Examining Virtual Office Software
All virtual offices are different. Some of them do not have a niche and take on many different types of projects and clients. Other offices are case specific, meaning they only specialize in certain services for businesses such as bookkeeping or medical billing. No matter what type of office it is and what kind of services they provide, there is some excellent software that every virtual office will benefit from having that are completely free.
Accounting software can be used in every virtual office whether it does bookkeeping for clients or not. It is essential to at least have this for keeping accounting records and client maintenance for the virtual office itself. There are many downloadable programs and web based versions that are free that are designed for medium and small sized businesses. The best applications will have modules that can produce reports for records such as inventories, deposits, payroll, and invoicing. Overall it is a good idea to obtain some sort of record keeping software and one in particular is FrontAccounting. It is a very powerful open source program equipped with everything mentioned above and even produces reports and statements that can be used with banks and other institutions. It can be downloaded for both Windows and Mac users.
Another essential that every virtual office should acquire is an office suite capable of creating spreadsheets, documents, and databases that support many levels of formatting. Spreadsheets and databases contain customizable data for any sized business and are a must have in the virtual office regardless of the service it provides. Many kinds of record keeping and calculations can be used to maintain and output data for reports. A very good free open source cross platform application is OpenOffice. OpenOffice is regularly maintained and has many contributors so the software is always being updated. There are many extensions and add ons for this suite as well. There are also a lot of document templates that can be found online. OpenOffice it is completely customizable and has the ability to out perform any of the paid office suites on the market.
What is an office without some sort of graphics creation or editing program? There are tons of these applications for free today. They are web based or downloadable and can be found all over the internet. Most computers will already have a default graphics program installed, however they will only be compatible with certain extensions and formats. InkScape is an awesome open source vector graphics editor that is comparable to Illustrator. It is not as difficult to learn and features many free extensions and add ons. It is a must have for every virtual office that may need to do logo designs or business card creations.
Since communication is the backbone of any virtual office, it only makes sense to obtain a communication software that everyone can use in their business. There are many messengers one the internet with voice actions but they usually require an account to be setup by the user and are bloated with ads and spam. Also most of these programs do not make it as easy as dialing a number to talk to one another. Skype is a great alternative and functions extraordinarily well with any business. Users or clients that you are communicating with do not even have to have the Skype software in order to call them. It also has text and video conferencing abilities and allows for several people to talk at the same time.
The above mentioned programs are not freeware so there are no limits to what the software can do. They are not complex, however they do come with various types of support. Any office will be just as well off to obtain these free applications as opposed to the more popular and branded programs that cost in the hundreds of dollars.
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