Also known as remote executive assistants, virtual personal assistants are skilled professionals who provide administrative, technical, and creative support to clients remotely. While they typically work from a home office, others work in coworking spaces.
People employed in this field typically have several years of experience as office managers or administrative assistants. As they’re either independent contractors or are employed by companies that provide VA services, clients aren’t responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance, or benefits. Neither do clients have to provide their VAs with office space, computers, or related equipment. Clients simply pay for the work they need done, when they need it done.
What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?
Aside from performing standard administrative tasks like scheduling appointments, making phone calls, booking meeting rooms, and making travel arrangements, today’s new breed of virtual assistants can perform a wider range of tasks and have unique areas of expertise.
Virtual assistants who are proficient in social media and content management, graphic design, and IT support, just to name a few specialties, are in high demand among clients with diverse needs.
To ensure that clients are getting the full range of support, Sigrid.AI, which provides remote executive assistant services, pairs each client with their own dedicated remote personal assistant. This EA, in turn, is backed by a team of highly trained specialists who can supply specialized services to clients as needed.
Listed here are some of the tasks that can be delegated to your Sigrid.AI virtual executive assistant:
While few enjoy keeping track of their expenses, saving their receipts, and generating expense reports, these need to be done regularly and in a timely manner. To stay on top of your expense management, consider delegating this task to your remote executive assistant.
Your EA can work with your existing software and expense management processes. You can send photos of your receipts in real-time, which your EA will properly categorize and file. All you have to do is sign off on the expense reports on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. Moreover, if your EA has access to your calendar, they can log expenses against agreed dates and approved accounting codes (if your company uses accounting codes to track expenses).
Your EA can also perform the following tasks:
- Reconcile and match card and bank statements
- Process invoices and receipts
- Update and streamline your expense management processes
- Assist with VAT filing
- Encode expenses in accounting-related software, such as Xero and Concur
The average executive has a weekly schedule packed with numerous meetings with investors, clients, and colleagues. Moreover, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, more and more meetings are taking place virtually—and that means sending out Zoom and Google Hangout invites to attendees who might be located in different time zones and adhering to different schedules.
Aside from the logistical challenge of setting up business meetings and managing project deadlines, you’ll also need to take into account your personal life. Those doctors’ appointments, family dinners, and children’s recitals all have to be integrated into your schedule.
Thankfully, your virtual administrative assistant can handle all aspects of your diary management, ensuring that all major events and priorities in your professional and personal life are seamlessly integrated into your schedule. Just give your EA access to your calendar and they can proactively plan your life weeks in advance. This, in turn, gives you more time to focus on the things that really matter to you.
Do you need detailed and actionable answers to some very complicated questions? Perhaps you’re looking for the best sushi restaurants in downtown San Francisco, or need to obtain a list of the top 500 most successful realtors in Vancouver. Your dedicated remote assistant can conduct the necessary research and compile the information for you using online and offline sources.
Here are other real-world examples of the kind of research your EA can conduct for you:
- Identify the best service providers in a given geographic area
- Research and compare different vendors
- Obtain the emails and phone numbers of people within an organization
- Recommend the best museums, cultural activities, and sports events in a particular city
- List down the best private tutors for your kids
IT-related issues can be major impediments to your work and recreation. Perhaps you’re having difficulty installing new software, need to retrieve media that was accidentally deleted, or can’t properly connect to the Internet using your new iPad Pro. Your remote assistant can handle these and other IT-related concerns and identify the solutions.
If they can’t find the solutions themselves, they’ll willingly call IT support companies that may have long hold times and patch you into the call once a representative becomes available. They’ll also spend days corresponding with tech support teams until your issue is resolved.
Other services include recommending the best IT software and hardware and suggesting productivity hacks. Your EA can also recommend best-in-class software solutions if your company wants to establish a viable remote workforce.
While you might enjoy the convenience of buying and selling products online, the process can be time-consuming. Your EA can free up more time in your busy schedule by handling your online shopping needs.
Your EA can manage recurring orders, such as your weekly grocery shopping, as well as stocking up on stationery supplies for the office. Special requests (such as buying birthday presents and ordering catered food) can also be handled by your executive assistant. Your EA will ensure that all orders are correctly processed, paid for (using a virtual debit card), and delivered to the right destination.
Other online shopping tasks your EA can handle include:
- Finding eBay or Amazon listings for particular items
- Uploading items on eBay that you want to sell
- Managing your Amazon seller’s account
- Obtaining quotes from service providers and comparing prices
- Tracking the real-time status of orders
- Ordering the reshipping of lost items that you purchased online
- Booking and managing the pickup of a parcel for shipment
- Calling stores and inquiring if they have certain items in stock
- Providing gift ideas for family members, friends, and clients, etc.
- Sending flowers and presents to recipient
Bookkeeping is an important part of any business but can be time-consuming. Your EA can assist you by taking over all of your bookkeeping responsibilities with the help of professional bookkeepers. As your remote team will help you establish good bookkeeping practices from the very beginning, you’ll have ample time to focus on business growth.
Among other tasks, your bookkeeping EA can categorize your daily expenses into manageable labels, pay bills on time, generate and send invoices to clients, collect payments, and keep an eye on revenues versus expenses. They can also assist with payroll and send you weekly reports to help you track the movement of your money.
At the end of each month, your bookkeeping virtual assistant will work on reconciliations by making sure your bank statement matches the information displayed on your financial software. Duplicate entries will be deleted, any inaccurate entries will be removed, and all transactions will be meticulously vetted to ensure they’re categorized correctly. Lastly, your bookkeeping EA can prepare all of your year-end reports for your accountant to look at.
Did you damage a rental car while on a business trip or wreck your own car in a roadside collision? Or perhaps you lost your luggage at the airport while on vacation? Processing an insurance claim can be both time-consuming and frustrating, but thankfully, your EA can handle all aspects of your insurance claim and will track the progress of your claim until you’re fully reimbursed.
Data entry is a time-consuming and repetitive task that should be delegated to a trusted personal assistant. Here are some of the clerical tasks your EA can perform for you:
- Move a document onto a new letterhead
- Clean up Excel and Word documents
- Create and manage Google Docs and Sheets
- Type information from a PDF into Excel
- Transfer hand-written notes to a Google Doc
- Transcribe audio to text
Making Reservations & Hiring Vendors
Looking to hire contractors to build an outdoor patio in your home? Or perhaps you need to make reservations at a restaurant for a family gathering? Your dedicated virtual personal assistant can handle all of your reservation needs and will research and book vendors that meet your specifications and price points.
Need to have press releases, blog posts, emails, and other copy professionally proofread and edited? Your dedicated EA can edit and refine your professional communications to ensure that it’s coherent; respectful in tone; and free of any grammatical, spelling, and syntactical errors. Your EA is also supported by a professional team of proofreaders and copyeditors, ensuring that all of your written communications is polished and eloquent.
Need a trusted professional to manage the postings on your content management system or social media platforms? Your remote personal assistant can handle all of your social media and content management needs. They can upload blog posts to your site on a regular basis, as well as schedule the publishing of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn posts. Posts can be scheduled using a pre-existing content or social media calendar, or your EA can create a new calendar to manage postings to multiple sites.
Have an upcoming private or corporate event and need a professional event planner to manage logistics? Your dedicated EA can handle all aspects of the event remotely, including vendor management, budgeting, people management, and logistics management. Your dedicated EA can also plan and manage business conferences, sales meetings, and panel discussions.
CEOs, senior executives, and entrepreneurs often have to travel a great deal for work. Managing the intricacies of your travel itinerary, researching and booking flights, booking accommodations, as well as dealing with ground transportation can be time-consuming, and oftentimes, frustrating.
Delegating your business travel needs to your dedicated EA will relieve you of these responsibilities, enabling you to focus on getting your objectives done on each trip. Your EA can proactively manage all aspects of your trip and make sure that every detail is seamlessly integrated into your personal and private schedule.
Their services will prove particularly invaluable when flights or accommodations get canceled at the last minute. Your EA will take charge of the situation and rebook flights or accommodations in a timely manner, helping you stay on track.
At Sigrid.AI, your EA is supported by travel specialists to ensure you’re getting premium travel management services. Once you give them access to your calendar, your EA and travel specialist can assist you with the following:
- Researching the best prices on flights, hotels, restaurants, car rentals, and meeting venues
- Finding the best price for remote airport parking
- Flight check-ins and booking your preferred seat
- Visa assistance and applying for the renewal of your passport
- Calling the airlines for travel-related inquiries
- Tracking lost or delayed luggage