How a Virtual Executive Assistant Can Transform Your Small Business

How a Virtual Executive Assistant Can Transform Your Small Business

Do you and your small business need to be rescued from a long list of ever-growing administrative tasks?  Managing your calendar, updating your social media, helping with client relations, invoice creation and invoice chasing, plus travel booking – it all takes SO.  MUCH. TIME!

A Virtual Assistant can come to your rescue.  Virtual Assistants are not superheroes…but they are darn close to it!

There are so many advantages to virtual assistant services for small businesses, all of which add up to less stress for you and more time to attend to growing your business. Just picture this:

1. A Virtual Assistant can be there when you aren’t.

If you were to hire help to work with you onsite, your new assistant would likely be from the same city and definitely the same time zone. 

Why not extend your ‘open hours’ and your ‘office locations’ by hiring a Virtual Assistant from another part of the country…another time zone?  By having a live body attend to your business before you start your day or after you call it quitting time, your business can be attended to for a longer time by a REAL person.  So great for customer relations!  And happy customers translate to business stability and growth for your small business.

2. A Virtual Assistant can fill in the gaps.

You are a fantastically talented professional (c’mon…brag a bit!), but you don’t know how to do it all, nor do you want to. 

By hiring a Virtual Assistant for small business owners, you can complement your skills by hiring an Assistant who has the skills to round out your business and help you take it to the next level. From recommending improvements to streamline your business processes, to creating forms and templates, to basic bookkeeping…a Virtual Executive Assistant can offer a set of complementary skills – or shall we say the crackers to your cheese?

3. A Virtual Assistant can be the second brain in your brainstorming.

As the old adage says, “Two heads are better than one.”  There is wisdom in that statement!  As a small business owner, you are used to working on your own. 

But wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to hash things over with every once in a while?  Virtual Assistants for small business owners have experience in being a sounding board and can offer the wisdom of their experiences or a fresh perspective on your ideas and business plans.

4. A Virtual Assistant is cost-efficient.

Maybe you have thought about hiring an Assistant but can’t justify the cost of adding another position to your company’s payroll.

Source deductions, benefits, and vacation pay are all costs you just can’t justify at this stage in the business life cycle.  Enter Virtual Assistant services for small businesses.  The savings are two-fold.  First, by hiring Virtual Assistant services for small businesses, you pay an hourly rate and are not obliged to pay a cent more. At VEA we cover the rest by contracting our Virtual Executive Assistants to you.

And second, you pay for only the time you need, varying from month to month as your business needs ebb and flow.  This gives you the flexibility to have help when you need it, without worrying about costly downtime or wage-related expenses.



So…do you think it’s time for you to virtually go ‘plus one’ up?  By hiring virtual assistant services for small businesses, you will expand your open-for-business hours and get help to tackle your daily administrative needs. 

You will add an on-call administrative professional with skills that complement your own, and who can lend an ear to bounce off new business ideas and strategies. All of this, without formally committing another person to your payroll.  It’s the best of both worlds. 

Consider hiring a Virtual Assistant for your small businesses. After taking the time to train your Virtual Assistant you can start to take moments to sit back and enjoy life without worrying about emails, phone calls and scheduling.


Derek Burbidge
Manager of Sales and Marketing

Why Your Business Needs a Virtual Executive Assistant

Why Your Business Needs a Virtual Executive Assistant

Before we even get into this, you might be asking yourself, what exactly is a Virtual Executive Assistant? The answer is simple! They are highly valuable and experienced team members that can access the necessary tools and data that a traditional in-office Executive Assistant does. Only remotely.

Before you argue that you need someone in-house to be able to truly get the job done, let me give you some insight into why your business needs a Virtual Executive Assistant.

A cup and a laptop on a table.

1. Your day is filled with monotonous tasks leaving you no room to focus on growth.

Your time is valuable. You are the head of your company. The visionary. The creator. Therefore, you need time to be in your Zone of Genius. To be able to grow your business to new heights. To be able to focus on the bigger picture, not the day-to-day tasks.

Common administrative tasks such as, booking meetings, answering emails, or even making travel arrangements, can be time-consuming, daunting, and ruin your creative flow. You don’t need to use up your energy with these tasks, a Virtual Executive Assistant can handle all of these with ease.

2. You know you need help but not enough for a full-time assistant.

Your business is growing but you don’t have a big enough workload to fill 8 hours of the day that a full-time assistant would require. You don’t want to pay someone to stare at a computer screen for 6 of the 8 hours in a typical workday and hiring a part-time employee is no easy task. It’s hard enough trying to find a full-time good fit these days. That pool gets even smaller when you are looking for a part-time person.

Most Virtual Executive Assistants work with multiple clients, so you get the expertise of a full-time employee that has worked with various executives for a variety of different organizations. But you only pay them for the time you need them.

3. You don’t have time to hire and train an employee.

Listing the job posting, sorting through thousands of unqualified resumes trying to find the diamond in the rough, interviewing multiple people only to have to do a second round and possibly lose your top candidate to another company because you didn’t have the time to offer them a position before they got scooped up by someone else. Sounds like a long, inefficient, and arduous process, doesn’t it?

VEA has a large team of Virtual Executive Assistants which means you don’t have to sort through a pile of resumes and take the time for monotonous interviews. We do it all for you. After our initial call we hand-match you to the best fit or let you interview between the top two we think will be a great fit for you and your business. No AI or “next up”, everything is done by our experienced Onboarding Concierge to make sure the fit is right for you.

VEA’s home base is in Calgary, Alberta, Canada but has contractors all over Canada to choose from. Virtual Executive Assistants in Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver or surrounding areas from coast to coast.

Each of our Virtual Executive Assistants has years of experience already and if there is something they need help with? Well, they also come with a whole support system ready to help. VEA can provide training on certain software, assist with problem-solving, and even provide a backup EA if needed.

4. You’re a creator, not an organizer.

Let’s face it, we are all built differently. It has been proven that many of us only operate on either the right side or the left side of our brains most of the time. This means if you are a creator, a designer, or an entrepreneur, you more than likely are not the most organized individual. If you happen to be an individual that is both, congratulations! You are an anomaly! But still, your time could be better spent than doing administrative tasks.

However, if you are more like other right-brain entrepreneurs, you may need some assistance with your organization and administrative tasks. Executive Assistants thrive on organization and structure. They are wired to take on the tasks that you may normally find a constant struggle. They love to help and make your life easier.


Bottom line: Virtual Executive Assistants can offer even more than most traditional EAs because having a whole team of support and resources constantly backing them up makes them an endless bucket of knowledge. Some that maybe even have a few organization tricks you never even thought to help streamline your processes helping eliminate time-wasting clerical errors.

Virtual EAs cost you nothing in equipment or office supplies. No need to pay for an office space for them and no need to provide traditional employee benefits because they come with their own. They are independent contractors that have already taken care of everything they need.

A clock with averlay text "Looking for more time to do what you love? Hire a Virtual EA."

So, is the question really, why your business needs a Virtual Executive Assistant or is it, how can you afford NOT to get a Virtual Executive Assistant?

If you are ready to join thousands of business owners that have already realized that Virtual Executive Assistants are a smart investment in your company’s future, give VEA a call today!

Derek Burbidge
Manager of Sales and Marketing

Is it Effective to Hire a Virtual Bookkeeper?

Is it Effective to Hire a Virtual Bookkeeper?

Bookkeeping is an essential part of running a business. But many companies ask themselves, “Why hire a bookkeeper?” Here is what a virtual Bookkeeper is and why hiring one for your business saves you time, and money and helps you grow your business.

No matter how big or small, a business needs to have a reliable, trustworthy, and knowledgeable Bookkeeper. A virtual Bookkeeper might sound out of the ordinary. However, this type of service has gained popularity over the last several years, especially since the pandemic. 

Virtual bookkeeping does not mean downloading accounting software. You also must spend time inputting data and worrying that it’s accurate. These are tasks that a bookkeeper can handle for you. As a business owner, you might even find yourself rushing at the end of the year to ensure your books are accurate for tax season or audits.

Hire an Experienced Virtual Bookkeeper

Having up-to-date books is crucial because it shows you where your business is financially and what you can do to boost your sales or cut costs. Keeping up-to-date books is the primary task of a bookkeeper, this makes them an invaluable resource for your business. Here are some of the biggest benefits of a virtual Bookkeeper.

1. Up-to-date books – With the help of cloud software like QuickBooks, virtual Bookkeepers can be given online access to your bank statements, receipts, and invoices, allowing them to update your books quickly and without having to wait for paper documents.

2. Accurate financial reporting – use a program like QuickBooks Online or Xero to integrate labour-saving applications like:

  •   Dext Prepare (to capture information on receipts and invoices)
  •   Wagepoint (efficiency in payroll processing)

Using the above-mentioned software lets virtual Bookkeepers spend less time on manual data entry, which improves accuracy.  You will also gain better visibility into your cash flow and business performance via real-time access to your books through a web or mobile app.  This will help you in making better-educated decisions from the monthly financial statements generated by your online Bookkeeper.

Woman working on a laptop

3. Greater flexibility and cost savingsVirtual bookkeeping provides the flexibility to work with accounting professionals outside your geographical area, making it easier to find the right fit for your needs and your budget.  Hiring an in-house Bookkeeper might not be the economical choice in terms of overhead, payroll deduction costs and benefits, and salary. The average salary of an in-house Bookkeeper in Canada varies between $52,000 to $99,480 per year. 

In hiring a virtual Bookkeeper in Canada, you will save thousands of dollars. With VEA, you pay only for the bookkeeping services your business requires. As your transactions or accounting complexity grow, VEA’s virtual Bookkeepers can provide a wider range of expertise and a broader scope of virtual bookkeeping services.  Because virtual Bookkeepers tend to handle a lot of clients at once to make a living, our VEA Bookkeepers have vast amounts of experience.  So, you are not only saving money, but you’re getting a team of efficient Bookkeepers to help you run your business.

4. More time to grow your business – Hiring a virtual Bookkeeper gives you time to focus on your business.  It also means less time to train and manage the in-house Bookkeepers. A virtual Bookkeeper is not part of the staff, eliminating the need to have another person on payroll and benefits. On average, hiring a virtual Bookkeeper will significantly cut your costs of having an in-house Bookkeeper.  

5. Safety – Many people worry about letting their financial information go outside the office. But the fact of the matter is that remote bookkeeping is safe. All your data is placed on secure servers. System admins update their security software very frequently. Your information will be secure and encrypted, to help protect you from any compromising situations.

Keeping information on a secure server also means that it can be shared more securely between people and will be safe from any accidents or issues that stem from computer malfunctions or theft. Your information is much safer on secure servers than on your desktop

6. Additional Benefits – In addition to the great benefits a virtual Bookkeeper already has, is that you will also be able to get rid of the clutter and go paperless. Going paperless can be a daunting task, but having your invoices, contracts, payroll, ledgers, and accounts all available online will save you time, money, and space. Pulling any report, looking at vendors, customer listings, invoices, etc., right on the computer in a matter of seconds. Did you know that on average, paperwork takes up about 50% of space in an office? Maximize the efficiency of your area by getting rid of the clutter and going virtual. You will save money just on the cost of paper and supplies, which reduces overhead costs and maximize your profits. 

Looking for a clear financial picture? Hire an expert.


VEA’s Professional Service can provide you with the virtual bookkeeping and payroll experts you need to keep your business up-to-date, organized, and running as efficiently as possible. Bookkeepers save time & money when the books are accurate and precise, which saves on accountant fees at year-end, which leaves more money in your pocket and ultimately, gives you peace of mind.

Learn more about our virtual Bookkeeping services here

What is an Online Business Manager?

What is an Online Business Manager?

Running your own business is one of the most difficult yet rewarding pursuits. Entering the world of entrepreneurship is like hopping on a gigantic roller coaster that’s both frightening and exhilarating.

Instead of being focused on big-picture thinking that will grow the business, many business owners find themselves stuck on the minutiae of tasks outside their zone of genius, just to survive another day.

Fortunately, there is a wide range of support staff you can enlist who can help you gain back the time needed to focus on the projects/tasks where you deliver the most value. 

Woman sitting at a computer.

The Right Support for the Right Circumstance

Online Business Manager (OBM)

If your business processes, systems and/or automation feel a little tangled, consider bringing on an Online Business Manager (OBM).

An OBM is like your “Executor Chief of Staff” who oversees day-to-day operations, including managing employees, developing, and implementing strategies to achieve the company’s goals, and monitoring financial performance. Online Business Managers have decades of experience problem solving and seeing around corners in a business environment.

You are ready for an OBM if:

    • Important commitments get pushed out due to a lack of time, energy, or resources
    • You feel the pressure of not having the time to strategize
    • Integrating new business opportunities feels more energy-draining than exciting
    • Connection within your team is fragmented, and communication gaps are creating roadblocks
    • Keeping your team morale up seems to be getting more difficult as you grow
    • Recruitment and hiring are too rushed or do not get done at all

To be clear, an OBM is NOT an Executive Assistant. More than handling your administrative functions or bookkeeping tasks, an OBM can manage your staff, set processes, and oversee operations.

Gears symbolizing a well run business with text saying "need help growing, scaling and automating? Hire an OBM."

Executive Assistant

An Executive Assistant (EA) can take on a wide range of functions. Everything from calendar management and email organization to project coordination and travel booking. An EA not only handles typical administrative functions, but they are also happy to tackle more personal tasks, like booking dinners and vacations and even selecting and sending flowers and gifts. Having a healthy balance between home life and work life can help you accomplish more at work with a clear head.

An EA can even drop work blocks into your schedule, giving you permission to simply focus rather than be pulled into last-minute meetings that sabotage the day. They can also help you strive for “inbox zero,” a productivity strategy and proven system that declutters your mind by decluttering your inbox. Methodically delete, sort, and clear incoming emails. 

You are ready for an EA if:

    • Your inbox is overflowing.
    • You move a lot of meetings because you don’t have control over your schedule – your schedule has control over you.
    • You can’t imagine shutting off while on vacation. Too many things would slip through the cracks.
    • You’re constantly sidelined by small or distracting projects that take you away from the tasks where you shine.

The right EA can transform how you structure your week and make it more productive!

A clock with averlay text "Looking for more time to do what you love? Hire a Virtual EA."


What’s worse than staying up all night balancing your books? Staying up all night balancing your books, only to catch a glaring error down the road and having to start again.

A Professional Bookkeeper will balance your books and handle invoicing, reconcile credit card receipts and expenses, process payroll, and so much more. This oversight reduces the risk of errors, penalties, and legal complications that could arise if not monitored properly.

You might be ready for a Bookkeeper if:

  • Keeping your books organized feels like an epic battle.
  • Your stomach is in knots every tax time.
  • Being overwhelmed is affecting your ability to act on opportunities.
  • You have no idea what the financial health of your company is. 

What’s more, Professional Bookkeepers save valuable time and offer an unbiased perspective. Numbers don’t lie, but sometimes your judgment, especially about something as emotional as money, can get clouded.

A calculator and numbers in the background with a text overlay "Sick of invoicing, payroll and tracking receipts? Hire an expert Bookkeeper."

Fractional Controller 

You might not require a full-time Controller but tapping into their expertise and insights would sure be helpful. Fractional Controllers bring a wealth of financial knowledge and experience to the table, helping companies improve financial efficiency, identify growth opportunities, and navigate through complex financial challenges.

A Fractional Controller blends intel and insights so you see more possibility and potential. They can help you with things like key accounting functions, budgeting, cash flow forecasting, and tax filing and compliance. 

You might be ready for a Fractional Controller if:

  • You’re ready for a strategic approach to your financing needs
  • A comprehensive monthly budget-to-actual comparison will help you forecast your finances better
  • Capital management and a strong cash flow are big drivers in your organization’s success
  • You would benefit from a clear cost vs. revenue structure that reveals opportunities to become more profitable
  • You would like a better understanding of cash flow, projections, and variances

Hiring a Fractional Controller enables you to enjoy the best of both worlds; exceptional financial intelligence without committing to a full-time team member.

We See You, We Get You, So Let’s Talk About You!

Stop trying to do it all and start hiring support where you need it. Not only will you gain back precious hours in the day, but you will grow and prosper when you have more time to not only act on opportunities as they come up but identify them far in advance.

Contact VEA anytime to talk about your specific needs. Let’s find the right support to help you get ahead.


Tovey Blake
Operations Manager

Frequently Asked Questions about Online Business Managers (OBMs)

Q1: How do I onboard an OBM?

A: The team at VEA will guide you through a step-by-step onboarding process to ensure you are matched with an OBM who is right for you and your business.

Q2: What if I only need help during peak seasons?

A: Our OBMs are available on an ongoing basis as well as for one-off projects to fit your needs.

Q3: How can I be sure I will get an OBM who understands what I need?

A: We begin with an in-depth strategy session to better understand where you require support as well as assess for personality and culture fit. You get to meet potential candidates and are part of the decision-making process from the beginning. VEA prides itself on HAND MATCHING every OBM to every client. We will work with you to get it right.

Q4: What if I quickly realize I don’t need an OBM?

A: We will discover that for you before we even get started and most likely recommend an Executive Assistant instead.

Q5: How does VEA ensure I am getting the most value from my OBM?

A: Open and regular communication with your OBM is the best way to get what you need. By the end of your kickoff call, your OBM should be clear about the project and/or role expectations. 

The kickoff call for a one-off project entails a review of the scope of work. Your OBM will then use the approved scope to create a project plan and work-back schedule to complete deliverables.

The kickoff call for an ongoing role entails the creation of a 90-day plan that focuses on a combination of “quick win” improvements and short-term goals. 

In either case, your OBM will lead and execute the work needed to result in positive outcomes.

Q6: How many years of experience does an OBM have?

A: Our OBMs have at least ten years of experience, and many have more than that.

Q7: Where is your team located?

A: We are a Canada-based, remote workforce. Our OBMs are spread across Canada, and we can match you with someone who is within or near your time zone.

What is Bookkeeping and Why is it Important?

What is Bookkeeping and Why is it Important?

Did you know that bookkeeping dates as far back as 7000 BCE? It’s true! Evidence of financial record keeping has been found in Mesopotamia, Babylon, Sumer and Assyria.

Yes, it was very simple back then, a farmer would trade produce for a cow, but that is how important bookkeeping has been throughout the ages. In the 15th century, the roots of modern bookkeeping were established and in the 1800s it became a recognized profession.

Bookkeeping is widely defined as the practice of recording and tracking the financial transactions of a business.  This one sentence does not truly define all the work a bookkeeper does. 

Bookkeeping has a multitude of tasks associated with it.  These tasks are broken out into three categories: core duties; additional duties; advanced duties. 

The Three Categories of Bookkeeping

Here are some of those duties:

1. Core/Main Duties:

  • Recording financial transactions such as:
  • Expenses
  • Deposits
  • Matching payments to invoices
  • Recording deposits
  • Pull an accounts receivable/deposit report

2. Cross-referencing the books against bank statements and other course documents like credit card statements to confirm accuracy.  This is also known as bank and/or credit card reconciliations.

3. Monthly reports such as:

  • Profit and loss
    • This statement is a business report that shows your business’ revenues and expenses and how much profit or loss you made for a specified period. 
  • Balance sheet
    • This shows the financial position of a company as of a particular date.  It has three components: assets, liabilities and equity.  For your balance sheet to be properly balanced, the total of your assets must equal the combined total of liabilities and equity.
  • Cash flow statements
    • This shows every single incoming and outgoing cash transaction and how you spend and earn your money over a certain period.  The statement breaks down the transaction into three categories: operations, investing and financing.  This statement provides a comprehensive view of how your business operates, where it’s making money, and how to make choices about cash management.

Additional Duties of a Bookkeeper

  • Accounts Receivable – create and send invoices and follow up on payments.
  • Accounts Payable – making sure your suppliers and/or vendors are getting paid promptly, and that the invoices you receive from them are accurate.
  • Payroll, calculating pay and the government deductions.

Girl using calculator

Advanced Duties of a Bookkeeper

  • Preparing tax returns.
  • Assisting with annual income statements and balance sheet reports.
  • Creating budgets and forecasts.
    • Two of the most important pieces of your business are your budget and forecasting for the next 6 months to years ahead.
  • Reviewing and researching software solutions and internal controls to streamline the business and enhance performance.  Then implement and train others on the software chosen.
    • Dext (formerly Receipt Bank) is a software we highly recommend to save you time and space. Dext allows you to take a picture of your receipt and it automatically syncs with QuickBooks. Saving both you and your Bookkeeper time.
  • Liaison with the accountant on your behalf about the financial and tax inquiries and with the tax authorities.
    • From our experience, business owners can spend countless hours on the phone per year with their accountants. Allowing your Bookkeeper to take over this role will free up your time and let’s face it, your energy, to work on tasks or projects you enjoy.

The Bookkeepers Umbrella

Many tasks can fall under the umbrella of bookkeeping, but these are the most common ones that can give you an accurate picture of your books and drive your business forward.

Accurate bookkeeping helps a business manage its cash flow, meet its financial obligations, and help plan your business’ future investments.


So why is it important for your business to have a Bookkeeper?  Well let’s face it, do you have the time to do this?  Wouldn’t you rather grow your business than be bogged down in paperwork, virtual or otherwise? 

The average Bookkeeper spends about 20 hours a month keeping you financially organized.  That’s 20 hours you could spend gathering new clients and/or nurturing your existing clients. If an experienced Bookkeeper takes 20 hours, chances are that you are taking more.

VEA’s virtual Bookkeepers are happy to take all these responsibilities off your hands.

No matter how big or small your business is, those tasks above do not change.  In the last two decades, all these tasks have now become virtual ones.  Bookkeeping software such as Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Sage etc., are all online and VEA virtual Bookkeepers are well-versed in these software programs.  They can easily manage your books so you can concentrate on the bigger picture, to grow your business.

VEA’s virtual Bookkeepers are in the background ensuring your business runs smoothly by recording all the expenses, reconciling your bank transactions, and reporting back to you your profits, which in turn, helps you plan for the future.  

At year-end, your Bookkeeper will liaise with your accountant to ensure all is up to date and ensure that filing your year-end is seamless and efficient.  This means you spend less on expensive accountants.  That’s a win for you and for the Bookkeepers.