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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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Small Business Finances: Should You Start Your Business in the Red?

Don't fall into a credit trap by running into debt to finance your small business before you even have your first customer.
Don’t fall into a credit trap by running into debt to finance your small business before you even have your first customer.

The ‘Plan small business finances module‘ of our Small Business Management Course takes students through the steps to creating a financial plan for their small business. Many small businesses get loans and credit from banks and other finance institutions, but how wise is it to get into debt before the doors to your business are even open?

Is Credit the Best Way?

About 20 years ago, the only way businesses could make payments easily was to apply for a credit card from a bank. The bank would then give you an amount of credit, $5000 say, and the more you used it, the more credit you would be offered.

This is great if you have the means to pay it back immediately – and if you do actually pay it back immediately. However, if you’re like most people, having access to large sums of money that can be paid back at a later date – in 30 days, 55 days, 3 months – can lead down a dangerous path for your small business.

Start-Up Finance

We spoke to one entrepreneur who had an idea to start a gourmet packaged meals business aimed at a demographic of busy professionals. He had planned to go the conventional route and borrow $200K to finance his start-up; even though at this point, he didn’t have a single customer.

But there were plenty of other options available to get his business off the ground, rather than getting into debt before he even had his first customer. We suggested using another company’s equipment, contracting the manufacture of the products to another company, or re-branding an already existing product.

The term used in the start-up community for using your own money is called bootstrapping. But it’s one way to guarantee that you will do all the research and determine the most cost efficient way to run your business before outlaying substantial sums of money on equipment or other overheads.

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With new technologies like cloud-based software and high-speed internet, many small business owners have been able to significantly reduce their overheads, which has enabled them to avoid starting their business in the red.

Business is about taking calculated risks for a reasonably predictable reward and it really all comes down to research and knowledge. Live with an asset mentality and don’t get caught in the credit trap. You’ll find out all the best financing options for your small business in our Small Business Management Course.

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Small Business is about Doing

It's time to roll your sleeves up: our Small Business Management Course gets you working on a real life business idea.
It’s time to roll your sleeves up: our Small Business Management Course gets you working on a real life business idea.

As Australia’s leading provider of online training courses, we deliver all kinds of different training courses – and we’ve recently branched into providing online induction training courses to business. But where EzyLearn’s flagship course, the MYOB training course, teaches practical skills in using one of the most popular accounting software packages, it is a completely different kind of course to our Small Business Management Course – and for good reason.

Thinking as if You Own A Business

Our Small Business Management Course is designed to make you think like a business owner. Where our other software-based courses are designed to systematically guide you through a particular software package, our Small Business Management Course needs to be different.

As a business owner, you’ll be thrown curve balls from many directions – especially when you first start out – and the key to surviving them is being able to think objectively and without bias.

You’ll need to be able to problem-solve and sometimes develop new approaches to existing business practices or activities. Running your own business means having a plan, but not always operating to it.

To complete the course, you need to be able to demonstrate that you possess the required skills to successful operate your own business – by researching, thinking and writing.

A Real Business Idea with Tutor Feedback

The Small Business Management Course is deliberately structured so that as you work your way through the course content, you’re applying the exercises and skills you’re learning to a real-life business idea. Then, once you’ve complete the course, you’ll go live with this business idea.

The course gives students an unusual and unique advantage over other soon-to-be business owners because our students get feedback from a tutor that they can then apply to their business strategies.

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This is what makes our Small Business Management Course so popular – because you’re learning with your real business idea, where other business courses merely have student complete exercises or answer questions in relation to hypothetical business scenarios.

If you would like to learn more about our small business management course, visit our website or enrol here.

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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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Why The Business Name You Choose Is So Important: Interview

Choosing a business name that is Google-friendly is important.
Choosing a business name that is Google-friendly is important.

Our Small Business Management Course teaches students everything they will need to successfully start and operate their own small business, which includes how to write a business plan. Throughout the duration of the course and particularly, when it comes to writing your business plan, you’ll need to think about what you’ll name your business. So what does make a good business name?

What’s In a Name?

For this post, we spoke to a business owner whose business has a rather distinctive name: CIA OPS’s Principal, Robert Crane. CIA — or Computer Information Agency — OPS is a Sydney-based technology consultancy firm, which focuses on assisting businesses and individuals improve their productivity using technology and smart business practices.

The name CIA OPS perfectly encapsulates everything Robert’s business does — provide his clients with information about computer-related technology, such as how to streamline a business’s processes for use with cloud-based software or training in Microsoft Office 365 — but at the same time, it’s also a conversation piece.

“Everyone’s heard of the CIA, as in the USA’s Central Intelligence Agency,” Robert says. “So when they hear CIA OPS, they immediately ask me more about my business and what we do.”

Interesting – and Easy to Remember

But because the name CIA OPS has already aroused people’s curiosity, they’re more engaged and interested in what Robert has to say. The fact CIA OPS is also easy to remember is another added bonus.

“Even if they forget the ‘OPS’ part,” Robert says, “They always remember the ‘CIA’ part and the fact we work with computers, which makes it really easy for them to find me Google.”

Is it Google-Friendly?

Which brings us to another important consideration you need to make when it comes to thinking of a business name. Thinking of something quirky and interesting which also represents what your business does is one thing, but ensuring it’s Google-friendly is another altogether.

Google has, in many ways, fundamentally changed the way we do business — and as a result, it has changed the way people select their business name, too.

If your business name is too obscure that it becomes too hard to remember, then it won’t work; if it’s too common that it returns hundreds upon hundreds of Google results, it won’t work, either; if it’s too long, too short, too boring — won’t work, won’t work, won’t work.

“You really need to think about what you’ll call your business, because that is one thing that’s hard to go back and change later,” Robert says. Make sure you check to see if the business name you’re thinking of using is being used already, or is too similar to someone else’s — which could land you in hot water, as you will lean in the intellectual property and general law module of our Small Business Management Course.

Robert’s advice: “Avoid names that include the words ‘solutions’ or ‘networking’ — they’re boring, too common, and pretty obvious — you know, all businesses hope to provide some sort of solution, for instance.

“Be original, give your business name some real thought, and test it out on your friends and family first,” Robert advises.

Being that your business name is so important, we recommend that our small business management students start thinking about potential names as soon as they start the course, so than when it comes time to finishing their business plan, they’ll have something in mind.

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If you would like more information about our Small Business Management Course, click here. For information about the other courses we offer at EzyLearn, click here.

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Suffering Poor Cash Flow? How to Get Paid Faster!

Stop tearing your hair out chasing money and investigate a cloud-based system like ezyCollect.
Stop tearing your hair out chasing money and investigate a cloud-based system like ezyCollect.

Too many small businesses suffer from cash flow problems, which is why our Small Business Management Course covers financial planning and how to monitor and manage your cash flow through debtor management. However, few small businesses suffer from poor cash flow because they’re unaware of how to manage their debtors properly.

Rather they suffer poor cash flow because they lack the resources to chase late payers or, as in most cases, they don’t have the time to stay on top of their accounts receivables to ensure their clients don’t become late payers in the first place.

ezyCollect

This was the case for AJ Singh who, after selling a wholesale distribution business he had owned for five years, began to suffer poor cash flow problems with his next venture. After doing a little research, he discovered that over 90 percent of small-to-medium-sized businesses attributed the failure of their business to poor cash flow.

These startling statistics got the cogs in AJ’s brain turning and ultimately resulted in his latest venture: ezyCollect, a web-based software that synchs to your accounting software to manage your account receivables. We spoke to AJ to find out how ezyCollect works and how you could benefit from it.

Q: Can you explain how ezyCollect works?

A: By synching to your accounting software, ezyCollect uses the account information to send real-time, personalised reminders to customers using a variety of different methods (email, mail, fax, sms, etc). ezyCollect also schedules follow-up phone calls, and includes single-click “demand letters”, on demand credit checks and easy debt escalation tools.

Q: How do the functions of ezyCollect differ or improve on the functions already available within accounting software like MYOB?

A: The functions offered by ezyCollect are not offered by MYOB, but as an MYOB partner, the ezyCollect software enhances the value of MYOB as it reduces the labour costs associated with credit management.

Q: What businesses would benefit from using ezyCollect?

A: ezyCollect is great for businesses with a large number of smaller-value invoices, but all SMEs can benefit from using ezyCollect as it is a completely automated, secure cloud-based application. ezyCollect increases your cash flow and your productivity, because you’re not stuck on the phone all day chasing money when you could be out winning new business.

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If you’re thinking about starting a new business, our Small Business Management Course covers the fundamentals you need to know to successfully own and operate a new business, including financial planning and managing cash flow.

If your business is suffering cash flow problems and you’d like to know more about ezyCollect, visit the ezyCollect website for more information.

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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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The REAL Benefits of Cloud-Based, ‘Real-Time’ Accounting Programs – A CASE STUDY

Having access to real-time info about their business helped Cheryl and Jim climb from just breaking even to owning two stores.
Having access to real-time info about their business helped Cheryl and Jim climb from just breaking even to owning two stores.

So you’re thinking of starting your own business in bookkeeping — or perhaps a small business in another industry? Cloud accounting programs like MYOB Account Right Live, Reach and Xero can make it much easier for you to start a bookkeeping business from home; these accounting programs can also help existing business owners operate and grow their businesses. And the great news is that EzyLearn now offers courses in all three.

MYOB Account Right Live

Today we’re blogging about MYOB Account Right Live. We recommend this in all of our MYOB training courses — not because it’s the latest version of the hugely popular MYOB software — but because it gives business owners the kind of data they need to run their business efficiently and securely. This was no more evident than in the case of Cheryl and Jim; business owners who discovered that they were literally throwing money away by using an outdated version of MYOB. With the recent addition of our new real-time accounting programs to our suite of products, we figured it’s an apt time to revisit this popular case study.

The Blessings of ‘Real-Time’

Perhaps the biggest bonus with cloud accounting software is that you have access to information about your profits and expenses in real-time. This is enormously useful for small businesses to constantly track how they’re going and make any necessary changes.

We decided to take a look at how one business owner grew a moderately successful business into a totally thriving one by using cloud accounting software to track their expenses.

From a Break-Even Bakery — To Owning Two Successful Stores

Cheryl and her husband, Jim, operated a small neighbourhood bakery in a busy block of local shops. Jim was the baker and pastry chef in residence, while Cheryl, who had previously worked as an account executive at an advertising firm, managed the office side of the business.

“I was used to budgets and targets, so it made sense that I would handle the admin side of the business,” Cheryl tells us. “But, coming from a large-scale ad agency, I had been spoilt for choice in the way of CRM and other software that tracked my sales in real-time,” she says. “I didn’t have any of that with the bakery. Just an outdated version of MYOB!”

Cheryl and Jim estimated that it would take them about a year before they would start to see any real traction with the bakery, but a year had come and gone, and they were still just breaking even.

“Jim would come in and go ‘we had a great day today, heaps of customers’ but at the end of the month we were still struggling with all the expenses, paying our staff and trying to pay ourselves a wage too,” Cheryl says. “Finally I asked my accountant what was going on and he just said ‘update your MYOB.’”

Cheryl comments that having access to data they had previously only received once it was too late was a game-changer. “This sounds funny, but I could see we were spending all this money on flour, but our sales didn’t reflect a need for it,” Cheryl laughs.

“Finally I asked my accountant what was going on and he just said ‘update your MYOB,’” Cheryl says.

“I asked Jim if he was over-ordering because that seemed like the logical answer, but he said he only ordered what was needed,” she says. “This led me to do some investigating.”

What the Data Revealed…

Jim would bake an average of 75 loaves of bread a day, but sales records in MYOB showed they old sold an average of 40 loaves a day; Jim was baking twice as much bread as he needed and all left-over stock was thrown out at the end of the day.

“We were literally throwing our money away,” Cheryl says. “But it was a learning curve.”

Before long Cheryl and Jim implemented various other systems to track their stock, so they could better manage their expenses. Within a year, Cheryl and Jim had completely turned their business around.

“Now we have two shops,” Cheryl says. “Where before we struggled keeping just the one going. Being able to see what we were spending as we were spending it — that changed everything.”

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Basically you’re running blind if you’re not able to see your accounts in real time. The use of cloud accounting software like MYOB Account Right Live, Reach and Xero grants you this, safely and securely. Want to get up to speed with everything MYOB? Our MYOB training courses will equip you with the information you need. Enrol today.

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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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How Would You Like to Earn a Share of $237 Billion?

Want a share of $237 billion? If you're in business it's up for grabs!
Want a share of $237 billion? If you’re in online business it’s up for grabs!

If you spent money on Christmas pressies recently, you’re a small part in the continual climb of online trading in this country. Did you know that in 2012, the value of online trading in Australia reached $237 billion dollars? This represents a 25 percent increase year-on-year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This increase in online revenue reflects the growing number of small businesses moving their operations online, either in part or entirely — and it’s largely thanks to new technologies facilitating e-commerce for small business.

The Growth of Online Businesses

Prior to 2006 the online marketplace was all but monopolised by the eBays and Amazons, organisations that had the resources to create the necessary infrastructure needed to allow customers to shop entirely online. After 2006, when we first moved our MYOB training courses online, offering a completely online shopping experience was just starting to gain popularity among the small players like ourselves; in the years since, it’s now pretty much become the norm.

As platforms like WordPress have made it possible to create and maintain a website without any design or HTML knowledge, theme clubs like Woo Themes, which provide web-themes to suit a range of different business types, now even include ecommerce plugins that can be linked with a PayPal account.

By offering you services online, you’re opening yourself up to an entirely global customer base, allowing you to offer new or different services than you did before. Since we moved our business online, we’ve also been able to build on our business — this year we added the highly popular Small Business Management Course to our suite of training courses, for example.

For some businesses, moving online is more of a necessity, a way to stay competitive in a world with ever-evolving technologies. For example, new cloud accounting software like Reach (and we offer a course in Reach Accounting too) makes it easier for small businesses to manage their own books, without needing the services of a bookkeeper.

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For many bookkeepers this could spell doom and gloom, or it could provide them with the opportunity to venture into the business of training people on how to manage their own books. As a bookkeeper looking to extend their services into training as well, by setting up a website with an e-commerce facility, you could partner with us to sell vouchers to our training courses.

With a share of $237 billion up for grabs, now is a good time to consider offering your services online, particularly when it’s become so darn easy! We even offer WordPress training courses, which covers setting up ecommerce, so you’ve no excuse for missing out!

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Introducing Our Reach Accounting Course – The Low Cost Alternative to MYOB

Reach Accounting is giving small business owners a cheap accounting software solution.
Reach Accounting is giving small business owners a cheap accounting software solution.

Ever since we started offering online MYOB courses, we have been encouraging our students to start their own home-based bookkeeping businesses. We’ve also introduced new courses along the way, like our small business management course to encourage our students to become virtual assistants. Now we’re pleased to introduce our latest Reach Accounting Course to provide small businesses with a low-cost alternative to MYOB.

Finally! A Cheap Small Business Accounting Solution

For many small business owners operating fairly simple businesses (say, virtual assistants or teleworkers)  the need to invest in rather expensive accounting software like MYOB has probably never existed.

It’s not uncommon to find a sole trader who still uses Excel to create their invoices, and still keeps a shoebox-full of receipts that they then enter into another Excel spreadsheet, or else endure the wrath of their accountant if they don’t.

This is generally because there’s never been any low-cost accounting software available to them — that was until Reach Accounting, a division of Net Registry, entered the fray a little while back.

Because we’re constantly looking to help small business owners, we’ve partnered with Reach Accounting to offer small business owners a low-cost Reach training course, which includes a free trial of Reach to use while you’re taking the course.

In our new Reach Accounting course, we cover the following subjects:

  • DIY Accounting
  • Set up
  • Daily Transactions
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll

So if you’re a small business owner and you’re looking for some low-cost accounting software, Reach Accounting could be the solution. 

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You can take a closer look at how Reach compares to MYOB. Want to know the honest opinion of a small business owner? We asked a freelancer to test-drive Reach for 30 days; see how it works for them.

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Want to be a teleworker? The Australian Government wants it too

Telework-work from homeSince we closed our Sydney-based training centres in Dee Why, Gordon and Parramatta in 2006 and went 100% online we’ve been able to offer more for a lower price.

For the same price we use to charge for a one day training course in MYOB we are now able to offer ALL 5 MYOB training courses AND provide lifetime course access (INCLUDING updated course content).

You might also recall that our online support team comprises remote workers who operate their own virtual assistant business from all over Australia and even internationally so we are thrilled to be part of the new revolution in remote workers.

We are also very proud to be a Partner of the Australian Government Telework week in the SME (Small Business Sector) and look forward to helping more and more students find work as well as run their own businesses from their own homes.

Remember that we even offer the opportunity to start your own online training business using our established infrastructure AND if you are looking to start your own business as a bookkeeper (or any business for that matter) we now have the Cert IV in Small Business Management on our Learning System.

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Would You Employ A Cheater?

would you cheat in a small business courseWhen you choose to study an online MYOB training course with EzyLearn, you learn every aspect of the MYOB software and how it applies to real-life business and accounting situations. Then, at the end of each module, you complete a test to prove to yourself (and your future employer, even) your knowledge of each module of MYOB, such as payroll, for instance.

There are many people who will argue that tests aren’t necessary; that they’re just an exercise in testing how well you can store lots of information in your short-term memory, then forget it afterwards. They advocate, instead, that you’re marked on how well you performed on your overall coursework, and do away with exams altogether.

[quote]But the thing about an exam is that the better you know your coursework, the better you’ll perform.[/quote]

An exam is designed to taken be taken under pressure. They’re testing your knowledge of things that you are likely to encounter in your day-to-day, and may require you to act immediately. They’re not testing you on something that should be considered at length.

Even though EzyLearn offers lifetime access to our MYOB and Excel training courses, we still expect—in fact, we require it—that our students will pass each test at the end of each of the course modules.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. The first, and this is probably the main reason, is that if you decide to, you can pay an additional fee to receive a certificate that shows you’ve completed and passed our online training courses. This can then be used to show potential employers that you actually know what you’re doing in MYOB—which for many accountants and bookkeepers is either a deal breaker or a deal maker.
  2. But an exam also forces you to study the coursework, whether it’s arbitrarily just to pass the test or thoroughly to make sure you understand and perform well in the test—and this largely depends on your own personal code of ethics. Even if you haven’t done a scrap of coursework before you go to complete a test, the mere fact that you have to complete and pass a test to progress through the course forces you to review the coursework.

It’s easy to cheat in any course by plagiarising someone else’s work. In the academic world, the ramifications involve being awarded an instant fail; in business, it usually involves legal action. But a person’s inclination to cheat and plagiarise someone else’s work raises other ethical questions that those respective punishments don’t address.

Cert IV in Small Business ManagementI recently attended a networking event and spoke with someone who had completed a Cert IV in Small Business Management at a local BEC (Business Enterprise Centre)- they had completed a Government funded course and used the excuse of having to do the course as quick as they could so they could start their own business. The problem was that this person “encouraged” many of the students to work together (which is a good thing), but they ended up handing in the same assignment and in some situations forgot to change the name on their assignment!

Working together in a group is a fantastic way to learn because everyone has their own strengths and the really smart students can often be good teachers for the slow learners, but to simply replicate another persons work and not even use your own writing style and interpretation is very sad. It’s particularly sad when the Small Business Management course is designed to help you create an individual business plan for your own specific business.

[quote]Our assessors mark every assignment and provide individual feedback to ensure you properly examine your new startup business.[/quote]

This brings us to whether or not you would feel comfortable employing someone who had willfully cheated in a training course. Personally, we wouldn’t. Aside from that person displaying very little work ethic (they couldn’t be bothered to do the work themselves, so cheated instead), it also makes us wonder whether they would behave unethically in other ways—would they take our client base and start-up a rival business?

This is why we test our students at the end of each module, and only those students who receive a passing grade do, in fact, pass the course. It’s not because we think our students will cheat; it’s because we want our students to really learn and understand the coursework, so they can excel and succeed in business.

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Do you need the MYOB software to do our MYOB courses?

Free MYOB test drive software
Free MYOB test drive software

A common question we are asked about our MYOB courses is if you need to have the software on your computer to do the course. The good news is that MYOB offer a free version of their software for students and trials, it’s called the MYOB Test Drive.

You could do most of the MYOB courses without using the software because we have over 170 MYOB training videos (covering BOTH MYOB version 19 and earlier AND MYOB version 11 and newer – all for the one price). You can also test your skills using our MYOB course knowledge reviews, but there is no substitute for actually using the software as you learn. The biggest thing it will give you is the confidence to say “I’ve done that using the software”.

Our MYOB training workbooks include step-by-step exercises that enable you to perform most of the tasks that are performed at a business so you’ll definitely need to have the software for that. But many students like to replicate what they see in the training videos.

[quote]You can pause the MYOB videos and have a go at replicating it using the free student MYOB software.[/quote]

If you are looking for bookkeeping or accounting jobs you will almost always be asked about your MYOB skills and nothing gives you more confidence than actually using the software.