9 Best Virtual and Outsourced Accounting Services in 2023
Imagine the amount of time that you will save if you choose an outsourced accounting service to handle your bookkeeping rather than doing it yourself.
Typically it takes more than four weeks to complete a year’s overdue bookkeeping. That’s a whole month doing just bookkeeping. Imagine that being done without you spending a minute!
Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?
Small businesses are generally short on resources and there are often few people handling everything. This not only increases the time needed to do something but also increases the chances of errors.
But, your finances are not something you want to make mistakes with which is why it is a good idea to outsource your accounting and hire virtual bookkeeping services who take care of all your accounting, bookkeeping, and even tax and payroll needs for you at a monthly fee.
If you haven’t given it a thought before, allow us to make it simpler for you.
We have put together a list of the best virtual and outsourced accounting services for small businesses with different needs. We have also included a section that will help you choose the best virtual bookkeeping service.
If you’re ready, let’s get started.
Best Virtual and Outsourced Accounting Services for Small Businesses
Best all-in-one bookkeeping and accounting software for small businesses.
Bookkeeper.com has a wider range of services that businesses can make use of but right from bookkeeping to payroll to audit assistance and job costing, it can help you with all the financial tools that your business needs.
It is an especially great option if you are trying to streamline your financial activities and also if you already use QuickBooks Online.
Bookkeeper.com’s bookkeeping services are one of the best out there and are quite different from bookkeeping firms. When you sign up, you get dedicated bookkeepers and accountants who handle your account.
These accountants help you determine the best accounting method for your business and then help you accordingly. Bookkeeper.com has a very intuitive and interactive dashboard and also has a section for real people where real people assist you.
You do not have to worry about payroll if you are using Bookkeeper.com. All you have to do is provide some basic information about your employees and Bookkeeper.com does the rest. It takes into account all the laws applicable and manages your payroll for your business.
They also help you manage all your taxes and make sure you file your returns while also minimizing your tax liability.
Some of the tax preparations along with individual and business tax that you get are partnership & corporate tax preparation, succession planning, out-of-state returns, and others.
If you do not understand taxes and are struggling with which taxes apply to your business, you might be in luck because Bookkeeper.com offers tax education to businesses.
There is a learning center on their page with some great resources that can help improve your knowledge about finance.
Bookkeepers on Bookkeeper.com are also certified QuickBooks advisors and can help you operate your QuickBooks accounts in case you find it difficult.
Depending on the number of transactions you can choose a plan that suits your business’ financial needs.
However, Bookkeeper.com costs much more when compared to many other accounting services and there may be many services which you get along with each plan but might not necessarily need.
For most small businesses, the Small Business Plan can be ideal and within their budget as well.
Best simplified virtual bookkeeping service for small businesses.
If you are looking for a simplified online bookkeeping solution, Merritt Bookkeeping is just the solution that will come to your rescue. Bookkeeping can be a painful task for those who are not very good with numbers and small businesses doing it for the first time.
Merritt Bookkeeping understands that and makes the process very simple and short. All you have to do is provide them your details when you start working with them and they take care of the rest.
Each month they gather all your bank statements automatically and take care of all the bookkeeping required. They use QuickBooks to do the same. However, you might have never used QuickBooks or find it difficult to operate.
Each month, Merritt Bookkeeping does not send you the detailed worksheets in QuickBooks but instead sends you reports of your bookkeeping, which are overviews of all your expenses and revenue streams that give you an understanding of your financial standing.
Even though they work on QuickBooks, they have a custom-built dashboard that is separate from QuickBooks’ dashboard and is very easy to navigate.
You do not have to deal with all the numbers but just by looking at the reports, they send you to have all the financial information you need. This makes it very easy when it comes to filing taxes.
Merritt Bookkeeping also takes the email address of your CPA and keeps them in the loop.
They have five-star reviews on most platforms and make bookkeeping a breeze.
Merritt Bookkeeping has a very simple pricing structure where you will be charged $190 per month. In case you are behind on bookkeeping, they will charge you $140 for each month and bring your accounts to date.
Best outsourced accounting service for businesses looking for a user-friendly solution.
inDinero is the best-outsourced accounting service for businesses that want a responsive team helping them with their finances. When you sign up with inDinero you get a team of accountants who take care of all your financial needs.
There are solutions for different sizes of businesses and many financial services that you get with inDinero. Right from accounting, to help with taxes and business intelligence, and CFO services, you will not have to look at multiple software for different needs.
If you are already using any accounting software like QuickBooks, Bill.com, Netsuite, or others, you can easily integrate them with inDinero and access your records from inDinero.
They also help you file your taxes and keep track of any changes in the federal or state laws that may apply to your business and plan ahead. So you can be assured that there will be no last-minute frenzy to file your taxes.
In case you receive a tax notice or an audit comes up, you do not have to be worried as inDinero takes care of all the formalities and communication and gets everything sorted. They act as the middleman with the IRS in solving such issues.
While they do take care of your accounting, you will not be bombarded with numbers. All your business’ financial information will be presented to you in easy-to-understand reports and your dedicated inDinero accountants will help you interpret the data.
If you are currently going through funding rounds, inDinero also has resources to guide businesses through these funding stages.
As your business grows, you can also utilize the fractional CFO services that they offer. Some of the CFO services include budget planning and analysis, board reporting, business strategy and reporting, cash management, fundraising, and others.
There are three plans that you can choose from at inDinero where the Essential plan is ideal for small businesses and the Growth plan is good for businesses that are growing rapidly.
With every plan, you can customize the services that you need. Some of the services include payroll support, employee reimbursements, P&L and balance sheet reporting, cash flow statement and forecast, monthly reconciliations, and others.
Best virtual and outsourced accounting service for small businesses with stable long-term financials.
Bench is a good solution if you want someone else to do the bookkeeping for you and if you are a small business or a freelancer. When you sign up for their service, you will be assigned a team of three bookkeepers including a senior bookkeeper.
You will have a dedicated bookkeeper who will work closely with you to keep your bookkeeping up-to-date. Bench uses their proprietary platform so you can access all your reports from their dashboard.
You just have to provide your account details, payment processors, and loan information when you begin working with them, and then each month, they collect your statements and all necessary information on their own.
If you have any questions, you can get in touch with your bookkeeper from Bench’s platform or their app and they generally reply in a day. You can also contact them by phone on weekdays making your accounting team very accessible.
However, since they use proprietary software, you will not be able to integrate it with QuickBooks or other accounting software that you might use.
You might also not be able to migrate it to another service provider in the future. But you can link with major payroll processors and all major payment processors.
Along with accounting services, with Bench, you also get tax filing services at no extra cost. Whether you are a sole proprietor or a business, Bench has a tie-up with Taxfyle and provides tax advisory as well as filing services.
There are three plans that you can choose from but the Flex plan is a good choice for small businesses who already have a bank account and are looking for an outsourced accounting service.
However, if you are starting from scratch and would need to set up a bank account too, the Core account may be the right choice.
Best virtual accounting service for bookkeeping and advisory services for small businesses.
Bookkeeper360 is a great outsourced accounting service if you are looking for an all-in-one solution and one that allows you to integrate with several tools.
It might take you upto two weeks to get started with Bookkeeper360 but once you do, you will be appointed a dedicated accountant.
Your accountant will take the time to learn about your business, analyze your existing processes and suggest integrations if your business needs any. Every month your accountant will ensure that your bookkeeping is done on time.
If you are just starting and need someone to set up your payroll, Bookkeeper360 will help you. You can also integrate with payroll management software like Gusto and ADP so that your payroll and bookkeeping can be accessed from one place.
For growing businesses, Bookkeeper360 offers fractional CFO services on a project basis or an ongoing basis. Some of their services include cash flow optimization, growth strategy, profitability analysis, and a few others.
You can also utilize their integrated tax solution to be well-prepared for tax filing before year-end, reduce your tax liabilities and understand which laws apply to your business.
Along with personal and business tax, you can also get help with R&D tax, sales tax, and tax planning.
With the many integrations that Bookkeeper360 offers, you can also find many solutions for back-office processes like inventory control, managing invoices, payments, and lendings.
Depending on whether you follow cash-based accounting or accrual-based accounting for your business, there are different plans to choose from. Ideally, the monthly plan would be more economical but you also get a pay-as-you-go option that even lets you pay on an hourly basis.
For each additional service that you choose like Payroll, tax, back office, and CFO advisory, you will have to pay an additional charge for each and each of them is priced differently.
Best virtual and outsourced accounting services for startups.
If you are a VC-backed company, Pilot is a good choice for you as they provide financial support to such startups. You might also be eligible for discounts on their plans if you are a pre-revenue company.
Along with bookkeeping, Pilot provides CFO services, R&D credit, and tax services as their products.
When you start using Pilot, you get a dedicated accountant who gets to know more about your business and helps you maintain your balance sheets, cash flow statements, and others each month.
If yours is a startup, Pilot will also help you calculate the burn rate and for eCommerce stores, it will provide inventory updates. You can also get support on creating and receiving invoices to your customers and also for paying your bills through Pilot.
For businesses that need the advanced services of a CFO, Pilot’s CFO services can be availed on an ongoing or yearly basis. If you are planning a fundraiser, you can also get support with the strategy with the help of Pilot’s CFOs who have prior experience in the area.
These CFO services can help you evaluate the financial health of your company, provide deck advice, provide forecasts for revenue, COGS, employee and non-employee expenses, and others.
Pilot also offers in-depth tax services where it can help your business with tax preparation, tax filing, 1099s, and others. You will get a dedicated tax preparer who will help you with all kinds of taxes applicable, and help you understand all the applicable taxes or your business.
If your business incurs research and development costs, Pilot can also help you claim your R&D credit without it being as complicated and tedious as it generally is.
Depending on what you use Pilot for, i.e., for bookkeeping, CFO services, or tax, there are different pricing plans for each. For small businesses looking only for accounting services, the Core plan is ideal.
7. KMPG Spark
Best outsourced accounting service for small businesses looking for automated accounting software.
KPMG Spark simplifies your accounting and tax-keeping processes with their managed accounting services. This managed accounting service is a combination of their cloud-based information software, automated accounting, and people.
Unlike other bookkeeping software, you do not have to provide information every month about your transactions and bank accounts. Instead, KPMG Spark has continuous access to all your accounts and tracks the transactions happening on them regularly.
Thus instead of bookkeeping at the end of the month, you get a real-time picture of all your transactions, profits, and losses happening on your accounts.
This is their automated accounting feature and you can access all information through the real-time accounting dashboard.
If you have multiple projects that you want to track individually, you can track the revenue and expenses for multiple projects individually through their project accounting feature.
Along with bookkeeping, KPMG Spark has a tie-up with ADP through which it helps businesses with payroll. It takes care of all the payments and the laws applicable for paying employees in your state and does the calculations for you making sure you do not make any errors.
They also provide tax advisory services and help with tax filing, sales tax returns, and creating or sending 1099s. It is one of the largest CPA firms in the country. They also help you with tax-related questions if you have any.
When you sign up for their services, you get a dedicated bookkeeper, manager, and CPA who help you with your bookkeeping, payroll, and taxes. You can connect with them through phone, email, text, or video.
Along with the three main services, KPMG Sparks also helps you track your expenses and even lets you generate and send professional invoices to your clients. They also facilitate the payments and processing of these invoices.
Overall, KPMG Sparks is a good all-in-one solution for small to medium-sized businesses looking for a simple outsourced accounting service.
KPMG Spark has five different plans depending on the number of transactions that a business needs to process. With each plan, you get several features that businesses of that size generally benefit from.
If you are a small business with under a hundred transactions, the Basic plan might be ideal.
Best outsourced accounting service and other back-office services for small businesses and startups.
Escalon is not a dedicated accounting software but instead is a suite of back-office business services that includes accounting. It is the type of bpo outsourcing service managed by a team of accounting professionals who are available round the clock.
The accounting services that you get when you sign up with Escalon include financial reporting, audit support, credit card reconciliation, bank, and payroll reconciliation, accounts receivable and payable, and others.
You can access all your accounting records round the clock and you can also get help from the team of accountants if you need them at any point.
There are many other financial services that you get with Escalon too. Some of these services include forecasting and planning, management reporting, board presentations, financial analysis, strategic analysis, and others.
Irrespective of the size of your business, you can utilize these services that can be customized depending on the needs of your business.
They also help you with tax preparation and filings and make sure that you comply with all the applicable laws and regulations. Some of the tax services include federal and income tax, state and income tax, local and property tax, sales tax among others.
Along with these, you can also make use of the other services that they offer like HR and payroll, insurance, recruitment, and others.
There is no information about Escalon’s pricing on their page but there is an option to schedule a call with their team. Based on the needs of your business, Escalon will then offer you a custom plan.
Best virtual and outsourced accounting service for small businesses looking for experienced bookkeepers.
SmartBooks not only takes care of the bookkeeping for small businesses but provides many other valuable financial services to help small businesses manage their accounts and financial health with ease.
It is an ideal solution for small businesses that are yet to figure out their financial management systems or feel that their systems need to be improved.
They have a 90-day Financial Accelerator Program where you can outsource a CFO and get senior-level advice on your accounting and reporting.
You can get their help with profitability analysis, financial strategy, financial forecasting and controls, cash flow management, or even if you are planning on selling your business.
They do not just manage your bookkeeping superficially but provide elaborate bookkeeping services which include bank reconciliations, payroll postings, employee expense reports, sales tax and filing, monthly financial statements, and others.
Every business that signs up with SmartBooks gets a dedicated SmartBooker who helps you determine which reporting method you should use, and analyzes your current financial standing, and provides solutions accordingly.
When you choose their tax services, you not only get help preparing and filing your taxes but their tax advisors can help you work on your tax strategy to make sure you comply with all laws and maximize your returns.
SmartBooks also helps businesses with payroll management and benefits management by integrating with other service providers like Gusto and ADP. So along with financial help, you also get assistance with HR and payroll activities.
The best part is that every business does not necessarily have to sign up for all its services. You have the liberty to choose the service that you feel your business needs. Whether you need hands-on help or are only looking for guidance and advisory services, you get to choose.
When you scroll through their site you will not be able to find pricing information for their services but instead, you will be able to book a free consultation with them. Depending on the services you require, you will then be given a customized plan.
Best outsourced accounting service for small businesses from different industries.
Cogneesol provides a wide range of services like digital services, customer services, analytics, and others to businesses in different industries. One of the business services that they offer includes finance and accounting.
They support a wide variety of accounting software, unlike most other service providers who support only QuickBooks and Xero. Instead, some of the others they support include Bill.com, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Peachtree, Yendo, and NetSuite.
Coming to their accounting services, they also have a wide range of services they provide for accounts payables and accounts receivables.
Some of them include audit services, reconciliation, cash processing, credit management, quote and order management among many others.
Their management accounting services include cost accounting, revenue accounting, inventory accounting, financial planning and analysis, automation, balance sheet preparation, general accounting, and others.
You can also get their help managing payroll to make sure disbursements happen on time. Cogneesol can help you with payroll sheet creation, payroll tax calculation, payday calculation, and direct deposit and 1099 or Form 940 and 941.
Along with these, you also do not have to be worried about your taxes as Cogneesol’s tax services take care of your business tax returns as well as Sales and Use Tax Returns. They also help you with your individual taxes.
There are no standard plans mentioned on their site but they do have an option to request a quote where depending on your requirements, and the industry your business belongs to you can get a custom plan.
How to Choose the Best Outsourced Accounting Service?
While there are many options available out there, choosing the best-outsourced accounting service can be challenging as you will be hiring people to take care of your company’s finances. So you will need to choose someone who has the expertise and can be trusted.
Before getting started, you will need to have all your bank accounts and records of transactions in place.
If you are just getting started with your business and want to have a virtual bookkeeping service right from the start, make sure you also choose a reliable bank account for small businesses.
Here are some things to consider while you choose the best outsourced accounting service for your business.
1. Proven expertise
You do not want to land into legal issues because of mistakes in your books or missing vital information while filing your taxes. To make sure this does not happen, you must choose an accounting service that has been around for a while and has a proven legacy.
While choosing a virtual accounting service, check for how long the service providers have been around. As a general rule, the longer, the better. Look for reviews by other businesses and find out more about the quality of service they’ve received.
With most outsourced accounting service providers, you will be assigned a dedicated bookkeeper. Service providers that realize the importance of this factor make sure they tell you how many years of experience their accountants have.
For example, SmartBooks lets you know that each of their accountants has more than ten years of experience.
2. Data security
The accounting service that you will choose will handle sensitive financial information about your business which is always at a risk of a data breach.
Since you do not want your financial information in the wrong hands make sure the service provider you choose follows all data security and data privacy compliances. This information will be readily available on their websites.
3. Responsive team of accountants
Finance is a difficult subject for a lot of people and you might get stuck at some point or might need help interpreting a financial report. You might also need help understanding how your reporting works or the taxes applicable to your business.
Choose a service provider that has a responsive team of accountants who can be easily reached through phone, text, or email.
The best-outsourced accounting service does not just do bookkeeping for your business but also helps you understand the reporting that your business follows, advises you on the best financial processes, and provides financial education.
4. Tax services
Do not choose an accounting service that just does the bookkeeping for you but instead also helps you with tax preparations and filing.
While you might have a CPA, having your accounting firm help you with taxes is helpful because they already know all about your finances.
5. Payroll services
The best virtual accounting software integrates with the best payroll software and brings them together with your accounting. They help you with payroll sheet creation, calculation and also takes care of the applicable taxes in your state.
Not only does this ensure that your payroll gets recorded correctly, but also makes sure your disbursements happen on time and you follow all compliances like workers compensation and others.
While choosing a virtual accounting service, prefer those service providers that do not operate on proprietary software because if you want to shift your requirements to another service provider later you will have to start all over again.
Instead choose one that integrates with QuickBooks, NetSuite, Xero, and other best accounting software. Also, look for integration for tax and payroll services and other backend processes.
Benefits of Virtual Accounting
1. Fraud free bookkeeping
Often we hear cases where in-house bookkeepers use their company’s money for personal use and easily adjust the monthly reports accordingly. Such frauds can easily go unnoticed unless someone cross-checks the books after the bookkeeping has been done.
Such incidents can be avoided by hiring virtual accounting services because remote bookkeepers have no interest in your company’s financial affairs and they have no way to commit any fraud.
They just have access to information about your transactions and send you reports for managerial accounting.
2. Expert bookkeepers
Many businesses might hire junior accountants to take care of their accounting. If you hire the wrong person who does not have sufficient knowledge, they might end up creating blunders on your balance sheets or P&L statements and other reports.
Virtual accounting services on the other hand rely on accountants to keep their business going therefore they make sure they hire the best and most qualified accountants. This ensures that all your accounts are maintained perfectly with zero errors.
3. Updated technological support
As a small business, you might not have sufficient budget to invest in expensive up-to-date software for financial reporting for your business. Businesses often work for years on the same outdated software and miss out on the latest technologies.
Outsourced virtual accounting services solve this by deploying the most recent technology and integrations. Just like their accountants, the technology they use ultimately determines how they will perform so virtual accounting services make sure they do not skimp out on them.
So you do not spend on the expensive software but get to reap all the benefits that it has to offer just by paying a monthly fee.
4. Round the clock availability
Your in-house accountant is available only for a set number of hours each day and if you have any questions post working hours, you will have to pay them overtime or wait for the next working day. If they are unavailable for some reason, you have nowhere else to go.
However, with virtual accounting services every subscriber is assigned a team of dedicated accountants who are available round the clock and you do not pay them overtime if you contact them outside working hours.
5. Saves time
With a virtual accounting service taking care of your bookkeeping and taxes, imagine the amount of time you will be able to save. It also saves you the time that you would have wasted in correcting errors made by accountants.
6. Reduces cost
If you employ a team of accountants, you will have to pay them monthly salaries, benefits, insurance, and bonuses. However, when you hire a virtual accounting service, you pay a monthly fee in which you get a team of accountants and up-to-date technology.
This can save you a great deal of money and also save you from penalties due to improper filing.
Virtual Accounting FAQ
Virtual accounting is a service provided by virtual accounting firms where qualified and experienced professionals provide accounting services remotely. They perform all the activities for a business that an in-house accountant provides.
When compared with in-house accounting, virtual accounting is much more flexible, efficient and saves time as well as money.
Outsourcing bookkeeping and accounting for your business can save you a lot of time so that you can focus on the core business functions. It also saves you the cost of hiring an in-house accountant.
When you outsource bookkeeping and accounting, you can be assured that experts will handle your accounts and your books will be error-free. You also benefit from the latest accounting technology that the firm deploys without having to invest in it.
Outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting also eliminates the scope of fraud that can easily happen when bookkeeping is done by employees.
Depending on the service provider you choose, the size of your business, your business’s financial requirements, outsourced accounting services can cost anywhere between $190-$5000 a month.
For example, Merritt Bookkeeping offers one plan to all businesses at $190, Bench’s pricing starts at $299 and inDinero has a plan that costs $900.
With virtual CFO services, you get the strategic expertise of financial officers at an affordable price. Depending on the service provider you choose, this service can be included in monthly plans or can be opted for at extra cost.
The cost of most virtual CFO services starts at $1000 to $12000. Bookkeeper360 charges $1000 per quarter for its CFO advisory services.
Technology has made it possible for accountants to work remotely. All they need is a computer system, a stable internet connection, and accounting software.
When a business signs up for a virtual accounting service, a dedicated virtual accountant gets assigned to the business. This virtual accountant learns about your business’s financial details and recommends what is best for your business.
They then collect information about the bank accounts linked to your business, loan accounts, and other information. Once you provide this information, each month your virtual accountant will get all information about your transactions without you having to provide anything.
The virtual accountant then does the bookkeeping and sends the client reports for interpretation. Generally, you can reach the virtual accountant assigned to you through a given phone number, text, email, or the website.
There is no right time to outsource accounting services. The sooner you start using an outsourced accounting service, the sooner you start saving on time, cost, and costly mistakes.
Yes, virtual bookkeeping is as legitimate as normal bookkeeping services. The only difference is that instead of your employees doing the accounting for your business, a team of accountants does the bookkeeping for you and delivers the reports over the internet.
Which Virtual Bookkeeping Service Should I Pick?
You can see that most virtual bookkeeping services are quite similar but there is something that sets them apart. Even though all the service providers mentioned in our list are for small businesses, they cater to different business needs.
So first you need to identify the kind of solution that your business needs and then pick a solution that best fits it.
For businesses that need someone to look at their business’ financials and provide guidance, Bookkeeper360’s advisory services will be right for you.
You can choose Bench if your business has not entered the growth stage yet and it will take some time for your financials to change.
Similarly, if you are a startup and need help navigating through funding rounds, Pilot has expertise in that area. For small businesses looking for a suite of back-office functions and not just accounting there is Escalon.
Whichever service provider you choose, we recommend you to read reviews of businesses similar to yours to see the quality of service others have received.