Posted on 1 Comment

Is Xero Better than MYOB for Bookkeeping Businesses?

Bookkeeping Incumbent, MYOB Versus Cloud Innovator, Xero

MYOB or Xero online accounting course training videosMYOB HAS LONG BEEN the preferred accounting software of choice for accountants, but a lot of small business owners have now come to prefer Xero. It’s easier to use, and they can access it anywhere — their desktop PC, tablet or smartphone.

Meanwhile, the rise of cloud-based accounting software, which was pioneered by Xero, has made it a lot easier for bookkeepers to base themselves from home. Throw in other technological innovations — cloud storage, bank feeds — and a remote Xero bookkeeper has become the more appealing choice for businesses, too.

Good bookkeepers have a corporate background

Many experienced bookkeepers (around level three upwards) have a corporate background. They’ve typically worked for big accounting firms, and are possibly qualified accountants or BAS and tax agents, familiar with all the available ERP systems on the market.

As much as they know MYOB as the big robust accounting software for medium-sized businesses, a lot of these ex-corporate bookkeepers are also well aware of how Xero benefits small-to-medium businesses: It’s less confusing to use and it’s cloud based; things that make the bookkeeper’s job easier, too. But there’s no guarantee they’ll recommend Xero purely because of that.

Their experience with a range of different ERPs, makes them just as likely to have a subscription to more than one accounting software so they can recommend, with firsthand knowledge, the right accounting software for your business — be it Xero or QuickBooks or, yes, even MYOB.

Bookkeepers can grow their business

National Bookkeeping - How to Earn More MoneyOf course, one reason Xero has become the preferred accounting software, over MYOB or QuickBooks, for a lot of ex-corporate bookkeepers is because of the Xero partner program which enables them to earn ongoing income by recommending Xero to their clients.

Billed as a way for Xero bookkeepers to grow their business, the program lists certified partners in the Xero Advisor directory, which is used by businesses looking for a Xero-certified bookkeeper to manage their accounts. To become a Xero partner, bookkeepers must successfully complete a Xero skills test. When they do, they’re listed on the directory.

The more Xero clients a bookkeeper brings in under the Xero Partner program, the higher their status and the greater their rewards — free Xero memberships, marketing help, and big discounts on subscriptions for their clients.

It’s incredibly appealing for ex-corporates who want the flexibility of self-employment, but want to grow their business with a client-base of substantial mid-sized businesses — and fast. So the more business a bookkeeper can bring Xero, the more business Xero can bring the bookkeeper. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to go.

Universal access with Xero

But Xero Partner or not, far and away Xero’s popularity is really due to its technology — and its commitment to using technology to improve the way businesses stay compliant with the tax office.

That all started with universal access. Businesses that use Xero can invite anyone in their team — their admin assistant, bookkeeper, accountant, their entire sales team — anytime they like, as part of their Xero subscription. Here are a few more reasons:

  • Invoices can go out as soon as a project is finished or a sale is made; likewise for estimates and customer statements.
  • It also means that a business owner can monitor their cash flow in real time, while their bookkeeper is keying transactions and their sales people are sending off invoices.
  • And because the software is in the cloud, these people don’t even need to be in the same building, never mind the same city, state or country! (Xero is the rare low-cost accounting program that supports multi-currency.)

It’s all about the Xero tech

Xero also integrates with more than 500 third-party apps. Some popular integrations include Gmail and Hubspot, the marketing and sales platform. These two integrations alone turn Xero into a complete business management platform and enable it to scale up to the services provided by mid to large sized ERP systems.

Businesses can import data to Hubspot based on customer spend or products and services sold, and send those customers tailored marketing messages. The Gmail integration gives users a complete snapshot of previous conversations with customers — salespeople can see if there are outstanding invoices, or problems with a customer’s account, for example.

Gold standard in bank feeds

Although bank feeds are accurate most of the time, they’re not perfect. MYOB has been know to be particularly temperamental, but Xero has a reliable bank feeds function. Again, that’s a lot to do with Xero’s commitment to tech. 

Setting up bank feeds in any accounting software is as simple as clicking a few buttons, giving a few permissions, and voila! Your bookkeeper has just saved themselves hours each month. Bookkeepers much rather spend as little time as they can keying and coding transactions.

[box type=”info”] This time is better spent doing bigger jobs — lodging activity statements, reporting, payroll — so they’re going to recommend an accounting program with bank feeds.[/box]

Plus, business owners won’t have to wait for their bookkeeper to enter their transaction data each fortnight or month to see how their cash flow is tracking: Bank feeds give business owners a complete picture of their business’s cash flow and financial health because transactions are imported in real-time.

Xero courses provide Bookkeeper CPD points

EzyLearn Online Course CPD points for bookkeepers and marketing professionalsEzyLearn gets lots of enrolments in our Xero training courses and we’re an accredited training provider with the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. The ICB requires its bookkeepers to continue developing their skills and knowledge as a bookkeeper in order to retain their membership (this is known as continuing professional development, or CPD).

Many bookkeepers and accountants do EzyLearn’s Xero courses to earn their annual CPD points. EzyLearn offers a number of different training courses as continuing professional development (CPD) for bookkeepers, including our Microsoft Excel, Xero or MYOB training courses.

Our Bookkeeping Academy training courses start at $99 — for Xero or MYOB — and allow you to learn what you want, when you want, entirely at your own pace. Visit the Bookkeeping Academy website for more information or to enrol.


 

Posted on 1 Comment

You can start a bookkeeping business alongside your job

Starting a bookkeeping business is a learning process

Thinkink about starting your own business and want to learn from small business mentors and other entreprenuersWhen I started my first business I was in my early twenties and I knew that I needed to be available during normal business hours when customers made enquiries so I jumped off the short corporate journey I was on and worked full time in a bar – 4 long shifts of 10 hours, including weekends. It was a big change in mindset for me (admitting I had failed in the corporate race) but it gave me the time and money to learn about business and what having a business is like. It’s the same for a new bookkeeping business.

Finding the time

Time management is tough when you are a mature person: family, kids, school, part-time work and studies are common for many people in their thirties and forties and sometimes this is enough to stop people before they even get started. Despite the continual pressures on your time it is possible to fit in a new business and it’s centred on finding your productive time or available time.

Some people use mathematics to find available time – 168 hours in the week, then block out things like travel time, work-time, study time etc, but I think you’re best off finding the time where you can get into “the zone”, after all you’re exploring, practising and researching something that will result in you being able to earn money close to home or even by working at home! For early risers this time is first thing in the morning while you’re drinking a strong coffee, for others it will be at night after the kids have gone to bed and for some it will be on the weekend when you’re not really doing much else. Most people living in the big cities have a long commute into the city and often this is a good time to study, read and research. You only need a couple hours a week to start imagining yourself in your new business.

Keeping track of your tasks

OK, so you managed to find the time – most people can find the time if the task or project they are working on is important to them. The next thing is how are you going to keep track of what you learn and what you need to do? My first real success in this area came when I listened to a Jim Rohn audio cassette (yup) where he talked about the value of a journal filled with empty blank pages and how that journal was more valuable than a book filled with details about someone else’s life. To reward myself for writing in it, I’d treat myself to a coffee at a cafe and to this day I write in a journal most days of the week – particularly at the beginning of each week – I don’t go out to drink as many coffees though.

This practice taught me that every obstacle can be over come and every goal reached, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to do it. This practice also helped me understand what I was working on better because I would spend the time to make a note of the biggest challenges.

I’ve used a number of different software programs and services to help me manage tasks and time, including:

  • Google Apps Tasks
  • Google Apps Calendar
  • Asana
  • Basecamp
  • Time Meter

I use my journal to write down goals for the week for myself and for my direct team and I refer to it several times a day during the entire week. Throughout each day and at the end of the week I put a big tick next to everything that was completed and if there are things that I didn’t complete I don’t kick myself about it; I just re-write it as a task for the next week (or realise that it wasn’t that important).

Be accountable

jim-rohn-inspiration-for-starting-your-own-bookkeeping-business-and-setting-and-achieving-goalsA big reason for my maintaining the use of a journal was to have a record of the work that I had DONE as much as what I’d planned to do. One of the worst feelings I can imagine is having so much going on in my mind that I don’t know which way to go or where to start and by going through the process of journaling and setting goals I am able to gain clarity and set some simple achievable goals. Many of my goals are to simply learn more about the task that I am working on or understand something that a member of my team is struggling with.

Lately we’ve made some big changes to our Enrolment Voucher System and it has involved connecting multiple different online services together in one solution. Some parts of it worked smoothly while others were a real struggle so I wrote that down as a goal to research and we ended up finding a solution EVERY time. This system enables us to provide low cost courses to our corporate training clients so it’s very important to us.

It’s not about busting your balls for not finishing a task on your list, it’s more about remaining on track to achieve your goals and keep moving forward constantly in the direction of your goals.

Do something you love doing

Am I really doing something I love doing? More than anything I would like to be swimming on a clear beach, sun bathing, drinking something alcoholic (but in moderate proportions of course), then eating something and then having a rest 🙂 But as far as work is concerned I work from my home office and choose my own hours and have a team of people who do the same! It’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since I closed my last physical training centre in Dee Why in 2006!

When I hear these words it’s more about managing the tasks that you don’t like doing (you’ll be glad to hear that most business owners hate doing their bookkeeping and would rather find a good local bookkeeper 😉 and focusing your time and energy on the things that you like doing. The stuff you don’t like often still needs to be done but you can always find alternative ways of solving the problem. You can

  • find someone who prefers to do that work and delegate it to them,
  • do the work first thing in the morning to get it done and over with, or
  • find a way to automate or systemise it.

Start a bookkeeping business not a franchise

Pre Qualify Now to start your own bookkeeping business

Challenge yourself to grow

This one is the hard one because it involves making yourself do something you don’t want to in the hope you’ll be able to achieve something you don’t think you can achieve. This is the step that often requires the help of a business mentor or a coach and some people buy into a franchise in the hope that the system of the franchise will enable them to just do the work.

One thing I have learnt for sure though is that if I didn’t make a start I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today. When you start on your journey of having your own bookkeeping business you change personally because of the challenges you face and what you learn along the way often changes the direction your business takes or the services you want to provide.

[box type=”info”] The learning and researching stage is so important because this stage pushes you out of your current patterns and opens your mind to the endless possibilities.[/box]

In business to help others

This is one of the most important things to keep at the front of your mind when you’re starting a new business – that only when you are helping to solve other peoples problems are you going to be of any value. When you maintain the positive thought that you are actually in business to help someone with their problems it’s easier to focus on solutions for your clients rather than what YOU want right now and that is the moment your challenge will begin to show results. It is often the moment when you go from the “I want/need $X per hour” to “I can help a business do XXXX better and save them XXXXX” – you can fill in the blanks yourself.

I wrote this blog after listening to stories from different people, most of them currently working in the corporate world where they deal with long commutes, frustrating traffic, childcare costs, politics and deadline stress, under-staffing etc. These people are very experienced and their knowledge would help growing businesses closer to where they live but these people still have to manage the transition while still paying their mortgage. To these people I say “Start now and with a little bit of time each week you can have a business and potentially even new clients within 3 months, while clearly defining how you’d like to work the the type of clients you want to work with”.

Here’s to your success 🙂

 

Posted on

How Much Should You Pay for Bookkeeping Business Marketing

Bookkeeping business marketing includes price, packaging and the marketing message

michael-locke-talks-about-marketing-and-it-applies-to-bookkeeping-businesses-tooI had an opportunity to interview the man who managed the entire marketing program for Dyson when they came to Australia from the UK and helped Dyson become a phenomenal success and a leading brand in Australia. Michael Locke pointed out very clearly in that interview that product (and service) design, including packaging and pricing, is one of the pillars of good marketing – one of the Four P’s and Bookkeeping Business marketing is the same. Watch the video to learn more.

Many bookkeepers, particularly those starting a new bookkeeping business after coming from the corporate accounting world, think in terms of earning dollars per hour and days per week whether they work short term or several days a week so a big part of our bookkeeper induction into National Bookkeeping is to help manage their calendar for multiple clients and clients of different sizes.

Business plans, spreadsheets and other templates for bookkeepers

bookkeeping-basics-free-education-guideIt’s not hard to find a template for a business plan and if you are good at spreadsheets or have used Microsoft Excel in the past you’ve probably already got some good “templates” to work with. Things like business cards, flyers and prospect questionnaires are included in the National Bookkeeping licence but again I’ve met many bookkeepers who spend money on graphic design, websites and flyers before they even “advertise” their message to potential clients and I often ask how important that really is considering most clients make a decision based on the person they communicate with for bookkeeping work.

We include our Microsoft Excel Course – all 9 in the licence. We also include the MYOB and Xero courses and if you let us know you’d like to be promoted as a local face to face trainer for MYOB we’ll work to connect you to businesses who want to learn how to use these programs for their business.

While I’m at it I should mention that our Beefed Up Bookkeeping Basics – Level 2 workbook is included in the licence as well as a number of new workbooks, guides and other content that we are currently working on!

Less work for you and a team to help you succeed

deb-crompton-bookkeeper-from-mandurah-wa-local-myob-and-xero-portrait-smlI’m writing this post because I’ve had several conversations with Deb, our Mandurah Bookkeeper licensee, and we’ve managed to focus most of our time on constructive marketing content for blogs, flyers and other material that we’re working on together to get her discovered in her local area. There’s work that Deb needs to do but its focused on customer service and helping local businesses rather than on marketing.

The other aspect of starting a bookkeeping business as a National Bookkeeping licensee is that the

  1. Cost is very low
  2. Mark and I are able to provide mentoring support to our licensee to help them during the various stages of their bookkeeping business
  3. Our content marketing team can focus on building a great story around you, and
  4. We can leverage the national marketing reach of our existing websites

Something small business clients like is that National Bookkeeping licensee are vetted during the Pre Qualification process so they feel confident that they are working with high calibre bookkeepers (and even qualified accountants with corporate experience).

Looking for experienced bookkeepers in Brisbane/Gold Coast and Melbourne

We’ve received interest from small businesses in Melbourne and are also looking at expanding our marketing in Brisbane Gold Coast so if you are looking for more clients and want to be part of something bigger Pre Qualify now.

Posted on 4 Comments

Why Start a Bookkeeping Business?

Australia needs bookkeepers!

start a bookkeeping business
It can be daunting knowing where to get your first clients when you start your own business.

EVERY BUSINESS HAS A LEGAL requirement to file an annual tax return, and for some businesses, a quarterly or monthly business activity statement (BAS).

Accurate record keeping and data entry is a crucial component of filing both, and with the increasing number of start-ups and new small businesses in Australia, the demand for a good, reliable bookkeeper has been growing steadily.

People start their own businesses for a variety of reasons, but usually it’s because they need flexibility and want to do work that is rewarding.

For some people, starting their own business is the next natural step in their career – perhaps they’ve worked for many years as hairdresser in someone else’s salon; or worked for someone else as a chef or photographer or builder, and going out on their own just makes good career sense.

Bookkeeping: the low-risk, high reward business option

However, for many, the career path isn’t so clear, or they always may have seen themselves shackled to a job working for someone else. To them, starting a business always seemed like something that hinged on a really great idea or new invention, and in absence of either, it has remained out of their grasp.

But it’s not. Becoming a bookkeeper is an accessible, low-risk new business option for any self-motivated person with good computer skills. You don’t even have to love being a number cruncher to be a good bookkeeper, because most bookkeepers don’t do much number crunching these days anyway.

The multi-talented bookkeeper

With the rise of cloud-accounting software like Xero and MYOB Account Right Live, for which we offer online training courses in both platforms, most bookkeepers set up the bank feeds option for their clients, which automatically matches transactions in their bank account with the transactions in their accounting software. This eliminates much of the grunt work associated with the data entry aspect of bookkeeping, freeing the bookkeeper up to do other things for their clients (like BAS) or even pick up some extra clients.

Increasingly, though, and this is largely due to the number of new bookkeepers who don’t come from a finance or accounting background, many bookkeepers are diversifying in the services they offer by performing other functions within their clients’ businesses. This demand for multi-talented bookkeepers brings me back to what I was saying earlier in this post about the growing number of new small businesses.

With great demand, comes great opportunity

As more people start new businesses, which only looks set to increase over the next couple of years thanks to the many tax breaks included in this year’s federal budget, these businesses require more than a good, reliable bookkeeper; they also need web developers, content marketers, virtual assistants, operational managers, and the like.

Hiring several different contractors to manage each aspect of their business is not only costly – it’s also time consuming. Most business owners would rather hire just one or two contractors who have a broad base of skills – a bookkeeper with administration and operational experience or a content marketer with web design experience, for example.

Develop valuable business skills

A bookkeeper with business administration skills, which can be obtained by enrolling in our Small Business Management Course, is a valuable asset to any business — and it doesn’t mean you have to become a Jack (or Jill) of all trades.

EzyLearn is passionate about helping people start their own bookkeeping businesses, and to this end, we have worked to help develop National Bookkeeping, an Australia-wide network of Australian bookkeepers and registered BAS agents, which helps to match small businesses with a bookkeeping professional that meets their business needs. National Bookkeeping is now looking to expand its network by licensing its business to people who would like to start a bookkeeping business.

Becoming a National Bookkeeping Licensee

Ever since we started delivering our MYOB training courses online, and watched as other tools like Dropbox and WordPress and the many Google apps made it easier and easier for people work entirely from their home office, we’ve wanted to help people to start their own home-based bookkeeping business.

Finally that dream of ours has been realised with our partnership with National Bookkeeping. As part of the National Bookkeeping partnership, we’re offering our Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, MYOB and Xero Training Courses to National Bookkeeping licensees.

The reason for this is that we believe that continued learning and professional development is crucial for every business owner, especially if they want to stay ahead of trends and new developments in their industry and if you’re interested in becoming an independent contractor running a bookkeeping business from home then these software programs are essential.

Stay ahead of industry trends

Keeping up with industry developments is something we do as a matter of priority at EzyLearn because we want to be able to provide training courses that are relevant to the latest trends, which is why we’re busy working with some of the top digital marketers and strategists to develop our Content Marketing course.

When you become a National Bookkeeping licensee, you’ll have access to this Content Marketing training course as part of the small business marketing course which is available as an optional extra. This will help you market your services more effectively.

***

lifelong learning platform woman online learning for lifeIf you would like to learn more about National Bookkeeping or becoming a licensee, visit the National Bookkeeping website or register your interest online. For more information on starting a bookkeeping business, continue reading our blog, which we constantly update with news and advice on starting a business.

Posted on 1 Comment

More on Virtual Bookkeeping Businesses

Everyone's smiling: Your clients will benefit if you opt to go virtual.
Everyone’s smiling: Your clients will benefit if you opt to go virtual.

In our last post we discussed why we updated our MYOB training material to include MYOB’s cloud accounting software Account Right Live and how you could benefit from operating a completely remote or virtual bookkeeping business, which is great; but how do your clients benefit from your working remotely?

Convincing the Clients

Winning new clients is always difficult, but it can be especially difficult to convince the old school business owner that hiring a virtual bookkeeper is the way to go: “But I like having someone come in and sit down with me” is not an uncommon counter remark; while for many the idea of a remote bookkeeper conjures notions of unqualified cowboys.

If you’re thinking about starting a virtual bookkeeping business or turning your existing business into a virtual one, then you need to get used to overcoming these obstacles if you’re going to have any success.

It’s worth stating upfront to any potential clients, or existing clients you’re trying to convert, the benefits of retaining a remote bookkeeper over your bookkeeper that makes house calls, or office calls, rather.

Just some benefits:

  • By retaining a virtual bookkeeper, your clients only pay for time worked; that means their hourly rate is not inflated with hidden travel costs, which usually includes the time they spend commuting to your office
  • Virtual bookkeepers don’t have the costly overheads of renting office space, paying for utilities, equipment, storage space, and so forth — all of which decreases their hourly rate
  • For those businesses that may usually employ a bookkeeper as a full-time or part-time member of staff, using a remote bookkeeper means they’re no longer paying sick leave, annual leave and other entitlements
  • All bookkeepers, whether they work remotely or otherwise, have to be accredited by the Tax Practitioners Board to offer BAS services.

***

If you’re thinking of starting a virtual bookkeeping business, our online MYOB course covers MYOB Account Right Live — a necessary piece of software to make any virtual bookkeeping business not only successful, but also feasible.

Posted on 4 Comments

What’s a Virtual Bookkeeping Business?

Virtual bookkeepers can dictate their hours and place of work.
Virtual bookkeepers can dictate their hours and place of work.

WHEN MYOB FINALLY ENTERED the cloud accounting fray in 2012, we were pretty excited and we quickly updated our course material to reflect this new era of MYOB.

Moving MYOB online gave contract and home-based bookkeepers new career opportunities: the ability to go virtual.

A virtual or remote bookkeeping business is much the same as any other home-based or contract bookkeeping business; you still offer the same services — BAS and GST, for instance — except for one notable difference: you work entirely remotely from your home office.

Run Your Bookkeeping Business Anywhere, 24/7

Running your bookkeeping business from any location, any time of any day means you are never required to visit a client’s office to collect documents — or even work from their office. With MYOB in the cloud, all of your clients’ accounts are accessible from any computer, anywhere, any time you choose.

Rather than being confined to a client base in your immediate local area or city, working as a virtual bookkeeper opens you up to the possibility of working with people all over the country.

For bookkeepers operating in small communities where business opportunities may have previously been limited, becoming a remote or virtual bookkeeper will increase your business exponentially.

But virtual bookkeeping businesses have their benefits to city folk, as well. Because you don’t have to spend hours commuting to and from your clients’ offices, you can use that time to either pick up additional clients — or spend it with your family.

A remote or virtual bookkeeping business allows you the flexibility of working when you want, where you want, without having to compromise on your earning potential.

***

And it’s why we were so excited when MYOB created MYOB Account Right Live: now the graduates from our online MYOB courses can compete with the big-name bookkeeping firms from their own homes; wherever they might be.

Excel and Xero combined importing_comp

Posted on 2 Comments

Has Starting a Business Always Been Your Dream? Start a Bookkeeping Business

ID-10078682At some point in our lives and careers, many of us have toyed with the idea of starting our own business, but for a good few people it remains just that: an idea; albeit, a wistful one.

But for those of us who do seriously discuss our desire to start a business, there never seems to be a shortage of detractors. Suddenly it seems everyone is an expert on starting a business, or more specifically, why you shouldn’t

“Most businesses fail in the first year” and other tales of woe involving friends and friends-of-friends that “lost everything” in a start-up gone wrong serve as cursory warnings for why you should leave the enterprising to the Richard Branson’s and stick with what you know—because for whatever reason, you’re just not the enterprising type.

But while it’s true that starting your own business is no walk in the park, there’s still no reason why, with a good business plan, you can’t be the next Richard Branson or—ladies—the next Lorna Jane.

Of course, starting your own bookkeeping business can also prove to be a good first-step into the world of self-employment. At last count, there were over 2.1 million businesses operating in Australia; 96% were small businesses and over 1.3 million were sole traders.

In fact, it’s the sheer number of sole traders operating in Australia that makes operating a bookkeeping business so lucrative: sole traders are time poor and outsourcing their bookkeeping allows them to focus on the many other hats they’re wearing in their business.

And because the internet and accounting software like MYOB has made it possible to work from home, you can easily operate your bookkeeping business from your home office, freeing you of the costly overheads associated with running a traditional bricks and mortar business.

Working from home also means that you don’t have to dive straight into your bookkeeping business; you can test the waters first by working part-time hours while also maintaining your current employment.

As you build your up your business and accumulate more clients, you can then decide whether you want to make it your sole source of income or keep it as a side-project.

Whether it’s full-time, part-time, or a side-project, starting your own business is both a rewarding and exciting experience. So turn that idea of starting your own bookkeeping business into a reality—find out the tools you need to succeed with your own bookkeeping business.

Posted on 4 Comments

What Do You Need To Start Your Own Bookkeeping Business?

Starting a Bookkeeping Business is Low RiskID-10093149

If you’re already employed as a bookkeeper or have graduated from our MYOB training course and starting your own business is something you’ve always dreamed of, then turn that dream into a reality.

Starting a bookkeeping business is one of the few low-risk start-up options, because a bookkeeping business, unlike other bricks and mortar businesses, can be operated from your home-office, eliminating many of the costly overheads that eat into your profits.

In fact, many of the overheads related to running a home-based bookkeeping business involve items you probably already have or are inexpensive to source, such as a laptop, mobile phone, internet connection, and a designated work-space.

But like any business, just because you have previous experience or the zeal to make your venture a success, doesn’t necessarily guarantee success—a business plan does. This should be the first thing you do.

  1. Writing a business plan lays out things like what services you will offer, pricing structures, and how many customers you will need to turn a profit. But it also forces you to do market research and compare your services and prices with your competitors. Our Registered BAS Agent has created a bookkeeping business template that you can use if you start your bookkeeping business with us!
    Market research, no matter how experienced you are in the industry, can help you establish a point-of-difference from other bookkeeping services and aid in the setting of your rates. Many small business courses like our Small Business Management course cover writing business plans as well as other strategies to ensure you manage your business efficiently.
  2. Contacting an insurance broker to find out what kind of policy you will need should be your next port-of-call. Rather than calling many different insurance companies and going through their product disclosure statements yourself, a broker can do this for you and find the best policy at the best price.
  3. You’ll also need to contact an accountant to discuss the ways to maximise your business tax deductions—this could also serve as a good way of drumming up some business, as many sole traders still take their shoeboxes full of receipts and bank statements to their accountant to sift through come tax-time!
  4. It’s also wise to consider ways you can grow your business using low-cost marketing strategies. Many small-business owners make the mistake of thinking that as a small business, they don’t need to worry about marketing, leaving it to the big guys instead.

But some of the biggest companies in the world started out as a start-up in someone’s garage or home-office! As a small-business owner, there are many marketing lessons you can learn from big business.

Believe and you will achieve

If you’ve been dreaming about one day starting your own bookkeeping business, then what are you waiting for? We now have the training, coaching and mentoring support to help you start a bookkeeping business and work from home as an independent contractor working your own chosen hours. We’ve teamed up with a registered BAS agent and business coach to compliment the small business management course and provide you with the support and training you need to start a bookkeeping business without joining a bookkeeping franchise and paying ongoing franchise fees.

National Bookkeeping Business Plan Template
Get a bookkeeping business plan created by a registered BAS agent and get started fast

Become a National Bookkeeping Licencee

If this is something that interests you explore the “Start a bookkeeping business” opportunity with National Bookkeeping and get franchise like support without loosing a percentage of every hour you work. We can help you succeed in your own bookkeeping business by give you the training you need.

National Bookkeeping is designed to help ordinary people start a bookkeeping business as an independent contractors working from home as a virtual assistant with the help and support of existing businesses.

 

Posted on

Another reason to start a bookkeeping business. Capital Gains.

Value of a bookkeeping businessI’ve written several articles about starting a bookkeeping business in recent months but an article I just read in the Sydney Morning Herald about the value of a bookkeeping business re-inforced a great reason to be in business for yourself. Capital Gains.

Yes, it can be hard to start a new business from scratch and yes, you may need to get out of your comfort zone to meet new people and share your story and yes, you may need to do some courses and learn some new skills, but the rewards are more freedom, flexibility, capital value and you might meet some great business owners and managers in the process

The article is a response by Mark Bouris who become well known through his Wizard Mortgage business to a question about how much a reader’s bookkeeping clients are worth. The most important aspect of this article is the fact that when you start your own business you have something that grow in value as you keep building and adding to it. You also have more of a say in your financial success because you can grow your business as fast or as slow as you want.

I hope the article shows one aspect of owning your own business that you may not have thought of. Here’s the link

National Bookkeeping Business Plan Template
Get a bookkeeping business plan created by a registered BAS agent and get started fast

Licencee vs Franchisee

If starting a bookkeeping business sounds like a good idea but you’re not sure where to start you can register for a National Bookkeeping Licensee and get all the training you need without the obligations of owning a franchise.

National Bookkeeping provides a business plan template that you can modify to suit your circumstances, plus training on various aspects of running a business (includes sales training and marketing). It comes with a money back guarantee and doesn’t cost a lot.

Posted on

MYOB stats say no, but bookkeeping business a go

Is it a good time to start a bookkeeping business?

now is the time to start a bookkeeping business
GST-registrations from SMH 20120816

Tim Reed, the CEO of MYOB recently mentioned that they track the number of Australian business registering for GST because it gives a good indication of the number of business entering the market and the chart showed an astonishing decline in the last 12 months. What I found most interesting is that our recent blog about Starting a bookkeeping business cheaply was one of our highest read blog posts. So is it a good time to start one?

Is there a need?

If you ask any business owner or accountant you will soon discover that there is always a need for good bookkeepers. Most business owners start out in business because they are good at their craft and bookkeeping is the last thing they want to worry about. After all, it is a compliance issue not a money earning issue. What do I mean by compliance? I mean the Australian Taxation Office require you to lodge your financial information with them if you want to operate a company.

The next common question is how much will I earn as a bookkeeper and the answer depends on how good you are and how you want to work. If you are an employee working full-time for a company you will most likely earn award wages, if you are a bookkeeping business owner you can charge more because your customers know that you have a business to run, but also because you are only working for them a handful of hours per week or month.

There is a need for MYOB skills

One of the most commonly sort after skills in Australian office administration type jobs is the ability to use MYOB accounting software. We have many students from accounting backgrounds do our MYOB Training Courses because they haven’t used the software in their corporate work. We’ve even had bookkeepers perform our courses because many Cert IV’s in Bookkeeping (a common course for those wanting to be registered BAS agents) do not include training on how to use MYOB – they cover bookkeeping principles.

Who are your competitors?

If you look at the graph in this blog post you should probably be encouraged to start a bookkeeping business because it appears that your competitors are scared to start one right now. It’s also a good time to note that the bookkeeping business is starting to become a regulated industry and a profession in it’s own right. After all you need qualifications and to be a registered BAS agent if you are going to operate a bookkeeping business these days and with these higher standards come higher expectations and higher pay.

If you explore your local competitors in your bookkeeping business planning process you will start to better understand just how important bookkeeping is. It will make you feel more comfortable in choosing your new profession and taking the right steps to get to your desired goal.

Do you have what it takes?

The real question you should ask yourself if you are looking at starting a bookkeeping business is do you have what it takes? Are you good at explaining bookkeeping and accounting terminology to your customers in their own language? Do you have the skills to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Do you have the confidence to speak to prospective customers and charge the amount you want to charge?

The business planning stage is very helpful in building your confidence, but the winning formula is:

  • a willingness to speak openly and simply with potential customers,
  • find solutions to customers problems and
  • explain accounting to them in simple language

Remember that owning a bookkeeping business requires people skills, business skills and bookkeeping skills. If you are interested in starting a bookkeeping business contact our business partners at workface.com.au and begin your journey to flexible hours and business success.

Posted on 3 Comments

Start a bookkeeping business for very little money

start an MYOB bookkeeping businessI recently wrote about our MYOB Training students and how many of them want to start a bookkeeping business so I thought we would go through some of the costs involved. Remember that these are the startup costs and you may incur more marketing costs as your business grows.

Basic Bookkeeping Skills

If you have some basic Microsoft Excel skills, are good with numbers and using a computer and understand basic concepts like income and expenses you can get work performing data entry into a bookkeeping program.

Using word of mouth with friends and family you could also pick up some work for people you know. In this scenario you could start a bookkeeping business cheaply and quickly but we are really only talking about data entry jobs.

MYOB Bookkeeping Skills

If you complete a MYOB Bookkeeping Training Course you will have more advanced skills and understand how MYOB manages GST and other tax liabilities for Payroll, this will make you more valuable. It also helps to have a copy of the software which we provide in our MYOB courses.

Start a Bookkeeping Business

If you are going to get serious about starting a bookkeeping business you’ll need to be a BAS agent and that means you need to be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board. These are the costs involved:

  1. Do an MYOB training course – approximately $400
  2. Software company partner program license; $1400 a year.
  3. Modern computer with backup $2000 every 3-4 years
  4. Internet access; $50 per month.
  5. Website and hosting; $1000, then $25 per month
  6. Mobile phone; $50 per month.
  7. Qualifications of Certificate IV in Bookkeeping from $1000 to $3,500
  8. Register with the Tax Practitioners Board for $100
  9. Professional Indemnity Insurance with policies starting at $400
  10. 15 hours of continuing education every year, costing about of $1,200.

How much can you expect to earn

Employed bookkeepers at the most basic level earn a minimum of $15 an hour, with most employed bookkeepers earning between $20 and $30 an hour. When you start a bookkeeping business and perform bank reconciliations and/or produce reports, you can expect to earn up to $45 an hour, while BAS Agents and consultant bookkeepers can earn $55 to 150 an hour or more. Learn more about hourly rates for bookkeepers operating their own business..

National Bookkeeping Business Plan Template
Get a bookkeeping business plan created by a registered BAS agent and get started fast

Start a bookkeeping business without joining a franchise

Franchising is a good way to start a business and get up to speed quickly, but is it worth the cost? You end up paying a percentage of your earnings and need to sell to someone else in that system. A licencee model enables you to pay a fixed annual fee for as long as you want to be part of the system and doesn’t require the buyer of your bookkeeping to be a member if they don’t want to.

You get many of the benefits as well, such as a bookkeeping business plan template created by a registered BAS agent.

 

Posted on 2 Comments

Business plan for your startup bookkeeping business

Start a bookkeeping business plan

Free Business Plan Templates

I recently wrote about the importance of writing a business plan if you want to start a bookkeeping business. I included a great business plan template that is made available by the Australian Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. You can find free Microsoft Word templates from within Microsoft Word or by doing a simple Google search. Today I’ve included a link to some free templates from Microsoft.

This website provides a template for a “business plan for a startup business” but you might notice there is also a business plan template for existing businesses.

Who Starts a Home Based Bookkeeping Business?

Many of our students are mums who are returning to work after many years of looking after young children. They may have had a professional careers, but their circumstances change and they now want to operate a business that allows them to drop children off and collect them from day care and school. If you are one of those people you’ll be thrilled to hear that there are several work-at-home-mums (or virtual assistants) as part of our EzyLearn Online Training Team 🙂

Small Business Management CourseYou may also be interested to know that our Small Business Management course includes training on topics that enable you to work from home via the Internet. Cloud based services like Google, WordPress, Dropbox and even the new MYOB software now make it possible and we show you how to do it.

Best of all, the Australian Government provide a website full of resources for those people who want to start a home-based business and a bookkeeping business is one of the best (according to us) because:

  1. It allows you to work your own hours
  2. If you are smart you can earn good money
  3. Every business needs to do bookkeeping
  4. Very few business owners WANT to do bookkeeping
When you enrol in an EzyLearn online MYOB Training Course you receive access to the courses for LIFE so they are always available to you as a resource, with case studies of various different business scenarios used in our training workbooks.

Bookkeeping Business Plan Built By a Registered BAS Agent

National Bookkeeping Business Plan TemplateDo you want to start a bookkeeping business? Want to work to a plan that was built by an experienced bookkeeper? Does it all seem a bit daunting?

[quote]Jacci, our Registered BAS Agent has worked through the Small Business Management Course to create a Bookkeeping Business Plan for those who want to start their own bookkeeping business.[/quote]

This course not only gives you a well rounded education of the requirements to start and build a small business, but you will receive a business plan that you can tweak to suit your own circumstances as part of the course! Read more..

NEW! Start a Bookkeeping Business Without Buying Into a Franchise

Added November 2014

Maggie Richardson’s Small Business Management Course is now online at EzyLearn BUT better than that we’ve combined it with a bookkeeping business plan (written by Jacci) as well as some legal templates, agreements and other training to help you get started with a bookkeeping business you can operate from your own home quickly.

When most people think of startups they think of technical wiz kids who create mobile phone apps, but our startup academy helps ordinary people start their own business as independent virtual assistants working from home in industries that are growing and with companies that can provide the support to help them get up to speed quickly and get great clients.

Want to learn more about starting a bookkeeping business?

Posted on 6 Comments

Starting a new MYOB bookkeeping business? Got a plan?

start a bookkeeping business as an MYOB bookkeeperWithout a plan, could you be planning to fail?

I AM REGULARLY SURPRISED at the number of our students who are learning how to use MYOB because they want to start their own bookkeeping business.

Many of them already have accounting or bookkeeping qualifications, but these are usually in larger accounting systems and so they learn to use MYOB to apply their accounting skills to help small business owners.

Start a MYOB Bookkeeping Business

I recently wrote about the Australian small business startup scene and have been working with like-minded, successful business owners to put together a series of bookkeeper business building webinars. Indeed, one of the critical parts of starting a new business is the business plan.

To some business owners this is the “art” part of starting a business, particularly if you are starting something from scratch! I’ve often heard people ask:

How can I possibly predict my future income?

How do I work out how much to spend on advertising?

What price should I charge?

What if I don’t get that many customers?

Business plan for your bookkeeping business

National Bookkeeping Business Plan Template
Get a bookkeeping business plan created by a registered BAS agent and get started fast

The best answer I can give is that a business plan is really just some solid information that you have collected from your research about the industry you want to work in.

It’s the best estimate that you can make at the time. But the best part of it is this:

  1. You can always modify your business plan
  2. Your next business plan will be more precise

[quote]The most commonly asked questions I hear about business plans is: Where do get one? Can I see yours?[/quote]

Where can I get a business plan?

The EzyLearn StartUp Course comes with a business plan template that will help you determine, not only the viability of your business, but also how to achieve your business aims. It will enable you to justify to your clients — and yourself — why you charge the fees you do. It is a dynamic blueprint that you can look back on and go over as you need to, in order to remind you of your goals, your business mission statement and keep you on the right path.

Oh, and please don’t underestimate the importance of a business plan. There is a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin:

[quote]“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”[/quote]

The Australian Government’s www.business.gov.au website also has a free business plan template you can modify. Watch their video below:

Posted on

Why Your Business Needs a Bookkeeping Procedures Manual

Documenting procedures helps keep your bookkeeping up to speed

bookkeeping procedures manual rescue bookkeeping work
Rescue bookkeeping is not ideal – it’s often expensive and shows you’re not in control. A bookkeeping procedures manual will outline what bookkeeping needs to be done, when.

IN A PREVIOUS POST we talked about how to tell when you need rescue bookkeeping, which is basically when a business is behind on its bookkeeping by three months or more and the deadline is looming to lodge their activity statements.

Rescue bookkeeping work costs more than having your bookkeeping taken care of regularly, because it’s often messy and there are no procedures in place to manage the bookkeeping efficiently.

What’s a bookkeeping procedures manual?

bookkeeping procedures manualA bookkeeping procedures manual clearly identifies the regular tasks and activities your bookkeeper needs to take each week, fortnight, month or quarter to ensure your bookkeeping is kept up-to-date. This not only gives you the peace of mind that your bookkeeper is staying on top of your books, but it also helps you to understand what’s going on with your business.

If you require regular P&L statements or balance sheets, having a procedures manual to clearly outline how frequently they’ll be created helps you to stay on top of your business’ financials.

A typical procedures manual will include:

  • Simple steps that are easy-to-understand and succinct
  • Tasks are written up in a step-by-step style, so they can be followed logically
  • References, links or examples are included to help readers understand
  • Contain a number of formats — written steps, flow charts or checklists.

Rather than leaving your bookkeeping to the last minute, so you’re always operating your business in dark, organise to have bookkeeper create a procedures manual to regularly take care of your business’s bookkeeping.

We Can Help You Find a Good Local Bookkeeper

find a local bookkeeper

We have bookkeepers, BAS agents and accountants located across Australia, available to help businesses in need of rescue bookkeeping workVisit our online bookkeeping directory, National Bookkeeping, to find a suitable and experienced person available to work in your area, or able to work anywhere in the cloud. Alternatively, if you are a bookkeeper looking to expand your client list or find contract work, you can register and become part of our network for free

Go to National Bookkeeping for more information, to see our rates or to request a quote.


Online bookkeeping accounting training courses for CPD points

EzyLearn Excel, MYOB and Xero online training courses count towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for bookkeepers and accountants. We’ve been an accredited training provider of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers ever since the organisation started in Australia. Find out how CPD points can be of benefit to you.


 

Posted on

MYOB Training Courses and Small Business Bookkeeping Inductions

Our online MYOB training course is like an induction into the world of bookkeeping.
Our online MYOB training course is like an induction into the world of bookkeeping.

Our MYOB training courses are more than just training course in software. They also function as a quasi induction to the life of a bookkeeper, in that they train you in the day-to-day processes and procedures of a bookkeeper as well.

Even though you still need to have completed a Certificate IV in bookkeeping to become a registered BAS agent, you can still provide clients with basic bookkeeping services if you’ve done our MYOB training course.

Quizzes and Knowledge Reviews

The MYOB workbooks provided in the training courses contain practical exercises that students can complete to familiarise themselves with the software, which they are then later tested on to through a series of quizzes and knowledge reviews.

By the time you’ve completed our MYOB training course, you’ll be proficient not just in the MYOB software, but also in the day-to-day of a professional bookkeeper.

Some of our previous students are already business owners themselves and our MYOB courses provide them with the necessary skills to take care of the data entry and bookkeeping for their own business.

An Entry Point to Your Home-Based Business

But a good many more of our students also use our MYOB courses as an entry point to starting their own home-based bookkeeping business, providing other businesses with data entry while they’re completing a Cert IV in bookkeeping.

This is a great way to familiarise yourself with the bookkeeping process while you’re still learning, and even help you to network with accountants who could later help you become certified with the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and supervise your work.

We also offer a Small Business Management Course to help those people thinking of starting a home-based bookkeeping business develop a business plan, carry out marketing activities report on financial activity, and so forth. Currently we’re offering this course for just $897 (for a short time only!).

For information on our courses, visit our website or contact our team.