What is a Virtual Secretary or Virtual Assistant (VA)?
A VA (aka virtual secretary) is an entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, marketing, clerical, book keeping, payroll, website, SEO, or social media tasks for your business, assisting clients from a home office. We provide most of these specialist VA tasks remotely from our home office, as well as typing and formal transcription. For a full definitive list of tasks see Services for further details, or visit our blog.

How do I send my work to you?
Whichever way you prefer:

  • Email to our secure email address: fiona@outsource-typing.com
  • Use an online secure file sharing option such as Dropbox (fast, secure and organised) or
  • WeTransfer (fast, secure and files are deleted within a short timeframe)
  • Use our encrypted online workflow system ScribeManager
  • Send mini-cassettes by post*
  • Send documents by post*
  • Scan documents and email them to us

*If documents or cassette tapes are sensitive or confidential, we recommend using Royal Mail Special Delivery – this is the only service that is guaranteed. For non-confidential documents or mini-cassettes we recommend using a tracked Royal Mail or reputable tracked courier service. 

What am I agreeing to when/if I go ahead?
There is no contract and no minimum requirement of work: you can send whatever you like, whenever you like. Pricing is easy and clear (see Prices). Clients are billed on a monthly basis at the end of the month in which the work was completed. You only pay for work undertaken and per task. As we work for you on a freelance basis, there’s no need to worry about pension contributions, sick pay, etc., and there are no hidden charges, VAT, etc. The price you are quoted will be the final price, making it easy for you to work out your budget upfront.

How quickly can I have my work back to me?
Our core hours are Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, with possible availability outwith these hours. Audio dictations under 60 mins duration can be returned quickly – usually within 24-72 hours. Dictation or formal transcription files 60 mins+ can take longer. As each client is different, we can advise on timescales for each file and project. We take pride in communicating clearly with our clients to keep them informed, and we strive to give a tailored, transparent and helpful service.

How much does it cost?
See our information on Prices for further details. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a quote.

How do I pay you? 
We invoice monthly on the last working day of each month. Our payment terms are within 14 days as standard, but we can extend this to 28 days if this is more suitable for your accounting processes. We accept payment via BACS and by cheque.
Some projects may require an upfront payment, and we can keep payments on account. Any overpayment/remainder would be refunded via BACS at the end of the project, or can be carried forward for future projects. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your requirements and budget to see how we can assist.

What formats do you accept?
types of dictated audio sound file format are accepted (e.g. the most common are MP4, M4A (from iPhone dictations), WAV, MP3, DS2, DSS).
We also accept scanned handwritten documents for copy typing, or alternatively these can simply be sent by post. We also accept mini-cassette tapes, which can be sent by post.

What about confidentiality?
This is extremely important to us. We regularly ensure that everything is secure and up-to-date in terms of spyware, malware, anti-virus and password protection. We can encrypt and password protect documents if required. We are registered under the Data Protection Act, compliant with GDPR and regularly review our processes.
No physical documents are stored: everything is electronic. Any documents that are printed will be cross-cut shredded and disposed of securely. All work is saved onto an encrypted and password protected USB drive and is be permanently deleted 48 hours after completion – and sooner if this is preferred by you.
We ensure that data is kept safe and secure, and the materials we handle are virus-checked and safe to send and receive. We are happy to sign any Confidentiality or Non-Disclosure Agreements. All of our vetted UK-based staff have signed a Confidentiality Agreement, a copy of which, along with a copy of our security policies, are available on request.
Further information can be found on our homepage and on our Resources page.

Which areas of the UK/world do you cover?
The beauty of being a VA is that there is no geographical limit to the assistance you can provide businesses and individuals – all over the UK, and the world! Since 2011, we’ve helped clients in Canada, USA, Australia, all over Europe, and of course here at home in the UK – England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.
We’re used to dealing with all accents and dialects, having typed thousands of hours’ worth of audio on a full range of topics for clients from all sectors worldwide.
Our service is also popular with Gaelic speakers, or those who have recordings with Scottish accents and want to ensure accuracy. Check out our Services page here for further information on this.