Payment Policy: How to Pay Your Virtual Assistant

Payment Policy
Will That Be Cash, Check or Charge? Well… when it comes to your Virtual Assistant’s payment policy, the answer is probably neither! Most VAs prefer to receive online payments usually through a service like PayPal.

Ask a dozen Virtual Assistants what their payment policy is, and you’ll very likely get a dozen different answers. Some expect payment up front, some invoice at the end of the week or month. Some take only PayPal, some accept checks or even credit cards. Some are willing to make exceptions for long-term clients or friends, some are not.

Again, there are a lot of different factors that can affect how your new VA wants to be paid. Just like with rates, one of the issues will be whether your job is per hour or project based. If your Virtual Assistant is charging per project instead of per hour, whether you pay up front or after will depend on her policy. This is definitely something you should get clarification on before hiring anyone.

Another factor is whether or not you’re a retainer client or non-retainer client. If you are a retainer client, you will be billed up front for a predetermined number of hours. How many hours depends on what you and your Virtual Assistant discussed beforehand.

A normal retainer package for VA services is a 10 hour block of time. This is generally billed on the first of the month and how long you have to pay it depends on what your contract says. Typically, you should expect to be billed on the first and have to pay by the fifth for retainer packages. Most assistants require that the retainer hours be used within the month.

In other words, hours do not carry over to the following month. Basically, it’s a “use it or lose it” situation, so if that’s the case, be sure to use it!

So, how will you pay?

One of the most common forms of payment that a VA accepts is through PayPal.  Sometimes you’ll even receive an invoice directly from your assistant via PayPal. Whether you want to pay using your current PayPal balance, with an eCheck or credit card, you’ll have different options to choose from that fit your needs.

Whether you can send a check or not is going to depend on the payment policy of your VA and whether she feels comfortable accepting personal checks or not. It’s very rare to find a Virtual Assistant that takes checks these days. If you do find one and that’s how you prefer to pay, keep in mind this could lengthen your timeline. Unless she’s worked for or known you a long time, it’s likely that she will not begin work before your check clears.

What about a money order? This is similar to a check, although the money is guaranteed (once your VA receives it), so the possibility of your assistant not getting the funds is minimal. Just like mentioned above, it’s not very common to find a service provider who will accept a money order these days. But if you do, the policy is probably the same as a check – she will hold off on doing any work until she receives and cashes it.

Accepting credit cards over the phone would also be a rare occurrence for most Virtual Assistants. Most VAs have not established merchant accounts to handle this form of payment. But if you discover one who does and it’s how you prefer to pay, go ahead and ask. Keep in mind, however, that VAs can accept your credit card if you go through PayPal (even if you don’t have an account with them).

With the ease of PayPal (not just for the VA but you too), there really isn’t a reason that your VA will accept other forms of payments and you’ll probably notice that’s the case when you are in the process of hiring a Virtual Assistant.

How would you prefer to pay your Virtual Assistant? Do you find your VA’s payment policy to be reasonable and acceptable? Please share your comments below.

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