Smart Delegation: Things You Should Never Delegate to a Virtual Assistant

Delegating is the main thing you will do when you hire a virtual assistant (VA). It’s also the main reason why you hired one so you can pass on the tasks that derail you from doing what you need to do. In our previous blog, we looked into the things you should delegate to your virtual assistant.

Today, we will look at the other side of smart delegation—what you shouldn’t pass on to your VA. There are specific business areas that should be left within your core group and should never be shared no matter how efficient your VA is. Let’s look at some of them.

Management Decisions. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to carry out management decisions along with your executive team. Your VA, albeit being a professional, is not qualified nor trained to do those things for you. Whether it’s expanding your business, developing a new product, or doing an overhaul in your operations, these things should be decided on by you and your organization alone. Your VA is there to assist you and not make decisions for you.

What your VA can do instead:

  • Research about your new business venture or the demand for your potential new product.
  • Collate the raw data you have and present it in a more organized way for easy assessment.
  • Transcribe the audio recording of your meetings for quick reference to ideas, suggestions, and roadblocks that were previously discussed.

Employee Evaluation. The only people qualified to do employee evaluations are those who work with them face to face on a daily basis. Your VA is remotely based and may not have direct interaction with your employees. You and your human resource team should assess your own people. Your VA may work well with your in-house team but it’s not enough for her to give an accurate assessment of your employees’ performance.

What your VA can do instead:

  • Compute performance evaluation grades given by your managers.
  • Organize employee data that would show the strengths and weaknesses of your team members.
  • Research team building activities for your employees to better evaluate their personalities.

Forecasts and Volatile Functions. Your VA is trained to do blueprint tasks meaning these are things that follow a certain format. Asking them to do forecasting or tasks that are influenced by fluctuating factors can be disastrous. These may involve exchange rates, stock market, industry trends, market price, and the like. Your VA is not in the position to take action based on these things. As a business owner, you have the knowledge, expertise, and skill to decide on these things along with your in-house team.

What your VA can do instead:

  • Keep track of the changes in these areas and report them to you.
  • Research on industry trends to help you in your decision making.
  • Encode purchases and record other relevant information based on these factors.

Tasks Outside of their Expertise. When hiring a VA you need to set your expectations clearly. You have to communicate specifically the tasks you’ll be delegating and the skills you need for it. Once you’ve agreed on this, you have to stick with it. Don’t assign tasks that your VA has no knowledge of. For example, you told her that she will be doing administrative and social media management. Then all of a sudden you need some accounting work done. You can’t delegate it to her because she’s not equipped to do that and it’s not part of your agreement. You’re only setting yourself up for disappointment if you assign tasks that are outside of your VA’s expertise.

What your VA can do instead:

  • Take on portions of the task that she’s competent to do such as encoding and collating data.
  • Research online platforms you can use to make this task easy to accomplish.
  • Provide assistance in other areas so you can focus on the new venture you’re embarking on.

Working with a VA is at its best when expectations are set and met. By knowing what you should and should not delegate, you’re giving your VA the opportunity to work more efficiently. It also allows you to give accurate assessments of her performance. No working relationship is without challenges but with constant communication and clear expectations, your collaboration with your VA can be successful!

Need help delegating? Work with our virtual assistants and avail of our free five-hour trial today!

**N.B. This is an updated post from a 2014 Pepper blog.

Pepper Virtual Assistants is a business solutions firm that specializes in virtual administrative and personal assistance, online marketing, customer support, and copywriting. We are known for reliability through our managed services, responsive client handling backed by extensive training, and rockstar virtual assistants hired for their skills and expertise.





  1. Francis

    Totally agreed: the big decisions about where your business go should be done by you, the employer.

    Another task that is risky to outsource, to say the least, is personal communication.

    Especially if it can hurt your reputation with professional business partners, don’t outsource your business communication to a virtual secretary – at least not without being upfront about it.

    • Pepper

      Absolutely right, Francis. Thank you for sharing your insights! 🙂



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