Is Xero now more appealing because of Inventory Management?

MYOB Account Right Plus Has Inventory Management, But…

Yarra Junction to Melbourne city for online MYOB, Excel, Xero training coursesThe premium MYOB product with the PLUS on the end of its name has always come with Inventory and Payroll. These have been the major services that justify the premium price that users have been willing to pay. Now Xero comes with it as standard! Is it another nail in MYOB’s coffin?

More content for our Xero online training courses

We’ve added a new team member, Sue from Yarra Junction in Victoria, and she has over 20 years experience performing bookkeeping and administration work for various clients as well as running her own business. Sue is writing a training guide that demonstrates how inventory (which was just announced this year at Xero) works. We’re using the same structure and information we use in our popular MYOB training course so you can see directly how the software programs are different from each other – apart from Xero being completely in the cloud so you can access it from any device anywhere.

The great thing about Sue…

Sue highlights yet again one of the great features about running an online business and working remotely in the cloud. Any business can work with staff or remote contractors from anywhere (in the world!). Sue is located over one hour’s drive from Melbourne and I’m sure the commute would be hell – it would cost her time and money in transport – yet because we operate on online environment our team are all over Australia! No more travel time, no more traffic, no more sitting in a carpark on the city roads in peak hour. Just a good internet connection and some competent computer skills and we’re off.

If you’re not sure by now, you’ll be happy to know that my focus has always been to help people learn how to use software. Why? So they can get the job they’re after or start their own business. If you like, you can watch a short video (sorry for not shaving for it!) where I talk about my Work at Home Seminar (or WAHSeminar) which is a program we’re constantly working on to help people operate a business or telework from their own home.

If you haven’t already read about it, read the blog I wrote about teleworking centres that are springing up all over regional areas of Australia. Make sure you ‘like’ this blog and share it with your friends on Facebook because the more we all encourage teleworking and the use of technology the more we’ll be able to take back dozens of lost hours each week in travel time (and cost).

All existing Xero course students receive this training

Like all EzyLearn courses, we offer all our training courses for one low price and include every training resource we create. This Xero training course content is the same – every student who has enrolled into the Xero course within the last 12 months will be able to access these new training resources when they’re published.

If you are a business looking to move across to Xero, feel free to write your questions or comments. If you are trying to find a way of working from home, please make contact. We’d love for you to share with us what you are going through. We can very probably help – and others can learn from it.

 

 

The NBN will make it easier to move out of the city and start a business

Regional Australia Is Available To Work For Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth

Is the NBN available in your suburb - national broadband networkA lot has been said in recent weeks about the cost of housing in Australia’s capital cities, but in particular, Sydney, which has the highest median housing prices in the country; a figure that, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, has increased by 30 percent since 2012 and is continuing to rise, seemingly unabated. As a result, people – and I mean all people; couples, families, singles – are moving out of the city to regional areas, where housing prices are lower.

The ability for young people to move out of the city where jobs have always been, and into regional areas where there are fewer employment opportunities has been greatly aided by the ability to work remotely from home, often referred to as a:

  • Virtual Assistant
  • Remote Worker
  • Remote Contractor
  • Internet Worker, or
  • TeleWorker.

I’ve written about the NBN before and how it has the potential to completely change the way people work, and it’s never been a more vital initiative in this country, which is largely crippled by ineffective public transport and rising property prices – not to mention the shrinking number of full time jobs.

The current problem with Internet services in Australia

If you’re a city dweller, which until recently, I was, then you probably take for granted the plethora of options you have when it comes to finding a high-speed Internet service provider. ADSL2++ is available in nearly every suburb of Australia’s capital cities and there’s a very long list of retailers to choose from, each offering competitive bundled deals on home broadband, mobile, landline, and even cable TV and on-demand Internet streaming services, like Netflix and Stan.

In regional areas, your options are somewhat limited and there’s often a waiting list for standard ADSL Internet, due to a lack of ports in the local exchange. If you’re wondering if you just read that right, you did. There is a waiting list for ADSL Internet, which people stay on until someone else moves out of the area and a port becomes available. No, it’s not just tiny, outback towns. There’s even a waiting list in major regional centres like, Wollongong and Newcastle; areas where many people from Sydney are flocking to escape the high cost of property.

I’ve even heard of similar problems occurring in new housing developments in Sydney, notably Wentworth Point near Homebush Bay, which is fewer than 20 kilometres from the CBD. The reason? Telstra either hasn’t upgraded its infrastructure to cope with increased population numbers or, possibly, weren’t consulted during the construction of new developments in outlier suburbs. (If you’ve ever wondered why so many new home developments boast ‘access to high-speed internet’, well that’s why.)

But the NBN will fix that, hopefully

NBN Rollout across Australia will help teleworking, virtual assistants and those running a business from home

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, Australia’s peak communications consumer organisation, has said that the issue stems from Telstra’s ownership of Australia’s telephone exchanges, which occurred when it was privatised in the late 1990s and the exchanges weren’t sold off. The result meant that, while there were more telecos to choose from, Telstra still had the monopoly on the exchanges.

There is some good news for people living in regional areas, though, and it’s the NBN. This year the Telecommunications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced that there are over a million premises that are able to access the NBN, with broadband blackspot areas (regions where no or limited ADSL Internet is available) the major priority. And that brings me back to what I was originally saying about people moving out of cities to regional areas and working remotely from home.

Want to check when it’s available in your area, check your NBN status here..

The NBN makes it easy to start a business in regional Oz

With the help of the NBN, it’s now possible for people to start a business from their home in regional Australia, and still provide services to businesses in the city. This should help to relieve housing stress in major cities as it becomes unnecessary to stay in the city if you can work easily from your home elsewhere; it also gives a much-needed boost to regional economies.

But it’s mostly good for people. For people living in regional communities, they can easily start home-based businesses without being confined their local community for clientele. A bookkeeper in Northern NSW, for instance, can provide remote bookkeeping services to clients in major business centres, such as Newcastle, Gosford and Sydney, in addition to businesses in their immediate locality. Truthfully, they can offer services to businesses anywhere in Australia, because regular travel is not a requirement for their business to function properly.

National Bookkeeping Opportunity

National Bookkeeping is a great opportunity, particularly if you’re like one of the many people living in one of Australia’s regional communities – or thinking of moving to one, but wondering about where you’ll find employment. National Bookkeeping has a number of bookkeeping licensee opportunities available for people who’d like to start and operate their own business, within a structured, proven business model.

Don’t forget that you can claim the full license fee as a tax deduction in your annual tax return. For more information, visit the National Bookkeeping website or you read more on our blog.

The National Bookkeeping license fee is 100% tax deductible

Costs of starting a business are tax deductible

become an independent contract and start a bookkeeping businessIf you’re subscribed to this blog and you’ve been following our recent posts, then you should be aware that we’ve recently partnered with National Bookkeeping to deliver online training courses to their new licensees. We’ve also been writing about the $20k tax breaks introduced in the recent budget, which allows businesses to immediately write off asset purchases up the $20k as a tax deduction (rather than being depreciated over time).

While we caution you to be prudent when it comes to making business purchases, if you had been thinking about becoming an independent consultant and starting a home-based business and needed to make any purchases – office furniture, technology, a training course – now’s the time to do it.

Now that we’ve reached June, there are just a couple weeks left of this financial year, which means that any business purchases you make between now and June 30 will immediately go toward reducing your taxable income for this current financial year. This even includes the cost of becoming a National Bookkeeping licensee.

A tax-deductible license fee

Typically, when you buy a franchise or become a licensee, the franchise or license fee you pay forms part of the cost-base for your franchise or licensed business as your capital asset, and cannot be claimed as a tax deduction. However, because EzyLearn is a partner and is providing its entire suite of training courses to new licensees, the fee to join National Bookkeeping is technically considered a self-education expense.

Self-education expenses, when they directly relate to your business, are a hundred percent tax deductible. If you register before the end of this financial year – that is, June 30 – then you claim it as an immediate tax deduction, and reduce your taxable income by $1,600 straight off the bat – and that’s not to mention any other asset purchases you make, like new cars, office furniture, technology and the like.

Aside from being instantly gratifying to be able to claim a business expense back right away, it’ll also mean that you’ve technically started your new business in the black as opposed to in the red like new most businesses do. So whether the license fee results in a bigger tax cheque this year or just reduces the amount of tax you have to pay to the ATO, it’s still money in your pocket that you can reinvest into other areas of your business.

Register before June 30 to avoid starting your business in the red

One of the biggest hindrances to growth in the first year of business is poor cash flow, and unfortunately many small businesses experience poor cash flow in their first year of trading. It typically occurs when a business makes a number of, albeit necessary, business purchases that leave them cash strapped until they can file a tax return at the end of the financial year. As a result, it makes it difficult to spend money on marketing or to hire a contractor to carry out work you’re not skilled for – developing a smartphone app for your business, say.

As a result, you either miss out on investing in opportunities that will help to grow your business in the long term, or you wind up trying to muddle through it yourself, which is both a waste of your time and is also false economy, because you’re losing money by not attending to the tasks that are going to generate immediate revenue (completing someone’s BAS, for example).

Even though becoming a licensee is a low-risk new business option, which usually includes most of the things you need to start and grow your business during its infancy, like sales and marketing collateral – in fact, National Bookkeeping licensees will want for nothing as nearly everything, with the exception of an ABN and Cert IV accreditation, is included in the license fee – there is some flexibility to how you operate your business, which means that if you decide you want to branch out and offer content marketing services, you may need to regularly work with a designer or developer.

You’ll need money to pay them, and if you want to keep up a good relationship with your suppliers, you’ll want to pay them quickly and on time. Ideally, your end client will do the same for you, but oftentimes they don’t. If you’re always waiting to be paid before you can pay your suppliers, it’s not going to foster good relationships with either your client or your suppliers.

Start your National Bookkeeping business in the black

So that’s why it’s a good idea to register with National Bookkeeping and become a licensee before June 30. It’ll mean being able to claim back the entire license fee this financial year, so you can give your business the best change at growing and becoming a success from the very start.

As a National Bookkeeping licensee, you’ll receive full access to our entire suite of training courses, including our small business management course, which covers all of the important aspects of operating a small business, like developing a business plan, managing the financials, and researching the market – in this case, useful if you decide to offer additional services, besides just bookkeeping.

You’ll also gain access to any future courses we develop, and we currently have a content marketing course in the pipeline. I’ve mentioned in a blog post already that content marketing has become a real focus for many businesses now that they’ve come to realise how important it is to engage and interact with their customers online.

Develop your skills to expand your business

The content marketing course we’re developing is designed to give people the skills they need to start their own home-based content marketing business, which you may decide to utilise by expanding your services beyond just bookkeeping and operate a business that offers a Complete Business Operations service to other businesses.

For a lot of medium-sized enterprises – a plumbing business, for instance – that has a number of staff or contractors and struggles to keep up with the administrative side of the business, being able to deal with just one business would be far more convenient than having to engage each one separately – a bookkeeper, a virtual assistant, and a marketing agency.

But then again, you may just decide to take the skills you’ve learned, create your own content marketing strategy for your business, and implement it yourself. It’s up to you.

Achieve success through education and flexibility

National Bookkeeping and EzyLearn wants you to have the best chance at succeeding in your business venture, and we believe that the best way to achieve success is through education, and that the more skills you have and knowledge you possess, the more likely you are to achieve it.

I honestly, don’t know many other franchises or licensed businesses with that level of commitment to education, nor to the flexibility that comes with it. So if you would like to start a home-based bookkeeping business, but want to have the flexibility to expand you services beyond just bookkeeping, while also having the security that a licensed business offers – an established business model and name, access to infrastructure, training, and coaching – then it’s worth your while to look into being a licensee with National Bookkeeping.

Visit their website for more information, contact the team, or if you’d just like to get started today – before June 30 so you can claim your licence fee back right away – register your interest online.

How much should a local bookkeeper charge?

What is a local bookkeeper worth?

I recently wrote a blog post about whether bookkeepers could also provide marketing services to their clients, which I also touched on in another recent post about starting a bookkeeping business and the need to be diverse in the services you offer as an independent contractor. While brainstorming with Ray from the Startup Academy about the services bookkeeper charge and the rates they can earn we discovered that there is a huge variety of services that a bookkeeper can offer and as a result their rates differ.

What does it take to be a registered BAS agentWith cloud-accounting software like Xero and MYOB using automatic bank feeds (also SAASU in their new announcement with Westpac), a lot of the data entry work involved in bookkeeping is reduced because bank statement entries can be automatically matched to transactions in the accounting software. What was once a time-consuming and sometimes complicated process has now become much simpler, and many business owners can manage the data entry themselves. What a business owner can’t do, however, is file their quarterly business activity statements (BAS) because a registered BAS agent must complete those.

Some local bookkeepers may have very low rates

It’s not uncommon for a local bookkeeper these days to charge between $16 and $20 an hour if they only provide data entry services and can complete the work from their home office. Registered BAS agents can charge a lot more than that because they have to go through rigorous training – which includes a certain number of hours supervised by an accountant – before they can be accredited to provide BAS services.

But what about bookkeepers who have a background more diverse than just accounting or finance? There are many bookkeepers who have held vastly different professions in vastly different industries before they started their own bookkeeping business.

Most new bookkeepers have diverse working histories

Since we started offering our MYOB training courses, we’ve found that many of our students initially wanted to know how to use MYOB so they could look after the accounts for their family business and then later decided to work full-time as a contract bookkeeper for a number of clients.

Most of these new bookkeepers previously had careers in sales or marketing prior to starting a bookkeeping business. By combining these skill sets, these simple bookkeeping businesses could offer turnkey business solutions to other small businesses, such as complete operations management services.

Turning modest hourly rates into sustainable wages

The price you charge for goods or services should always include GST.
The price you charge for goods or services should always include GST.

In doing so, what would have been a modest hourly rate as a bookkeeper, can be transformed into a sustainable wage that will support a whole family. For people of a career change, creating a full service business is the best way to make you more valuable to clients.

That’s why, when we partnered with National Bookkeeping, we said we’d offer our accounting and office productivity training courses as part of the licensee agreement because the more diverse and better skilled a business owner can be, the better chance they’ll have at succeeding in their business.

Possessing the skills you need to understand what’s involved in managing a small business is not only useful to your clients, it’s also useful to you; you’re also running a small business, after all.

Leverage your previous work experience in your new venture

Don’t estimate the value of your previous work experience. A background in marketing, for instance, means you understand consumer behaviours, your know how to package products or services so they’ll sell, and you have a strategic mind. These are invaluable skills to bring to any business, so leverage them.

Package your skills, whatever they may be, and develop a truly unique business offering that will help other businesses become more profitable, as well as your own. A full-service Small Business Operations and Management business, for instance, could easily charge their clients upwards of $65 an hour for one of their consultants (you) to manage the bookkeeping and other business operations for a client.

The demand is high for bookkeepers

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to use MYOB or Xero. Just take one of our MYOB or Xero courses, which teach you the fundamentals involved in managing a business’s books and then use your bookkeeping services as a way to get your foot in the door with clients.

As I mentioned in my post on starting a bookkeeping business every business has to file a tax return so it’s vital that they keep their bookkeeping up-to-date. Most businesses won’t think they need someone to manage the operations of their business, but they will concede they need a bookkeeper. It’s bookkeeping that will deliver the leads you need because it’s such a highly sought-after service.

Even though a local bookkeeper may only charge modest rates for their data entry services, a more far more experienced, diversified bookkeeping business – or full service operations management business – would earn significantly more for their services.

If you’re thinking of starting a bookkeeping business, you should consider becoming a licensee with National Bookkeeping, where you’ll receive access to EzyLearn’s Word. Excel, MYOB and Xero training courses, as well as any future ones. Alternatively, to learn more about starting a bookkeeping business or about working as a local bookkeeper, continue reading our blog.

Bookkeeping work and pay rates

By the way, if you want to take a look at the indicative pricing for certain types of bookkeeping/accounting tasks, read the Natbooks page about bookkeeping rates.

Why Start a Bookkeeping Business?

Australia needs bookkeepers!

start a bookkeeping business
It can be daunting knowing where to get your first clients when you start your own business.

EVERY BUSINESS HAS A LEGAL requirement to file an annual tax return, and for some businesses, a quarterly or monthly business activity statement (BAS).

Accurate record keeping and data entry is a crucial component of filing both, and with the increasing number of start-ups and new small businesses in Australia, the demand for a good, reliable bookkeeper has been growing steadily.

People start their own businesses for a variety of reasons, but usually it’s because they need flexibility and want to do work that is rewarding.

For some people, starting their own business is the next natural step in their career – perhaps they’ve worked for many years as hairdresser in someone else’s salon; or worked for someone else as a chef or photographer or builder, and going out on their own just makes good career sense.

Bookkeeping: the low-risk, high reward business option

However, for many, the career path isn’t so clear, or they always may have seen themselves shackled to a job working for someone else. To them, starting a business always seemed like something that hinged on a really great idea or new invention, and in absence of either, it has remained out of their grasp.

But it’s not. Becoming a bookkeeper is an accessible, low-risk new business option for any self-motivated person with good computer skills. You don’t even have to love being a number cruncher to be a good bookkeeper, because most bookkeepers don’t do much number crunching these days anyway.

The multi-talented bookkeeper

With the rise of cloud-accounting software like Xero and MYOB Account Right Live, for which we offer online training courses in both platforms, most bookkeepers set up the bank feeds option for their clients, which automatically matches transactions in their bank account with the transactions in their accounting software. This eliminates much of the grunt work associated with the data entry aspect of bookkeeping, freeing the bookkeeper up to do other things for their clients (like BAS) or even pick up some extra clients.

Increasingly, though, and this is largely due to the number of new bookkeepers who don’t come from a finance or accounting background, many bookkeepers are diversifying in the services they offer by performing other functions within their clients’ businesses. This demand for multi-talented bookkeepers brings me back to what I was saying earlier in this post about the growing number of new small businesses.

With great demand, comes great opportunity

As more people start new businesses, which only looks set to increase over the next couple of years thanks to the many tax breaks included in this year’s federal budget, these businesses require more than a good, reliable bookkeeper; they also need web developers, content marketers, virtual assistants, operational managers, and the like.

Hiring several different contractors to manage each aspect of their business is not only costly – it’s also time consuming. Most business owners would rather hire just one or two contractors who have a broad base of skills – a bookkeeper with administration and operational experience or a content marketer with web design experience, for example.

Develop valuable business skills

A bookkeeper with business administration skills, which can be obtained by enrolling in our Small Business Management Course, is a valuable asset to any business — and it doesn’t mean you have to become a Jack (or Jill) of all trades.

EzyLearn is passionate about helping people start their own bookkeeping businesses, and to this end, we have worked to help develop National Bookkeeping, an Australia-wide network of Australian bookkeepers and registered BAS agents, which helps to match small businesses with a bookkeeping professional that meets their business needs. National Bookkeeping is now looking to expand its network by licensing its business to people who would like to start a bookkeeping business.

Becoming a National Bookkeeping Licensee

Ever since we started delivering our MYOB training courses online, and watched as other tools like Dropbox and WordPress and the many Google apps made it easier and easier for people work entirely from their home office, we’ve wanted to help people to start their own home-based bookkeeping business.

Finally that dream of ours has been realised with our partnership with National Bookkeeping. As part of the National Bookkeeping partnership, we’re offering our Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, MYOB and Xero Training Courses to National Bookkeeping licensees.

The reason for this is that we believe that continued learning and professional development is crucial for every business owner, especially if they want to stay ahead of trends and new developments in their industry and if you’re interested in becoming an independent contractor running a bookkeeping business from home then these software programs are essential.

Stay ahead of industry trends

Keeping up with industry developments is something we do as a matter of priority at EzyLearn because we want to be able to provide training courses that are relevant to the latest trends, which is why we’re busy working with some of the top digital marketers and strategists to develop our Content Marketing course.

When you become a National Bookkeeping licensee, you’ll have access to this Content Marketing training course as part of the small business marketing course which is available as an optional extra. This will help you market your services more effectively.

***

lifelong learning platform woman online learning for lifeIf you would like to learn more about National Bookkeeping or becoming a licensee, visit the National Bookkeeping website or register your interest online. For more information on starting a bookkeeping business, continue reading our blog, which we constantly update with news and advice on starting a business.

An Aussie Dies In Accounting Wars

R.I.P. Reach Accounting

Reach Accounting Service Shut DownA member of our team was recently asked to recommend a few low-cost, cloud-based invoicing programs to a friend. He’d recently started his own business and for the last few months had been using Excel to create and send invoices to his clients.

[quote]Surprisingly, Microsoft Excel is still a very popular way to create and send invoices for many small business owners,[/quote]

but since Xero and other cloud-accounting programs appeared on the scene, I didn’t think many people still used Excel for invoicing.

Microsoft Excel 2007 Beginners training courses and certificateThis person was using Microsoft Excel because, while he found Xero impressive, the majority of its functions would go unused, so he couldn’t justify the price tag. He was just after something that would allow him to create invoices, estimates and input his expenses. We’ve mentioned three low-cost options in this blog: Quickbooks, Zoho, and Reach Accounting, the latter of which I championed due to it being Australian-owned. EzyLearn developed a course for Reach Accounting and we were the official training provider but sadly they recently shut down their services.

Reach Accounting was officially shut down at the end of April of this year as it’s parent company Net Registry pushes further into the online marketing space to position itself as a one-stop small business start-up shop.

Google reveals Reach Accounting is shutting down

Google Reveals Reach Accounting is shutting down

With Net Registry, you can register a domain name, build a website, and market your business; cloud-accounting seemed, like a logical extension of their offering, and they marketed it heavily to small business owners – sole traders, in particular.

Then, in March, Reach Accounting notified users by email that, effective April 30 of this year (2015), Reach Accounting was closing. And without any fanfare, it did just that and quietly disappeared. There’s no longer any trace of it at the Reach Accounting domain name, and no reason given for its departure from the online accounting space that it so actively pursued not so long ago, but there is still a hint of life on the NetRegistry website – at the time of writing they were still showing the service at their main website: http://www.netregistry.com.au/resources/reach-accounting/

Reach Accounting’s life was a short one. Net Registry acquired a 50 percent stake in the Aussie start-up in 2011, and immediately began offering the software to its existing customers for free. Anyone else looking for a cheap accounting package would pay $14.95 a month.

Can you be too cheap to survive or is there more to it?

In 2011 $14.95 per month was cheap for accounting software – it’s nearest serious competitor at the time was Xero at around $50 a month, and Zoho, which was, and still, is an American-based company with no local operations. Then came the Aussie offerings, Saasu and Reckon, as well as the re-entry of the US-based Quickbooks. The marketplace was suddenly very crowded.

In 2014 Melbourne IT acquired Net Registry for a cool $50M. The acquisition came off the back of some upheaval at Melbourne IT, whose long-time CEO had left the previous December while it struggled to compete in the cloud-computing space; in March the previous year, Melbourne IT had sold off it’s highly lucrative digital marketing unit to a US-based company for $152m, which was nearly equal to the company’s entire market capitalisation at the time.

Perhaps, then, when faced with stiff competition from other local and overseas cloud-accounting services, under the direction of Melbourne IT, the newly realigned Net Registry saw no commercial value in continue its accounting service. If we hear any news for Reach Accounting users we’ll pass it on.

Does this teach you a lesson in your own business?

The skills taught in the Small Business Startup and Admin course have a foundation in researching the:

  • Need for your services,
  • Product and service offering, and
  • Pricing structures

Once you master these skills you should be honing them all the time to understand what you need to do to remain relevant in the market place for your services.

[quote]If you operate a bookkeeping business for example it is a very good idea to learn how to use Xero Accounting software now because more and more small businesses are using it and want someone to do their books for them.[/quote]

We offer all of our Xero Training Courses for one low price (and 12 months access).

Is MYOB the future of cloud accounting?

Intuit Quickbooks is the elephant-in-the-room for MYOB and Xero Cloud AccountingI’ve written before about how MYOB could get SMASHED by it’s VERY large US Competitor, but MYOB could still be the future of cloud accounting. New players could spell the end of the long-established MYOB or possibly even Xero, but maybe the biggest thing MYOB has up its sleeve is its long, rich history. As far as market share goes, MYOB still occupies the majority of it and, while it may appear slow at adopting new features, you can at least count on it being around in the near future.

That’s why our MYOB training courses have always been, and remain to be, the most popular out of our entire suite of training courses because, despite the grumblings of many small business owners, MYOB is still a major player in the accounting software space. As for our friend, he ended up choosing Zoho for his invoicing needs. He was sold on its ease-of-use, powerful smartphone and tablet app, and its easy-to-decipher pricing plan.

Long live Reach, the Aussie accounting software that could(‘nt)!

Can a Bookkeeper Give Online Marketing Advice??

Outsourced Online Content Marketing and Bookkeeping

What is Content Marketing and Does it Work?

Measurement of success of content marketing campaignI recently wrote about content marketing and how we have used it for years to ensure our MYOB and Excel Courses appear in Google’s organic search results. I touched on the topic of “who is your audience”, why it’s important and how it may affect your writing style – in reality you just need to write like you are sending an email to a friend, don’t you think – but one of the most important things is to measure the results of your work.

We started using WordPress as our website development platform because it’s relatively easy to use, but mainly because millions of people use it around the world and there are LOT’s of great tools within the platform that enable any business owner to take control of their website and improve it bit by bit every week or month. It’s like the Microsoft Word of content management systems and enables all of the functionality that most people want to see in a professional website, including the capability of enabling a mobile friendly site (important with the new changes in Google for mobile optimised websites).

If you are starting a content marketing strategy the main thing I can recommend is to keep working at your website every week, writing great new, and relevant content and most of all check your results. The image in this blog post demonstrates the success we had helping one company improve constantly in their organic rankings (in a pretty competitive market). All they did is kept adding relevant text that helps website visitors and wrote regular posts.

Want To Learn How To Do This?

Can anyone do this? Yes they can. Like most things there is a formula to success and it takes constant work and regular improvement. I’ve teamed up with a content writer and a digital strategist (could you imagine seeing that job description even 15 years ago?!), to create a course designed to help you learn how to plan and execute a content marketing strategy.

[box type=”tick” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]If you are interested in learning more, visit our content marketing course page and join the waiting list – I’ll announce when the course is completed and you’ll receive a special invitation offer.[/box]

Can a Bookkeeper Do Content Marketing?

I was speaking with Ray from the Startup Academy and we were talking about what makes a good bookkeeper. He mentioned a conversation he had with an experienced bookkeeper he knows who has been bookkeeping for quite a few years and she mentioned that her focus is changing, that she is now starting to spend time on all sorts of aspects of the finance and administration of the businesses she works for. Because of her knowledge and experience she is able to take over many of the other “operational and administration” aspects of her clients businesses and as a result she can:

  • Do more work for fewer clients (easier to manage, yet still spreads her risk between several clients)
  • Perform more varied tasks for her small business clients
  • Earn a higher rate of pay

Can a Bookkeeper Become a Small Business Manager?

How bookkeepers can earn a higher rateHave you read about our relatively new initiative to help people start their own bookkeeping business? One of the training courses we include is the small business management course and we’ve included it because it helps you clearly define the operational aspects of your business plan. Things like

  • how many customers do you want,
  • how much do you want to charge,
  • what type of work do you want to do etc.

Although there are fairly standard rates that bookkeeper charge for bookkeeping work, these rates can increase if your skill base is broader and you can become more valuable to your clients.

I read a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald (from Feb 27, 2015, by Alexandra Cain) where she talks about the number of bookkeepers there are in Australia (estimated to be 250,000) compared to the number of bookkeepers who are registered with the Tax Practitioners Board as How to become a Registered BAS Agent (12,000). Alexandra introduces the topic of what type of work bookkeepers do and it’s highly practical for them to venture into many other parts of the business.

Every Course To Be Included in National Bookkeeping Package

Start a bookkeeping business not a franchiseThis is the news that I have been waiting to announce – that we will be including ALL of our courses and any future courses to people who join our new bookkeeping business opportunity, National Bookkeeping. New members will receive thousands of dollars worth of training courses in EVERY course we have so they’ll have knowledge (and access to a knowledge base) about

  • Marketing,
  • Website design, Blogging and Internet Marketing
  • Content marketing, plus using Microsoft Office Applications like,
  • Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc

We have courses on using help desk software like ZenDesk (that we use), Dropbox and stacks of other short online courses, PLUS we’ll be creating new ones during the year (and the next and the next) that National Bookkeeping Licensee will have access to.

If you are interested in exploring this opportunity further, feel free to go through the Bookkeeping Business Opportunity FAQ’s or make contact with us for more information.

5 x MYOB Training Courses and 12 Months Access

MYOB Training Courses delivered in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and HobartMYOB Courses

Because it’s the beginning of the year we are receiving a lot of calls from students who are looking to do an MYOB Course so we are thrilled to confirm that we offer access to ALL of our MYOB Courses for one low price and 12 months course access.

When we say ALL, we mean

Why All MYOB Courses for One Price?

You can follow our journey from operating training centres in Sydney’s Dee Why, to the decision to go 100% online at the About EzyLearn page on our website, but I’ll sum it up in 1 paragraph here:

We can guarantee consistent course content to every student, with MYOB Course content developed over 15 years in teaching people how to use MYOB and from some of the best MYOB Trainers in Australia. By creating our own MYOB courses and updating them we are able to focus on the content of our courses as well as the systems to support it online rather than paying for office rent, computers and software licences, trainers and advertising.

MYOB Course Options

The only decision you need to make is whether you want an MYOB certificate and 12 months or lifetime course access. Remember that unlike some MYOB course providers our students can move freely from one course to the next as they please and use the course as a resource while at their new job or operating their own bookkeeping business.

MYOB Videos, Training Workbooks and Knowledge Reviews

With a 100% focus on MYOB Course content we create every form of training material for MYOB accounting software: Videos, Workbooks (with step-by-step exercises) and Knowledge Reviews that test your skills. You can watch a video and try to replicate it with the free MYOB software or follow the exercises in the MYOB Trainingg Workbooks to perform tasks that bookkeepers perform every day in their working environment.

Money-back Guarantee

When we were the first training company to offer MYOB courses online in 2008 we offered the money-back guarantee because not everybody had great broadband Internet speeds, not everyone knew how to navigate around websites and online learning management systems and people where generally scared to use their credit card online. Now-a-days we find that the biggest reason some students find it a comfort is because many students are Mac users and are not sure that they would learn by using MYOB Course content created for the Windows versions of the MYOB software.

Why Thousands of Students Choose EzyLearn for MYOB EVERY Year

We use the Content Marketing approach to building our brand and product awareness and it takes a lot of effort to put the amount of detail we put on our website and in our blog posts. We do it because it shows an ongoing commitment to openness but also to leave no doubt as to exactly what we offer and how we support it. If you want to get to know more about us read some of our blog posts or watch some sample videos. If you are ready to enrol into an online MYOB course then enrol now online and start by 5pm next business day!

69% of MYOB Skills Test Students Failed – Would You?

MYOB Skills Test and online training coursesMYOB Skills Test

It’s that time of the year again when people are acting on their new years resolutions and embarking on training to improve their knowledge and skills. In 2011 we introduce a free MYOB online skills test that anyone can do to test their knowledge of MYOB software and it interesting to see that the average score has increased from 40% to 55% over the last 4 years!

What more interesting is that most attempts resulted in a fail score – 69% of students failed to pass. You can do the test several times if you want and if you get an answer wrong the skills test can show you the correct answer – it helps you learn.

We have a test like this at the end of each section of each course (ie. there are lots of them) and we focus on using them to help students consolidate what they’ve learnt as well as show them what the correct answer is. We see our knowledge reviews as a teaching aid rather than something to be scared of.

If you are interested in learning how to use MYOB to find bookkeeping work or start your own bookkeeping business look at what is included in our MYOB Courses (5 courses for the price of one) and start your journey on a new career or the flexibility of having your own bookkeeping business.

 

MYOB Bookkeeper Triples Income With No Extra Advertising Budget

MYOB Bookkeeper Provides Customer Service

Ever seen these headings in online ads? It’s sensational I know and I’d rather not revert to such tactics, but the truth of the matter is that the personal work you do to become a better networker and learn how to become a good referrer of business to other people will turn you into the “go to” person a lot of small businesses would like. The result is that you’ll pick up more business because people trust you.

I’ve written before about the power of combining websites like LinkedIn and good Referral Marketing techniques, but they worth mentioning again, particularly as Michael Griffiths is holding his next Referral Marketing Master Class very soon.

A recent example that Michael gave me about the benefits that one bookkeeper received because of their new-found referral marketing skills is Don Doolan from First Class Accounts. He was able to triple his lead generation just by focussing his efforts on effective networking and finding a way to help his network on contacts improve their business.

Is Referral Marketing just good Customer Service?

Customer service is an important aspect in every business. It’s so important that even the largest of Australian and US companies use it as a tool to generate more sales! We include Customer Service tips in our Small Business Management and StartUp Course from David Hall and I’m mentioning it here because both customer service and networking require a similar effort in modifying your approach to customers and listening to them.

When you listen to your customers in your regular conversations you’ll discover many opportunities to either:

  • Mention a product or service that you offer, or
  • Mention that you know someone who could provide them with exactly what they are looking for.

Just by writing this email I am referring Michael and his Referral Marketing course because I have seen the benefits from other people in our network and I know how important it is to have a good relationship with key customers.

MYOB Bookkeeper Marketing

If you are one of our MYOB Bookkeeping Course students and you are interested in taking the journey of becoming an independent consultant to provide bookkeeping services in your local area please make sure you read about our MYOB Bookkeeper Directory service.

Want help starting a bookkeeping business?

start a bookkeeping business
Business Opportunities for Ordinary People

We have now teamed up with the StartUp Academy to help our students (and anyone else) start their own home based business as a bookkeeper. You’ll be able to earn money by helping people learn how to use programs like MYOB, Quickbooks and Xero or doing the work for them. Learn more about starting a bookkeeping business.

Affiliate Marketing: Partner with Us to Start Your Own Business NOW

start your own business
You can build your own business by promoting ours’ through becoming an affiliate partner with EzyLearn.

Start a Computer Training Business

Do you want to start your own business? Perhaps a home-based business? At EzyLearn, we’re passionate about helping people follow their dreams and start their own businesses. At the moment, we’ve got a host of opportunities available to people who would like to partner with EzyLearn and start their own home-based business with a focus on Bookkeeping.

Start Your Own Bookkeeping or Digital Business

We’ve already helped a number of our students go on to start their own home-based bookkeeping businesses, virtual assistant businesses and even MYOB training businesses using our EzyLearn training vouchers.

Start a bookkeeping business not a franchiseAnd we’re also helping our students start their own digital marketing business by becoming an EzyLearn affiliate marketer and joining National Bookkeeping. Not only can you earn a commission by selling our online MYOB training courses, but you can earn a good hourly rate by helping them through the training material or using MYOB in their own business.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn a commission by recommending a product or service to people within your social networks. Amazon was an early adopter of affiliate marketing programs, which was later championed by Google and its Google Adsense platform.

As an affiliate of EzyLearn, you earn a commission for promoting our training courses through your website and social networking platforms. Ideally, an EzyLearn affiliate will have already completed one of our training courses, such as the MYOB training course, which you can then honestly recommend to your contacts.

We’ll give you a unique URL so you can track when someone clicks on a link to a training course you’ve promoted and track your commissions.

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If you’re looking for a way to branch out and start your own business, bookkeeping is a great start and when you join National Bookkeeping you can choose to also become an EzyLearn affiliate and start earning commissions by promoting our MYOB courses. To learn more about National Bookkeeping and starting a home based business providing bookkeeping services, training and support visit our MYOB Training course affiliate.

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How Bad Do You Want It? (Money, That Is!)

invoicing small business
Don’t do all the hard work and not get paid for it: consult our checklist for what you can do to get paid – and faster.

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.

Continue reading How Bad Do You Want It? (Money, That Is!)

Does Your Bookkeeper Have a Clue?

bookkeeper induction program
Having a bookkeeper induction program will add value to your business.

Having accurate business records is vitally important for any business — and most of that hinges on accurate account keeping. If you’re a small business looking to hire a bookkeeper, you want someone who’ll be able to manage all of the data entry and coding for your company accurately and efficiently. The best way to ensure this is to have a bookkeeping induction program.

The Benefits of Induction

We’ve written about induction programs before, where we talked about how induction programs help boost morale and keep staff engaged. But they’re also important to ensure that each new employee understands what’s expected of them, what they can expect of you as an employer, and what your company’s processes and procedures are.

Employing an MYOB bookkeeper is a good start — particularly if you employ an ex-EzyLearn student. This is because our MYOB training courses act as a quasi induction program to bookkeeping.

But by establishing a bookkeeper induction program at your company, you can make certain that each new bookkeeper, whether they’re a contractor or a permanent employee, will manage your accounts the same way.

Low Cost Online Induction Program Options

At EzyLearn, we offer low-cost online induction program options that are perfect for small businesses. Depending on your requirements, you can create your induction program in PowerPoint and upload it to a learning management system.

From here, you’re able to update and add to it as frequently as you like. Best of all, you can create as many induction training courses as you like. You can separate contractor inductions from new employee inductions, accounting inductions from admin inductions, and so on.

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It’s important to have systems in place for your business, and an induction program allows you to easily train staff in your company’s processes and procedures. It adds value to your business as well. If you’d like to learn more about our induction programs, visit our website or contact our team.

 

Setting Up Automatic Bank Feeds In Xero

Many accountants and businesses are now using Xero instead of MYOB so it's important for bookkeepers to be trained in this.
Many accountants and businesses are now using Xero instead of MYOB so it’s important for bookkeepers to be trained in this.

In our last post we talked about the developments that have occurred over the last few years in the accounting software space; one of which was the introduction of Xero to the marketplace. Since then, a huge number of accountants and businesses have switched to Xero.

Xero has quickly gained momentum in the accounting software space, and while it’s important for bookkeepers to be skilled in MYOB, it’s becoming increasingly important that they’re also skilled in Xero as well.

Upskilling to Xero

We developed a Xero training course for bookkeepers who’d like to add another skill to their CV, or for business owners looking for an alternative to MYOB. Like MYOB, you can add bank feeds to your Xero package, something that  is very popular because it saves you time and money.

Here, Xero Certified Advisor, Jacci Quinlivan, talks us through setting up the bank feeds function in Xero:

“Automatic Bank Feeds are becoming increasingly common and if you are using Xero, it has never been so easy to automate them and make your data processing even easier.

When you are initially setting up your bank account details in Xero, the program will automatically tell you if your bank has the availability to get live data feeds (most banks are Xero partners these days). This involves pre-populating a form with your bank account information and sending it off to Xero’s bank feeds department (a scanned, emailed copy does usually suffice).  The turnaround time from when you email or post the form usually takes between 7-10 working days.

You will receive an email from Xero once this has been completed and your data feeds will automatically sync with your bank. There is now no more uploading manual bank statements and the like from the new processed date. If your accounts aren’t quite in sync there may be a variety of things to check from the accuracy of your opening balances, or maybe you had missed a few transactions when you were manually importing them.

If you need to go back with your data feeds you may need to do this manually as a once off until you reach your current live bank feed date. This will involve you obtaining your banking history in a CSV format (OFX and QIF is fine), ensuring the columns are in the correct format and uploading to your Xero AIS. This may seem daunting, especially if you have hundreds or even thousands of transactions to reconcile, but by using the “cash coding” tab within your program, this can be done much quicker than imagined.”

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We cover setting up bank feeds along with many other aspects to get you working proficiently in Xero in our online Xero Training Course.

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 certainly forced them to find new ways 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.

Xero — Forcing MYOB to be More Competitive

One of those new players happens to be Xero, which has quickly gained momentum as the preferred accounting software among accountants and small business owners. Because of its increasing popularity, we decided to branch out from MYOB training courses by developing a Xero training course as well.

Although it’s unlikely Xero will topple MYOB from their position as the best known and most widely used accounting software, Xero’s presence has forced MYOB to get up off their laurels and find new ways to remain competitive in the marketplace.

For some bookkeepers the increasing fragmentation of the accounting software space is a drag and one that forces them to learn how to use a number of different account software packages as their clients move away from MYOB.

The upside is that all this competition in the marketplace has led to some very useful developments as MYOB, Xero and others battle it out in a bid to stay relevant to their customers. The first big development was MYOB’s decision to follow Xero into the cloud, by launching MYOB Account Right Live.

This was soon followed by the introduction of automatic bank feeds (which we’ll cover at length in a future post), and then MYOB Essentials, the low-cost option for small businesses.

The developments in the accounting software space are likely to keep coming — all to the benefit of you as a bookkeeper and as a consumer.

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So while Xero may not take the crown from MYOB, they are an increasingly popular accounting software choice for many accountants and businesses. If you’re a bookkeeper and you’d like to stay relevant in the marketplace, Xero is a must-have skill.

For more information on our Xero training course, visit our website or contact our team.

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.