The Great Compression

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.

In our Small Business Management Course we look a little at business finances and how they can affect the business cycle. In economics, the slowing down of the business cycle, accompanied by a decline in the housing market, the stock market, and an increase in unemployment for more than two consecutive quarters, is referred to as a recession. And if that economic downturn continues long enough, it’s then considered a depression.

We’re technically no longer in a recession, though some parts of Europe still are – namely Greece and Italy, for example – yet there seems to be fewer jobs on offer. Indeed, Australia’s national unemployment rate hasn’t been this high (6.4 percent) for more than two decades, so there are certainly fewer jobs around. But could it also be a case of jobs becoming smaller?

The Compression Effect

I’m inclined to think so. Underemployment is on the rise as many businesses find they no longer need to employ a full time receptionist, because new technologies like VoIP and virtual answering services have made it possible to contract those services out to other companies.

In this sense, we’re entering a period of Great Compression, where jobs are being compressed down from five-day-a-week full time positions to two-day-a-week contract jobs. But because I’m a ‘glass half full’ kind of guy, I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing for workers.

In fact, I see this as a great opportunity for those go getters who have always wanted to start their own business, but who were previously unable to get a foothold in their industry, because their area of expertise – administration, for example – had always been a full-time position that had to be performed in the office.

Specialise Early

Now, with the help of cloud-based software, like DropBox and MYOB’s Account Right Live, most administration tasks can be performed remotely by a virtual assistant; even answering business calls can be routed to a virtual assistant based anywhere in the country with the use of a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.

For people who want to start their own home-based business, this Great Compression of jobs makes it possible to carve out a niche for yourself by specialising in a particular service or area of expertise and contract your services out to other businesses.

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WorkFace has a number of home-based business opportunities available across an array of industries, including work health and safety, training and education, bookkeeping, and online marketing, to name just a few.

If you’re interested in becoming a home-based independent contractor, specialising in one of the industries we have on offer, register your interest on the WorkFace website, and our team will contact you with more information on the opportunity you’ve expressed an interest in.

This post was originally published at the WorkFace website.

Reinvent Your Career: ‘Work At Home’ Seminar

I mentioned in my last post that I will be presenting a Work at Home Seminar at the Reinvent Your Career Expo in

work from home
Steve Slisar, EzyLearn CEO, will soon be sharing how you can work from home.

Sydney on 30 and 31 August 2014. We call it the WAH Seminar and I really hope to see some of EzyLearn’s students there. We’ll have a stand there for our soon to be announced Start Up Academy!

Work at Home with the Start Up Academy

The Startup Academy is the culmination of 14 years in the training industry. Over those years I’ve watched EzyLearn transition from a training centre in Dee Why to having three centres across Sydney and then finally close all centres in 2006 and move all of our training content online. In 2008 online training really kicked off for us. We offered MYOB and Microsoft Excel Online training courses and we began our journey into hiring remote workers to work from home for various parts of our business. We’ve used a number of different services to find the right people for our organisation including oDesk, Gumtree, Virtually Yours, 121 Temps, Freelancer, Elance and even this very blog. Everything we’ve learnt a lot along the way I’ll be sharing with the audience at the seminar.

Good Online Reputation Means You Can Work at Home

Social Media and the Internet have given more people a stronger voice than at any time in human history and as a result we are all faced with our “online profile” and “online reputation” – this is particularly relevant for people who work from home. One of the best examples that I can think of where people want to have a good reputation is eBay. I’ve met many eBay sellers and they are all VERY keen to do a great job and get a great rating and it’s always a pleasure to deal with them. The same thing is now happening with the way we work and provide services.

I’ll be talking about a range of things to help remote workers start their own business working from home as independent contractors, including how to find work. Here’s a little more on what to expect from me:

  • Does it really happen?
  • Does it affect me?
  • How do I fit in?
  • Make yourself stand out
  • Measure the work you do
  • Teleworking
  • The Australian Government wants it
    • – workforce participation
    • – digital disruption
    • – work is about what you do
    • – working anywhere
    • – enablers
    • – benefits
    • – drivers
    • – unmet demand – mature, parents and disabled
  • Our experience
  • Measure outcomes
  • Your public profile
  • Your competitors
  • LinkedIn
  • Do something you enjoy
  • Finding clients
  • Create an engine

Once again, I hope to see you at the seminar. If you would like more information on the Reinvent Your Career Expo, you can visit their website for more details and if you are interested in having me do the same presentation at your industry group meeting, chamber of commerce or other meeting please let us know.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Work at Home Opportunities in our Start Up Academy, visit this page: Work at home business opportunities.

Reinvent Your Career, Become an Independent Contractor

Who wants to work from home?

Ever since we started offering our MYOB training courses online, thousands of students have enrolled and learned how to become MYOB bookkeepers. Many of those students are mums, who were looking to become skilled in a job they could do from home.

In 2012, we added the Small Business Management and Start-up course to our online training platform, to help students to learn a new set of skills that would help them start their own businesses as independent contractors, so they can earn more money, work their own hours, work closer to home, and spend more time with the kids.

If you read this blog regularly, then you might recall that EzyLearn is a Teleworking Partner, an initiative of the Australian Government to get more people working from home, which I am a big believer in. In fact, many of EzyLearn’s team members are independent contractors, who regularly do their work from home.

Come to my Work-at-Home Seminar

So I am thrilled to announce that I will be speaking at the Reinvent Your Career Expo at the Sydney Showground in Homebush this August 30th and 31st! If you are in Sydney, I’d love to see you at the expo, where I’ll be speaking about EzyLearn’s transition into an online business, how we work with remote workers, and how you can find employment as an independent contractor.

Start a home based small business in bookkeeping, WH&S Safety and website design

I’ll also be talking about some other ‘turnkey’ opportunities we have available for entrepreneurs who want to start working straight away in the areas of work health and safety (contractor management), bookkeeping, and WordPress website design and internet marketing, as part of our soon-to-be announced Startup Academy.

For more information on the Reinvent Your Career Expo, you can visit their website, otherwise I will post an update in blog post shortly. I look forward to seeing you all there!

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

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

If you’re working as a contractor and using an Australian business number (ABN), rather than a tax file number (TFN), you’re self-employed, and this means you will need to invoice your customers for the products or services you provide in order to get paid.

If you’ve only ever worked as an employee before, you’re probably used to being able to set your clock to payday, but unfortunately this isn’t often the case when you’re a contractor. Getting paid late — or worse, not at all! — can seriously affect your cash-flow, and in turn, affect the success of your business, which is why we cover things like financial planning in our Small Business Management and Start Up Course.

Designing Your Invoice

When you’re first starting out, getting paid is usually the only thing you can think about, which is why it’s important to remember that the sooner you submit that invoice, the sooner you’ll get paid! But first, how the heck do you design an invoice, anyway?

There was once a time, when contractors and the self-employed had only two options: toil away, creating an invoice in Word or Excel; or buy a rather expensive piece of accounting software, like MYOB. If you’re so inclined, you can still do both of these things — and depending on the scale of your business and your business needs, MYOB could be a sensible purchase — but, behind the door marked ‘internet’, there’s also option number three: use a cloud-based invoicing program.

Introducing Cloud-Based Zoho and Xero

One such cloud-based invoicing program is Zoho Invoice, which we’ve written about previously, and who also offer a range of other small business solutions. There’s also Reach Accounting, which we offer an online training course in, as well as Xero and an infinite number of other online accounting software packages.

Each accounting package makes creating and submitting an invoice, quick and simple. But does that necessarily guarantee you’ll be paid on time? Well, that really depends on the client. However, there are a couple of things you can do to speed up the process and ensure you’re paid on time.

Speeding Up the Time to Payment

Discuss your terms: When you first start working with a new client, discuss your terms with them upfront. We’ve found that a verbal conversation with a customer tends to stay in front-of-mind more than a line in an email or on an invoice.

Make sure you’ve got the right contact: Often the person who commissions or hires you isn’t the person who pays the bills – this is usually the responsibility of accounts payable, so make sure that the person you’re sending invoices to is the person who’ll eventually pay you — you’d be surprised how much time this saves!

Include payment details: This is an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many invoices are sent out into the universe without details of how to actually pay them. Make sure you include your bank details, or if you’re going to use PayPal, make sure that you set up your payment gateways properly.

Use email: If you usually hand someone a hardcopy invoice, or you still fax or mail your invoices, stop now! This is dated and there’s the risk your invoice will get lost — and that means, no money for you (and also no dinner or hot showers, either!). Most accounting programs, if not, all of them, have the functionality to email your invoices to multiple contacts once you’ve created them. This is extra handy, if, as in the situation above, you have two contacts at the company you’re working with.

Offer incentives: We don’t recommend all businesses do this — and certainly not the cash-strapped freelancer or virtual assistant — but if your business has a high turn-over of invoices, and you’ve reached a place where you can feasibly offer customers who pay before the due date a discount off their next bill (or whatever alternative  you can come up with), do it. It never ceases to amaze just what someone will go through just for a little free loot.

Clean, clear and concise: The cleaner the design of your invoice, the clearer your terms are (i.e. in bold, large font and with a moving GIF, if necessary) and concise your invoices are, the quicker you’ll be paid. If your clients don’t know when to pay you or what they’re paying you for (hint: make sure you make your products and services clearly identified and easily trackable in the item/description section of your invoice) and they have to query these things with you, this is another hold-up in the payment process.

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There are plenty of horror stories from sole-traders, contractors and freelancers who haven’t been paid by clients. To avoid being one of them, it’s important to get your invoices right. If you’ve never invoiced someone before, it’s a good idea to have someone else look over your invoice before you submit it to your client.

The EzyLearn MYOB Course Community

At EzyLearn we offer a handful of online training courses: Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook), MYOB Accounting, and WordPress website design and blogging. There are many companies who promote courses online and that’s just what they do — promote courses online — but we try to be a little different.

Here’s why:

  • We offer only a handful of courses and we do them very well
  • Our courses come with LIFETIME Membership
  • As a student you receive fresh, new content without paying extra
  • Where possible, we provide real life exercise files so you can work with the software.

Our Online Community

Our experience with thousands of students has taught us that some students need more interaction than just the videos. They also like to bounce off other people to better understand the software they are learning.

That’s why we provide our Student Community and Tutor Support — to provide our students with the ability to communicate with fellow students, as well as ask questions of our experienced community moderators. It’s like having your own tutor that you can ask questions to who can provide quality answers based on their own experience in their relative industries.

Our students range from job seekers to small business owners and existing bookkeepers wanting to learn more, to accountants who may be thinking of leaving the corporate world and setting up a small business for themselves (or even seeking greater work-life balance).

Qualified Moderators

Our student support community is moderated by our MYOB Bookkeeper and Registered BAS agent, giving students the benefit of both communication with other course attendees (to socialise and to learn) as well as obtain answers to specific questions.

Annual Membership

Our Student Community and Tutor Support is provided on a yearly membership basis and you can continue or opt-out as you please each year. The service is available to existing EzyLearn students or new students enrolling into any one of our courses.

Become a MYOB Training Course Affiliate Marketer

Get paid for promoting our proven course to your friends by becoming an affiliate partner.
Get paid for promoting our proven course to your friends by becoming an affiliate partner.

Earn Income by Simply Recommending Our Courses

We are looking for anyone who has completed our MYOB training course to become an affiliate marketer and earn money by recommending our training courses to people you know.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

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

As an affiliate of EzyLearn, you’d earn a commission for promoting our training courses through your website and social networking platforms.

Selling Something Proven

Ideally, an EzyLearn affiliate would have already completed our MYOB training course, which has helped you get a job as a bookkeeper or take care of your businesses own bookkeeping, so you can honestly recommend our training courses to your contacts.

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

Becoming an EzyLearn affiliate is a great way to earn money for doing something most people do anyway: recommend useful services to their friends, colleagues and contacts.

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If you’d like to learn more about our affiliate marketing program, register your interest as an EzyLearn Agent on the business opportunities portion of our website.

When Should You Work for Free?

It's ok to do work for free, but your clients should be made aware of the extra value you're adding.
It’s ok to do work for free, but your clients should be made aware of the extra value you’re adding.

In our Small Business Management Course there is a module on determining and setting your prices, which includes factoring in things like travel expenses if you’re going to be visiting clients and so forth. But what about things like, installation costs – should you bill your clients for this or work it into the price or just let it slide?

Some businesses work those sorts of prices into their final cost; others – think Foxtel, for example – charge installation fees; but a surprising number of businesses let it slide.

We don’t think this is necessarily a bad idea, though we don’t think you should leave this kind of added value go unnoticed by your clients, especially when you consider some companies charge you for everything – from customer support to installation of their product.

It’s not just big players like Foxtel, either. Consider any time you need some form of legal help, be it a letter sent on your behalf or a consultation, you’re billed for that lawyer’s time. The same goes for the medical profession.

Let Your Customers Know What You’re Adding

When you’re starting out, however, it can be hard to do this because usually you’re just hungry for that first customer. That’s why we think it’s a better idea to do some work for free, but notify your customers of this added value you’re providing at no additional cost.

This also enables you begin charging these clients for that additional work at a later date – so long as you give them notice beforehand, of course. By doing this, you’re not only establishing a way to later bill people for time that will eventually become precious as your business grows, but you’re also establishing yourself as a competitive player in the marketplace.

In this sense, doing work for free can be very good for business. By the same token, you can also use this approach when clients ask for discounts or price reductions on your products or services.

Rather than giving them a discount, think of ways that you can provide them with added value without discounting your prices, just as car dealers or some IT resellers do when you ask for discounts.

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Next time you’re thinking about your prices, consider outlining any potential added value that your customers and clients aren’t being billed instead of discounting or giving price reductions.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.