One thing is essential when you operate a small business with staff and that is your payroll obligations. I wrote about a hairdressing salon owner a few months ago who told me how easy payroll was to manage using a printed time-sheet book but most tech savvy people prefer to use software.
When I started my first business in Sydney’s Dee Why in the early 1990’s, I was amazed that most restaurants and cafes, as well as other retail shops like dress shops, didn’t even know who their customers were!
Many business owners knew their customers by face, but they missed out on lots of opportunities to market and make contact with these customers when business was slow or they were overstocked. Are you working your database?Continue reading Is Business Quiet? Need More Money/Sales? Use a Database!
There are so many wonderful ways business owners are using technology every day for their digital marketing, as well as point-of-sale (POS) and bookkeeping.
Last week I met Cherie. Cherie owns a relaxed cafe in the holiday haven of Forrester’s Beach, NSW, and she let me record a short video of a customer paying for their meal using Square.Continue reading Clear Out Albert, Cherie’s Getting Square! (PayPal Alternative)
I completed a Cert IV in Property Services a couple years ago and have a strong interest in real estate as an asset for investment.
There is a lot of talk currently about negative gearing and whatever happens, we will all be affected. It’s the “wind that blows” according to Jim Rohn, a great inspirational speaker.
One of the topics which comes up about negative gearing is whether it should be available for existing dwellings or only new house and land packages.
As a result, EzyLearn is creating a real-life case study covering the investment and tax benefits of investing in a new house and land package. There are certainly plenty of them going up in the Central Coast to Newcastle and Maitland area!
Real Estate as an Investment
I believe real estate is a terrific investment provided you don’t stretch yourself financially. It does fluctuate in the short term, but you have to think long term.
Certainly, the recent changes in the real estate market, with Sydney property prices dropping over 15 per cent, means that if you bought in the last 2 years your property is worth less than what you paid for it.
Less Equity, Same Debt
The problem with house prices going down is that this affects your equity. Equity is how much of the property YOU own. The banks DEBT stays the same and only reduces as you pay down your loan.
The problem with your equity decreasing won’t matter in the long term because house prices generally continue to increase, but it will be a problem if you need to refinance or can’t afford the repayments and need to sell.
It’s these situations that make lenders charge mortgage insurance. If you borrow more than 80% of the value of the property, you’re up for mortgage insurance.
The ability to borrow so much of a properties value is GREAT when property prices increase, because you only actually have a small amount of equity (which increases) but when prices go down it can be very stressful.
Depreciation and Negative Gearing
This is a hotly discussed topic right now but it mainly affects whether property investors should be able to claim negative gearing if they buy an existing dwelling.
This is not so much of an issue for new dwellings because governments generally want to encourage builders and developers to erect new homes to house the population.
Property Investment Course
EzyLearn is adding a new training course manual & workbook to our property investment course that is totally focused on the tax benefits of investing in a new property.
The great news for Sydney and Melbourne investors is that you can invest $450,000 to $600,000 and buy a completely new house and land package in the Central Coast to Newcastle area of NSW. This makes it much more affordable than the capital cities.
Read more about our property investment course
Featured image: Allam Builders and Developers’ new house in Forresters Beach Estate, Central Coast of New South Wales
MYOB AccountRight, QuickBooks Online and Xero come with job costing and job tracking functions allowing users to develop more accurate budgets and avoid cost blow outs.
I’m excited to be delving deeper into a micro course specifically targeting how you can manage on-the-job costs and track your project. This will be included in all of our Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks online accounting courses.
Real life case studies and micro courses
We design our training courses to be true to life. This means we create our training courses around real-life business examples, or case studies. This information helps you get a job in the real world.
In my last blog I talked about the job tracking function in Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks. In our Job Tracking and Projects Training Course, we’ve taken as our starting point a real-life situation where a tradie uses job tracking features in cloud accounting software to make sure he makes a profit from all his running around, allocation of staff, cost of stock and out of pocket expenses from trips to Bunnings.
The erection of a garden shed
Our Job Tracking and Projects Training Course case study highlights the seemingly simple example of the erection of a garden shed. Our client purchases the shed directly from a hardware supplier, then employs the services of a builder to deliver and erect the shed.
Although it seems very easy, just like life itself, the process is actually more complex than meets the eye. Here are the issues the tradie needs to consider:
- Some of the products the tradesperson uses are stock (inventory),
- others he needs to buy for the job,
- others products and parts need to be purchased while on the job (expenses incurred by his staff).
Then there are circumstances which the tradie didn’t account for in his quote:
- Some days the build is rained out and
- some things end up taking longer than expected.
- An extra staff member is required and the tradesperson then has to keep keep track of his worker’s timesheets,
Establishing the transaction costs
Just as this Cloud Accounting Training Course case study is based on a real life scenario, so the transaction costs (the cost of supplies, labour, expected profits and losses) are current and accurate.
In developing our course content, we actually liaise with the relevant suppliers, including various tradespeople, interviewing them and finding out the variations and possible blow outs they experience and the contingencies they implement to offset these.
We also draw on ATO benchmarking which compares the information gathered from your financial returns to the information the ATO gathers from all other similar businesses.
Make sure you subscribe to our Cloud Accounting Course blog to receive updates about the next steps we take when creating our courses!
Want to learn more about managing project costs and job tracking in the major cloud accounting software packages – Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks? See our new case study: https://ezylearn.info/how-it-works/case-studies-micro-courses/managing-jobs-or-projects-to-measure-profitability/
In many industries, no two jobs are the same, making estimating job costs and resources tough. Job tracking is one of the best ways to develop an accurate budget and avoid blow outs.
But this can be hard work. Are the latest job costing and tracking functions in MYOB AccountRight, QuickBooks Online and Xero making life easier?
Job tracking functions in your accounting software
As its name implies, job or project tracking is a way of keeping track of, and allocating, all costs and incomes to a particular job or project.
Job tracking has numerous benefits. It allows you to stay on schedule, budget for costs and resources efficiently and work out job profitability.
Why job tracking can be difficult
Part of the challenge of job tracking is making sure that staff members responsible for invoicing, paying accounts, and payroll functions, know exactly how to allocate costs in a job. They also need to know which jobs are active at any one time.
How job tracking affects Accounts payable and receivable workers
We cover the skills needed to for clerical, administrative and accounts work in accounts payable and receivable in our Xero Advanced Certificate, MYOB Advanced Certificate and QuickBooks Online Advanced Certificate courses.
When it comes to job tracking, employees working in these accounts areas need training and awareness. If you have staff responsible for invoicing customers, they will need to know which job numbers to use.
Similarly, accounts payable staff who receive supplier bills and need to allocate the costs to the correct jobs or cost centres.
Payroll staff, too, are involved in job tracking as they receive employee timesheets and need to allocate hours worked to the correct jobs.
How the different accounting programs “job track”
MYOB AccountRight Job Tracking
You can track job costs and revenue using the Jobs function of MYOB AccountRight. This is available in the Lists menu. (Note: Job tracking is not available in MYOB Essentials.) The Jobs List in MYOB AccountRight provides a snapshot of the profitability of each job.
We cover job tracking in our MYOB BAS & Reporting online training course.
Xero Projects or WorkFlowMax
Xero, too, has its own much awaited job tracking function, called Xero Projects. The introduction of Xero Projects has been great for those wanting to make the move from MYOB AccountRight.
However, Xero Projects isn’t exactly like tracking costs by job in MYOB. The Xero Projects module tracks time and expenses and a billing process generates invoices. However, you can’t track job costs by line on each invoice.
You can overcome this by creating tracking codes in Xero which would allow you to allocate costs/income as appropriate. This only becomes a little unwieldy if you run lots of different jobs. An addon like Workflow Max may be worth considering for these kind of operators.
Read about some of the other project management tools you can use.
Overall, however, Xero’s more recent offerings, like Xero Projects, are making it increasingly competitive against MYOB. We’ve written a lot about the comparisons between MYOB AccountRight and Xero; it’s a heated topic among small business owners and bookkeeping businesses!
We’ve talked before about how QuickBooks is comparable with Xero. Like Xero, it also has a Projects feature, which is available on a QuickBooks Online Plus subscription. The QuickBooks Projects screen provides a snapshot of the profitability of each job. A project name and customer is required to create a new project.
We’re currently creating a short course on Job Tracking, Job Costing and Projects
If you are a current EzyLearn student you’ll be thrilled to learn that we have a new case study in development that will teach you how to manage projects for tradies like builders, carpenters etc.
Learn more about our latest Micro Course Case Study and make sure you subscribe to receive updates on its progress.
We are creating a new Job/Project Tracking training course for each of our Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks Online Courses.
Want to learn how you can really manage late payers? Simply by reconciling more regularly, you can use a “real time” snapshot of your cash flow in your accounting software, rather than relying on your bank balance.Continue reading Should You Send Reports to Late-Paying Clients?
‘Social proof’ is testimonials, reviews and feedback of others, that vouches for the product or service we’re thinking of buying. Social proof backs up the fact that what we’re considering buying is what it says it is.
Come see some social proof about EzyLearn by meeting some students from the past few weeks
Continue reading Are EzyLearn students just like YOU?
— you just might have a lot in common with them.
So you’ve switched on the job alerts with SEEK and accounting jobs, part-time or contract accounting jobs are coming into your Inbox! Jobs galore! Everyone needs accounts people, right?
IF YOU’RE RECEIVING the job alerts everyday — indeed, you may even have applied for some jobs already — but you’re still not getting called up for interview, then the following questions of doubt may be brewing:
- Why haven’t they picked me?
- Have I been filtered out for some reason?
- Was my cover letter not good enough?
Good quality can be cheap and poor quality may be the most expensive
OFTEN IN LIFE we’re told that if something seems too good to be true then it probably is. Along the same lines as this is the expression that you get what you pay for. Indeed, I’ve commonly used the phrase: “Pay peanuts and you’ll get monkeys” but naturally, there are exceptions to this and plenty of cases where low cost can simply mean low cost – without meaning that quality or value has been compromised.Continue reading Why such cheap online Xero & MYOB courses?
Online MYOB Courses are flexible but…
ONLINE TRAINING IS one of the most convenient ways for busy people to study. While some people take to it naturally, for others the flexibility and freedom it affords itself is a learning curve.Continue reading Does Your Family Support Your Study?
I was speaking with someone who just landed a part-time job, in-fact a contract position, even though the job was advertised as a full-time job.
The job seeker was telling me about the advanced new features of Australia’s leading job board, including:
- New Profiles (just like your LinkedIn Profile)
- Resume Scanning
- Job Recommendations
- “You may be a strong candidate”
- “Your application is unlikely to proceed further”
MYOB has recently changed their website and in particular their pages for the free trial software.
We’ve updated the FREE MYOB Trial (within our MYOB courses) so look for the link when you access your MYOB courses and use the free trial software to practice what you learn in the video tutorials and training workbooks.
While we’re on the topic of free MYOB software, did you know that we provide free training course samples for most of our online courses?Continue reading Don’t use the FREE MYOB Training Student Edition
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.
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.
I’ve written recently about our Accounting Tutor initiative and the response has been fantastic. EzyLearn Accounting Course students are AMAZING!
Our team has gone through dozens of resumes and been very impressed at the knowledge and experience of most of the applicants, but you’ll need to decide which one you like best.Continue reading We’re using your resume bio to sell you as an accounting tutor
We created a free educational guide, called Introduction to Bookkeeping Beginner Basics, which is available to download from the EzyLearn website, and to complement that guide, we’ve been publishing a series of blog posts, also titled Bookkeeping Basics. We’re now three posts in, and we’re going to be look at the chart of accounts, which is the foundational element of every business’s accounting system. The Bookkeeping Basics guide will take you through how to set up a chart of accounts in your accounting software, whether you’re using Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks, while this blog post is going to explain why it’s important.
What is a chart of accounts?
The chart of accounts (COA) is an organisational tool that lists every account in a business’s account system. In the context of bookkeeping, ‘account’ is used to refer to a unique record for each type of asset, liability, equity, revenue and expense. So a chart of accounts, then, is just a system that organises your finances so that your reports make more sense and you can easily see the financial health of your business.
A well-designed COA helps the business to comply with financial reporting standards, and should be flexible enough so that a business can tailor its chart of accounts to best suit its needs. Within the categories of operating revenues and operating expenses, for instance, the accounts might be further organised by business function or by company divisions. As such, a COA can be as large and as complex as the business itself.
Understanding your ‘accounts’
When you set up your chart of accounts, it will be organised the same way every other company does – your banks accounts come first, then all assets, liabilities, equity, income, and expenses in that order. Here’s what each of those accounts mean:
You accounts receivables are considered an asset, as is your income, but the two are completely different things. Accounts receivables are business claims against the property of a customer that’s occurred following the sale of goods and/or services, and income is what you have collected from the sale of those goods or services. In other words, if you invoice a customer and give them time to pay, then that’s ‘accounts receivable’. When you collect the money and deposit it into your account, it’s ‘income’.
Liabilities are notes owed by the business. If you lease anything or you’re buying anything on credit – this includes suppliers who extend a line of credit to you – then it’s considered a liability.
An equity account would be any equipment the company has paid for, or would receive money for if it is sold. Cars, machinery, and certain office equipment are all considered equity. If you had a loan on a business vehicle, the payments you make would be considered a liability, but the vehicle itself would be equity. Each time you make a payment, the liability goes down, while the amount of the equity account would increase. To keep your balance sheet accurate, you need to track both.
Finally, expenses are just that: the money paid by the business for the operation and production of goods and services that are paid for immediately. This includes things like stationery or fuel for a business vehicle, which are paid for at the point of sale, is an expense, where a telephone bill that allows you 14 days to pay, on the other hand, is a liability.
Why a chart of accounts is important
Whether you’re using an old fashioned pencil and paper, an excel spreadsheet, or more sophisticated accounting software, such as MYOB or Xero, it’s important to know where your money is coming from and where it’s going to. A chart of accounts is the organisational tool that allows you to do that. And it’s important to keep it up-to-date, so that, if for any reason, you want a picture of how your business is performing financially, your reports will be accurate.
This blog post is part of our Bookkeeping Basics series, which are being published to complement our new educational guide, also titled Bookkeeping Basics, which you can download for free from the EzyLearn website.