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Has the Australian Government shelved its Teleworking initiative for good?

How Teleworking Began in Australia

teleworking
Our Team are teleworking independent contractors and they can help you do the same

In 2011, the then-Gillard Government introduced a teleworking initiative, established to encourage private sector employers to allow their employees to regularly work from home. The teleworking initiative was soon followed by Gillard’s own commitment in 2012 to have 12 percent of all Australian public servants teleworking by 2020. But the initiative also served another purpose: to promote the use of the national broadband network (NBN).  

That was then. By 2013, the Gillard Government had been ousted, and the NBN has been through many different incarnations since it was first announced – it’s still moving forward, albeit as a significantly scaled back offering to what was originally proposed. Also ousted in 2013 was the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE), which oversaw the Government’s Teleworking initiative.

In place of the DBCDE, the Government formed the Department of Communications. It’s primary functions are the same as the DBCDE’s, with one exception: there’s no teleworking initiative, which has ostensibly gone the way of the clog (remember those?). For whatever reason, it now appears that the Federal Government isn’t very interested in encouraging Australian businesses to have their staff telework or to utilise teleworkers, who may be scattered across Australia.

Employed Teleworkers not Independent Contractors?

Could it be that the telework initiative stepped on the toes of various of state and territory level telework initiatives that involved funding, what the NSW Government has dubbed, Smart Work Hubs? Smart Work Hubs, like the one at Wyong on the NSW Central Coast, are essentially co-working spaces established to encourage employers to allow their staff to telework – from one of the government-funded smart hubs, of course.

This is an interesting move, but it relies on people who are already employed and already commuting to a major city centre or business district to utilise the smart hubs, which come at a cost to either the employee or their employer. The locations of the existing five pilot smart hubs in NSW are already located in major areas – Western City and the Central Coast; all areas with easy access to high speed internet services.

For more smarts to be rolled out in other regional areas – Newcastle is rumoured to be next – the existing ones need to prove they’re worth the investment, and that relies on numbers. A significant number of teleworkers, the emphasis here being on teleworkers and not the self-employed, need to be using the smart work hubs regularly enough for the NSW Government to rollout the next phase of smart work hubs.

But as I hinted before, this relies on people who already have access to high-speed internet services at their home and who are still within commuting distance to their place of work, to be willing to pay to telework regularly. Maybe the reason the Federal Government really scrapped its teleworking initiative had nothing to do with the NSW Government’s smart work hubs at all. Maybe it had more to do with it’s new-look NBN.

What the scaled back NBN really looks like

When the NBN was originally proposed, the original plan was to deploy high-speed-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband for most Australians, but that was soon ditched by the Abbott Government for being too expensive. The new-look NBN now consists of a mixed network that prioritises fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology, which means that fibre optic cables are run to each internet node and the rest of the connection is completed through Telstra’s ageing copper wire network.

Under this NBN, the speed of your internet will vary on how far you live from the node. The further away you live, the slower it will be. But it’s okay, the Government has promised that the slowest NBN speeds could ever get to is 25 Megabits per second (Mbps), the same speed the US Federal Communications Commission defined as the absolute bare minimum to be able to call an internet connection broadband.

The other issue, of course, remains the copper wire network, which the Government now has to buy back off Telstra for $11bn (after the Howard Government sold it to Telstra a decade ago) when it discovered there was a lack of infrastructure in most regional areas of Australia that prevented many households from even connecting to the exchange, never mind the port – as well as some households in major cities.

So what now for teleworkers?

If you’re a teleworker and you live near a NSW Government smart work hub, use it. Certain hubs offer discounts to the NSW Government’s definition of a teleworker – someone who usually commutes to their workplace – while the self-employed can still reap the benefit of working from a smart hub, which are located near or offer child minding facilities, cafes, parking, and gyms.

If you were counting on the NBN to make it easier to work remotely or start your own business, don’t give up on it yet. The Government knows that the key to remaining competitive in the global marketplace is to have access to high-speed telecommunications networks, so the NBN is still, and will continue to be, a major priority.

If you’d like to start your own home-based business, but don’t know where to go for advice and support now that the Government has, seemingly, abandoned it’s teleworking initiative, visit the WorkFace website. WorkFace is an EzyLearn business partner made up of a network of teleworking professionals who have helped many EzyLearn graduates start their own home-based virtual assistant businesses.

Blogging is a Teleworking Task

The article you’re reading is part of the EzyLearn blog and this work can be done from anywhere in the world so it’s a popular outsourced task. If you want to explore blogging for your business or want to learn how it works so you can offer it as a service then discover our Blogging for Business Online Training Course.

 

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Seriously, Why Wouldn’t You Use WordPress for Your Website?

Finding Income Opportunities for EzyLearn Students

start a business and work from home bookkeeping, content marketing, admin and moreWe’ve had some exciting news in the last couple of weeks: EzyLearn students who are completing the MYOB Training Courses and WordPress Courses are starting to earn money because we’re helping them get customers AND improve their skills!

I’ve been working with the team at Workface and we’re assembling a training and mentoring program to help EzyLearn students start and operate a business from home. The best part of this, and something I am passionate about, is that we’re helping people from all over Australia become remote contractors (teleworkers, call it what you want) and work from anywhere via the Internet.

Yes, you can start a business & work from home

I recently wrote about how cloud-based software is enabling people who live in regional Australia perform work for businesses in the capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide etc) and also about the Teleworking hubs that are starting to appear around the country as part of the evolution of people living outside the cities and working at home or close to home.

You may also recall that we’ve also launched the Startup Academy this year to provide formalised and structured training and mentoring support. It’s for you so if you are interested in starting a business and working from home we’ve teamed up with some products/service providers to give you a flying start and projects to start on right away.

Explore running your own business from home now

Bright VIC to Melbourne Virtual Assistant is doing content marketing for infant massage business in Sydney
Imagine travelling this far to work for a client. Content Marketing can be done from anywhere

There are opportunities to provide office/admin support services, content marketing, business telephone systems and IT support and of course bookkeeping services and if you’d like to start a business in one of these areas then explore the business opportunities.

When you sign up and join our team you’ll gain exposure to many new online (cloud-based) software and services that enable us to:

  • collaborate,
  • share files,
  • work on project together,
  • set and manage goals and daily tasks,
  • turn to each other for support,
  • create and build your own online profile, and
  • many more skills that will enable you to work for yourself and generate your own income, no matter where you live.

Remember our goal is to help you start a business and work from home – NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE. Helen from Bright is our latest virtual assistant and she is doing some website design and content marketing for an infant massage business starting up in Sydney’s Northern Suburbs! I looked at a Google Map and discovered that she’d have at least 3 hours travel if she wanted to work in her nearest capital city!

Are you looking for someone to help you in your business?

We’re going to document our journey with these remote contractors and share with you some of the growth they go through as they grapple with the new frontier of internet working.

If you are a business looking for any of these services you can Find a Contractor through Workface and our team can get to work for you too.

[button link=”http://workface.com.au/services/find-contractor/”]Find a Contractor[/button]

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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.

 

 

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

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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. Continue reading How much should a local bookkeeper charge?

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Finally! Tax Deductions for Cars for Small Business Owners in the Federal Budget

Instant Tax Deduction, Just Add Money

invoicing small business
Here’s a carrot to start a new business and get instant tax deductions rather than deptreciation

In a recent post about subsidised childcare, I wrote about how the federal government has made it easier for families with one parent working at home to access subsidised childcare. In that post I also mentioned how much easier it is to start your own home-based business (for one, you’ve got all these marvelous training courses from EzyLearn to guide you on your way!) now than it was a few years ago.

But there’s some more good news for small business owners: the government also announced a raft of tax cuts and bonuses to the tune of $5.5b in this year’s federal budget, among them an unlimited number of tax deductions for buying cars, machinery or any other equipment valued under $20k each.

The government to inspire innovation

This is a huge increase to the previous amount small businesses were able to claim as tax deductions, which was a mere $1000 per item. Anything above that $1000 had to be depreciated via the decline in value process. Treasurer, Joe Hockey said the reason behind the tax breaks for small businesses was to encourage and inspire innovation in Australia, which has for years, suffered from a lull in home-grown innovation.

[quote]“This will be of enormous benefit to their bottom line and help businesses with their cash flow. It means innovation. It means jobs. It means more money to invest and grow your business,”[/quote] Mr Hockey told parliament in his budget speech.

For purchases over $20,000, they can also be claimed but will go into a pool to be depreciated; at 15 percent in the first income year and then 30 percent for each year after that.

But wait! There’s more: tax cuts and FBT allowances

Small businesses will also enjoy a tax cut of 2.5 percent for the 780,000 small companies with an annual turnover of fewer than $2 million, while sole traders will get a 5 percent tax cut, capped at $1,000.

Small businesses that give their employees more than one work-related portable electronic device (tablets and laptops, for example) will also be eligible for a fringe benefits tax (FBT) exemption from April 1st 2016. This could prove to be a big motivator for small businesses that would like to see more of their employees working remotely from home or while they’re out on the road.

If you’re already in business and you’ve been thinking about upgrading that PC or company car, if you do it before June 30 this year, you’ll be able to claim it as a tax deduction for this financial year. The same goes for those of you who may have been thinking about starting your own small business, be it a home-based one or otherwise – any of those capital purchases you may need to make to get your business off the ground can be immediately claimed as a tax deduction so long as they’re under $20k.

For now, though, you can still get yourself skilled in MYOB before you start your business and claim it as a tax deduction by taking one of our online MYOB training courses, which give you access to ALL MYOB Training Courses for 12 months or LIFETIME access. Or for more on starting a home-based business, subscribe to our blog or browse the many training courses on our website.

Oh, and Did I Mention The Bookkeeping Business Opportunity?

Start a bookkeeping business not a franchiseI hinted at the 30 day money back guarantee that we now offer for the Bookkeeeping Business Opportunity, but you’ll be thrilled to hear that we will shortly also be announcing the inclusion of all of our software training courses!

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Good news (childcare subsidies) in this year’s budget for mums working at home

Childcare Subsidies for Home Based Businesses

work from home businessIn the federal government budget for 2015/16 the changes included bonuses for small businesses and cuts to daycare subsidies for stay-at-home parents who still send their kids to daycare. The reforms will mean that for families with an income above $65,000 a year, they’ll no longer have access to childcare subsidies if one parent is not working. For families with an income under $65,000 a year, they’ll be limited to twelve hours of childcare a week, unless both parents are in work or study.

What this mean for mums who want to work from home

Well, the good news is that for families where both parents work, they’ll be able to access 24 hours of subsidised childcare each week. That’s regardless of where your employment is; if you’re employed and you’re paying taxes, then you’re entitled to access the childcare subsidy.

For mums (or dads) who need flexibility in their employment so they can still meet the kids at the school gate or take care of them when they’re sick, the reforms to childcare subsidies offer that flexibility.

We’ve written posts about the many benefits of working from home on the EzyLearn blog before, and it’s why our MYOB training courses became so popular. A lot of parents want the flexibility of working from home and decided that the best way to do it was to work for their husband or partner’s business doing the books.

Working from home is easier and more popular

In the last few years, a lot of things have changed. Working from home has become more prevalent as workplaces have downsized and the job market has contracted; the rise of online tools like Dropbox have made it easier for people to telework effectively and efficiently, and we partnered with The Australian Small Business Centre to deliver a Small Business Management Course.

There are now virtually no barriers to starting your own home-based business, regardless of the industry or profession you choose. Just take a look at the number of networking groups now on Meetup, where nearly every member is a home-based office worker or self-employed. And the government just made it a whole lot easier for families with one parent at home to start a home-based business and have the distraction-free time they need to get their work done, too.

If you’ve been thinking of starting your own home-based business or becoming an independent contractor, EzyLearn offers a number of training courses to give you the skills you need to get started, including a new course on content marketing, which is a huge growth area, requiring many skilled, Australian writers, and will be the subject of another blog post soon.

For now, though, learn more about content marketing on our website or by reading our blog and stay tuned for some fantastic news very soon about the new updated offer for anyone interested in starting a bookkeeping business! We’re going to extend our 30 Day money back guarantee for this too!

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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.

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Content Marketing Gives You Organic Success on Google

content-marketing-by-blog-postsWhen I started my blog more than 5 years ago, I felt a bit like a computer nerd. I mean, who wanted to read about how to do bookkeeping and accounting using MYOB?

Then cloud accounting became a thing and software once more became exciting.

MYOB vs Quickbooks vs Xero Training Courses
Share price information for MYOB via Comsec

Incidently, the big fight to become the most successful Cloud Accounting Software is now well underway with MYOB having just been relisted on the ASX and its share pricing diving very quickly.

They’re competing with Xero and we wrote about the fierce competition looming against MYOB in 2010 when Craig Winkler (the man who build MYOB into the success it become now being a significant shareholder in Xero).

What made bookkeeping exciting to so many more people?

Bookkeeping became exciting, in large part, because of the flexibility it offered busy people wanting more control over their working lives, and busy parents trying to juggle priorities.

We could create a content marketing strategy about how cloud accounting makes bookkeeping faster and easier for small business, while also making it possible for parents to work closer to home (or at the family home), performing bookkeeping tasks and avoiding traffic, congestion and time you never get back commuting.

I should also confess that, at the time, I didn’t realise how important AND time consuming content marketing would be. Every blog post takes at least an hour!

You may ask how what appears to be a relatively simple blog post can take that long? In reality, a well researched blog post, including topic research, finding images, finding the right page(s) to link to can take several hours and that’s what we’re going to share in our soon-to-be-launched Content Marketing Course & Services.

Why does it take so long to write a blog post?

content marketing training courses and services
Content Marketing is worth the effort and now is the time.

If it were the case of just writing some sentences, it wouldn’t take that long at all. But what’s the point of that?

I’m not going to insult people, particularly people who have proven that they take the time to read my blogs on a regular basis, with poor quality, rushed content.

Furthermore, everything I write relates to something else we do and it involves:

  • Carrying out research to back up what I write about (like the above information about MYOB shares and a previous blog about both MYOB and Xero getting smashed by a huge US based competitor)
  • Referencing our own landing pages for the services we provide, and
  • Linking to relevant blogs that I’ve written.

Getting found: Optimising your blog posts for Google

I haven’t even mentioned the time and effort in optimising each and EVERY blog post for the keywords that are important to us. That involves:

  • Tags
  • Keyword density
  • Relevant landing pages
  • Keywords in headings
  • Images

Outsourcing blog writing to the Philippines, India or the Ukraine?

Tempting isn’t it? The thought that you can get someone to write a great blog post for your business for $2-3 per hour!

I mean in one day you could get all your writing done and then just schedule the blog posts to be published in something like your WordPress Blog over the next month or two. But it’s not that easy it is?

We are in an age where just stringing some words and sentences together isn’t going to get any one to pay much attention, particularly if there is a hint of broken English or disconnect with the topic. And anyway, if you’re going to write content you need to be an expert don’t you? Who wants to read some words that have just been sprayed onto a page because they have relevant keywords?

Content Marketing Strategy — who is the reader?

Like many tasks involved in small business, the most important part of the work is creating the Content Marketing Strategy; the plan for:

  1. Topics that will interest your readers and potential customers
  2. The keywords to be used in those articles (blogs)
  3. The landing pages that will convert potential customers into customers

Some of these components have nothing to do with the intended reader, but if your content marketing is going to be effective you’ll have to have a clear description of your reader in your head — I like to give them a name, imagine how many children they have, where they live, why they’re using my products/services, who their friends are, how they are going to talk about our company etc.

A wise old business owner I use to speak with regularly kept asking me the question, “Who is your customer, Steve?” This relates to everything. It relates to content marketing, but it also relates to when our courses are available, how we combine several features into one offer, how we try to do more for that market, like find other ways for them to benefit by using our service, hence National Bookkeeping!

What are you doing for your reader?

Start a bookkeeping business not a franchiseMost of our online training students use our services for MYOB Training Courses, Excel Training Courses, Xero Courses and Small Business Management Training.

For most people it’s because they’re looking for bookkeeping work or want to start a bookkeeping business. Finding out as much as possible about why our students do our courses enables us to develop products (and write content about) what they need.

Join our Bookkeeping Directory TODAY

We partner with a bookkeeping directory which is aimed at helping people (our students primarily) find bookkeeping work or start a bookkeeping business. It’s also a great way for small businesses to find bookkeepers who are close to them. 


Find out how you can promote your bookkeeping services to a much wider circle of people by engaging in content marketing.

List yourself on National Bookkeeping

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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!

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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.

 

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Prevent Russian Attacks on Your WordPress Website with Google Analytics

Traffic from Russia, Eastern Europe, Philipines and India?

We’ve been busy these last couple months in upgrading and optimising our websites, fine tuning our online marketing and studying our Google Analytics and came across a Russian based website that was sending a lot of traffic to several of our sites. After closely monitoring our website traffic, landing pages, bounce rates, time on site etc, we found a lot of in bound traffic from a Russian site called Darodar. It made me wonder why we’re all so scared of web traffic from the USSR. In fact it’s a reminder of the fact that labour is very cheap in some of these countries and some companies or individuals can go to great lengths to

The best thing to come from all this really is that by looking at our statistics regularly, updating all scripts and plugins and server side applications not only do we have an up-to-date website with security and protection against online risks, but we understand our website traffic in detail. This is helping us fine tune our website content constantly to provide our website visitors with what they are looking for.

I don’t normally write like this

Google Analytics - Channels, Sessions, Conversions, Sources, Aquisition, BehaviourI don’t normally like to write about all the technical details we have to go through as an online training course provider, but we’ve been assembling some marketing information about our new online business opportunities and realised this is exactly the type of information that we’ll be sharing with students who come along on our online marketing business opportunity.

As it turns out the type of traffic we were getting is called HTTP Referrer Spam or just Referrer Spam and hundreds of people are talking about it online already. Here’s a snipped of some of the sites we discovered. There is a lengthy conversation on an official WordPress Support Forum, and an article on a popular article site called Reddit.

The Best Answer

The best answer we found was this link that confirmed that this type of attack is not malicious to your website, is not a server side issue and won’t affect the ranking and traffic to your site. The biggest issue is that we spent all this time and even ended up going to the site in question (that’s one of their goals!!) and that it distorts our Google Analytics information.

We disable the Darodar Spambot and any traffic from this location. It’s not the best solution because we can’t do this for every website that performs this type of activity, but again, it gives us more clarity about what is happening with our website traffic.

Who cares?

If you want to get to know more about our online marketing contractor business opportunity go visit the StartUp Academy website for more information. I’ll be sending more information out shortly so stay tuned – including the services we are launching to help people start their own bookkeeping business..

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Get Paid Faster Using Your Mobile Phone!

get paid faster using your mobile phone
You can use your mobile phone to get paid – great for tradespeople as well.

No doubt about it, one of the biggest hurdles you face as a small business owner is managing your cash flow. A big part of this is ensuring your clients and customers pay your invoices on time.

Setting up email alerts to remind customers when your invoices are due is a great way to ensure you’re never – or at least, rarely – paid late, which we’ve written about on this blog and even cover in our MYOB training courses. Continue reading Get Paid Faster Using Your Mobile Phone!

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Are Xero and MYOB going to get SMASHED by QuickBooks Online?

Is QuickBooks Online the White Elephant in the Room?

I recently wrote about QuickBooks, once the great competitor to MYOB accounting software, and I thought I would delve a little deeper to see what has happened with the company that use to be their Australian distributor, Reckon and how big they are in the US. I looks to me like we have a period of consolidation on our hands with some very big companies and many of them listed trying to earn the cloud accounting dollar.

We have online courses in MYOB and Xero and are exploring a QuickBooks Online training course.

What do you Reckon about Reckon?

Reckon 5 year Share Performance
Reckon 5 year Share Performance. Information from Commsec. Click to Enlarge

As a public company you can see Reckons financial results and industry commentary at the ASX website and in their latest financial announcements they confirmed that they had parted ways with Intuit as the Australian distributor earlier this year (saving them $2.5M in royalty costs).

Reckon is now a competitor to their previous partners, Intuit, and a participant in the online accounting and bookkeeping software market with their own software service called Reckon Hosted.

If I were Reckon the scariest thing for me would be that the brand that I helped to build over such a long period is now strongly competing directly against me in the local market. Let’s hope they built some good relationships with accountants who’ll continue to work with and recommend their new product lineup. Their share price seems to indicate that they are currently falling out of favour.

Xero vs QuickBooks Online

Xero Oct 31 2014 Share Performance. From Commsec. Click to Enlarge
Xero Oct 31 2014 Share Performance. From Commsec. Click to Enlarge

Xero is the nameplate for online accounting software because they pioneered accounting software that ONLY works in the cloud. A major shareholder in Xero is Craig Winkler, the man who successfully helped MYOB dominate the accounting marketing in the PC era and sold out to Archer Capital who then sold to another large US private equity company Bain Capital.

I wrote about Xero’s financial performance not long after they listed their XRO shares on the ASX (they are a New Zealand company) but their recent share price performance seems to indicate that they are not popular in Australia. The next frontier in online accounting and bookkeeping seems to be integrations and accounting suite tools for accountants. These integrations and add-ons are one way of making their software more important in the suite of programs that small businesses use and a good example is the recent announcement of Xero’s integration with Microsoft’s Office 365.

Visit Xero’s website and you’ll quickly be able to get to their Add-on Market Place.

MYOB vs QuickBooks Online

Bain Capital paid over 1 billions dollars for MYOB to include it in it’s bag of technology investments – see if you can spot MYOB! Although they are no longer an Australian public company they are listed on the ASX and Aussies can invest in the company that now offers a wider range of services that just accounting software. Their revenue has grown significantly in the 2014 financial year according to their announcement on 25th August 2014.

MYOB had many partners in their PC based software but went through a very tough period when accountants were refusing to recommend MYOB customer upgrade their software. MYOB had to re-write their software to cater for the cloud accounting market and some integrations just didn’t work as a result. It appears that the online version is still popular with MYOB Partners and you can learn more about MYOB Add-ons here.

MYOB is still the market leader for accounting software in Australia an although they appear to be a laggard in the online space they are agressively competing with Xero for new customer acquisitions. A recent article by Peter Dinham at IT Wire about Xero and MYOB customer numbers highlights how dirty the fight is getting and how important accountants are in the sale of accounting software. Peter talks about MYOB being the 800 pound gorilla but when you explore the global market for accounting software you cannot ignore Intuit.

QuickBooks Online and the Global Accounting Software Market

Go to Intuit.com and you’ll be presented with a message that says “we’ve gone global” and the option to go to your local country website site. Let’s face it, they’ve been global for a while but it’s apparent that their online marketing for Quickbooks Online is becoming stronger. I read a recent blog post from Sholto Macpherson’s popular Digital First website about the Top 5 Most Popular Features of QuickBooks Online and note that at the bottom of his post he disclosed that he travelled to QuickBooks Connect as a guest of Intuit. It’s a sign of the impending marketing blitz that a massive US company is capable of.

Visit Intuit’s investor relations website and you’ll see that the revenue for Intuit in 2013 was almost 4 times the total capital purchase price that Bain Capital paid for MYOB when they bought it. With that size, established software brand in Quickbooks and a network of Intuit Pro Advisers ready to help small businesses I think this is the space to watch for online accounting software.

Again, as a very established software publishing company Intuit have an impressive range of Add-ons to help improve the functionality of the software as small business look for ways of integrating the ever widening range of cloud-based software they use.

QuickBooks Pro Adviser Offer

Whilst writing this post I became aware of the big launch that Intuit are doing in Australia to strengthen their network of accountants and advisers. It’s started with a blubbery story about the great history of a 30 year old US company, but I found this video which shows what they are willing to do to help Australian Bookkeepers increase their knowledge, get new sales and better support their customers (Small Businesses).

Here it is..

Join our Bookkeeper Directory

Startup Academy - work from home as an independent contractorIf you are a MYOB bookkeeper and want us to help you get exposure and find new small business bookkeeping clients register with our partners at Workface as we build a national bookkeeping database to help you find new clients and help small businesses find honest, hardworking bookkeepers who operate their own home based bookkeeping business.

To be a bookkeeper in this cloud accounting era means that you can perform bookkeeping from your own home office if you do a great job and have a good reputation. Although you can perform this work from home its becoming more important to get that reputation and one of the tried and trusted ways is by meeting people face to face at networking events. When people get to know you and like you they’ll start recommending you to people who they know need a bookkeeper and that is when you’ll discover the power of referral marketing.

Registering for the bookkeeper directory is the first step in our plan to help people operate a business from home. If you want to read more about how we plan to help ordinary people start their own business as independent contractors visit the StartUp Academy website and learn more. You can subscribe for the free guide that I created to help people on that journey.

 

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Google Displays Mixed Messages about Quickbooks Online

Who is Behind QuickBooks Online?

Intuit QuickBooks Google Ad with free trial button
Intuit QuickBooks Google Ad with free trial button

It was once seen as the biggest competitor to MYOB in Australia when accounting software reduced in cost from several thousand dollars (for software like Attache) to several hundred dollars. It was the time when the PC was the craze and suddenly normal people could do their own bookkeeping – so they say. I’m talking of course about QuickBooks.

I was doing some Google searches this morning about QuickBooks Online because I was interested in seeing how Reckon and Intuit now differentiate themselves online and I discovered a couple interesting things. The most interesting to me is how many companies are now putting up a landing page that expects you to make a purchase or sign up right there and then.

Landing Pages

Intuit QuickBooks Google Ad with buy now button
Intuit QuickBooks Google Ad with buy now button

Here are the two landing pages that I discovered when searching for QuickBooks Online on Google. One offers a massive 40% off if you skip the trial and the other says the same message but the action button says “Start My Free Trial”. To me it seems like they are still perfecting their online strategy and are doing some beta testing on what potential customers will do.

What I find most interesting about the current QuickBooks strategy is the expectation that people will register or buy straight away! Perhaps they will when this ad comes up because they have actually searched specifically for “QuickBooks” rather than just online bookkeeping or accounting software, cloud accounting comparisons etc.

Marketing Your Business on Google

Pretty soon, we’ll feature our own bookkeeper directory so every piece of information like this we see we make a note of to see if it is something we can use ourselves.

This also demonstrates something we cover in our Small Business Management Course about testing and measuring – that you don’t always get your message across perfectly every time. The most important thing to do is to make a plan and get started. The best thing you can do is take action and start, then you can measure the results and fine tune, tweak or completely change your marketing strategy.

Share Your Opinion About QuickBooks

I was looking at some of the bookkeepers in our bookkeeper directory and noticed that a good number of bookkeepers still use QuickBooks and know about it. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts and opinions about it.

  • Do you use it?
  • Do you prefer it to MYOB or Xero?
  • Are there things that QuickBooks Online do better than MYOB or Xero?
  • Do you still work with Reckon (who use to distribute Intuit products in Australia) and their online accounting software?

If you have something to share simply send us an email to support @ ezylearn.com.au or post your comments on our Facebook page.

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The Great Compression Squeezes Out Home Based Businesses

There are lots of reasons why it’s a great time to start your own home-based business. I’ve talked about the perks of working from home before, for instance.

But perhaps one of the best reasons to start your own home-based business is that in today’s job market, it actually offers more job security.

Now, this may be pretty much the opposite of what nearly everyone else says about being self-employed, but bear with me. Continue reading The Great Compression Squeezes Out Home Based Businesses