Article by Evan
Virtual Assistant Bookkeeping horror stories are something you want to avoid I would imagine, it’s why you are here right? The good news is, we are here to help, you lucky lucky things.
Now, we get that it isn’t Halloween…
But that doesn’t mean that these VA bookkeeping fatal mistakes and horror stories were any less scary!
The cost is your eCommerce business’s future so it is definitely worth a quick read.
Unfortunately, horror stories are not uncommon in the world of virtual assistance or VA bookkeeping. But it’s certainly not all doom and gloom.
We have some great examples of what to avoid with your very own bookkeeping virtual assistant.
Now, if you are looking to hire a Virtual Assistant Bookkeeper, you’re indicated to the world that your time has a price tag, and you don’t want to waste any more of it.
The world’s most successful entrepreneurs are looking to delegating as much of their business as possible so they can focus on the real work. Given your successes this far, it’s time to amplify it.
That’s where bookkeeping virtual assistants come in. Once you start effectively using a VA bookkeeper, you will quickly see how much time and money you can save for a reasonable monthly fee. Not a bad way of spending a few hundred dollars.
While VA bookkeeping sounds like the ideal way of doing business, like most things, they are not without their faults, well some of them anyway. Now a lot of these issues can be avoided. That is, as long as you learn from these mistakes, you can be prepared when you’re hiring your next assistant bookkeeper.
Table of Contents
The Invisible Man: When Your VA Bookkeeping Guy… Disappears
Your eCommerce business is up and running.
You are turning over a few hundred or thousand dollars each month and you are looking to grow. Amazing!
The downside is you are busy and your time is precious. You have heard about this virtual assistance bookkeeping and think it sound like a grand idea. It’s time to get the help that could really free up your time, resources and grow your business.
A few internet searches and there are more than a few horror stories to contend with. Panic stations….. Are you going to get ripped off? Is this going to destroy my business? Will this end up as more of a headache than it’s worth?
Potentially, but only if you don’t take time to do your homework and learn the morals of these stories. Be cautious but be prepared. At the end of the day, virtual assistant bookkeeping services are well worth it if you get it right.
The Bookkeeping Virtual Assistant Disappearing Act…Ta Dahhh
Now as a business service company we wouldn’t know anything about ghosting our clients, plus most of us are married so we left the dating game many years ago. But, that’s not to say that ghosting in the VA world doesn’t occur and is definitely something to be avoided in both the dating and the business world.
This is undoubtedly a VA bookkeeper horror story and a shared pain throughout the internet forums. You are excited to get your virtual assistant bookkeeping up and running, you have started your training, provided your workflows, and requested a task with a deadline…and then nothing. This very thing happened to a friend of mine’s e-com site GroundLuxe.com.
All that time, money, and effort wasted! You have been ghosted, your VA bookkeeper has become The Invisible Man. Ouch….
How to Avoid This Bookkeeping Horror Story
The best way to avoid this, trial two or three VA’s, give them a basic task and see who does well and build from there. Hire slowly, but fire fast.
At least with us, you can take a 1-month free trial to see what we can do for your business. Plus we operate in two continents so have great availability to suit you.
The Conjuring:..An Assistant Bookkeeper Tale of Incompetence
Things with your VA bookkeeper have been running smoothly or so you thought. But are numbers always what they seem?
They weren’t for Sarah an eCommerce business owner from the States. In 2015 Sarah hired what she thought was a great virtual bookkeeper. An agreement was struck, and Sarah’s bookkeeper got to work right away.
Monthly statements began rolling in each month like clockwork, and they were impeccably organized. Cash flow appeared good, and all was right in the world.
Then, just 7 months later, Sarah, let’s call her Sarah, noticed something strange, money she thought she had wasn’t there…… Slightly odd but not a big deal. There was only a few hundred missing nothing major, It could just be a mistake. Sarah began to comb through their company statements and began spotting more odd details. Here are just a few:
- Additional payments had been recorded without accompanying receipts;
- Inventories didn’t tally with the falsified sales;
- Inventories just didn’t match at all;
- Cash didn’t balance;
- Transactions had been recorded incorrectly
To Sarah’s horror, her bookkeeper was making it all up! Or at least was not very competent. The cash flows, expenses, all of it was a complete horror story!
This might sound extreme and it is certainly at the deep end of the Virtual Assistant Bookkeeping horror stories out there. Unfortunately for the business owner, they found out the hard way.
The Best Tip to Avoid This Bookkeeping Horror Story
It might be easy to blame the business owner for this and there is some blame to be shared. However, the business owner is not a bookkeeper and trusted their VA to help them out. They got conned or duped, but you don’t have to.
The business owner was left with a huge financial mess and a large clean-up bill with a new bookkeeper to get the ship in order. This obviously caused no end of stress and anguish.
While there are many independent bookkeepers out there and most are probably reputable, this horror story does highlight a potential problem of assistant bookkeeping. It is best to use a respectable firm with a team of bookkeepers to avoid any nasty surprises, missing information, omissions, and inaccuracies in your own accounts.
A VA Bookkeeper Series Of Unfortunate Events:…
This one could quite easily have been called Dr. Frankenstein or Dr. Shivargo but both titles just seemed too short and lacked poetry. Why you might ask? Well, this accounting virtual assistant horror story involves a back surgeon hence the Dr….you know what it doesn’t really matter. I’m sure you get the point.
Although this story doesn’t involve an eCommerce business, the lessons that can be learned are nonetheless important.
The doctor had invented a relatively non-invasive back surgery and started his own business, hiring a nurse, a part-time junior surgeon, and his wife to manage the front desk. All of this sounds great, except for the part when it came to hiring a virtual bookkeeper.
More Than Just A Virtual Assistant Bookkeeping Pain in the Back….
The virtual assistant bookkeeper seemed to be doing a pretty good job of recording minor transactions. But, the income statement was a real mess and the balance sheet was non-existent. The bookkeeper had created a separate income statement account for each and every translation, payroll expense, office supplies, office chairs, X-Ray machine, and notepads. Not good but certainly not a disaster.
All of this mess was going on without the good Dr. knowing anything about it, again thinking everything would be ok. One of the biggest issues was that he had no idea if the business was making any money (Spoiler Alert: it wasn’t). He was driving in the dark with his eyes closed.
It turned out that the bookkeeper was out of their depth and didn’t have sufficient experience to handle a growing business.
A Costly Virtual Assistant Bookkeeping Mistake and a Painful Mishap!
If this wasn’t bad enough, the payroll tax liability account was over $100,000 which as you can imagine the IRS doesn’t take too kindly to. The practice still wasn’t making money, he had to lay off his junior surgeon and the pressure was mounting.
By the summer of the third year in business the IRS caught up with him. He had to pull cash out of his retirement account to pay the IRS enough to get him off his back and to release the lien on his house. Then the legal battle started.
Unfortunately, in the end, there was no choice left but to close the business, grit his teeth and go back to working for a big firm. The dream had died as a result in part of the VA bookkeeper who was in over their head. This cost a man his business, his dream, and a whole lot of money.
Final Thoughts on Avoiding Bookkeeping Horror Stories
So what lessons can be learned from these horror stories?
Virtual Assistant Bookkeeping: Lesson Number One
The first, being an expert in one field, be that your eCommerce business or as a surgeon does not mean you are an expert bookkeeper. You probably didn’t go into business just to be drowning in the books. Despite these horror stories, there is a better way of doing business.
You might be able to work out what that might be given this is our business after all, hint, hint.
Virtual Assistant Bookkeeping: Lesson Number Two
Next, pay your taxes. Disasters can and do occur when you ignore the inevitability of tax. There are plenty of cautionary and expensive tales about this very point. We have included one such example.
Virtual Assistant Bookkeeping: Lesson Number Three
The final point and moral of these stories here are to hire a reputable firm, not an individual dodgy bookkeeper, easier said than done. Why not start with us? The virtual assistant bookkeeping hiring process should be a positive experience and one that gets a burden off of your plate.
When you choose to invest in your business and yourself, your business will likely grow as a result. Hiring a virtual assistant bookkeeper is one of the easiest, cheapest, and best investments you can ever make in your business.
It’s time to understand your worth and hire your own virtual bookkeeping assistant. Let us help get the bookkeeping burden off your back. Click here for further details.