Tuesday, March 10, 2009

VA versus PA

This is a question I am asked continually.

Worker classifications
· The traditional employee is managed and directed by the employer they work for. They are paid a salary with employment taxes deducted by the employer. Work is directed, managed and supervised by the employer.
· A temp worker is an employee of a staffing agency who goes on-site to employer (customer) premises. They are paid by the staffing agency they work for, while their on-site work and activities are managed, directed and supervised by the employer, who is a customer of the staffing agency.
· A virtual assistant is an independently contracted business owner, not an employee. They work out of their own offices, manage the work from their clients and how it is carried out, set their own rates, as well as operating standards and policies, and pay their own self-employment taxes.
· Virtual assistants help small businesses expand their businesses as well as dealing with administration duties. Virtual assistants are cost effective because you only pay them when they work. Since they are independent contractors they are tax deductible.

Personal Assistant, PA:

· A Personal Assistant is an employee who works for a Boss, he/she is EMPLOYED, this is the difference.
· Pas are employed to perform secretarial and administrative tasks for somebody such as an executive (Boss) who has many responsibilities.
· A personal assistant, or personal aide, is someone who assists in daily personal tasks for a busy or successful person. For example, a businessman or businesswoman may have a personal assistant to help with correspondence and run errands. The role of a personal assistant has expanded as the business environment has required more responsibilities. Today, a Personal Assistant may be responsible for screening incoming calls, checking emails, reviewing documentation, sending mail, doing research, scheduling reservations, booking meetings, etc. The term is often used to describe roles which would previously have been referred to as secretary. The title is often shortened to "PA".
· Personal Assistant job duties can range from menial tasks such as picking up the dry cleaning to more important tasks such as attending contract negotiations, briefing journalists on which questions can and can not be asked during interviews, travelling etc. A Personal Assistant is their employer's "go to" person. The position normally covers a variety of positions. They are receptionists, administrative assistants, runners, managers, publicists, agents etc. The job has a wide range of requirements and can often be extremely demanding as employers normally expect their assistants to be there whenever they need them. An older term for Personal Assistant was a "Girl Friday" or a "Man Friday".
· In fact, to do their jobs well, Personal Assistants must apply excellent organizational skills, tact, diplomacy, effective communication skills, maintain confidentiality in sensitive matters, and display excellent judgement. These are the same "soft" skills required for many other professional roles, such as middle management, public relations, and high-level administrative assistance. The best Personal Assistants have the ability to anticipate their employer's needs and take care of them before they are asked to do so. There is always the possibility for advancement and some Personal Assistant jobs may "morph" into other positions within the organization. Some Personal Assistants are asked to consider full time positions elsewhere in the company depending on the level of ambition and education required/desired. It is true that many employers will not see the potential for a Personal Assistant immediately and thus the Personal Assistant will remain in that position until other positions become available.
· Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_assistant"

Virtual Assistant, VA:
· The difference here is a Virtual Assistant works for herself and runs her own business, she is not employed. She works on an equal status with her clients.
· Virtual Assistants (typically abbreviated to VAs), are business owners who provide professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients — usually other independent entrepreneurs and consultancy small businesses. Virtual Assistants work from their own office (hence "virtual"), thus making it a fairly popular (and growing) profession in centralized economies with "fly-in, fly-out" (FIFO) staffing practices. It is estimated that there are as few as 5,000-8,000 or as many as 35,000 Virtual Assistants worldwide. Common modes of communication and data delivery include the Internet, e-mail and phone call conferences,online work spaces, and fax machine. Professionals in this business work on a contractual basis and a long-lasting cooperation is standard. Typically 5 years of administrative experience in an office is expected at such positions as executive assistant, office manager/supervisor, secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, legal secretary, real estate assistant, et cetera.
· A VA can perform the same duties as a PA but the overall difference is one is employed and the other runs her own business.

There is a difference as to what a client would like from a VA and to what a Boss requires of his PA. Although both can perform the same tasks, a VA will liaise with her clients on an equal status and a Boss will simply tell his PA what he wants doing, I cant define it any better, if you can let me know? A VA has the freedom to know she works for herself and is her own Boss. That’s power! And the difference in the two roles. A VA has ‘the say in what she does and does not do’, its as simple as that. No matter how you look at it a PA is employed.

1 comment:

savant said...

Hey do you think its worthwhile to get a virtual office ? I know a couple but their plans look rather pricey. Appreciate any recommendations

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