SOURCE: oDesk

oDesk

March 31, 2011 09:00 ET

oDesk's Report Reveals Significant Uptick in Virtual Accounting and Tax Services

At Height of Tax Season, SMBs Turn to Online Bookkeeping and Accounting

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - March 31, 2011) - With tax season upon us, number crunchers are putting down their pencils and picking up their keyboards to help small-to-medium business owners finalize their 2010 taxes. The days of waiting in line at local tax preparers are finally over. According to the March Online Employment Report from oDesk, the largest and fastest-growing global employment platform, the demand for online accounting and tax services is on the rise.

This month's report shows the demand for online accountants has risen 90 percent over 2010, while the amount of tax and accounting professionals offering their services online has increased 76 percent during the same period. This uptick in activity reflects not only an increase in the desire of individuals and businesses to accept financial services online, but it also shows a level of trust and willingness to share financial information virtually.

Tapping into accounting and bookkeeping services to get taxes done online has become more appealing due to the widening acceptance of remote, online workers filling what have been traditionally high-touch, on-site roles performed by financial consultants and CFOs. Specifically, oDesk's proprietary work diary -- technology that enables visibility into the work being performed -- combined with the ability to verify an accountant's background and certifications, and inspect reviews of past work, make hiring remote workers to handle confidential information, such as finances, a feasible solution for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs).

oDesk polled its community of 1 million contractors, and garnered a few tax-time reminders for self-employed professionals and entrepreneurs, regardless of where your clients are located:

1. Remember to deduct your home office expenses
2. Determine if you qualify for tax deductions on your health insurance
3. Remember to backup electronic filing records and receipts for at least 3 years in the event of an IRS audit.

SMBs and individuals are becoming increasingly comfortable with, and reliant upon, online tools for accounting and financial data storage. Usage has expanded beyond personal banking sites, such as Mint.com, and now SMBs are tapping cloud services to facilitate financial management and accounting for their business, such as: Outright to help automate small business accounting tasks, Google Docs for spreadsheet sharing and document collaboration, and Egnyte for secure file storage and backup.

"By providing their services online, especially during tax time, finance professionals are filling a huge need for individuals and SMBs, while expanding their customer base beyond the local market," states oDesk CEO Gary Swart. "Finances are a personal matter, so being able to work 1:1 with an accountant and having transparency throughout the process is key for successful remote work in the financial field."

For more information on the current trends in online work, please visit oDesk's Online Employment Report.

About oDesk
With more than 1,000,000 contractors in over 150 countries, oDesk (www.oDesk.com) is a global employment platform that enables companies to hire, manage, and pay a flexible, online workforce.

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