Posted on 1 Comment

Becoming a National Bookkeeping Bookkeeper

Starting a Business as a Bookkeeper is about Business Knowledge, Skills and Support

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

It’s not easy starting out as a bookkeeper running your own business. We think our partnership with National Bookkeeping is going to help you get underway.

If you’ve subscribed to our blog and followed our recent posts, then you probably know that EzyLearn has partnered with National Bookkeeping.

National Bookkeeping can now administer training courses to their new licensees, along with a range of other perks and benefits to help you launch your own bookkeeping business.

Becoming a National Bookkeeping Licensee

To begin with, as a National Bookkeeping licensee, you receive access to all of the EzyLearn training courses, including any new courses we develop in the future.

This means that in addition to our MYOB training courses and our small business management course and our WordPress training courses, you will also have access our new content marketing course along with any other course we develop in the future.

All the training you need under one roof

We made a commitment to give National Bookkeeping licensees access to our full suite of training courses because we’re big believers in continuing your professional development by constantly updating your skill set, whether it’s by learning how to use new software or getting training in new areas of study – like content marketing.

So straight off the bat, by becoming a National Bookkeeping licensee, you’re getting access to thousands of dollars worth of training courses as part of the license fee. The way we – and National Bookkeeping – see it is that the better skilled you are, the more chance your business will have at succeeding, which is a goal for both EzyLearn and National Bookkeeping as much as it is for you.

What do you get as a National Bookkeeping Licensee?

You also get the infrastructure you need to get your bookkeeping business off the ground included in the license fee. This includes:

VoIP business phone number: You can give out a landline telephone number (rather than just a mobile number) and configure it so you can use special in-dial marketing numbers to see where your calls are coming from, which is very useful to tracking your marketing activities. You can learn more about VoIP at the Virion website, who are also working with National Bookkeeping.

Business templates: Whenever you commence work with a new client, you should always have some kind of agreement in place to protect both yourself and your client. For an independent contractor – which is how National Bookkeeping licensees will operate their businesses – the most common kind of agreement you’ll use is the professional services agreement. But we’ll also give you access to other kinds of business document, such as intellectual property agreements, that can be easily modified, should you need them.

Bookkeeping business plan: In addition to the small business management course, which takes you through the process of creating your own business plan, National Bookkeeping will also provide you with an easy-to-modify business plan, developed especially for home-based bookkeepers, which you can tweak to suit your business needs.

Sales training and business coach: Even if you’ve worked in sales in a previous occupation, every new business owner can use sales training and that’s largely because as a business owner the sales process is different to when you’re working as a sales person for a large company. When you’re just starting out, the goal is to get clients – so is working for free or cutting your rates is a good way to establish yourself? The National Bookkeeping sales trainer will take you through the many common scenarios new business owners face in relation to getting clients, as well as ways to build your business through word-of-mouth referrals. You’ll also have access to your own business coach to help you keep on track to grow your client base and build a successful business.

Marketing materials: National Bookkeeping will also supply you with your own business cards, brochures, and marketing and sales collateral that you can distribute throughout your business networks and to potential customers.

What you need to do now?

Aside from registering your interest with National Bookkeeping there are a few things you will need to do in order to become a home-based bookkeeper.

Get a Cert IV in Accounting or Bookkeeping: Although you don’t have to get a Certificate IV in Accounting or Bookkeeping, we highly recommend it. Without a Cert IV, you cannot provide BAS or GST services, which are a major component of the tax process. By being able to provide these services, you make yourself infinitely more valuable to your clients, as well as accountants with whom you’ll be encouraged to network and make contact with. You can get a Cert IV in Accounting or Bookkeeping from most RTOs or TAFE.

Obtain an ABN: Every business must have an Australian Business Number, which must be quoted on your invoices. If you don’t have an ABN your clients are legally required to withhold 49 percent of your payment and send it directly to the ATO, who’ll hold it until you file a tax return for which you’ll be required to get an ABN. Thus, it’s better to get one before you commence trading.

Get in the zone: The decision to start and operate a new business is not one that should be taken lightly, so it’s a good idea to get mentally prepared beforehand. Read up on what it’s like to be a home-based office worker, get on Meetup.com and do some networking with other business owners who can share their tips, advice and wisdom on the new business journey with you; and just generally ready yourself (organise your home-office space, for instance) for diving in and taking the self-employed plunge.

But first…

If you would like to learn more about the National Bookkeeping licensee program, visit the National Bookkeeping website, read their FAQs page or get in contact with their team to discuss the opportunities available in more detail.

Otherwise, if you have all the information you need and you’re ready to get started, register now at the National Bookkeeping website and begin your bookkeeping journey today!

Posted on 2 Comments

The National Bookkeeping license fee is 100% tax deductible

Costs of starting a business are tax deductible

become an independent contract and start a bookkeeping businessIf you’re subscribed to this blog and you’ve been following our recent posts, then you should be aware that we’ve recently partnered with National Bookkeeping to deliver online training courses to their new licensees. We’ve also been writing about the $20k tax breaks introduced in the recent budget, which allows businesses to immediately write off asset purchases up the $20k as a tax deduction (rather than being depreciated over time).

While we caution you to be prudent when it comes to making business purchases, if you had been thinking about becoming an independent consultant and starting a home-based business and needed to make any purchases – office furniture, technology, a training course – now’s the time to do it.

Now that we’ve reached June, there are just a couple weeks left of this financial year, which means that any business purchases you make between now and June 30 will immediately go toward reducing your taxable income for this current financial year. This even includes the cost of becoming a National Bookkeeping licensee.

A tax-deductible license fee

Typically, when you buy a franchise or become a licensee, the franchise or license fee you pay forms part of the cost-base for your franchise or licensed business as your capital asset, and cannot be claimed as a tax deduction. However, because EzyLearn is a partner and is providing its entire suite of training courses to new licensees, the fee to join National Bookkeeping is technically considered a self-education expense.

Self-education expenses, when they directly relate to your business, are a hundred percent tax deductible. If you register before the end of this financial year – that is, June 30 – then you claim it as an immediate tax deduction, and reduce your taxable income by $1,600 straight off the bat – and that’s not to mention any other asset purchases you make, like new cars, office furniture, technology and the like.

Aside from being instantly gratifying to be able to claim a business expense back right away, it’ll also mean that you’ve technically started your new business in the black as opposed to in the red like new most businesses do. So whether the license fee results in a bigger tax cheque this year or just reduces the amount of tax you have to pay to the ATO, it’s still money in your pocket that you can reinvest into other areas of your business.

Register before June 30 to avoid starting your business in the red

One of the biggest hindrances to growth in the first year of business is poor cash flow, and unfortunately many small businesses experience poor cash flow in their first year of trading. It typically occurs when a business makes a number of, albeit necessary, business purchases that leave them cash strapped until they can file a tax return at the end of the financial year. As a result, it makes it difficult to spend money on marketing or to hire a contractor to carry out work you’re not skilled for – developing a smartphone app for your business, say.

As a result, you either miss out on investing in opportunities that will help to grow your business in the long term, or you wind up trying to muddle through it yourself, which is both a waste of your time and is also false economy, because you’re losing money by not attending to the tasks that are going to generate immediate revenue (completing someone’s BAS, for example).

Even though becoming a licensee is a low-risk new business option, which usually includes most of the things you need to start and grow your business during its infancy, like sales and marketing collateral – in fact, National Bookkeeping licensees will want for nothing as nearly everything, with the exception of an ABN and Cert IV accreditation, is included in the license fee – there is some flexibility to how you operate your business, which means that if you decide you want to branch out and offer content marketing services, you may need to regularly work with a designer or developer.

You’ll need money to pay them, and if you want to keep up a good relationship with your suppliers, you’ll want to pay them quickly and on time. Ideally, your end client will do the same for you, but oftentimes they don’t. If you’re always waiting to be paid before you can pay your suppliers, it’s not going to foster good relationships with either your client or your suppliers.

Start your National Bookkeeping business in the black

So that’s why it’s a good idea to register with National Bookkeeping and become a licensee before June 30. It’ll mean being able to claim back the entire license fee this financial year, so you can give your business the best change at growing and becoming a success from the very start.

As a National Bookkeeping licensee, you’ll receive full access to our entire suite of training courses, including our small business management course, which covers all of the important aspects of operating a small business, like developing a business plan, managing the financials, and researching the market – in this case, useful if you decide to offer additional services, besides just bookkeeping.

You’ll also gain access to any future courses we develop, and we currently have a content marketing course in the pipeline. I’ve mentioned in a blog post already that content marketing has become a real focus for many businesses now that they’ve come to realise how important it is to engage and interact with their customers online.

Develop your skills to expand your business

The content marketing course we’re developing is designed to give people the skills they need to start their own home-based content marketing business, which you may decide to utilise by expanding your services beyond just bookkeeping and operate a business that offers a Complete Business Operations service to other businesses.

For a lot of medium-sized enterprises – a plumbing business, for instance – that has a number of staff or contractors and struggles to keep up with the administrative side of the business, being able to deal with just one business would be far more convenient than having to engage each one separately – a bookkeeper, a virtual assistant, and a marketing agency.

But then again, you may just decide to take the skills you’ve learned, create your own content marketing strategy for your business, and implement it yourself. It’s up to you.

Achieve success through education and flexibility

National Bookkeeping and EzyLearn wants you to have the best chance at succeeding in your business venture, and we believe that the best way to achieve success is through education, and that the more skills you have and knowledge you possess, the more likely you are to achieve it.

I honestly, don’t know many other franchises or licensed businesses with that level of commitment to education, nor to the flexibility that comes with it. So if you would like to start a home-based bookkeeping business, but want to have the flexibility to expand you services beyond just bookkeeping, while also having the security that a licensed business offers – an established business model and name, access to infrastructure, training, and coaching – then it’s worth your while to look into being a licensee with National Bookkeeping.

Visit their website for more information, contact the team, or if you’d just like to get started today – before June 30 so you can claim your licence fee back right away – register your interest online.

Posted on

Introduction to Bookkeeping Basics: What’s a Journal Entry?

Journal entries and general ledger skills for bank reconciliation training courses in MYOB, QuickBooks and Xero

In our educational guide, Bookkeeping Beginner Basics, which you can download from the EzyLearn website for free, you’ll learn how to record journal entries in your accounting software, whether you’re using MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks. Most bookkeeping newbies don’t know what a journal entry is, though, which is what this blog post – the latest in our Bookkeeping Beginner Basics guide companion series – is going to help you to understand.

The journal vs. the general ledger

An accounting journal is the record that keeps accounting transactions in chronological order (i.e., as they occur), while the general ledger is a record that keeps accounting transactions by the account – see our previous post on the chart of accounts [Bookkeeping Beginner Basics: The Chart of Accounts] if you need help understanding what the term ‘account’ means in this context. Before computers, bookkeepers used to log all the financial transactions of a business in paper journals, and then at the end of the month transfer these journal entries into the general ledger, which was divided into various accounts that is now called the chart of accounts, and all the transactions were posted to these accounts using a method called double-entry bookkeeping.

Journal entries using accounting software

Today, however, accounting systems, such as MYOB, Xero, QuickBooks and the like, will automatically record most business transactions into the ledger immediately after the software prepares sales invoices, issues cheques to creditors, or processes receipts from customers, and as such you don’t have to create journal entries for most of your business’s transactions.

That being said, some journal entries still need to be processed, in order to record transfers between bank accounts and to record adjusting entries. You would need to make a journal entry, for example, at the end of each month to record depreciation or to record interest accrued on a bank loan.

Double-entry bookkeeping

If journal entries and general ledgers and the double entry bookkeeping method sound a bit too much, and you think you’d rather stick to the cash-based accounting method instead, prepare yourself for bad news: all businesses, whether they use the cash-based accounting method or the accrual accounting method, use double-entry bookkeeping to keep their books, and all accounting software applications, by default, are set up to adhere to the double-entry method, too. The double-entry bookkeeping method reduces errors and also ensures that your books balance, so as complicated as it may seem, it’s much easier in the long run.

If you still feel a little out of your depth, however, you can hire a reliable bookkeeper to manage your bookkeeping system and deal with all the journal entries and double-entry business for you, instead. Visit the National Bookkeeping website for to find a highly qualified bookkeeper whose experience and skills suit your business needs.

This blog post is part of our Bookkeeping Basics series, which are being published to complement our new educational guide, also titled Bookkeeping Beginner Basics, which you can download for free from the EzyLearn website.

Posted on

Which Job Site is Best For Part-time, Casual and Contract Bookkeeping Work?

man working at desk

Why smaller job sites are not always best for smaller, one-off jobs

 

WHILE AUSTRALIA HAS NO shortage of jobs sites, only one of them dominates the Australian job market: Seek. It’s the largest and most profitable job board in the country — and the operator of leading sites around the world, in China, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

In Australia, Seek controls 85 percent of the online recruitment market, with 173,000 job listings and average monthly traffic of 19.2 million visitors; nearest competing job board Indeed, the aggregator owned by Japan-based Recruit Holdings, has 106,000 listings and average monthly traffic of 9.3 million visitors.

But there are many smaller websites where accounting jobs can be found.

Continue reading Which Job Site is Best For Part-time, Casual and Contract Bookkeeping Work?

Posted on 1 Comment

The Best Job Sites for Accounting & Bookkeeping Jobs

JOB SITES ARE IN ABUNDANCE in Australia. The market leader is Seek, which controls 85 percent of the online recruitment market. Most job site advertisers use Seek because they will get the widest and potentially best range of job applicants and job seekers.

Typically, if you’re looking for a good-quality job that doesn’t tie you to a specific industry — the way journalism ties journalists to the media industry, or construction work ties builders and plumbers and cabinet-makers to the construction industry — you’ll find it on Seek. But here are 8 more website you can use.

Continue reading The Best Job Sites for Accounting & Bookkeeping Jobs

Posted on 1 Comment

ANNOUNCEMENT: Cert IV in Bookkeeping for $899 **Limited Time Only**

EZYLEARN HAS PARTNERED with a registered training organisation (RTO) to provide Cert IV in Bookkeeping!

However, previous to this we have consciously made the decision NOT to become a Registered Training Organisation because it was surplus to our needs. In other words, not being an RTO has never stopped us helping thousands of students go through our Bookkeeping Courses — as well as Microsoft Office and Marketing Courses — and focussing on creating great learning journeys using real world scenarios

Continue reading ANNOUNCEMENT: Cert IV in Bookkeeping for $899 **Limited Time Only**

Posted on

Do You Need a Bookkeeper, Accountant or Finance Manager to Run Your Bookkeeping?

IT’S VERY POSSIBLE THAT at the end of financial year, you discovered your accounts needed a bit of rescue bookkeeping. One of the issues that leads to a business needing rescue work is not keeping your accounts up to speed, and also having an inexperienced bookkeeper set up or handle your books.

A way to avoid this is to hire an experienced bookkeeper or finance manager on a contract basis, or you can do a course to learn a bit more so you can manage them better. Continue reading Do You Need a Bookkeeper, Accountant or Finance Manager to Run Your Bookkeeping?

Posted on

Bookkeeping Basics: Payroll and Paying People

EOFY is nearly here — can you manage payroll?

woman studying myob payroll xero payroll quickbooks payroll online training courseIN OUR FREE, EDUCATIONAL GUIDE, Bookkeeping Basics, we feature a section that discusses payroll, which we thought was worthy of being expanded upon on here.

You might also like to go back and revisit our other blog post that complements the free beginners guide, Bookkeeping Basics: Cash vs. Accrual Systems, if you haven’t already.

In this blog I explore some of the rudimentary knowledge for payroll administration jobs.

Continue reading Bookkeeping Basics: Payroll and Paying People

Posted on

QuickBooks Connect VIP Event & One-to-One Bookkeeping Training

QuickBooks Connect VIP event, Ross Miller Rehab Consultant, Sharon Doyle, Tracey O'Niell BAS Agents, Training for bookkeeping business

QuickBooks Online Promoting Accounting App Partners

QuickBooks Connect VIP event, Ross Miller Rehab Consultant, Sharon Doyle, Tracey O'Niell BAS Agents, Training for bookkeeping businessI HAD THE PLEASURE of being invited to meet with some fabulous registered BAS agents at a recent function for VIP’s before this week’s QuickBooks Connect Conference in Sydney’s Intuit head office.

The VIP event included presentations from lots of App developers who provide Bookkeeping and Accounting Apps which integrate with QuickBooks Online (and also Xero and MYOB) as well as practice and workflow management systems like Practice Ignition and HubDoc which help bookkeeper’s assist their clients.

These BAS agents have been bookkeepers for decades, yet rather than sit on their past practices, they are constantly learning and improving their knowledge of software, systems and apps and talking to them about this new technology seemed very natural. This actually surprised me because I thought I was the only one who was right into this stuff — well, not the only one, but I can get very passionate about it! But I digress.

These BAS agents are a growing number of Certified bookkeepers with plenty of knowledge AND experience, and who are willing to share that knowledge by training anybody who is keen to learn about bookkeeping on a one-to-one or face-to-face basis. They are:

Want One-to-One Training?

Tracey and Sharon are part of National Bookkeeping and, as such, they have access to training on all software programs as well as the tools to help them teach small business managers and owners how to use the software in their own businesses.

Combined with their experience and training, Tracey and Sharon are part of a growing trend of bookkeepers who are willing to share their knowledge to help business owners do as much of their own bookkeeping as possible. Here are some quotes from clients who used their services in May 2018:

Thank you Natbooks! The training was excellent. Tracey was a great teacher and we had a lot of fun. I learned a lot as different scenarios were popping up all the time and Tracey was able to take me through solving them in the time we had together. I’m so glad I chose one-to-one training because I would not have been able to do the setup. Group training would not have taught me how to do this. With one-to-one I found it was relevant to my business only and could straight away apply what I was learning in real time to my business instead of a trial business. Many thanks!”

— Donna Larder, Administrator, BOULDER WALLS & BOBCAT HIRE PTY LTD

Learn more about One to One Training on all Bookkeeping software programs

What’s stopping YOU becoming a Bookkeeping Software Trainer?

Performing one-to-one training on all aspects of computer software was how I got started in the training business in the early 1990’s. It’s great fun if you love using and learning about technology and I recall hundreds of times when I went to someone’s house or office to teach them how to use software and technology to do things that were important to them; from file transfer, working with images or mastering MS Office. It was very gratifying.

Since those early days I discovered that when you use great accounting software, and you use it properly, it saves you hundreds of hours, keeps you efficient, makes it easier to find information and ensures you remain compliant every quarter.

***

Thinking about getting started? If you want to find out more about how you can train other business people in how to use accounting software, speak with the digital marketing team at National Bookkeeping and Pre Qualify.

Posted on

When It’s Good to Offer Free Bookkeeping Help

woman working as a bookkeeper for free

Providing an initial consultation free of charge

woman working as a bookkeeper for free
No one should expect you to do work for free, but spending time getting to know your clients will help distinguish you from a bar of soap!

IT’S NEVER REALLY a good idea to work for new client or potential new clients for free, particularly if you’re an established business. But it’s also difficult getting a client to feel comfortable that you’ll do a good job for them, when they don’t know you from the proverbial bar of soap.

Rather than working for free or charging less than the minimum wage for your bookkeeping services a better idea is to spend some time with your client, either in-person or over the phone, to go through your processes and procedures before you commence work for them. It’s also important that you make your clients aware of value adds you’re providing to them.

Schedule a consultation with prospects

If you take the lead and schedule a an initial consultation call or meeting with your new clients or prospects, you get to control how the working relationship progresses. This gives you the opportunity to set some ground rules around the assignment of work, turn around times, payment terms, and so on. 

Aside from making you look professional and organised, it’ll also make your job easier because you’ve clearly outlined how you operate, what’s expected from the client in order for you to do your job, and what happens after you’ve finished your work.

For example, is BAS lodgement included in your fees, or is that additional? Do you follow up late payers on your client’s behalf or is that additional?

Read more about what you can cover at an initial consultation

Do some needs analysis

It’s a good idea to look at how much knowledge your new clients have of bookkeeping and the software you’ll be using (Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks, etc). Carry out some quick needs analysis during your consultation, so that if there are any areas they are unfamiliar with you’re both prepared and able to give them a quick overview. Further, in-depth training is a potential source of additional revenue, so be careful not to spend too much time here. All of this will help you form your bookkeeping business strategy and, in particular, ensure your rates are competitive, yet sustainable. 

Read more about what you can cover at an initial consultation

***

Start a bookkeeping business today

Start a bookkeeping business not a franchiseIf you’d like to start a bookkeeping business, then visit our online bookkeeping directory, National Bookkeeping. You can find information about how to start your own bookkeeping business, promote yourself through our directory or become a licensee.

As a licensee with National Bookkeeping, you’ll have access to EzyLearn training courses (which also means the license fee is one hundred percent tax deductible. Visit the National Bookkeeping website today and register your interest online.


 

Posted on

Catch Up or You’ll Need Rescue Bookkeeping

rescue bookkeeping work learn bookkeeping online training course videos

Is the approach of the end of the third quarter stressing you out?

rescue bookkeeping work learn bookkeeping online training course videosIF THE NEED to lodge another Business Activity Statement soon is already stressing you out (or indeed, if you haven’t even considered it yet — or more to the point, you haven’t for the past 6 months!!) then maybe some rescue bookkeeping for your business is on the cards.

We’ve written before about rescue bookkeeping; which is a service for businesses that are more than three months behind, and which may have an overdue business activity statement (BAS) — or maybe two.

And this is not about shaming or pointing the finger. Getting behind in your bookkeeping happens to some of the best businesses. It can be because an inexperienced person has previously been handling the books; you didn’t have the right systems in place to keep on top of it; or maybe your data file was set up incorrectly.

Diagnosing rescue bookkeeping

If your business has any of the following issues, you probably need rescue bookkeeping:

  • Your bank balance in Xero or MYOB doesn’t match with your bank statements
  • Bills have been paid, but they’re still showing as outstanding
  • Your employees’ payslips and super are incorrect
  • You don’t know who owes money.

Rescue bookkeeping is time consuming

There are many different reasons why people get behind in their bookkeeping. If it’s because the business owner lacks the time and let their bookkeeping pile up, it’s usually easy rectify, though it is time consuming. (There’ll be months and months worth of transactions and receipts to code and keep records of.)

If their data file was set up incorrectly, it’s sometimes a little harder to diagnose and it’s even harder to fix. It’ll need to be set up again and all of your transaction data re-entered; again, there’ll be months and months worth of transactions and receipts.

What happens during a bookkeeping rescue?

When you first meet with a bookkeeper, they’ll review your records to determine what your problem might be, and what needs to be done to get your bookkeeping up-to-date and in shape.

Given the volume of work and the complexity of it, your bookkeeper might not be able to tell you exactly how long it will take to get your accounts under control. They’ll generally have a ballpark idea of how long, but nothing concrete.

When your bookkeeper starts working on your accounts, they’ll be in fairly regular contact. You’ll need to be available to respond to emails or phone calls during this time.

Catch up or hire a professional

If you’re struggling to keep up with your bookkeeping, it’s wise to hire a professional. A contract bookkeeper, registered BAS agent or finance manager will get your bookkeeping under control. And if you retain them on a regular basis, you can avoid the costly need for rescue bookkeeping.

***

find a good local or remote bookkeeper

If your business is in need of rescue bookkeeping, we have bookkeepers, BAS agents and accountants located across Australia, available to help businesses in need of rescue bookkeeping work. Visit our online directory of local bookkeepers and bookkeepers who work ‘in the cloud’ at National Bookkeeping for more information. You can also view the different bookkeepers’ rates or request a quote.


 

Posted on

The Lowdown on the National Accreditation of Software Training Courses

What is a nationally accredited bookkeeping course?

walking on a pathway to a profession with a nationally accredited online training in bookkeeping courses
If your training is deemed a pathway to a profession you may be able to get national accreditation for your course.

EZYLEARN IS OFTEN ASKED whether our Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks training courses are nationally accredited bookkeeping courses.

They’re not. In fact, there’s no nationally accredited training course for Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks or any other accounting software.

That’s because software skills are all the same, regardless of the program you’re using. (You won’t find any “nationally accredited” training courses for Adobe Photoshop or WordPress or Microsoft Office either.)

Nationally accredited training courses are for professions

The government only grants accreditation to training courses for professions, not individual skills. In other words, a Certificate IV in Financial Services is nationally accredited because it’s a pathway to a profession.

For an institution to offer nationally accredited training courses, it must be a registered training organisation (RTO), which means they comply with a number of requirements set by the government, and they keep up that compliance to maintain their accreditation. You can read more about RTOs at the national accreditation page of our website.

BAS agents can complete CPD anywhere

For six years, until part way through 2018, EzyLearn was an Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB)-accredited training organisation.

Bookkeeping industry accredited accreditation associations companiesThat meant that students could complete an EzyLearn course and get a free ICB student membership. The ICB charged us $1,200 a year, which we thought was a good investment, as it gave aspiring BAS agents a foot-in-the-door with an industry organisation, so they could continue their career development.

However, during our six-year stint as an accredited training provider with ICB we came to realise that very few students ever joined the ICB. And the ICB referred very little traffic to our site. Furthermore, we don’t need to partner with, or be recognised by, an industry association to provide CPD training.

BAS agents can complete their CPD training at any training provider, so long as the training is approved by the TPB — which is pretty much anything that relates to being a BAS agent. That includes things like Excel and Word training. (BAS agents should just make sure to keep a log of their training, in case the TPB ever requests it.)

Is industry association-accredited training really any better?

For the six years EzyLearn was an ICB-accredited training provider, our organisation was never assessed, nor were are training courses ever evaluated or reviewed. The ICB is one of the industry’s leading associations.

woman wondering whether national accreditation makes for a better online training course
During the 6 years EzyLearn was a “nationally accredited” by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB), our courses were never evaluated or assessed by this organisation in any way.

Because we provided relevant training, the onus was on EzyLearn to ensure that students completed our training courses with the skills they needed to provide MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks bookkeeping services to their clients.

Since we ceased being an ICB-accredited training provider, our course content hasn’t changed — well it has actually; it’s gotten better as it continues to always get better because we continue to keep adding new modules and courses to our Xero and MYOB training. But the standard of training hasn’t slipped — it, too, has only gotten better.

CPD is mandatory, but industry associations aren’t

Industry associations are a great idea, but it’s not mandatory for BAS agents to join them. As long as you keep up your CPD to remain certified by the Tax Practitioners Board (CPD), you may not find any need to join an industry association.

Unless you would like discounts off in-person training and seminars and a discounted subscription to an industry publication or journal, you can completed all of your CPD hours with online training courses, just like the EzyLearn CPD courses.

Practitioner-endorsed training courses

We found that, rather than spend $1,200 a year to be “accredited” by the ICB — or any industry association, for that matter — we’d rather become endorsed by BAS agents. By providing practitioner-endorsed training courses, it means our content is grounded in the real world. Anything a BAS agent would be required to do in MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks for a client, is included in our training courses, making them more relevant and more practical to students.

For people who choose our training courses offering lifetime access, they can go back a review different modules whenever they like — whether it’s a month, six months or two years later! Visit our website to learn more about our lifetime access courses.

***

EzyLearn’s online training courses are accredited by BAS agents, accountants and bookkeepers — those we deem to be the industry’s “high water mark” for bookkeeping work. These people are the highest qualified individuals operating in the accounting and bookkeeping space. If they believe the content of our courses is genuinely of high quality and relevant to the bookkeeping world, then this is the accreditation that we trust will give you peace of mind as well. 

I found the EzyLearn Xero course great — a comprehensive step-by-step learning tool to add to my resume and a new tool to use in my Bookkeeping Practice.”
— Patricia Darby
Registered BAS Agent and Bookkeeper, High Quality Bookkeeping

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

Finding Help with Your Bookkeeping

Why you should employ a bookkeeper to help manage the books

best way to find a bookkeeper myob xero quickbooks online
If you’re a small business owner, it shouldn’t be taking you an inordinate amount of time to keep your bookkeeping orderly and up to date. If it is, perhaps now is the time to get help.

PERHAPS YOU ARE a small business owner who is trying hard to keep up to speed with your regulatory bookkeeping requirements. But no sooner does one quarter end and another one seems to roll by with the commensurate paperwork due all over again. This is taking away from your regular work and you’re falling behind — and half the time you’re not even sure that it’s being done correctly. It sounds like you should be seriously considering finding a bookkeeper for your business.

Even if you have training in how to use Xero, MYOB or Quickbooks, or some other cloud accounting program, finding a great bookkeeper can make all the difference to your business. However, although there might seem to be plenty of “bookkeepers” around, finding the right one bookkeeper for your business is not an altogether easy thing to do. And if you’re financially challenged, you also need to find a bookkeeper who won’t break the bank.

Bookkeeper, accountant or tax professional?

These days, the term bookkeeper is almost an umbrella term for all the different types of accounting and tax professionals available to you, from basic data entry bookkeepers right through to specialised BAS and tax agents.

There are even some bookkeepers who are so knowledgeable in one particular accounting program that the software company has endorsed them as certified consultants or advisors, and some earn commission from accounting software companies, while there are others who aren’t beholden to any particular software company. We outline four steps you can take to narrow down the search.

Step One: What Kind of Bookkeeper Do You Need?

Think about your business and how it operates. Do you have lots of business purchases and transactions each week? Do you employ staff? Do you work in a specialised industry? Are you registered for GST? Do you require a bookkeeper to work onsite at your premises or can they work remotely?

Write down the needs of your business to help you determine the kind of financial help, and therefore, what kind of bookkeeper you need for your business.

Step Two: Research Local Bookkeepers in Your Area

Visit the websites of some local bookkeepers in your area, or search the National Bookkeeping Directory to find bookkeepers matching your requirements located near you. If you don’t require a bookkeeper to visit your premises, broaden your scope and research bookkeepers who can work remotely. Make a shortlist of potential bookkeepers.

Step Three: Check the TPB Register

BAS and tax agents are required, by law, to register with the Tax Practitioner’s Board (TPB), so if your business requires either a tax or BAS agent (or both), the TPB Register should be your first port of call to ensure the person who have in mind is currently registered to provide BAS or tax services.

Step Four: Interview Your Preferred Bookkeepers

During step two, you made a shortlist of potential bookkeepers, and, assuming your TPB search didn’t turn up anything to be wary of, you should now set about contacting each one to get to know more about the services they provide.

It’s a good idea to ask them how long they’ve been working as a bookkeeper for, the sorts of businesses they’ve worked with in the past, and any expectations they may have of you. You should also ask for a written quote for their services. This quote should form part of your professional services agreement.

***

Many bookkeepers will provide an initial consultation, and if not, ask them to. We outline a number of things you can expect and ask them at this first consultation.

If you need help making your small business dream become a reality — with business planning and templates, identifying target markets, with any form of marketing and advertising, including social media, even just setting up a great looking website — then check out our EzyStartUp Course or contact us for more information. 


 

Posted on

Are You Making these GST Mistakes in Your Bookkeeping?

Being Jack of All Trades can land you in hot water with BAS

find a bas agent in your local area
Don’t submit inaccurate financial documents by trying to do everything yourself by way of bookkeeping.

IT’S PERHAPS EASIER TO do your own bookkeeping these days than it used to be; particularly if you’re using a cloud accounting program like MYOBXero or QuickBooks, which are among the easiest, yet robust, accounting applications currently on the market.

But even so, there are many aspects of Australian tax that, while accounting software makes it possible to carry them out yourself (like business activity statements, for example), it’s not a good idea unless you really know what you’re doing. Here are the three GST mistakes nearly every business owner makes in their bookkeeping.

Claiming GST twice

This is most common when a business has vehicles, machinery, plant equipment, etcetera that are either being leased or are under hire purchase. The business owner’s accountant will typically claim the full GST component for in the first quarter that the business purchased the equipment, but confusion generally sets in when it comes to recording regular monthly payments.

Very often the business owner will record it as GST or a capital expense, and because both show up in their BAS reporting sheet, they end up claiming the GST twice.

Recording GST for all expenses

There are many expenses that do attract GST. They include:

  • Motor vehicle registrations
  • Bank charges
  • ASIC fees
  • Paypal transaction fees
  • Interest and director fees / drawings.

Claiming GST credits on purchases from suppliers not registered for GST

Not all business owners are registered for GST, and although they should state somewhere on their invoice that no GST has been charged, oftentimes they’ll leave you to assume that. As a general rule of thumb, if the invoice doesn’t show an amount in the GST column, there’s a good chance the supplier isn’t registered. To make sure, though, visit the ABN Lookup Page and search their ABN.

Accounting software is easier, but Aussie tax remains as complicated as ever

Even though MYOBXero and QuickBooks are among the most user friendly accounting software applications on the market, Australia’s tax laws remain as complicated as they’ve ever been. So while you can do your own data entry (reconciling your bank statements), it’s a good idea to hire a BAS or Tax agent to look after the more complicated aspects of your tax and BAS requirements.

***

Want to learn or brush up your cloud accounting and bookkeeping skills?

At EzyLearn we offer online training courses to help you up-skill and find employment. Choose from our range of online accounting software courses, as well as business start up and management courses, to marketing and sales courses — or update and further your skills in a range of Microsoft Office programs (ExcelPowerPointWord) or social media and WordPress web design). Many of our courses come with a ONE LOW COST for ALL SKILLS LEVEL option. 


Need help finding a BAS or TAX Agent?

find a local bookkeeper

National Bookkeeping is an online directory of local bookkeepers looking to add to their customers. Visit 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


 

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.