To return to the forum homepage, please click the banner at the top of your browser.

Main Menu

Has anyone tried using a virtual assistant for personal or business tasks?

Started by Money Ronin, March 27, 2019, 11:14:37 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

Money Ronin

I feel like I'm wasting a ton of time doing low value administrative tasks in my personal and business life.  I do scanning, filing, data entry, reconciling, filling out forms, etc. for my (real estate) business and personal finance.  My concern about outsourcing is the data privacy issue and the time needed to train someone to help me.

1. Has anyone found a good virtual assistant service (offshore or domestic)?
2. What tasks have you found helpful to outsource--either personal or business?
3. How do you get around the data privacy concerns when giving people access to your files?

Young And The Invested

John from ESI Money (and formerly Rockstar Finance) has a daughter named Jess who's been doing a lot of virtual assistant duties.  From the folks who have used her services, I've heard rave reviews.

I'm not at that point yet but may consider making use of a VA in the future.  Please share your experience and whether you felt the benefits outweighed the costs.

Fat Tony

I'm really trying to outsource a lot of these repetitive items too. Could some of these be handled by an accounting practice? (Not necessarily the CPAs, but other people in the office)

As Young and The Invested posted, it may have to come from a direct referral.

Part of the problem is that only I really feel competent and trusting enough of myself for many items. There's also nontrivial overhead/friction, you don't reduce outsourced tasks by 100% time, more like 50%, and start up costs. This applies for outsourcing even for mundane household tasks. My mental calculus is that it's not worth it yet since I don't have complex real estate items, and I deliberately try to keep things simple.


I've done this in the past with both family members, recommendations, and hired professionals overseas and domestic.

Hiring folks to take care of things is a mixed bag. The help won't be as good as you and you'll have to do a lot of work to setup the process, the system, the expectations, and answer questions. The key when doing that is to do things like make screencasts, recordings, and process documentation so that 6 months after you find that awesome assistant and they get a real job you can streamline finding the next one to help.

I never had much luck with overseas folks, but I'm in a peer group with several other online software entrepreneurs and one guy has an agency/person in the Philippines for cheap (~$10/hr) that is English fluent written or spoken, can do some Excel, can do some light photo or video editing, can get around WordPress etc. He's been using that for years.

I'm not sure what the privacy concerns are for the documents under consideration. You can get a basic NDA template, a contract, or find someone you generally trust as long as you're not falling under serious legal regulation like HIPPAA, FERPA, etc. A service or a pro with history and references might be best if privacy is key.

Upwork is a decent place to start looking. There are quite a lot of college educated stay-at-home moms in the Midwest interested in WFH 5-15 hr / wk gigs.