There are two types of services a bookkeeping firm provides, Onsite and Offsite bookkeeping.

Onsite Bookkeeping is where a bookkeeper comes and works in of your office.  This is very similar to having an employee working from your office where they use your office equipment and supplies and have access to all of the required accounts and invoices they need.

Offsite Bookkeeping (also known as virtual bookkeeping) is where the bookkeeper works from their own office and are sent the appropriate documents like invoices, bills, bank statements, etc.

The main advantage of offsite bookkeeping is that it is cheaper  than onsite bookkeeping as you are not paying for the traveling time or petrol for the bookkeeper to come to you.  Some firms send their express courier service to pickup your documents. If you are a computer savvy, you can scan your documents and email or upload to their website. You can also fax your documents. While sending large number of invoices, bills and statements by email or fax certainly look more time consuming, these methods are good when you only need to send one or two documents, like a missing invoice, or the bank statement etc.

Another important thing to remember is to make sure you know what software your bookkeeping firm uses. Although we all like bookkeepers with several years or even decades of experiences, they might be using software that is outdated or almost outdated. At the time of writing this article, QuickBooks and Simply Accounting are two most popular software that most bookkeepers are using.