Tales of a Globe-Trotting Bookkeeper

Two years ago, I was vaguely aware of the cloud. I knew the “cloud” existed, but it wasn’t the kind of cloud that had any sort of impact on my life, and I wasn’t terribly interested in finding out more about it. I was happily working in an office, elbowing my way through filing cabinets in a largely paper-based environment. I didn’t stop to consider that there could be an alternative.

Then I moved abroad. I left my job and went to volunteer in the Philippines for 6 months. It was wonderful. I wanted to stay longer. But I couldn’t afford it. I needed to get back to work. And work was in California.

Six months later, I was back in Manila. This time I worked part-time as a bookkeeper for a cloud-accounting firm. I could work abroad and continue volunteering. It was a dream come true – and Beyond Balanced Books, Inc. made it possible. I spent about a year and a half working to a chorus of jeepneys, roosters, and karaoke covers of Ed Sheeran songs. (“Thinking Out Loud” is the unofficial anthem of the Philippines.)

Cheesecake globe-trotting bookkeeper

As I write this, I am on a train in Austria and have worked in the cloud in five (soon to be six!) different countries. I’m not tied to my desktop and filing cabinets – the information I need is available at the click of a mouse around the globe. I’ve got my cake and can eat it too. (Have you tried the Sachertorte in Vienna? I have. It’s delicious.)

What is it like working as a bookkeeper in the cloud?

I would have to say one of the greatest advantages is flexibility. With the cloud, I can access needed information on the go, and with programs and applications like Hubdoc, SmartVault, and Xero, all the information is stored in a secure and organized manner.  Armed with a laptop and secure internet access, I can reconcile bank statements, create reports, and collaborate with both my teammates and with our clients – from across the globe.

How does cloud-based accounting differ from paper-based accounting?

When I am in California, I work part-time for two companies, one with cloud-accounting and the other with a paper-based accounting system. With the paper-based firm, we have filing cabinets both in the office and a brimming storage trailer. Tracking down the required information is both dusty and time-consuming. I’m tied to the office, and I can’t work on the go. When I return from my current trip, I know there will be a stack of files and tasks waiting for me.

However, with Beyond Balanced Books, Inc., I can work anytime, anywhere. We don’t have a storage trailer full of files. I can access the information I need, connect with the team, and complete the tasks at hand – whether at home in my office, in a studio above the roosters, or in an apartment with a castle view.