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Will Xero Dethrone MYOB as the King of Accounting Software?

Xero may not have toppled MYOB's crown, but they've certainly forced them to find new ways to remain relevant.
Xero may not have toppled MYOB’s crown, but they’ve forced them to  remain relevant.

We’ve been offering MYOB training courses for a very long time and that’s largely because they have long been the market leader in accounting software.

But in the last few years there’s been a definite shift in the accounting software space, and with cloud-based technology, a number of other players have entered the marketplace. Continue reading Will Xero Dethrone MYOB as the King of Accounting Software?

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You Can Still Be a Valuable Bookkeeper Without a Cert IV

Cert IV Bookkeeper
You don’t need a Cert IV to be a valuable bookkeeper for small businesses.

In our last post about getting bookkeeping clients for free, we mentioned how the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (the ICB) only adds bookkeepers to its Practice Directory who are Cert IV-qualified. Having a Cert IV qualification in bookkeeping enables you to apply to the Tax Practitioners Board to become certified to provide BAS services to your clients.

Only Needed for Lodgement of BAS

However, most of the work carried out by a BAS agent is work that can be completed by a bookkeeper without a Cert IV; it’s just that only registered BAS agents can lodge a BAS return for their client.

So while it may be useful for some contract bookkeepers to get their Cert IV qualification so they can lodge their client’s BAS returns among other things, it’s not necessary if you only want to manage the data entry for your clients.

Bookkeepers Needed for Data Entry

In fact, bookkeepers carrying out data entry is one of the core functions required by a lot of small businesses and sole traders because they have become too busy to look after it themselves and because it takes them away from their core work.

An experienced bookkeeper that can look after a business’ books is still an incredibly valuable asset to any business, and as more and more Australians go into business for themselves, the demand for bookkeepers is going to increase.

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So if you’ve completed our LIFETIME access MYOB Training Course with the certificate option, contact us today to arrange to have your profile placed on the MYOB Bookkeeper Directory.

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Introducing the MYOB Bookkeeper Directory

MYOB Bookkeeping Directory
The MYOB Bookkeeper Directory: Helping to connect bookkeepers with clients

At EzyLearn we’re passionate about helping our students start their own bookkeeping businesses — it’s why we offer a suite of training courses to help you hone and develop the skills you need to start your own bookkeeping business. But we’re even more passionate about helping those people and businesses succeed long after they first start trading.

Two-Way, Trusting Relationships with Your Bookkeeping Clients

The key to your success as a business owner is having a pool of customers who need and value your work just as much as you need and value their business. This two-way relationship helps to establish trust; the foundation of every successful business relationship.

But sometimes finding these customers is difficult, even if you’ve been in business for some time already. This is where EzyLearn can help.

The MYOB Bookkeeper Directory: Connecting Bookkeepers with Clients

The MYOB Bookkeeper Directory is a service that helps connect bookkeepers with clients. Effectively, it’s a talent pool in which bookkeepers create and upload a profile of their business, their skills, location and so on, to the MYOB Bookkeeper Directory.

Each time a business is looking for a bookkeeper whose skills or location matches your profile they can make contact with the MYOB Bookkeeper Directory team, who will vet those businesses before putting them in contact with you.

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For EzyLearn students who have completed our MYOB training course, paid for lifetime access and receipt of the certificate, we are offering you a free 12-month membership to the MYOB Bookkeeper Directory. (Membership fees are usually $97/12 months.)

If you are interested in taking up this offer, drop us a line or contact our team by phone.

 

 

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Feedback from Students About Our Online Training Courses

We value - and need - your feedback about our online training courses.
We value – and need – your feedback about our online training courses.

Over the years, we’ve provided online training to numerous Australian – and international – students, whether via our flagship MYOB training course or one of our Excel or WordPress courses, or our more recent Small Business Management Course. Over the years these students have provided us with valuable feedback.

The feedback we receive from our students helps us to understand what’s working and what isn’t, which is why it’s invaluable to us that you get in touch and let us know what you think.

It was based on the feedback we received from our students that we decided to develop our Reach Accounting and Xero training courses. It is also based on the feedback we received that we changed the way we issued our certificates so that students received them faster and could use them to find work.

Recent Feedback

Here’s just some of the feedback we’ve received from our students recently:

“I found the workbooks the most helpful for giving practical experience.” — Karen Dimitri, Glengowrie SA 5044

“The best part is that you can do it on your own time and pace.” — Juliana van Wyk, Hilton WA 6163

“Short, easily digestable videos. Can fit in easily with a busy lifestyle.” — Korina Power, North Shore, Auckland 0630

“I could learn at my own pace.” — Jackie Smith, Sheidow Park, SA 5158

“Doing the workbooks and watching the videos at my own pace has helped me a lot in pursing the current workforce requirements.” — Merritt Ray, Loganholme QLD 4129

“I was able to finish the whole course in just a couple of weeks.” — YoonOck Lee, Atwell, WA 6164

“By watching videos on one particular topic and doing a test straight after relating to those videos, you don’t become too overwhelmed with too much information.” — Michelle Bankstown, NSW 2200

“I am happy as I could completely the course at my own pace. It was easy n simple to understand. As a mother I felt the course was very time efficient. Looking forward to putting my knowledge into action.” — Kimberline Francis, St James, WA 6102

“This course is best for me because I can access any time from home, I can replay any video provided when I didn’t understand.” — Mika Humphreys, Innisfail, QLD 4860

“Everything within the course itself was great. I liked the most how easy it was to understand and navigate through.” — Katie Davis, Whyalla, SA 5608

“Being able to actually move around the sample company file to get a feeling of how the software is structured, made me have more confident.” — Joy Khoo, Mudgee, NSW 2850

“The best parts of this course is that we get freedom to learn and complete this course in your own suitable time. There is not so much pressure that you have to complete in certain time limit. I would advise and recommend this course from EzyLearn to international students who want to further their career in bookkeeping and accounting. It was a great privilege to be part of your institute.” — Prabin Gurung, Auburn, NSW 2144

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We’d love to hear from you too. Get in touch via our course evaluation page.

 

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Amway and Multi-Level Marketing at a Glance

Avon and Amway rely on independent business owners to market their products to their network of friends and family.
Avon and Amway rely on independent business owners to market their products to their network of friends and family.

In a previous post we talked about your own online business opportunity and how you can buy EzyLearn enrolment vouchers for our MYOB training courses at wholesale price, that you can then sell on to your own clients and contacts at retail price. We have sold enrolment vouchers to other training organisations for some time, but it also presents an opportunity for bookkeepers to expand their services to include training for their clients. If you’re wondering why someone would want to sell another business’ products or service, then take a look at one of the most successful multi-level marketing businesses, which relies on people to do just that: Amway.

Amway: Topping $10 Billion

Founded in 1959, Amway is one of the worlds oldest and most prosperous multi-level marketing companies. Like other well-known multi-level marketing businesses such as Avon and Tupperware, Amway utilises a workforce of distributors (known as independent business owners, or IBOs), who directly market the Amway products to their own network of friends and contacts; Amway expands its network of distributors by encouraging their IBOs to recruit and train new people into the Amway business for which the IBO receives a fee.

IBOs purchase Amway products at wholesale prices, and then sell those products at the recommended retail price; the difference is the IBO’s to keep, and in many ways, the Amway business model isn’t that different from your typical bricks-and-mortar business that stocks and sells the products of other companies.

For years the success of the Amway business model relied entirely upon IBOs developing and building their own network of clients, to whom they sold the Amway products. If you’re familiar with the catchphrase, “Ding dong, Avon calling” this pretty much encapsulates how Amway, Avon and the distributors of many other multi-level marketing businesses, won and retained their customers — pounding the pavement and ringing doorbells.

And it was a pretty successful business model, too. According to Forbes, Amway’s revenue in 2012 had reached $10.9 billion worldwide, making them the twenty-fifth largest private company in America; in Australia and the Asia Pacific, Amway’s revenues totalled more than AUD$198 million, while the number of distributors topped more than 100,000 in Australia, alone.

Social Media to Target the Younger Generations 

In 2010, however, Amway saw an opportunity to use Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to expand their reach. As a business that relies on typical social networks to grow and develop their customer base, utilising social media to grow and develop their customer base online, made sense.

Where other organisations weren’t quite sure what to do with Facebook, Amway did as they had always done: cultivated good relationships with their customers. Their goal was to target a younger demographic that was not the typical Amway customer. Because social media platforms like Facebook naturally skew to a younger demographic, Amway’s decision to include social media in their marketing strategies paid off.

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If you’re already working as a bookkeeper, you can expand your range of services and pick up some extra revenue in the process by selling EzyLearn’s enrolment vouchers. Contact us to find out more.

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Bookkeepers: Stand Out from the Crowd and Become ICB Certified

You'll stand out by becoming ICB certified and BAS registered.
You’ll stand out by becoming ICB certified and a registered BAS agent.

Many of the students who take our MYOB training course in order to start their own bookkeeping business wish to then become certified with the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB).

How to Get ICB Stamp of Approval

Since 2006 the ICB has had a set of requirements bookkeepers must meet before they are permitted the ICB stamp of approval. Among these requirements – which also include possessing a Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping) and personal indemnity insurance – all bookkeepers seeking to become certified with the ICB must possess a minimum of two years’ working experience.

For many bookkeepers starting out, getting that two years experience is a tough hurdle, particularly since the vast majority of bookkeepers in Australia are, according to General Manager of the ICB, Rick van Dyk, “independent sole traders”. “That’s why the ICB holds networking events at 59 locations around the country,” Rick says. “Because the best way to get the experience you need to become an ICB certified bookkeeper is to network with other bookkeepers.”

The ICB also holds online webinars each month, but Rick recommends attending networking events in person, because it provides you with more opportunity to network and get to know other bookkeepers.

Good Ways to Gain New Business

While it may seem like a lot of hoops to jump through in order to obtain membership to an organisation that’s voluntary, being an ICB certified bookkeeper does set you apart from the many other bookkeepers; it’s also a way of gaining new business, as the ICB is often the first port-of-call for many businesses looking for a contract bookkeeper.

But Rick van Dyk says that if your really want to stand out as a contract bookkeeper, become a registered BAS agent. “If you’re a contracting bookkeeper, you can look after a client’s data entry and do their reconciliation, but you’re not allowed to print any of the reports and advise your client on figures and so forth, as that contravenes the Act,”

Rick explains. There are currently about 9000 registered BAS agents in Australia, so there’s plenty of opportunity for bookkeepers to enter into this field by becoming a registered BAS agent with the Tax Practitioners Board.

Rick also offers this last piece of advice to budding bookkeepers-to-be: “Learn to use Excel; Excel still plays a very important part of the bookkeeper’s role, so it’s important bookkeepers know how to use it – fluently.”

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You can find more information about out MYOB course here or our Excel course here. Alternatively, if you’d like more information about becoming certified by the ICB, visit their website.

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Be Loved by Google: Use WordPress!

why-google-loves-wordpress
There are many benefits to creating your website with WordPress – and Google loves it too.

Although our flagship training course is our online MYOB training course, EzyLearn also offers a number of other training courses, such as our Small Business Management Course and our WordPress Design Course. WordPress has become one of the most popular free and open-source content management systems in the world and is used by nearly 19 percent of the top 10 million websites, according to Forbes magazine.

WordPress Benefits

What makes WordPress so popular, especially among small businesses, is that you can edit and update content whenever you like. You can select from a number of pre-existing themes, or install a custom-made theme to use for your website. There are also a number of plugins available to WordPress, like Google Analytics, which allows you to track and analyse the traffic visiting your site.

Until far too recently, creating a website for your business was often a costly and daunting exercise. While large organisations typically had in-house web developers and SEO experts, many small businesses retained the services of external web developers.

If you didn’t need to make any changes to your website, this was usually fine. Your web designer would create your website and it was all systems go. But as Google has changed the algorithms that are used to index websites, preferring web pages that are constantly updated, it’s become more necessary to update your website — and often — in order to appear relevant to Google.

The Need to be Googled

Google, the verb, was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006, and is defined as “using the Google search engine to obtain information about something or someone on the World Wide Web.” Thus, it’s necessary to ensure your website appears in Google, so people can google you.

To do this you need to update your content, and frequently. This could involve creating new web pages, or regularly maintaining a blog. However, paying a web designer to upload and publish new content on website on a daily basis is not cost-effective, which is why WordPress has become so popular.

But there are other practical reasons to create and manage your own WordPress website. If you change your business address, or telephone number, you can quickly and easily update those details immediately — rather than waiting until your web designer has the time.

You’d be surprised how many businesses show their incorrect building address or telephone numbers on their websites, because they don’t have an easily updated website. And for each customer who calls, or can’t find that business at their address, that’s a customer they’ve lost to their competitor.

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If your business’ website is not currently easy-to-update, consider using one of the world’s most popular content management systems, and take our WordPress training course today.

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Bank of Queensland not Using BankLink – and Others?

It appears not every bank is using BankLink.
It appears not every bank is using BankLink.

We wrote a post last year about a service called Bank Link, which we discovered is being used by a large number of accountants to reduce the amount of data entry involved in bookkeeping. Being that one of our most popular training courses is our MYOB training course and that many of our students are bookkeepers, we wondered what the bank link service would mean for the future of bookkeepers.

Bookkeepers Still Vital!

As it happens, we don’t believe that the BankLink service will make the role of the bookkeeper redundant, given that there is so much more to be being a bookkeeper than just data entry. In fact, we found that because BankLink eliminates much of the time-consuming data entry process, BankLink should be used by more bookkeepers.

Since the post on BankLink was published, however, we heard from one of our readers who told us that the Bank of Queensland does not provide credit card transactions data through BankLink. We thought this was unusual, so we decided to look into it a little further.

After doing a little digging, we discovered that BankLink is not available to be used with all banking institutions, and Bank of Queensland happens to be one of those institutions. We tried to contact the Bank of Queensland to find out if the BankLink service would be extended to their customers, however, we were unable to reach anyone able to give us any information as to if, and when, this service would be adopted.

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For bookkeepers, or small business owners, even, who are customers of the Bank of Queensland this means that you will still need to enter your credit card transactions into MYOB manually. If you are aware of any other banking institutions that do not provide credit card data though BankLink, we’d love to hear from you — let us know in the comment section below.

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2014: There are Currently More Opportunities THAN EVER for Home-Based Bookkeepers

The numbers don't lie - find out why statistically now is a better time than ever to begin your bookkeeping business.
The numbers don’t lie – find out why statistically now is a better time than ever to begin your bookkeeping business.

With 2013 now come to a close, many of you may be thinking about how you will work in 2014. Now is a better time than ever to start a home-based bookkeeping business! It’s why we offer online MYOB training courses, in addition to Reach and Xero, so you can learn how to use the most popular accounting software in the world. But now, let’s give you three tangible reasons why NOW is one of the best times you could start your own bookkeeping business, working from home:

1. Health and Well-Being Reasons

The reasons for starting a home-based bookkeeping business are many and varied, but some of the first are to do with your own physical and mental health. In a post we published earlier this year, we listed five reasons why you should start a home-based business; we’ve also discussed the benefits to your health that working from home can bring, particularly in reducing your stress. Working from home has never been easier, and it’s a trend that’s fast catching on, particularly in the accounting and bookkeeping industry.

2. Cloud Software and Low Capital Investment — Creating More Opportunities

Cloud-based accounting software is also creating more opportunities for home-based bookkeeping businesses. According to market research firm, IBISWorld, in the five years to 2013, revenue in the bookkeeping and payroll industries has reached $2 billion, with an increasing trend among companies to outsource bookkeeping functions due to the higher level of connectedness — thanks in part to cloud-based accounting software.

But there’s even better news for people looking to start their own home-based bookkeeping business: capital investment is extremely low, and for every dollar spent on capital, the industry spends an average of $26.25 on labour. This is largely due to capital investments being small, and usually only include, computers, access to the internet, accounting software and office furniture.

Due to the industry becoming increasingly fragmented — in 2013, there were some 1,892 registered bookkeeping businesses operating in Australia — there’s a huge demand for bookkeeping services, particularly among SMEs, who usually don’t have any payroll or bookkeeping staff employed full-time.

3. LOTS of Work Available — And Accounting Services Growing

According to ABS data, 96 percent of the businesses operating in Australia are small businesses, of which the largest number operate within the construction industry (16.2 percent), followed professional and scientific services (11.7 percent), and rental, hiring and real estate services (10.5 percent). For bookkeepers that are highly skilled in these industries, there’s no shortage of work. That’s why we also offer a Small Business Management Course, to provide bookkeepers, virtual assistants, or simply anybody who wants to work for themselves, with comprehensive training in what you need to know to run or manage a small business.

But for those bookkeepers hoping to strike up a working relationship with a local accountant, there’s good news on that front, too: the accounting services industry has recorded annual growth of 2.9 percent in the four years since 2009, and annual revenue totaling $16 billion, according to IBISWorld.

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If you’re a bookkeeper and you’ve been thinking about starting a bookkeeping business, you know better than anyone that the numbers don’t lie — the time to start that business is now!

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Is the Death of the Bookkeeper Imminent?

Happy New Year to all our readers! And take comfort in knowing that we think the death of the bookkeeper is FAR from imminent! Read the post to find out.
Happy New Year to all our readers! And take comfort in knowing that we think the death of the bookkeeper is FAR from imminent! Read the post to find out.

All right, so it’s not the most joyful heading we could have gone with on New Year’s Eve, but it’s not actually meant to conjure up doom and gloom! We have  researched and developed new online training courses for Reach Accounting and Xero, which have now been added to our suite of training courses that include the flagship MYOB training course. In the process we’ve spoken to a number of accountants to see what software they’re using, to ensure we’re providing the training courses you need to get a bookkeeping job. This is good news because you can then rely on us to inform you what more you may need to offer clients.

Throughout this process, we’ve come across a number of accountants who are using BankLink, an accounting service we’ve written about previously, which streamlines and automates the data entry portion of managing a client’s account.

The ‘In-House’ Extra Employee

For many accountants the BankLink software, which was acquired by MYOB in June of this year so they could further extend their reach into the accounting space, is being billed as an “extra employee” that never makes mistakes and is comparatively cheaper than the additional in-house bookkeeper or admin person headcount.

The big question for us is: Does this spell the end of the bookkeeper? For instance, think of the way personal computers did away with the need for the office stenographer working in a steno pool? The answer is that this is indeed possible — but this is only if data entry is the sole service you offer. Like most professionals today, the more specialised you are and the more services you can offer, the more likely you are to experience career longevity.

At the end of the day, software is only as good as the person who uses it. If you’re a highly experienced bookkeeper in a particular industry or possess a number of highly sought-after accounting skills, you’ll find BankLink a dream come true in that it eliminates the tedious, time-consuming data entry from your job.

BankLink: Giving You More Time

With more time on your hands, you’ll be able to grow your client-base — a goal for most small businesses and previously only available if you miraculously grew a spare set of hands, or employed a spare set of hands, at least. You may even be able to move your business out of the narrow bookkeeping space into the small business management space.

With the number of new small businesses increasing, the key to their individual survival in a highly competitive marketplace is good management — and who’s more suited to that job than someone with a thorough understanding of account keeping?

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So while BankLink may spell the end of tedious, time-consuming data entry, for the experienced bookkeeper it presents more business and career opportunities — not less. Upskill and enjoy greater career success as a result.

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What is BankLink and Why are So Many Accountants Using It?

Your accountant can access your records easily via BankLink.
Your accountant can access your records easily via BankLink.

As we have freshly rolled out our new Reach Accounting course, as well as our new Xero Accounting coursein addition to our existing and ever so popular MYOB training course — we have been speaking to a number of different accountants across Australia to find out how they currently manage their clients’ bookkeeping needs.

What we’ve discovered during this R&D process is that an increasing number of accountants have told us that they use a service called BankLink, so we thought we’d take a closer look at BankLink to see how it works and what it means for the bookkeeper.

BankLink for Bookkeepers

BankLink is an accounting service that delivers bank transaction data from banks and financial institutions and directly to an accountant, which the accountant then uses to code their clients’ transactions.

For any uncoded data, there are number of online tools that allow an accountant to request additional information from their clients; the coded data is then used for GST, end-of-year tax reports, management reports and various other reports required for tax compliance.

In short, BankLink eliminates all of the data entry usually performed by a bookkeeper, and in June of 2013, BankLink was acquired by MYOB to further facilitate accountants as they manage their clients’ books.

For sole traders and very small businesses that have neither a bookkeeper, nor the time to manage the data entry side of their accounts, their accountant can now manage this for them easily and efficiently, without the added cost of employing an external bookkeeper.

One accountant, extolling the virtues of the BankLink software on the MYOB website calls Banklink his “extra employee; one that never makes mistakes, gets lots done and doesn’t cost much.”

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BankLink is being billed as the future of accounting; the inexpensive future of accounting, where people are being replaced by machines and pieces of software.

So what might that mean for the humble bookkeeper? We look at this in our next post.

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CASE STUDY: Is Reach Reaching the Mark? Hear the Honest Opinion of a Business Owner…

We test drive Reach to see if it reaches the mark for one small business owner.
We test drive Reach to see if it reaches the mark for one small business owner.

We’ve recently added a Reach Accounting course to our suite of online training courses. In a previous post, we gave you the low down on how the Reach Accounting package stacks up against MYOB, but we thought we’d find out what a real, present-day business owner had to say about Reach. So, we asked Angela, a freelance journalist, to test drive Reach for 30 days and then provide us with her honest feedback. Here’s what she had to say:

“As a freelancer, my business is pretty straightforward: I write words for a living and charge people to use them. As a creativity merchant, I’m not paid by the hour; I’m paid for each word that survives the ‘delete’ button, which is fortunate since the left side of my brain is a bit lazy.

Getting new commissions (or business) is a process that involves a bit of back-and-forth with editors over email — outlining story ideas, deadlines and finally agreeing on a price. As such, I never have the need to create estimates and I don’t need to log the time I spend working on my stories.

I’ve been using Zoho Invoice ever since I started freelancing, mainly because I didn’t have a spare five hours to create an invoice template in Excel when I first set up shop. To me, Zoho looked like the easy way out — and to date, it has been.

But how does it compare to the latest bit of accounting software, Reach Accounting? I’ve spent a bit of time using Reach, and for its price point and target market, it’s a pretty handy piece of software for sole traders and small businesses — I can see that it would be particularly valuable for virtual assistants and teleworkers.

As soon as you sign up for your Reach account, you’re asked to enter in your basic, yet important, business information — like your ABN and bank account details — so, without doing anything else, you can send an invoice to one of your customers right away. With Zoho, there was some setting up of invoice templates, adding customers and setting up email gateways, which was a bit tedious.

Then there’s the matter of cost. While Zoho allows you to invoice your customers in Australian dollars, it’s still an American company so your $15 monthly fee is subject to change with the exchange rate; you’re also charged a currency conversion fee from your bank, which is something to be wary of.

Reach, on the other hand, is an Australian company so you don’t need to worry about exchange rates and conversion fees; something I find quite appealing. Plus, included in Reach’s $14.95 monthly fee is the actual accounting software, whereas a full suite of accounting software with Zoho costs a little more.

With Reach, you’re effectively getting more bang for buck and even if I don’t use the accounting side of Reach’s offering, it’s good to know it’s there. I feel the same way about the bread maker I have at home, even though I don’t actually eat bread. Which raises the question: how many businesses would end up using the full accounting side of Reach?

As an accounting novice, I still have an accountant who weaves their magic, presumably in MYOB. I just export and email my earnings for that year, along with my business expenses — which is basically my entire life since I’m a freelancer, so the lack of an ‘export’ function in Reach is a major drawback for me.

I imagine most sole traders and small businesses would do something similar with their accountants and I don’t know how many accountants would be eager to use Reach.

But Reach excels precisely because it isn’t MYOB — or even Xero, for that matter. And it doesn’t need to be. Reach caters to a section of the market that was previously alienated by the likes of MYOB; and now those business owners have a low-cost, easy-to-use solution to their Excel spreadsheet and shoebox-full of receipts. It’s also Australian; and supporting Australian businesses, as an Australian business, myself, just makes sense.

So, at the end of the day, for my money, it’s worth it.”

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If you’re a sole trader or small business owner looking for a low-cost way to manage the accounting side of your business, Reach could be the solution. EzyLearn has partnered with Reach Accounting so that you can access a free student account when you enrol in our Reach training course.

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Does Your Business have a Facebook Page? Here’s 6 Reasons Why You Should!

Do your small business justice and develop a Facebook page.
Do your small business justice and develop a Facebook page.

After they complete our small business management course or MYOB training course many of our students go on to start their own home-based bookkeeping business. Among the many things you learn in our small business management course is how to effectively market a small business.

Why Market?

For any new business, it’s important to market your new business so develop new leads and customers, but it’s also important that your marketing costs don’t outweigh your income. In the marketing module of our small business management course, we talk about Google Adwords, which is a low-cost way to advertise your business online, using keywords.

Another Option is Facebook

Facebook is also another option for businesses large and small, but we think it works particularly well for small businesses, due to the community-minded nature of Facebook, itself.

There’s an old saying around EzyLearn: People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. Facebook helps you to develop online relationships with your customers, allowing them to get to know, like and trust you.

But in case you’re still not convinced, here are another 6 reasons why you should be on Facebook:

  1. Population and penetration: We know that over 1 billion people are on Facebook, but what’s the penetration rate for a market, like the USA, for example? 67 percent of internet users in the US are on Facebook; in Australia that penetration rate is much higher—82 percent.
  2. Age: Facebook skews young—83 percent of 18-29 year olds are on Facebook—but the 45-54 age-bracket has also seen 46 percent growth since the end of 2012.
  3. Income: The incomes of Facebook users higher than any other social media platform. 73 percent of Facebook users earn more than AUD$75,000 compared to 17 percent for Twitter.
  4. Mobile: Social media is the most popular social media app on smartphones and accounts for 66 percent of total social media sharing on iphones.
  5. Gender: Like every other adverting medium, Facebook also skews toward women, but it’s still more gender neutral than Google+ or Pinterest.
  6. Education: Nearly 75 percent of Australian Facebook users have some form of university or tertiary education.

If you’re looking to target any or all of these demographics for your small business marketing campaign, then create a Facebook page and start marketing your services to your followers.

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Superannuation News: What is the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House?

Allocating everyone's super into different super funds can be taxing! Now the government's stepping in to help.
Allocating everyone’s super into different super funds can be taxing! Now the government’s stepping in to help.

One of the modules we cover in our MYOB course is the tricky business of payroll, which includes the even trickier business of superannuation. Over the last 12 months there’s been a raft of changes to the superannuation guarantee, including its gradual increase to 12 percent, which came into effect this July. But super just got easier.

Super: Confusing and Consuming

Many small business owners find managing the day to day items confusing enough without having to look after payroll — a complex, but all-important aspect of any business. Fortunately, the Australian Government has recognised that the superannuation requirements are making payroll and increasingly complicated business that many small business owners struggle with.

Making super contributions for your employees is not just complicated — it’s also time-consuming. Under the current tax laws, each of your employees have the option of selecting their own super fund, which means you can be making super contributions into different super funds for each of your employees. With the Government’s new initiative The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House, those days are over.

The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House

Every small business with 19 or fewer employees is eligible for this free service that enables you to make just one secure superannuation payment to The Super Clearing House, which is then distributed among your employees to their nominated super funds.

The Super Clearing House minimises the paper work and red tape associated with superannuation for small businesses and also allows you to nominate a regular contribution amount for each of your employees, so you can easily meet the superannuation guarantee obligations.

Using The Super Clearing House won’t affect the rest of your payroll requirements in MYOB — though it does look like it’s a direct competitor for MYOB’s M-Powered Superannuation — and once you register for The Super Clearing House service online, you can access it 24/7.

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For more information on The Super Clearing House, visit their website, the Department of Human Services website or download The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House reference guide here.

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Friend or Foe? The Bookkeeper-Accountant Relationship

Bookkeepers and accountants can be allies.
Bookkeepers and accountants can be allies.

IF YOU’VE RECENTLY COMPLETED our MYOB course, or perhaps started your own bookkeeping business, or thinking about starting one, the word ‘accountant’ can sometimes make you feel a little nervous. Particularly if it’s hurled at you in a sentence like: “I’m going to check that with my accountant!”

It is unfortunate, but many people aren’t aware of the important function a bookkeeper can play in a business. Bookkeepers are often relegated to being “the accountant’s poor cousin” (not dissimilar to the way nurses are seen in comparison to doctors); while for some people the only bookkeeper they’ve heard of hangs out at the dog track!

Don’t Fear Your Accountant!

But the word ‘accountant’ really doesn’t need to put the fear of God in you. The fact is a bookkeeper provides valuable services that many accountants simply can’t; and nearly all accountants are more than grateful for the work bookkeepers do.

To work as a professional bookkeeper, you must show you are amply qualified in areas of Australian tax, payroll and sometimes, basic accounting. As it happens, there are many qualified accountants that work as bookkeepers — as is the case with bookkeeping firm, Build on Bookkeeping.

Since most business owners will find themselves an accountant first and a bookkeeper second, if you have a good working relationship with all of the accountants you deal with, they will more than likely refer clients on to you.

So if you can work well with your client’s accountants — by getting your EOFY analysis done in time and the relevant reports to them quickly — you may find yourself a personal advocate for your business.

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So don’t live in fear of the accountant — embrace them. Read our tips on keeping the accountant happy come EOFY and you’re well on your way to a prosperous working relationship with the accountants of all of your clients.