Start a bookkeeping business for very little money

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

Basic Bookkeeping Skills

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

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

MYOB Bookkeeping Skills

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

Start a Bookkeeping Business

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

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

How much can you expect to earn

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

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

Start a bookkeeping business without joining a franchise

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

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

 

Law makes CPD for bookkeepers relevant

CPD for Bookkeepers

I WAS RESEARCHING ABOUT SAFE HARBOURS for a recent blog post and noticed a reference to an ATO Practice Statement. I then realised another reason why Continuing Professional Development (CPD for Bookkeepers) is so important.

Safe Harbours only became relevant to bookkeepers since changes in the law made it mandatory for anyone lodging a BAS to be a registered BAS agent. These changes then resulted in registered Bookkeepers needing Professional Indemnity Insurance and qualifications that demonstrated a thorough understanding of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Safe Harbours ATO PS LA 2006_2 CPD for bookkeepers
Safe Harbours ATO PS LA 2006/2

CPD for Bookkeepers and Tax Law

When I explored this practice statement I realised that it was outdated. The ATO Practice Statement was outdated because of the outcome of a court/tribunal case (see below).

Safe Harbours ATO PS LA 2012_5 CPD for bookkeepers
ATO PS LA 2012/5

I don’t know about you, but if I have some spare time and I’m in the mood for researching, I find it fascinating to discover how the law works, how and why decisions are made and how it affects people in that industry. CPD for Bookkeepers gives you the benefit of keeping up-to-date with your bookkeeping skills.

If you are enrolled in our MYOB Training Courses you get free membership to the Bookkeeping Academy (CPD for Bookkeepers) where I will introduce you to bookkeeping industry professionals who will help you understand more about the industry, the laws that govern the industry and tools you can use.

Safe harbour for misleading statement penalties

Use a registered agent in a safe harbour

Safe Harbour for registered agentsIf you or your BAS agent take care in making a tax return or statement you will not incur a penalty if you have understated your tax liability or overstated your entitlements. This is part of the safe harbour definition by the Australian Tax Office and it highlights a significant change in the legal framework for completing  BAS returns.

The safe harbour only applies to statements made on or after 1st March 2010 and  it  affects who is responsible for tax information lodged with the ATO.

It’s a question of who is responsible for tax information lodged with the ATO, you or your bookkeeper/BAS agent?

Below is a quote from the ATO’s website that puts it in their words:

[quote]For statements made by a tax agent up to and including 28 February 2010, you are liable for any administrative penalty for the making of the false or misleading statement. It is not relevant if you made the mistake, your registered agent or a mix of both.[/quote]

Read more about safe harbours at the ATO website and see a simple example case study.

Safe Harbours around the world

Wikipedia has a definition of a Safe Harbour as it applies in a legal concept.

[quote]Legislators may include safe-harbor provisions to protect legitimate or excusable violations, or to incentivize the adoption of desirable practices.[/quote]

Does it apply to you?

Safe Harbours apply to you if:

  1. You want to be a bookkeeper and lodge BAS’s for your customers and/or
  2. You are a business that uses a bookkeeper.

Legislation came into place on 1st July 2011 whereby BAS agents must have professional indemnity (PI) insurance to protect their clients in case of negligence.

If you are contemplating our MYOB Training Courses to start a career as an MYOB bookkeeper speak to us about the qualifications required to gain admission to the Tax Practitioners Board.

Video: Receipts in a Shoebox?

Receipts in a shoebox

Receipts in a shoebox? Shoeboxed Australian websiteI WAS LOOKING in my top draw and noticed some receipts, bundled by the month, with a bull clip holding them together. Do you know someone who also stores their receipts in a shoebox?

I have, of course, now entered them into our MYOB accounting software. However, it begs the question: How many business people do you know who still store their receipts and other paperwork with way?

 

The legal requirement to file receipts

Every business owner has the legal requirement to keep their accounting records on file even if your receipts are printed on thermal paper and fade after a couple years.

That’s where Shoeboxed could be a very handy service. It doesn’t matter whether you are a bookkeeper making a recommendation to your client, or whether you’re doing it for your own convenience. A service like Shoeboxed provides you with a cheap form of data entry; they do it all for you and provide the information to you online.

 

Easy and cheap

When you sign up to Shoeboxed, you can send your receipts to them using reply paid envelopes or by taking a photo using their smartphone application.

If you are a bookkeeper you could recommend this service because the cost of data entry is much cheaper than you could do by yourself, plus you could be doing smarter things for the rate you charge.

If you are a small business owner and you store your receipts in a shoebox you should definitely take advantage of their Start Free offer and see just how well it works.

 

The cost?

Their lite plan costs $19.95 per month for up to 50 receipts, that’s 40c to enter a receipt. How many receipts could you enter per hour and how much do you charge per hour. I’m only presenting the information this way because it makes very good economical sense as well as provide you with a system to store and retrieve your receipts.

 

Bookkeepers could use it

If you have completed our MYOB Training Courses you’ll learn all about the Day-to-Day transactions in Course 2 (of our 5 courses you receive for one low price) and realise the benefit of letting your bookkeeping clients know about this service.

Learn more about Shoeboxed by watching their video below:

Finding a job using Linkedin as your resume

How to use linkedin to find a job or new customers
How to use linkedin to find a job or new customers

LinkedIn + your resume

I recently wrote about the death of the resume and how Linkedin is replacing the written resume, now I have located a great ebook to help you master the art of using Linked in as a tool to help you find a job or get new customers.

The most interesting change in the employment market that I have noticed is the slow evolution from job seekers looking at job ads to employers searching for the best employees. Social media tools like Linkedin make this all possible.

Attracting the right people

If you are a business owner you have a website to attract customers. You combine great writing and interesting pictures to attract potential customers to your website and then contact details and an offer to ensure they make contact with you. LinkedIn is the same concept for individuals, you combine the right keywords and headings to attract people to your LinkedIn profile. Once people are attracted to your profile you can let them know that you are interested in a job, contracting work or other opportunities.

Find Bookkeeping work or customers

If you are completing our MYOB Training Courses you might want to consider joining LinkedIn if you are not already a member. If you are a member and want to get better results this concise ebook about LinkedIn has some excellent information that will help you get more results from your current LinkedIn profile.

MYOB Payment Terms and Getting Paid on Time

MYOB Payment TermsReceive payments MYOB payment terms

I wrote a blog post about getting paid on time back in late June 2012 and thought I would share some information that might help if your customers are not paying according to your MYOB Payment Terms.

If you are not already aware, MYOB enables you to set payment terms at three levels:

  1. System wide default
  2. Customer (or supplier) card level
  3. Transaction (ie. Invoice) level

Debtor Control and Credit Risk

Setting up MYOB Payment Terms enables you to maintain tight control of your credit risk. When the MYOB Payment terms are set-up correctly you can run reports that show exactly how much money is owed to you and how old it is. The age of the debt is referred to as the Aging Period and it’s commonly 30, 60 or 90 days. We teach these MYOB skills in our MYOB Day-to-Day Transactions course.

Direct Debit Facilities

If you work in or own a business that provides ongoing services and charges a monthly fee then a direct debit facility is something you should definitely look into. Direct Debit services are traditionally offered by the major banks like St George Bank, but there are also some small and nimble companies that help you get paid on time and here are a couple of them:

When you decide to use these services you would create another “bank account” in your chart of accounts and keep track of the money that goes into these accounts, the fees they charge and then the money that comes out and into your main bank account. It’s very similar to setting up a Paypal account for your company, the Paypal account becomes another bank account in your MYOB file that needs to be reconciled.

I hope these tips help to reduce your debt collection woes and make for happier, healthier bookkeeping.

Business plan for your startup bookkeeping business

Start a bookkeeping business plan

Free Business Plan Templates

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

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

Who Starts a Home Based Bookkeeping Business?

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

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

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

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

Bookkeeping Business Plan Built By a Registered BAS Agent

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

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

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

NEW! Start a Bookkeeping Business Without Buying Into a Franchise

Added November 2014

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

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

Want to learn more about starting a bookkeeping business?

Starting a new MYOB bookkeeping business? Got a plan?

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

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

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

Start a MYOB Bookkeeping Business

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

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

How can I possibly predict my future income?

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

What price should I charge?

What if I don’t get that many customers?

Business plan for your bookkeeping business

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

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

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

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

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

Where can I get a business plan?

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

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

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

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

New look MYOB Certificate

MYOB Certificate for Bookkeeper Training CourseMore and more students turn to us to learn how to use MYOB bookkeeping software to find a new job, start a bookkeeping business or be more effective in their current job. To reflect our focussed committment to help you get that job we have re-designed our MYOB training course certificate.

MYOB Certificate designed to find you work

If you complete an MYOB Training Course with us, and you successfully complete all the knowledge reviews in each course you will received the revamped MYOB Certificate that looks like the image in this blog post.

Our courses are delivered 100% online and in keeping with that our certificates are supplied via our support site to students as a pdf file that you can print yourself. By keeping everything online we are able to combine 5 courses into one, from Setup to BAS and Reporting, for a very low price and provide you with lifetime access to the training resources.

We provided a free training video about Xero online accounting software and this is another part of our commitment to students studying to be MYOB Bookkeepers. Our Bookkeeping Academy is available to all students completing an MYOB training course and it’s our way of helping to keep you up-to-date with the latest in bookkeeping software and services (like cloud based bookkeeping systems).

To see the price for our courses with MYOB Certificate as well as Microsoft Excel and WordPress, visit our enrolment page. Remember that you get all courses for one price and lifetime access. This means that if you enrol now into our MYOB Training Courses you receive

  1. Five (5) courses from Setup, Day-to-Day, Bank Reconciliation, GST, BAS, Reporting and Payroll for
  2. One low price, and
  3. Lifetime Access to the course and updates

Our MYOB Certificate course is currently being updated to version 12 and as an EzyLearn student you have access to this new material for no extra charge! Make sure you subscribe to receive our updates via email.

Excel 2007 training courses and certificateIt’s the same with Microsoft Excel Courses, you receive access to all levels (9 short courses in total) from Excel beginners to advanced users for one price and lifetime access and we have training material for 2000-2003 versions as well as training material for 2007-2010 versions.

Enrol now, or see what is included in the MYOB Courses, Microsoft Excel Courses or WordPress Website Design and Blogging Courses.

Congratulations to our new MYOB Bookkeeper graduates

MYOB Training Courses in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, BrisbaneOur most recent MYOB Bookkeeper Training and Microsoft Excel Course graduates have just received their certificates and going through the records it was fantastic to see how many people we are able to help from all over Australia.

When we operated our Sydney training centres in Dee Why (near Brookvale), Gordon (near Chatswood), Parramatta and Burwood we noticed that students would travel a long way to come to our training centres. I won’t even get started about how they would have to try to find somewhere to park, with parking time limits etc etc.

In looking at our recent graduates it gives me a great feeling to know that we are teaching people all over Australia and New Zealand to use MYOB to help them find bookkeeping/accounting jobs or starting their own bookkeeping businesses. Here’s where some of our recent students live and what they said about the course:

Samantha from Agaston, South Australia

Agaston is near Nurioopta, Williamstown and Gawler

The fact that I could start and continue the course when I had the time. It was easy to understand and use.

Wendy from Surry Hills (Sydney), New South Wales

Surry Hills is near Paddington, Alexandria and Haymarket

I can study at my own time

Beverly from Butler, Western Australia

Butler is very North Perth, near Joondalup

Being able to learn at my own pace online.

Geoff from Epping, Victoria

Epping is surrounded by Bundoora, Campbellfield and Craigieburn

Learning more about short cuts and the really powerful nature and depth available in Excel, particularly in Course 303, was most enlightening and beneficial.
Really appreciate the learning at your own pace aspect and the lifetime course and excellent material content. Thank you so much for such an excellent course presented at an affordable price.

Anne-Maree from Sippy Downs, Queensland

Sippy Downs is near Buderim, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Caloundra, north of Brisbane

Nice short videos so you could take breaks and it wasn’t hard to find a certain video if you had to look back over something

Rebecca from Wodonga, Victoria

Wodonga is near Albury on the NSW and Victoria border

Easy to navigate around the site. I liked the short video presentations. If I was interuppted for whatever reason, you never missed too much and it was easy enough to replay.

Carmen from Ruse, New South Wales

Ruse is south west of Sydney, past Prestons and near Campbelltown and Narellan

The sort videos, easy to process and understand the information when presented this way.

 

Want to take a peek at XERO, part owned by MYOB founder?

xero online accounting for remote bookkeepers dashboardI recently wrote about my discoveries of the preferred accounting software for local startup businesses in Sydney and wanted to share something that our resident BAS agent, certified bookkeeper and MYOB trainer has created for you. A training video about how to enter a payment for an invoice you create using Xero online accounting software.

If you are looking at starting your own bookkeeping business it is useful to learn more than just MYOB accounting software to widen your potential client base. It is also good to learn about an online accounting program that is growing very fast in user adoption, such as Xero. Why is Xero growing so fast? There are several reasons, but one simple reason is that you can access your accounting file from anywhere.

As you can see in the free Xero training video at the bottom of this blog, using online accounting software is just like using many other online services, you login and click, type, tab etc. One of the other great features that we have discovered from speaking with accountants and some IT professionals is that your accountant or your bookkeeper can use your accounting system at the same time as you do, without having to worry about sending a data file and wondering who has the most recent version of that data file.

One of the new great features of doing your MYOB training courses with EzyLearn is that you have 12 months free access to the Bookkeeping Academy, through which we will be releasing hundreds of bookkeeping training videos to help budding bookkeepers learn a wider range of software as well as develop new skills to help them find work or build their own business.

Feel free to let us know if you are a XERO user and share your experiences at our facebook page.

Are business startups not using MYOB??

cloud accounting and bookkeeping with xero, saasu, and myobI wrote a recent blog about Daniel from Parking Made Easy and his new startup venture and when I dug a little deeper and asked some more questions I discovered that many of the new technological startup companies that he connects with on a day-to-day basis don’t use MYOB and are not considering it.

Daniel is a member of the Fishburners group, a co-working, entrepreneurial non-profit organisation that business startups can join to share ideas, get support and learn new things. Daniel did a survey of some of his fellow startup businesses at Fishburners and discovered some surprising information – not one of them was considering using MYOB bookkeeping software to manage their business financials! We had to ask why?

Several reasons where given, including:

  • Many of the businesses are still very small so they use Microsoft Excel to manage and keep track of their finances (75%)
  • Some of them were considering a cloud-based bookkeeping system because they could access it from anywhere (25%), including
    • Taking advantage of 12 months free use of SAASU, a cloud-based accounting program that is made available to members of the group
    • Another cloud-based bookkeeping system called XERO.

I wrote a blog post about these cloud-based (basically a website that you signup and log in to) online bookkeeping systems in early 2010 and it’s interesting to see how they have progressed over that time.

If you are completing our MYOB training courses don’t fear, the company is still by far the largest provider of bookkeeping and accounting software for small business in Australia so there are lots of jobs being advertised.

How-To Guides: Writing a killer resume?

Example of a Resume CVIf you are like a lot of students who enrol into our online MYOB and Excel training courses you probably haven’t used your CV in quite a while. I had a situation in 2008 when I needed a CV for a project I was presented with and it was a time consuming task which took a lot longer than I expected.

We’ve been talking to a man who operated his own head-hunting business and he has plenty of experience in not only presenting himself to potential employers, but also as a person who reads resumes, and conducts interviews on a day to day basis.

We also spoke to a professional writer and a rehabilitation consultant and they will share their insights as well as provide tips on how to write the perfect resume, prepare for job interviews, write cover letters and much more. Their team even includes a professional bookkeeper who will share insights about how to find work as a bookkeeper.

These career professionals are team members of our training partners, Workface, and you can read their job seekers blog as well as subscribe so you receive the tips via email.

One of the tid-bits that I can reveal is the importance of personalising every resume so that the recipient feels like you are talking only to them. Subscribe to their blog and get some great job seeking skills.

Want to read other blog posts about resume writing and tips and tricks to find employment?