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?
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?
There are plenty of reasons that you have no experience: Changing careers, new graduate or re-entering the workforce after many years away (like when you’ve started a family and been out of the workforce as a parent). These circumstances justify your lack of experience but there are things you can do.
Our team has reviewed the features of some of Australia’s biggest job boards for accounting jobs and we’ve used some of the features that can help job seekers receive notifications when new jobs become available. There is hope and there are things you can do.
Xero is complicated, let’s be honest. I know that Xero tell you the software is beautiful and simple to use but in reality it’s accounting software and if accounting software was easy then everyone would have their BAS’s lodged on time and have no credit risk issues.
It also depends on what kind of past experience you’ve had with accounting and bookkeeping work, but there is a way to up-skill in Xero quickly.
ONE WOULD THINK that an accounting software program that is actually developed by accountants would be the best. However, some believe that the user experience is better with QuickBooks and Xero.
We’ve previously blogged about how QuickBooks accounting compares with MYOB. We’ve also done a comparison of all three accounting programs — MYOB, Xero and QuickBooks.
In doing so, it’s interesting to note that QuickBooks, for small business owners, at least, was the clear winner against MYOB in terms of reporting and user experience. But how does QuickBooks stack up against the increasingly-popular Xero? You may be surprised at the results.
WHEN RUNNING YOUR business, is most of the contact you have with your customers via your mobile phone?
In late 2017 I was involved in a renovation of a Newcastle investment property. During this, I came in direct contact with many tradespeople including:
- asbestos removal contractors
- builders, and
This Xero Accounting and PayPal training workbook is our free gift to you. It’s designed for all tradespeople — and anyone else — who does the bulk of their work (and their pricing) ‘out and about’.
It’s designed to help people who just want to get the financial aspect of their work sorted out — so they can get back to doing what they do best. In the case of these tradies, it was doing a great job on the tools.
DO YOU GET frustrated when you see the little box at the bottom of the BAS lodgement form? You know, the one where they ask how long it took to complete the form because I feel like writing, “It took 10 minutes to complete the form, but 4 hours to do the data entry and bank reconciliation work!”
Junior bookkeepers, accounts receivable and accounts payable clerks, and office administrators will all share that their most time-consuming work is data entry, coding and bank reconciliations. However, there is software available which almost totally automates this work — and it’s becoming increasingly accurate and speedy.
I RECENTLY HAD the pleasure of visiting the Reckon head office in Sydney to learn more about their new Reckon One product — and it’s quite a compelling offer.
To start with, Reckon, a listed company, was not allowed to sell its accounting practice management software (APS) to its competitor, MYOB, because Xero HQ wasn’t much chop.
Yes, that’s right, Xero HQ was deemed so “insufficient and unsophisticated” that it wasn’t viewed by the ACCC as offering any competition in this marketplace whatsoever and therefore they wouldn’t allow MYOB to hold the monopoly.
This made me, and no doubt, many others, realise just how powerful Reckon could be in the online accounting market if it had the right software offer — and now it does.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL of a job site (and they are not all created equal!) is to deliver the highest volume of candidate applications to the job poster (the recruiter or employer), while also providing candidates (job-seekers) with access to the highest volume of top-quality job listings.
Since recruitment classifieds moved online more than two decades ago, the ease with which job-seekers could apply for jobs increased.
Job posters went from getting a handful of applications over the course of a few weeks to hundreds all at once. This spawned the need for businesses to best manage and dare I say it, automate and systemise the hiring process. Continue reading What Do Employers Want From Bookkeeping Job Sites?
ACCOUNTS PAYABLE OFFICERS are responsible for paying invoices owed by a company to its suppliers or vendors.
They typically work in medium to large-sized businesses, where they may also be called an accounts officer and be responsible for investigating the cost of wages, materials, overheads and other operating expenses.
Here are some of the other common tasks you’ll find in an accounts payable officers job description.
The Internet has spawned several cloud accounting software program all over the world including:
Which ones are best for your business?
FOR BUSINESSES WORKING on large projects spanning weeks or even months, keeping track of time, cash flow and profitability is imperative. This is even more so for businesses that work on fixed-rate contracts or tenders.
Such fixed-rate projects are common in the building and construction industry, but also the creative, engineering, and IT industries.
Many of these businesses manage a project’s workflow across a number of different documents (spreadsheets, their CRM, accounting software) — and many don’t manage it properly at all.
As a consequence, projects often come in over budget. A number of cloud-based project management and workflow apps aim to change that, however.
- Lead generation
- Project management
- Cash flow management
PROS: Being a Xero product, it integrates “seamlessly” with the Xero accounting software, along with other third party software, such as Salesforce, Dropbox, Google Drive, ZenDesk and Receipt Bank, plus a number of payroll applications — Smooth Pay, MYOB Payroll (note: not MYOB’s accounting package) and SimplePay.
CONS: Unlike Xero, however, WorkflowMax is pricey; a one-user plan starts at $27.50 per month and can cost as much as $275 a month for a plan for 21-50 users.
Zoho Projects provides planning tools, Gantt charts, timesheets, document management and collaboration tools. Visually, it’s not much, but it’s easy to use. It isn’t as robust as WorkflowMax, but it’s a good tool for smaller businesses. And it’s part of the Zoho ecosystem.
For a Zoho app, there’s a good number of third party apps it integrates with, including Github, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Gmail, Microsoft Office, Basecamp, Dropbox and Slack.
Pricing starts at $25 per month for 20 projects on an “express plan” and tops out at $100 per month for an enterprise plan with unlimited projects; a free, one-project plan is also available.
- project management
- communications, and
- financial management.
The tradie-specific features include a GPS tracker and a site visits feature. Fergus integrates with Xero and MYOB AccountRight.
Basic “starter” plans begin at $19 per month, per user (recommended for concreters, plasterers, roofers and small firms) and tops out at $39 per month, per user for the “professional” plan. Sole traders get access to the starter plans for free forever.
The features — task management, timesheets, messaging, invoices, etcetera — are standard fare.
But the software has opened up its APIs, so businesses can build their own apps, reports and integrations. It already integrates with Xero, QuickBooks online (and desktop), MYOB AccountRight and Freshbooks. It also integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.
Basic “solo” plans start at $10 NZD per month, per user; advanced plans cost $30 per month, per user.
We are always exploring and analysing new and emerging technologies and introducing new content as part of our Updates and Additions policy. Any new content we add to the course in which you’re enrolled is yours’ for free if you’re a current EzyLearn student. Find out more about our suite of Xero online training courses.
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If you’re working as a contractor and using an Australian business number (ABN), rather than a tax file number (TFN), you’re self-employed, and this means you will need to invoice your customers for the products or services you provide in order to get paid.
If you’ve only ever worked as an employee before, you’re probably used to being able to set your clock to payday, but unfortunately this isn’t often the case when you’re a contractor.
Getting paid late — or worse, not at all! — can seriously affect your cash-flow, and in turn, affect the success of your business, which is why we cover things like financial planning in our Small Business Management and Start Up Course.