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Costa Rica Accounting; The Virtues of Virtual Bookkeeping

Costa Rica Business – Bookkeeping is like doing house work. Most of us do not like to clean the house and bathrooms, do the laundry, iron the clothes, grocery shop and the like. Many of us either do not have the time to do these things well or at all or just loathe it to a point of letting it fester until we absolutely have to. If given the chance, we would and do hire or use people to do these things for us. The same goes for bookkeeping.

When you have your business, many of us do not want to “keep the books” so we throw everything into a folder and give it to our local Costa Rican accountant to prepare a monthly tax return or provide some information to us. Our sense of making money is based on both a “feeling” and if the bank account balance is higher than last month.  Yet, deep down, you know, when you have the chance to think about it, you would like to know how you are doing, just as you would like your house organized and tidy.

Enter a new way of thinking – the virtual bookkeeper. The virtual bookkeeper has access to your information either daily or weekly and it is their job to “keep your books.” When you want to know how your business is performing, you have the ability to review reports and information on-line and in real time on your schedule and not somebody else’s.  In Costa Rica and elsewhere this is a new concept for business owners.

Having your information readily available and in a usable format will help you manage and organize your business better.  You should not have to wait for weeks after the transaction has taken place to see if your business is performing well. You should be able to measure the results of your business on your time table, not your accountants.

A good virtual bookkeeping system should be able to provide you with important reports on your business, such as a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, a report of income by customers and a report of the monies you spent with suppliers or vendors. It should also help you manage your cash –so it should be able to tell you your receivables and payables.

Your accountant should be able to help provide some insight into your business as well, not just churn numbers for you. They should be meeting with you and discussing your business performance, helping you plan for a new venture or campaign, creating and assessing budgets and other value added items. Your accountant should be a trusted advisor who is dedicated to using the numbers to enhance and improve your business.

How can you make this happen? Where do you find such people in Costa Rica? It is difficult, but they are here. Your best bet is to not accept the current situation out of what you are currently receiving from your existing accountant. If the above scenario pertains to you, you have the power to stop it and use and expect real professional services from a real professional. You do not have to relegated to using only a Costa Rican accountant who is generally not interested in your business and rarely provide any valuable information to you, except your tax bill on the date it is due and of course their invoice (which is always due the moment they give it to you).

You have created your business using your own money and time – you should partner up with an accountant who can understand and share that vision with you. Your time, your money, your ideas all produce a product or service for somebody – bookkeeping is a fundamental part of keeping score as to the results of that work. Utilizing virtual bookkeeping services is a way for you manage and measure these results in a timely fashion. You should not accept anything less.

Robert L. Pioso, CPA, with 20 years of experience as a CPA, CFO and owner of a Costa Rican business  provides virtual bookkeeping services to your business and can help you navigate through the complexities of US taxation for US expats and those who own investments and assets in Costa Rica. You can contact him for a free consultation – CR 6050-3831 or US 312-235-2301 or visit him at www.richcoastaccounting.com  or email at [email protected]. Rich Coast Accounting and Financial Services are focused at providing positive and tangible results that will bring real value to you or your business and offers a unique guaranty “You pay only for the value of the services received or the invoice, whichever is less.”

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