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How to Get Paid on Time by Doing Absolutely Nothing

Doing nothing in office
Keep on top of invoices without lifting a finger!

In the past, we have talked about debtor management, the ways you can avoid late-payers by keeping an eye on your cash and assets cycle, and now we thought it was time we talked about the ways you can keep on top of those outstanding invoices without even lifting a finger!

Why Getting Paid on Time Matters

Dealing with late-payers is frustrating, time-consuming, and at times, downright awkward. For freelancers, sole-traders and small businesses, getting paid on time is essential to keeping your cash flow under control.

If you’re not in the position to turn down those perpetual late-payers’ business, then you need to put strategies into place to best manage those late-payers.

Gentle Email Reminders for Getting Paid on Time

Sending a polite, yet firm reminder email to clients a few days before their invoice becomes due is a good way to remind people an invoice is due to be paid, particularly if you have terms of 21 days or more. Often you’ll find most people will pay you once they’re given a gentle nudge via an email reminder.

Of course, there are always those who’ll still try and stretch it out as long as possible — it’s likely their cash flow isn’t much chop; in a sense, by paying you late they’re robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Most of the time, these clients are hoping you haven’t noticed. By sending them a follow up email reminder a couple of days after your invoice was due will show them you have noticed, you haven’t forgotten, and they’ll likely concede defeat and pay — if they still don’t respond, it may be time to implement some of the strategies we discussed here.

More Stringent Payment Terms

But if you find emailing you clients each time their invoices come due and then again when they’re late is not only time-consuming, but also awkward, try setting up the parameters in your invoicing software so that automatic reminder emails are sent out before and after your invoices come due.

Most cloud-based accounting programs, like Freshbooks, Zoho, Shoebooks, Saasu and Salestastic now offer this automatic reminder facility, freeing you up to concentrate on the other areas of your business.

For businesses that have a dedicated accounts receivable department, the ability to send automatic reminders could, depending on the size of your business, save hours, even days of manpower. Plus, it eliminates any awkwardness you may feel chasing someone for a $50 invoice — sure, that one $50 isn’t much, but over time they do add up.

So get paid on time without even lifting a finger by using the automated reminders in your accounting software.

Remember: If you have already completed one of our MYOB training courses and need a bit of a refresher on the Accounts Receivable module, which deals with the ways to get paid on time, you can review it again for FREE if you are within your 12 month enrolment access period OR if you selected our additional option of Lifetime Access.

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4 Common Resume Mistakes to AVOID

Screen shot 2013-03-21 at 3.00.16 PMThe average employer or HR department spends approximately 35 seconds on each resume or CV before deciding to toss it in the “NO” pile or read on. Some employers are not even doing this, opting for technology to search your CV for them.

Resume Mistake #1: No Goal

The most important part of your CV or resume is your goal or objective. People often dwell on spelling and punctuation errors being the most important thing, and while it’s an important consideration, if you’re really serious about a position, then checking for these should be instinctive.

Most people leave writing their objective until the rest of their CV or resume is done. Then they often write a one-size-fits-all, generic summary of the kind of position they’re looking for that’s then regurgitated for each job they apply for. Big mistake! This is the only part of your CV that tells a prospective employer what you’re looking for — use this space wisely.

Resume Mistake #2: Leaving the Reader To Guess What You’ve Done

Don’t wax lyrical about “challenging work environments” and “putting your creativity to good use” — these aren’t quantifiable objectives; save them for your interview.

For example, if you’re applying for a position as a computer engineer, tell them why you want that position and why you’re suited to it, referring to your previous work history. This will get the reader far more interested in your CV.

Also people are often too ambiguous with the actual wording they use. Don’t use vague statements like “assisted with” or “handled” — these leave the reader wondering what you actually did.

Your CV should tell employers exactly what your role was — if you wrote and distributed press releases to national media outlets, tell employers that.

But don’t fall into the “my responsibilities involved” or “my duties included” trap — these outline your job description, not how capable you were at your job.

The sentence:

My duties included writing and distributing press releases to national media outlets to publicise the national launch of Revlon’s midnight red lipstick.

would have more impact if it was written as:

To publicise the national launch of Midnight Red lipstick, I wrote and distributed press releases to various media outlets, resulting in national coverage in The Weekend Australian and the Nine National News.

Here, people can see that you’re actually (very) competent at your job.

Resume Mistake #3: Not Using Bullet Points

If you’ve worked somewhere for several years, chances are you did a lot more than write one press release.

This is where writing a three-sentence description for each of your accomplishments becomes impractical —  and if you do, your resume is more likely to resemble War and Peace than a CV — a massive turn-off for recruiters.

Bullet points are not only easier to read, they’re also space savers, great for breaking up dense blocks of text.

  • Wrote and distributed press releases, resulting in national coverage for Midnight Red Lipstick in The Weekend Australian, Nine National News.

Resume Mistake #4: Getting the Length All Wrong

Then there’s the subject of much conjecture: resume length. Some people believe a resume shouldn’t be longer than one page. And in adhering to this rule, there are many resumes out here with an overwhelming amount of 9-point text crammed into one page.

As a general rule of thumb, if you have to choose between crammed-in text and another resume page, go with the latter.

White space is your friend! Use it liberally. There’s nothing more daunting than having to sit and read a page-full of dense text that leaves no safe place to rest the eye.

See more resume writing tips here, or perhaps you need to brush up your Microsoft Word skills for resume writing? Or if you need broader assistance generally with writing a CV or resume, see the services offered by our professional partners for resume writing services.

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Would you rather work from home? We help many students operate their own home based business by giving them the software skills to do it. Here are some home based business opportunities from our professional partners.

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Tossing Up Where to Study? We Look at TAFE, Uni and Private Facilities

online study courses
Where you study will probably change over time.

There are more ways to study, more institutions to study with and more courses to study than ever before. But with so much choice, it raises the question: Where’s the best place to study?

Study to Suit Your Circumstances

I am a university graduate and I wouldn’t swap my degree for anything else. But I’ve also studied online and completed short courses and seminars run by universities and various other learning institutions.

Each time I studied, the method of delivery — face-to-face, online — or institution I chose offered me something that uniquely suited my circumstances at the time.

As a university student undertaking a five-year journalism degree, it was necessary to gain entry into the competitive media industry where a tertiary education is essential.

But when I decided to study again — this time an online course on becoming a freelancer — it provided me with the flexibility of studying when and where I wanted while I was still a full-time employee.

That said, I don’t believe an institution like TAFE or university is necessarily better than a private institution. For instance, I would NEVER study a language at university! I would much rather private tuition.

Online Study Benefits

I didn’t choose online study merely because of the flexible delivery — I was more than able to attend night classes at TAFE or uni if I’d desired. I chose online study because, having worked in the industry for several years already, I’d been exposed to much of the industry know-how and I was quite practised at working independently; face-time with the teacher and fellow students simply wasn’t necessary.

Studying with Peers

Sometime later I enrolled in a two-day seminar about building a successful freelance business. I had been freelancing for sometime by this point and I was seeking something that fostered interaction with fellow freelancers while I learned the low down, (semi) dirty tricks of the trade.

Stretching out your Study

And most recently, I completed a short course in investigative reporting; again at a university. What attracted me to the course was not the institution, but the teacher: a gold Walkley Award-winning investigative journalist. In this instance, I opted to attend the classes over a series of weeks rather than one intensive weekend, it gave me the chance to experiment with the things I was learning — accessing public registers like electoral rolls, seeking information from government departments through the Freedom of Information Act, and so on — so I could seek guidance if I ran into difficulties.

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So if you’re tossing up between online or face-to-face study, university or TAFE or a private institution, it’s not a matter of who’s the best or what’s the best method; it’s really a matter of what your circumstances are and what you’re hoping to achieve.

If you’re a motivated, self-starter we offer a number of online courses designed to help you develop and grow your skills across a range of pursuits, when and where you want.

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The Superannuation Guarantee Changes: A Blessing or Curse?

Australian Government Superannuation Guarantee Changes
Is paying more super good for business?

From 1 July this year, Australia’s compulsory superannuation guarantee is about the get a much-needed boost: an increase from 9% to 9.25% and will continue to rise incrementally to 12 percent by 2019-2020.

There are currently 3 million Australians aged over 65 — a figure expected to increase to 8.1 million by 2050, a report commissioned by the Rudd Government highlighted in 2010.

The report also estimated that by 2050 the ratio of working-age people in Australia compared to those aged 65 years and over would drop markedly from 5:1 to 2.7:1.

By increasing compulsory superannuation contributions to 12%, an aggregate $500 billion will be added to the existing pool of superannuation savings by 2050.

Are the Super Guarantee Changes Good for Business?

For business-owners, this means that from 1 July you must increase the amount you pay into your employees’ superannuation to 9.25%.

While on the surface, the increase to compulsory super contributions seems like a great coup for employees, it’s also drawn much criticism.

Unlike the Paid Parental Leave Scheme, the Government has no involvement in this super scheme, so businesses won’t receive any form of assistance from the Government when the superannuation guarantee changes take effect.

For a business that spends $1 million on salaries, wearing the 0.25 percent increase will add an additional $2,500 to their super contributions, which would grow by another $2,500 come 2014, assuming their wage bill remained at $1 million.

Detractors fear that employers will forgo giving their staff a pay rise to meet the increase to super contributions instead. And for low-income earners, the boost to their superannuation — a pool of money they cannot access until retirement-age — probably won’t offset the loss of a pay rise.

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But making changes to the superannuation guarantee in order to increase the pool of money for Australia’s future would certainly seem to be a wise investment; after all, we’ve earned an international reputation for our innovative approach to retirement income that countries the world over are emulating.

For more information on how changes to the superannuation guarantee affects you you can visit the ATO website or the Future Tax Website.

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The Skinny on Resume Writing

Basic do’s and don’t on resume writing

Resume writing to perfection
There’s an art to resume writing but it’s not rocket science.

The job market is tough; that much is true. But if you’ve been sending out your CV with very little response, the job market is only one part of the problem. It’s more than likely that your resume isn’t doing you any favours.

Keeping resume writing simple

Resume writing is about showing prospective employers why you are the best fit for a position and their organisation. It’s not about listing all the jobs you’ve ever had in the past — a café owner looking for a new barista is probably not interested in the three years you spent working in a corporate law firm.

When it comes to pointing out your experience, there are some basic do’s and don’t’s to resume writing. A resume shouldn’t be like a laboured novel; nor should it be so subtle in pointing out your experience that the reader is left to work out exactly how your experience applies to the position they need to fill — recruiters don’t have time for that.

And remember, the majority of companies today outsource the recruitment process to recruitment agencies that receive thousands of CVs and resumes on a daily basis for their large portfolio of clients. Even those companies that still  handle recruitment themselves will have extremely busy HR departments; even in large companies, often there’s only one person reviewing the abundant CVs they receive.

35 seconds to make your mark

When it comes to resume writing, you have to get them in quick! Being time poor and exceedingly busy, most recruiters only spend about 35 seconds on each CV or resume.

This means you have 35 seconds to convince a recruiter that it’s worth reading your CV further or, better still, getting you in for an interview.

You’ll achieve this if you:

  • Get to the point, but don’t be arrogant — this is a massive turn-off.
  • Don’t over-embellish: if you didn’t actually do something, don’t say you did — you will get found out.
  • Are concise: don’t cram your resume or CV full of interesting (to you) but ultimately irrelevant previous positions (like dog walker in 1982), achievements or interests (ferret racing is better kept to yourself).

But don’t see the minimalist approach as an opportunity to get fancy with the design of your CV.

Unless you actually are a designer of some sort, just use a clean template that clearly highlights why you’re the right person for the job. I once received a CV formatted like a crossword puzzle to list the person’s experience and education; clever perhaps, but the CV after that was easy to read and it was that person I called in for the interview.

To avoid the daunting task of resume writing from scratch each time you decide to change employment, you should get into the habit of updating your CV on a regular basis.

Need more help?

EzyLearn is in a great position to help you with your resume writing because we understand the employment market and the needs of employers. We also have team members with top quality resume writing skills and experience in creating quality resumes for administration and bookkeeping positions in particular. Other related blog posts: Finding a Job Using LinkedIn

If you’d like to share your job hunting experiences with us and others, please visit us our Facebook page — you can also let us know here if you need help with resume writing. We can also help you brush up your Microsoft Word skills for resume writing


Social Media and Digital Marketing online training course_comp

Are you in business as a bookkeeper, tradesperson, retailer, trainer or real estate agent and want to stand out from the crowd? We can teach you the online marketing techniques to help you do just this! Check out what’s included in our comprehensive Social Media and Digital Marketing online training courses.


 

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LinkedIn Profiles: How Useful Are They, Really?

What is the power of a LinkedIn profile?

how useful is a linkedin profile online learning social media training
We scrutinise the power of a LinkedIn online social media profile.

THERE MAY BE SOME debate over whether having a LinkedIn profile actually helps professionals make valuable connections with other professionals, but the same could also be said of traditional networking.

As a writer, I probably should network more, but personally, I don’t find much value in it. In the past I have either fallen prey to someone wanting publicity for their pyramid-scheme-type business or I’ve turned into a borderline stalker myself; harassing someone who perhaps only gave me their business card out of a feeling of social obligation.

Besides, a business card tells you nothing about how competent or capable that person is at their job. For writers and journalists, I’ve always found it pretty easy to validate their claims on Google; for other professionals: not so much. Until LinkedIn, that is.

The Professionalism of LinkedIn

LinkedIn may not connect you with the recruiter of your dream job, but Twitter doesn’t guarantee you’ll become BFFs with Mariah Carey, either. What LinkedIn does, however, is give you an online professional profile.

And it’s the rather perverse nature of today’s digital society that makes an online professional presence invaluable; LinkedIn itself can act as your calling card, demonstrating how others endorse you and your work; it can act as your resume; and it can help you to actively find the right job.

The Power of a LinkedIn Profile

Any time you meet someone, you can pretty much guarantee they’ll Google you. Whether they’re prospective employers you’ve interviewed with, people you’ve met in a professional setting (clients, industry alums) or even colleagues, you can bet at some point or another they have Googled you.

What that Google search turns up can totally change the way they interact with you.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve LinkedIn-stalked a fellow writer only to discover their LinkedIn profile is not so impressive, after all. From this point on the entire dynamic of our relationship has changed immediately; suddenly I feel I’ve got the power.

On the other end of the scale, discovering the meek-mannered, unassuming but otherwise seemingly-unimpressive editor I chatted to with extreme ease is actually a former Vanity Fair staffer or contributor to The New Yorker adds another dimension to our relationship — usually, I’m putty in their hands.

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And it’s in this context that, yes, a LinkedIn profile does work. Whether you’re using LinkedIn as a job-hunter or a networker, your LinkedIn profile tells people everything they think they need to know about you.

The old phrase — first impressions are lasting impressions — is out. It’s online impressions that are the lasting impressions.

If you haven’t already, we welcome you to connect with EzyLearn at LinkedIn.


learn online training Xero courses videos for less

Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses. 


 

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The Cash and Assets Cycle: Monitor the Perpetual Late Payers

Screen shot 2013-03-21 at 2.50.23 PMThere’s a regular cycle your business goes through every week, month or quarter. It’s a cycle that maybe you pay little attention to—it’s so simple, so entrenched in your business operations you hardly even consider it—but it’s time you took a closer look at what is called: the Cash and Assets Cycle.

What is the Cash and Assets Cycle?

As the name suggests, the “cash and assets cycle” starts with cash in the bank. This 5-step cycle then progresses through to purchasing stock; selling and invoicing that stock; offering payment terms (say 14 days, 30 days or cash-on-delivery) and finally, receiving payment. And so it goes, rinse and repeat.

Monitoring this cycle is vitally important to the success of your business—and your livelihood. But perhaps you’re wondering why.

Isolating the Late Payers

We’ve previously talked about why you need to keep on top of your bookwork so you can isolate any potential late-payers—called debtor management.

By keeping the cash and assets cycle in mind, it’s possible to see the real implication late-payers can have on your business.

With invoices left outstanding, you can’t start the cycle again—that is, purchasing more stock—and without stock, you’re left with nothing to sell and (obviously) no money coming in. You have literally reached a standstill and all because you didn’t monitor where you were in the cash and assets cycle.

Keep an eye on your cash and assets cycle and you’ll come to notice those perpetual late-payers, enabling you to put processes in place to better manage these customers.

These processes could involve things like requiring payment upfront, adding administrative charges, or when everything else has failed, debt collection.

But monitoring your cash and assets cycle, regardless of how easy it is to forget about, is essential to ensuring your cash and assets keep cycling. The setting up of professional invoices and payment terms are just some of the areas covered in our MYOB online training course.

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Prepaid Legal Services: The Long and the Short of It

ID-100129847Many of the bookkeeping business owners who have completed our online MYOB training course may or may not be familiar with the Privacy Act reforms due to be enforced next year. Many businesses that collect their customers’ personal information will need to review their privacy policies and practices to ensure they’re not in breach of the Act.

But reading through and interpreting statutes can be tricky; ensuring you’re in compliance with them, even more so.

For large organisations, this is usually the responsibility of their in-house legal team or the firm they have on retainer; for small organisations, there often isn’t an in-house legal team never mind a firm on retainer.

Gaining traction in the Australian marketplace, however, is the trend of prepaying for your legal service—a trend, mind you, that’s been in existence in the US for over forty years.

Perth-based Prepaid Legal, which has been operating in Australia since 1998, provides prepaid legal services to individuals and an array of different business types, while relative newcomer, LawPath, is only available to businesses.

Prepaid legal services are a lot like private health insurance; you select, from a range of plans, one that suits you; pay a monthly premium (on average between $24 and $36 per month); and, according to the terms set out in the legal plan, you have access to one of the service’s “preferred lawyers”.

Prepaid legal services give small businesses and individuals who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it, access to legal advice for the cost of the low monthly premium.

But a prepaid legal plan doesn’t guarantee access to the same lawyer, or in some cases, even the same law firm. Instead, you’re assigned a lawyer based on their availability and the requirements of your matter.

For some businesses whose legal requirements only involve quick consultations or reviewing and preparing simple legal documents, a prepaid legal service like this could work.

Of course prepaid legal services are really only useful if you use them. As a business owner you should consider how often you would enlist the service of a lawyer throughout the course of your business day-to-day and look at what value a prepaid legal service would bring to your business.

If you are used to receiving information about our MYOB Courses you might also know that we have introduced a Small Business Course to our online training courses and in it we have a section about the legal structures a business can take.

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Monthly Bookkeeping and Debtor Management

ID-10096058We have previously talked about how to account for bad debt, but what about the ways you can manage your debtors to avoid things turning bad, so to speak, in the first place?

Much of your debtor management comes into play when you or your bookkeeper is doing your books.

How frequently you do your books depends on the size of your business. For sole traders or partnerships that aren’t registered for GST and have no payroll, it’s likely you would only do your books once a month, however, for larger businesses, weekly payroll and the various other reporting obligations would necessitate the books to be taken care of on a weekly basis.

But it’s usually only when you’re doing your books that you would manage your debtors as well, which is fine for larger organisations performing their bookkeeping on a weekly basis, but what about the smaller guys who rely on the income from their debtors to stay afloat?

As a small business, every bill matters, particularly every unpaid bill. So while you may only do your books on a monthly basis, you can’t afford to leave your accounts for too long or risk seriously damaging your cash flow.

This is where your debtor management processes come in. By keeping an eye on your customers to ensure they’re keeping up with their minimum payments and how often they pay more than the minimum or the whole balance, you’ll be able to spot any problem-areas, like late payers or customers who simply cannot manage the amount of credit you’ve extended to them.

By keeping tabs on your accounts like this, you’ll be able to determine what customers you can reward for paying on time, by increasing their credit limits, or decreasing the credit limits on those customers having trouble paying.

This will ensure you keep your cash flow, well, flowing, so that when it comes time to do you books, you shouldn’t have any nasty surprises!

Our MYOB Online Training Course is 5 MYOB courses in one and provides you with LIFETIME access. See our MYOB Online Training Course Outline to see what’s included.

 

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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.

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How Do You Account For Bad Debt?

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One of the things we cover in our MYOB Training Courses is how to deal with what is, unfortunately, becoming a rather common accounting issue—bad debt.

If you provide your goods or services on credit, it’s likely that at some point, particularly during times of economic volatility, you will encounter a customer that is unable to pay for the goods or services rendered.

Most of the time, many customers just need more time to pay, however, there will also be those customers that never will pay. And in the case of the latter, the debt will need to be written off.

For a debt to be considered bad and written off you need to show that all the necessary steps have been taken to recover the debt, but there is still no likelihood of the debt ever being recovered for one of the following reasons:

  • The debtor has died leaving no assets or insufficient assets
  • The debtor cannot be traced and no assets discovered
  • The debtor is bankrupt or in liquidation and insufficient funds exist

Once you’ve reached this point, however, is when things start to get complicated. Often how you record the income for your business will determine how you account for a bad debt, particularly if you’re using accruals-basis accounting.

While there may still even be instances where, even though you’ve written off a customer’s debt as bad debt, it may later be paid to you—often in another tax year and affecting that year’s income.

This is what makes the accounting treatment of bad debts complicated. While you’ll learn about how to account for bad debt in our MYOB Training Courses, if you’re unsure you should always consult your accountant to help determine the best course of action for your business or the business you’re representing.

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Why Is a Code of Ethics, Conduct or Practice Important for your Business?

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As a journalist, I choose to act in accordance with the Code of Ethics set out by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), of which honesty, fairness, independence, and respect for the rights of others underpins the code.

This means I strive to ensure that every story I research and write about is honest, fair, independent, and respectful to the rights of others—even this blog post! And over the years, most of the organisations I have worked for, have too, upheld the ethos of the MEAA Code of Ethics.

Of course, just because a particular industry or trade union prescribes a set of guidelines, doesn’t necessarily mean each organisation or practitioner within that industry will uphold them—case in point: News International’s involvement in the phone hacking scandal in the UK.

And usually, until there is a breach of ethics like that of News International’s, it’s rather easy to forget why a code of ethics is necessary, particularly since compliance to the code is often voluntary, or at least, highly malleable.

But by submitting to a code of ethics, conduct or practice, you’re establishing yourself as an authority in your field; you’re telling your customers, clients and employees that you have integrity.

If you’re a bookkeeper or operate your own bookkeeping business, your clients are entrusting you with one of their most prized possessions—their livelihoods, and a code of ethics illustrates to them how you and your business operate.

But there are other reasons to adopt a code of ethics, aside from professional status. Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, for instance, instituted a “values-led business” code by donating 7.5 percent of profits to charity, while other organisations value a work culture grounded in a strong ethical framework that promotes high staff retention, greater customer loyalty, and increased productivity.

For all the different reasons an organisation or business would have to adopt a code of ethics, the outcome never deviates—a code of ethics ensures accountability.

If you choose to submit to the Australian Association of Professional Bookkeepers’ Code of Professional Conduct, you’re communicating to your clients what they can expect from you, and, in turn, what you can expect from them—conduct that is ethical and lawful, confidential, objective and independent, and competent.

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Cloud Accounting Software and Automatic Bank Feeds (MYOB training video)

As part of our commitment to be the number one choice for online MYOB Bookkeeping training courses we are always keeping an eye and ear out for changes and improvements in the bookkeeping industry. If you do your own banking reconciliation, you might agree that sifting through printed statements and checking each entry off in your accounting software is maybe the most tedious part of bookkeeping.

But it need not be. With accounting bank feeds – a new feature in the world of cloud accounting – your bank transactions are automatically synched with your cloud accounting software.

This means that as long as you’ve entered your purchases into your accounting software, when your statement comes in from your bank, it will automatically marry up your purchases for you to approve with just the click of a button.

Automatic bank feeds removes the single most tedious step from the banking reconciliation process, which, depending on the size of your company, can take anywhere fifteen minutes to two hours (sometimes even more).

For a little more detail on how MYOB and bank feeds works, watch this video:

Or, for more information on how Xero and bank feeds work, watch this video:

But it’s important to know how your accounting software will access your sensitive banking information as currently there are two main methods for doing so.

First there is the method used by the likes of MYOB where your accounting software provider integrates a direct feed of your bank transactions from each of your banks into your software without needing your bank username and password.

The second method, called screen scraping, requires your accounting software to use a third party to access your bank transactions, thus necessitating your bank usernames and passwords, which can become a grey area with regards to protecting yourself from banking fraud.

While the companies that use the screen scraping method take security very seriously, should a breach occur, you could find yourself in violation of your bank’s terms and conditions because you gave out your usernames and passwords.

It’s up to you to choose what method you feel comfortable with but always check your bank’s terms and conditions before you give out your login in details.

Whatever option you choose, by eliminating the hours of data entry, your saving not only time, but also money.

And for the layperson doing their banking reconciliation themselves, services like Shoeboxed only eliminate the data entry even further.

PS: We’re also almost ready to announce our new Cert IV in Small Business Management with the Australian Small Business Centre so if you are looking to start a business or learn the skills to manage one stay tuned…

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Is TAFE the place to do a Cert IV Small Business Management

Cert IV in Small Business ManagementI was speaking with an entrepreneur who built a very successful plumbing business and he told me you don’t need to do a course to start a business, you need to have a passion for what you are doing and just get out there and do it. We realise however that some people are bolder than others and some people prefer to plan to reduce the risk of failure. At the “end of the day” it’s really just about getting started and turning ideas in reality and activity.

We spend a lot of time designing courses to help provide students with step-by-step instructions so we understand that many people want to learn how to start a business the right way.  There is also a lot to consider when starting a business including your pricing, competitors, legal business structure, marketing, daily operations, financials and reporting to contend with so it’s important to have a business plan in place to help you get a clear picture if what you’re doing. Starting a business is about knowing what you need to know and creating a plan for your future.

I’ve also come to understand that you go to a doctor for medical advice, a dentist for your teeth and an electrician for any electrical work so wouldn’t you rather learn how to start and build a business from a company that is living and breathing this stuff every day!?

For this reason, not only are we working with a very experienced training company that delivers the Cert IV Small Business Management but we will be working with a team of experienced business owners who will contribute their real world knowledge into the courses over the coming year via webinars and interviews so you get to see practical implications of the subjects in the course.

If you’re interested in starting a business in 2013 or working in small business management subscribe to this blog for our launch announcement and receive our fantastic launch pricing.

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What’s the cheapest cloud accounting software? How does it compare with MYOB AccountRight Live?

We’re augmenting our MYOB Training Courses as you may already be aware and that includes new training courses for cloud based accounting software like Reach Accounting.

Currently, the cheapest Australian cloud-based accounting software is Reach Accounting, provided by Australian domain registration and web hosting company, Net Registry.

Net Registry has been operating in Australia since 1997 and, over the years, has grown from a start-up business to the largest and most trusted provider of domain names and web hosting in the country.

Web hosting, as some of you probably already know, is another cloud-based service, so it seems only natural that Net Registry would eventually move into the cloud accounting space, which they have done with Reach.

While Reach is certainly the cheapest Australian-based cloud accounting software on the market, offering great benefits, such as, multiple user access (so everyone from owner, to staff, to bookkeeper, to accountant can have access at the same time from different offices), unlimited support and no hidden fees, it differs in functionality to MYOB AccountRight Live.

Over the years, MYOB AccountRight, has become a rather sophisticated piece of accounting software; its features include, access via the PC or the cloud, inventory, bill by time and more.

However, if your business model is relatively simple, Reach Accounting could prove a more economical option coming in at around $10 per month cheaper than the basic version of MYOB AccountRight Live, by far Australia’s cheapest cloud-based accounting software.

Although we do not provide training on MYOB AccountRight Live, we are exploring it along with Reach Accounting as part of the Bookkeeping Academy.