A personal assistant (PA) or executive assistant is someone who offers high-level admin support to a manager or executive. This also includes the daily clerical tasks. The job description is mostly to ensure that the boss’s life runs smoothly, and everything is organised and ready when the boss requires it. Moreover, a personal assistant is a vital part of any busy and successful business, especially for entrepreneurs craving independence. That said, a virtual personal assistant is similar to a traditional PA, the only difference being that they complete their tasks remotely.
Where can a personal assistant add value to a business?
A personal assistant is normally very knowledgeable, and well-trained, able to provide professional assistance where needed. Here are some of the main benefits and tasks completed by a PA:
Gatekeeper for the busy executive
The virtual personal assistant will normally be the first point of contact. The PA is able, in a timely and professional manner, to liaise with employees, various stakeholders, and the employer. As such, a PA can provide information to third parties without the executive needing to send it out – this means the smooth running of the office. Moreover, while the boss is playing golf, the PA is able to address and sort out emails, answer the phone, set appointments, but more importantly, ensure that the right information is flowing. This means that sensitive information can be safeguarded, controlling the spread of information and how it is sent out. This is largely accomplished by proper communication skills that the PA will need to demonstrate; while at the same time ensuring confidentiality is adhered to; the PA having the confidence of the executive.
Complete practical tasks
With the executive gaining freedom by delegating the admin tasks to a PA, the personal assistant will be tasked to conduct periodical research and to compile reports. This will involve gathering data for presentations or reports the executive needs for meetings. However, it might be that the personal assistant manages and does the expense reporting. This means doing bookkeeping and invoicing tasks, but also checking that the information on account spreadsheets is correct. Additionally, a personal assistant may be asked to take the minutes during meetings. Capturing what transpires is useful; this not only acts as a permanent record, but should there be a dispute, the minutes can be used as a reference, offering clarity.
Other special values
A personal assistant can conduct many practical functions. Some aspects are very often overlooked, such as volunteering to lead unique projects, where the extra hands can assist the company such as a project manager, to ensure the success of the project. Additionally, a PA can assist the marketing team with newsletters, writing for the company blog, or other content marketing projects. They may also help to boost the wellness of your on-site employees through setting up a committee that focuses on the employees’ issues. As they are the right hand of the executive, they can provide you with a massive amount of insight into making the workplace a happy and productive space, thereby retaining your staff and not losing them to the competition.
A virtual personal assistant is key for smooth daily operations and ongoing flow of communications; more so, to help executives focus on their core work and not on admin functions. The VPA can arrange flights, or find information for a presentation. Moreover, a PA is someone who can multitask, and who has great organisational and communication skills.
We at Aristo Sourcing − a virtual assistant business − have assisted many executives to source great virtual assistants to match their needs. Contact us, or book your complimentary consultation with one of our expert outsourcing guides. We will help you find the perfect virtual personal assistant to enhance your working life.