows a business owner to become truly savvy in investing energy and resources in the right places.  The door is left open for you to do the tasks that are most important to your company’s well being.  Using AVS, you gain resources for your business to draw on that had been unavailable to you.  You maintain full, round-the-clock control of and access to your information, while AVS performs all of your bookkeeping tasks and updates your accounting records. 


Q.  Why outsource my bookkeeping and controllership functions?

A.  Let a professional do a professional’s job.  If you are like most owner/managers, you take full pride in the services or products your company provides.  You want to focus your time and energy on business strategy and goals.  Outsourcing the bookkeeping function to a dedicated, highly skilled professional services firm allows you to do exactly that.  By outsourcing your bookkeeping to AVS, you’ll save valuable time in your day, reduce operating costs, and gain peace of mind.


Q.  I like having an extra employee around here to help with other things.

A.  OK.  If you need someone to make coffee and fill his or her day with other small tasks, that’s great.  But think about this:  How easy is it to find a good bookkeeper that knows QuickBooks® or Peachtree®?  Doesn’t just play around with bookkeeping software on the side, but knows it upside-down and inside-out.  Someone whose number one job is to maintain the books for you so you don’t have to. 




FAQ:  Data Access & Security


Q.  How will I obtain access to my accounting material?

A.  AVS is its own Application Service Provider (ASP) which host your bookkeeping software and data file.  At any time from any Internet accessible computer you can use your password to access your accounting records.  They are always up to date and always accurate.  This is the same procedure and technology your bank, medical record keepers, and the IRS use to access and process information.  It is secure and it is dependable with 100% back-up running in real time.


Q.  What about security:

A.  This is one of our favorite questions.  Right now if you are like most of us, your accounting records are in an unlocked file cabinet or worse, sitting on someone’s desk.  This is what we call bad security; AVS uses the same level of encryption that a major bank uses.  You can be assured that you and only you are privy to your most important data.


Q.  Who controls the money and makes the decisions?

A.  You have 100% control of all monies and the decisions on how they are used or invested.  You decide what individuals and which vendors get paid.  We provide the data, but you approve all invoices for payment and sign all checks.


Q.  Who owns my data?

A.  With a hosted ASP like that used at AVS, you own your data files and you are able to download them back to your local computer if you decide to discontinue the service.  To contrast, with Internet accounting packages such as Net Ledger or QuickBooks® for the Web you do not own your data.  If you decide to disconnect, you will need to have hard copy printouts of your information.  These would then need to be re-keyed into the new software you choose.


Q.  Can other people access my data?

A.  No one can have access to your data without your company’s express permission.  Our ASP goes to extraordinary lengths when it comes to security measures.  AVS can offer greater security than many companies would have if the software and hardware were located in-house.  You data is backed up on a real time basis to a secure offsite backup facility.  Also, the facility’s power supply is hooked up to backup generators to protect against power failures.  How many of us with computers in our offices have this type of system and security?

Security measures are taken to make sure that your information is protected.  Each company’s data is password-protected.  You create your own passwords, so no one (not even the ASP employees) can see or have access to your password.  As your data travels over the Internet, it is protected by a technology called Secure Sockets Layer or SSL encryption, SSL ensures that your data makes it your location before it can be decoded.  For added security, your company needs to make sure your browser supports 128-bit encryption.  This level of encryption is the highest currently supported by consumer Web browsers.  Be sure you are also using the latest version of your Web browser, as enhancements have probably been made since you last upgraded. 



FAQ:  Software Required


Q.  What software can I use?

A. AVS works with a variety of software packages such as QuickBooks® and Peachtree®.  There are also several Internet-based accounting packages, such as ePeachtree®, Net Ledger®, and QuickBooks® for the Web.  With these options you are not required to purchase any software or software licenses.  You simply rent these application packages from the vendors on a month-to-month basis.

There are several Application Service Providers that will host an application for you.  At AVS we host your accounting file ourselves.  With an ASP you must still purchase the license for the software you use.  The link to the ASP is set up on your system.  You are then able to access the software and your data from any computer with an Internet connection.


Q.  How do I decide what software to use?

A.  Your software needs are dependent upon the accounting needs of your business.  Several very popular software packages are Peachtree® Complete, and QuickBooks®.  There are lots of considerations to look at when making this decision.  We suggest that you speak with an AVS professional or your CPA when making your choice.  Two of the most important questions to ask are:  “Will the software fit with the type of industry I operate in?”  And “Will it handle the type of accounting reports my business needs?”




FAQ:  Keeping Your Current Accountant


Q.  Do I have to leave my current accountant?

A.  Of course not.  We are offering to take away your bookkeeping headaches.  Your current accountant will be grateful for accurate data that they can really used to help you build more wealth.  But if you’d like, we would be glad to talk to you about providing business and individual tax preparation services.  AVS is prepared to be a one-stop solution for all your financial needs.


Q.  Does my accountant have access to my books?

A.  Only with your express permission!  By allowing your accountant to access your data, your accountant can review or change your data files while you are also using the accounting software.  This can be accomplished without you having to make a backup or having to stop using the system while your accountant is working on your data.  You can continue with your work without any interruptions.  No more running backup diskettes to your accountant.  This alone adds up to a huge savings in time and money.


FAQ:  Costs

Q.  What will it cost?

A.  Actually less then what you’re spending now.  First, we are most likely going to charge less than your current payroll for that staff person.  Moreover, you will be able to save hiring and training costs.  You will also no longer have to pay for rent, phone lines, or benefits.  Best of all, you will NOT have to manage the bookkeeper. 


Q.  How can outsourcing do better work and cost less?

A.  We are experts.  Bookkeeping is our only business.  We assign duties to our staff best skilled to accomplish the task.  We don’t ask our staff to do work that they are under or over qualified to do.  We have put into place appropriate controls to ensure accurate and timely processing of all accounting data.  Finally, we have developed systems and procedures for our staff that all of our staff are familiar with.  If for any reason your usual bookkeeper is unavailable, another one can step in and be immediately up-to-speed with your needs.  This makes us far less vulnerable to employee turnover than with an in-house bookkeeper.


FAQ:  More Information


Q.  Does AVS provide audit and tax services?

A.  Our services are comprehensive and can include all required federal and state tax filings through our affiliate firm, Sandra J. Williams, CPA, PA.
However, AVS does not perform audits, reviews, and compilations or provide opinions on your financial statements.  We consider ourselves to be an extension of your company and work on your behalf to provide assistance to you and your outside auditors, should an audit be required.


Q.  How do I find out more?

A.  Contact us.  We welcome the opportunity to speak with you, answer all your questions, and work out all the details of how Accountants Virtual Services, Inc. can help you.  If it looks like we have the right solution, then try our service and start feeling better about the numbers in your business.




Outsourcing is Cost Effective

Employing a bookkeeper in-house can be expensive.  That cost is not just comprised of salary, but the other direct costs such as employer payroll taxes, worker’s compensation, medical insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits.  Additionally, there are employee vacation and sick days to consider as well.  And don’t forget the time and expense involved to place classified ads, as well as interview, screen, test, and train an employee.  Out fees to provide superior service to your company are quite competitive by comparison; we also provide flexibility in adjusting the level of service to meet the seasonal needs of your business.