The Financials – Paying Your VA

Finding the Ultimate Virtual Assistant for Your Business

The Financials – Paying Your VA


Some of the most common rate schedules used in the virtual industry are hourly, retainer, and per project. Some simple steps you can take to help you determine which method to adopt for your business are by setting your budget, prioritizing your workflow and categorizing your tasks.

  • Hourly rates work well for those who require routine assistance however, are unsure how much of their workflow will be delegated at any given time.
  • Retainer rates secure a predetermined number of hours within a preset time period at a discounted rate. This is an excellent way to go if you want to work with someone on a regular basis ~ similar to hiring an in house employee.
  • Per project is perfect if you have small projects that are either one time or recurring. For example, a one time project could be a website or blog design. A recurring project could be a monthly newsletter or mail out.

When dealing with hourly rates it is common to see lower rates for general services and higher rates for creative and/or technical services. Per project rates give you the ease of seeing the bottom line, up front.


Your VA will have an invoicing system in place. The most common approach is electronically through email. The electronic invoice will give you the option to simply click a pay now button to proceed with the transaction. You can work with your VA to determine the best method of payment for your situation. An excellent bookkeeping solution is Quickbooks for your business.

Methods of Payment:

PayPal is the most widely used method of payment. Some of the major benefits of paying your VA through PayPal are that you can use any major credit card, debit card, or bank transfer. There are no costs on your part, and you do not need to have an account. Other methods of payment include check, money order, electronic funds transfer (EFT), Accept By Phone, and wire transfer.

Billing cycles:

Generally, retainer clients are billed in advance on the first of the month for the current month. Hourly clients are billed at the end of the month for the previous month. And, per project you can usually expect to pay a deposit before the work starts and the balance during the final service exchange.


You can expect to receive a monthly receipt for your payment. Oftentimes, a time/task tracking list will accompany your receipt along with any special offers or promotions.


You can work with your VA to determine what or if any tax regulations apply to your particular situation. Some popular tax resources within North America are:

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