MYOB AccountRight, QuickBooks Online and Xero come with job costing and job tracking functions allowing users to develop more accurate budgets and avoid cost blow outs.
I’m excited to be delving deeper into a micro course specifically targeting how you can manage on-the-job costs and track your project. This will be included in all of our Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks online accounting courses.
Real life case studies and micro courses
We design our training courses to be true to life. This means we create our training courses around real-life business examples, or case studies. This information helps you get a job in the real world.
In my last blog I talked about the job tracking function in Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks. In our Job Tracking and Projects Training Course, we’ve taken as our starting point a real-life situation where a tradie uses job tracking features in cloud accounting software to make sure he makes a profit from all his running around, allocation of staff, cost of stock and out of pocket expenses from trips to Bunnings.
The erection of a garden shed
Our Job Tracking and Projects Training Course case study highlights the seemingly simple example of the erection of a garden shed. Our client purchases the shed directly from a hardware supplier, then employs the services of a builder to deliver and erect the shed.
Although it seems very easy, just like life itself, the process is actually more complex than meets the eye. Here are the issues the tradie needs to consider:
- Some of the products the tradesperson uses are stock (inventory),
- others he needs to buy for the job,
- others products and parts need to be purchased while on the job (expenses incurred by his staff).
Then there are circumstances which the tradie didn’t account for in his quote:
- Some days the build is rained out and
- some things end up taking longer than expected.
- An extra staff member is required and the tradesperson then has to keep keep track of his worker’s timesheets,
Establishing the transaction costs
Just as this Cloud Accounting Training Course case study is based on a real life scenario, so the transaction costs (the cost of supplies, labour, expected profits and losses) are current and accurate.
In developing our course content, we actually liaise with the relevant suppliers, including various tradespeople, interviewing them and finding out the variations and possible blow outs they experience and the contingencies they implement to offset these.
We also draw on ATO benchmarking which compares the information gathered from your financial returns to the information the ATO gathers from all other similar businesses.
Make sure you subscribe to our Cloud Accounting Course blog to receive updates about the next steps we take when creating our courses!
Want to learn more about managing project costs and job tracking in the major cloud accounting software packages – Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks? See our new case study: https://ezylearn.info/how-it-works/case-studies-micro-courses/managing-jobs-or-projects-to-measure-profitability/
‘Social proof’ is testimonials, reviews and feedback of others, that vouches for the product or service we’re thinking of buying. Social proof backs up the fact that what we’re considering buying is what it says it is.
Come see some social proof about EzyLearn by meeting some students from the past few weeks
Continue reading Are EzyLearn students just like YOU?
— you just might have a lot in common with them.
So you’ve switched on the job alerts with SEEK and accounting jobs, part-time or contract accounting jobs are coming into your Inbox! Jobs galore! Everyone needs accounts people, right?
IF YOU’RE RECEIVING the job alerts everyday — indeed, you may even have applied for some jobs already — but you’re still not getting called up for interview, then the following questions of doubt may be brewing:
- Why haven’t they picked me?
- Have I been filtered out for some reason?
- Was my cover letter not good enough?
Don’t you just love something new? Some entrepreneurs I know call it the “shiny object” syndrome because it means you’re always focusing your time and energy on something new, rather than doing the daily drudge work. But this is exciting.
I haven’t had a chance to speak with every registrant but this image shows the EzyLearn students who’ve completed our accounting & bookkeeping courses and would love to be tutors to help other students understand how the software is used in the real world.Continue reading Accounting Tutors getting ready
You’ve spent hours fine-tuning your resume or CV and you go to SEEK or other job boards only to find that they ask if you want to write a cover letter. You don’t really, do you? But here’s why you need to.Continue reading What’s the point of a cover letter?
Our team did a little research into job sites for accounting jobs and thought we’d explore a bit about why people like using the major job board in Australia.
The biggest reason is that they are the biggest job board in Australia so most advertisers spend the little bit extra to promote their positions available at the site. But there are some great tools for job seekers to be registered on the site. Continue reading Reasons Why Seek is Number 1 for Accounting Job Search
If you’re looking for a job it’s a daunting process because you have to sell yourself to an employer and most people don’t have to do this very often. Parents returning from parenting can find it particularly daunting because they’ve found themselves surrounded by nappies, cleaning, cooking and washing and the thought of presenting themselves to other adults can be scary.
I’ve spoken to some EzyLearn students in the last couple weeks about our Accounting Course Tutor Initiative and have been impressed at how capable many of them (you) are!
How much is that logo in the window?
ALMOST EVERY COMPANY needs to register an ABN, business name, GST, PAYG, Domain name and much more.
You can pay companies which, for a fee, will provide you with these services bundled together.
Oftentimes, they will also include in the bundle a logo and website. You then build your own website, using their templated options, for an ongoing monthly fee.
Sure, these services are an easy way to get a business up and running quickly. However, they’re often not the most cost effective option. Continue reading Five Bucks for a Business Logo!
As mentioned in an earlier post, job boards offer the best-quality jobs for people in professions that translate to any industry; and this includes bookkeeping and accounting jobs.
And as another post showed, there’s a vast number of bookkeeping jobs posted to those sites every day, be it for casual, part-time or full time work. In this post I’m going to explore some ways to do well in the job market. Continue reading I’m a Bookkeeper – How Do I Find Good Work?
Why smaller job sites are not always best for smaller, one-off jobs
WHILE AUSTRALIA HAS NO shortage of jobs sites, only one of them dominates the Australian job market: Seek. It’s the largest and most profitable job board in the country — and the operator of leading sites around the world, in China, Southeast Asia and Latin America.
In Australia, Seek controls 85 percent of the online recruitment market, with 173,000 job listings and average monthly traffic of 19.2 million visitors; nearest competing job board Indeed, the aggregator owned by Japan-based Recruit Holdings, has 106,000 listings and average monthly traffic of 9.3 million visitors.
But there are many smaller websites where accounting jobs can be found.
Providing an initial consultation free of charge
IT’S NEVER REALLY a good idea to work for new client or potential new clients for free, particularly if you’re an established business. But it’s also difficult getting a client to feel comfortable that you’ll do a good job for them, when they don’t know you from the proverbial bar of soap.
Rather than working for free or charging less than the minimum wage for your bookkeeping services a better idea is to spend some time with your client, either in-person or over the phone, to go through your processes and procedures before you commence work for them. It’s also important that you make your clients aware of value adds you’re providing to them.
Schedule a consultation with prospects
If you take the lead and schedule a an initial consultation call or meeting with your new clients or prospects, you get to control how the working relationship progresses. This gives you the opportunity to set some ground rules around the assignment of work, turn around times, payment terms, and so on.
Aside from making you look professional and organised, it’ll also make your job easier because you’ve clearly outlined how you operate, what’s expected from the client in order for you to do your job, and what happens after you’ve finished your work.
For example, is BAS lodgement included in your fees, or is that additional? Do you follow up late payers on your client’s behalf or is that additional?
Do some needs analysis
It’s a good idea to look at how much knowledge your new clients have of bookkeeping and the software you’ll be using (Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks, etc). Carry out some quick needs analysis during your consultation, so that if there are any areas they are unfamiliar with you’re both prepared and able to give them a quick overview. Further, in-depth training is a potential source of additional revenue, so be careful not to spend too much time here. All of this will help you form your bookkeeping business strategy and, in particular, ensure your rates are competitive, yet sustainable.
Start a bookkeeping business today
If you’d like to start a bookkeeping business, then visit our online bookkeeping directory, National Bookkeeping. You can find information about how to start your own bookkeeping business, promote yourself through our directory or become a licensee.
As a licensee with National Bookkeeping, you’ll have access to EzyLearn training courses (which also means the license fee is one hundred percent tax deductible. Visit the National Bookkeeping website today and register your interest online.
How to get your CPD points
NOT LONG AGO we published a post about industry associations, such as the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB), and how they were useful for would-be BAS agents because a membership makes it easier to register with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).
Industry associations also help registered BAS agents, who are required to complete a minimum of 45 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) within a three year period, to maintain their CPD hours by providing them with access to “approved” training courses, webinars, seminars, and so on.
In the past, most industry associations would refer BAS agents to a number of partner training organisations that provided relevant training courses. However, industry associations, such as the ICB, have increasingly started running their own training courses, both online and in-person.
CPA’s conflict of interest
Although the TPB provides guidelines for the types of training courses that will be accepted as evidence of CPD, industry associations still possess a considerable amount of oversight. If a BAS agent is a member of an industry association, the TPB doesn’t question their CPD training because it’s supposedly been approved by the industry association.
Recently, questions have been raised about CPA Australia’s potential conflict of interest as the organisation also operates a financial planning business, CPA Advice, as an affiliate of the industry body.
But new rules that will come into effect in 2024 stipulate that to provide financial advice, you must be a member of a monitoring body or professional association (such as CPA Australia), but that the professional association cannot be an Australian Financial Services licensee or an affiliate of a licensee.
Is providing and overseeing CPD training a conflict?
EzyLearn, until very recently, used to be an ICB partner. When the ICB started offering their own training courses, their promotion of partner training providers, like EzyLearn, reduced considerably in favour of promoting their own training courses and seminars.
In other words, in many ways, the ICB started competing with their partner organisations. Our return on investment (ROI) had never been great anyway, so EzyLearn decided to cancel our corporate sponsorship as it seemed the ICB had a conflict of interest. Although the TPB may not see it that way.
What about the Business Support Program?
For $396 a year, the ICB also offers businesses that do not have a bookkeeper doing their books, access to training materials and information on how they can manage their own bookkeeping on their own without a bookkeeper.
That’s despite charging BAS agents and bookkeepers as much as $480 annually in membership fees, which they promise will help them to get clients — and the sponsorship fees to partner training providers that provide the same or similar services.
Membership with an industry association is not compulsory
Joining an industry association can be incredibly useful, but membership is not compulsory. And as industry associations try to find new ways to extract revenue from the industry — through paid memberships, sponsorships, training courses and even undercutting their members and sponsors by directly offering services which help businesses do their own bookkeeping — they stop being a critical resource for professional bookkeepers and BAS agents working in the industry.
Instead, bookkeepers and BAS agents can complete their CPD training anywhere. For $175 a year (or $15 per month), EzyLearn offers a membership called the Bookkeeping Academy, which gives members access to a complete library of content, including instructional videos, on how to carry out common bookkeeping tasks in MYOB, QuickBooks and Xero. Visit the Bookkeeping Academy website for more information.
Ways to diversify your bookkeeping skills
NOT SO LONG AGO, bookkeepers and accountants only had to learn to work with one accounting program. That was back when MYOB, the market leader, had a strangle-hold on the industry, and though a few alternatives – Reckon, Quickbooks – tried to squeeze out a space for themselves, MYOB was too embedded in the accounting industry.
But the rise of cloud accounting has changed all that. Besides the reinvention of a couple of old brands (QuickBooks and Reckon – though the latter has exited the market again), it’s also birthed a new market leader in Xero, which now has more paid member accounts in Australia and New Zealand than arch rival MYOB.
A number of smaller players to have entered market, too. There’s Zoho, which has built an entire suite of productivity apps; and straightforward cloud accounting programs, such as Saasu and Freshbooks – to name only a few.
When Xero first pioneered cloud accounting, it quickly gained popularity among new and small businesses due to the ease with which you could get your accounts “online.”
There was no big, expensive outlay to buy the software – Xero offers a free trial, after all – and for the most part, setting up a Xero account, creating invoices, estimates and recording expenses was remarkably easy.
Many bookkeepers, who had been working with MYOB, quickly started offering bookkeeping services in Xero, and there are many more who work exclusively in Xero.
These bookkeepers are usually part of the Xero Partner program, but there are some that just prefer using Xero because it’s cheaper and easier for their clients to use, which makes their job a lot easier.
Most bookkeepers are diversifying, not just in the services they offer (from only providing daily reconciliations services to providing BAS, payroll and credit management services) but also the programs they work with.
Many highly skilled bookkeepers not only work in MYOB and Xero, but some also work in larger enterprise reporting systems, such as Oracle and SAP.
Doing so enables, predominantly contract bookkeepers, to work with a range of different businesses and increase their income.
Even bookkeepers who don’t work with large enterprise reporting systems, but who do work with the major accounting programs Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks, are still able to increase their earning potential.
Learn the major accounting programs for one low price!
We are constantly updating our Special Offers page to include a variety of combination deals on our online training courses to provide established bookkeepers and would-be bookkeepers with the most training material for the lowest price.
In one of our current special offers, students who enrol in our MYOB AccountRight and Xero online courses will also receive QuickBooks Online and MYOB Essentials online courses FOR FREE.
We have a host of other specials on this page as well which will suit students looking to enrol in everything from accounting software training courses, to social media marketing and business start up courses.
As with all of our online training materials, students can learn at their own pace, in a way that suits their busy schedules with 12 month’s or lifetime course access options.
Remember, becoming proficient in a number of different software packages takes you a long way towards being able to offer diverse services to your clients. Then you only have to decide which services to offer — BAS, payroll, credit management — or perhaps all three and more? One you know what you can offer your clients, you’re well on your way to operating a successful bookkeeping business.
Going beyond merely training and helping you to establish your career
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF industry associations that BAS agents (and aspiring BAS agents) can choose to join. However, as a BAS agent you are not compelled to join an industry association unless you really want to — it’s totally up to you. If you’ve been looking around and comparing the different industry associations you can join, you may have seen the term “recognised employer” or “employer recognised.”
A “recognised employer” is an organisation that’s partnered with an industry association and made a commitment to the professional development of their employees. The CPA, for example, says on its website that becoming a recognised employer will help firms attract top talent and provide training to their staff.
A mutually beneficial relationship
Organisations partner with industry associations to become recognised employers because it gives them access to the association’s members, the majority of which are often looking for work.
In turn, the organisation is attractive to members because it has the association’s endorsement. And the industry association usually gives its recognised employer partners access to discounted training for their staff.
Because of this relationship between organisations and industry associations, members will often hear or see the term “employer recognised” used by their industry association. It’s basically the inverse of “recognised employer,” and it’s not unique to industry associations.
EzyLearn is an employer recognised training organisation, because we are the online training organisation of choice for many well known organisations in the accounting, bookkeeping, finance and related industries. (Plus some unrelated industries too!)
EzyLearn training at small, large and public sector firms
EzyLearn has delivered training to small and large organisations, as well as state and federal government departments, including WorkSafe and WorkCover. We use our online learning management system so people at the companies and organisations we work with can complete training remotely from their workplace or at home.
This gives students and employers the flexibility to choose when training will take place, rather than being restricted to a specific time and place, as occurs with face-to-face training.
It also means, we’re able to deliver lots of different courses, simply by making them available to each organisation and their staff, who can then study multiple courses successively or concurrently. This would prove quite difficult to organise if training was being delivered in person.
Why EzyLearn is employer recognised
It would require multiple training sessions over an extended period of time to make sure each employee who wanted to study got the chance to. And it would be expensive for the company as well. There’d be the cost of paying the trainer, room hire, and a day off work for the employees. This is also why our learning management system is so beneficial for organisations carrying out inductions.
EzyLearn is the preferred choice for dozens of companies because our courses are structured to let students choose when to study and the pace at which they’ll complete the coursework. Students can jump back and forth between the modules, studying the most relevant portions first before going on to complete the rest of the course.
Thousands of students study with EzyLearn to find work
Besides working with employers to help maintain their employees’ professional development, EzyLearn is also the training organisation of choice for thousands of students who wanted to refresh their skills to find work. Nearly all of those students went on to find employment, while many others either started their own businesses or added to their skills while already running a business. Our website has an abundance of testimonials you can view which show how people of all ages, from all backgrounds, have used the EzyLearn online training courses as a springboard to find work, start their own businesses, refresh their training and many other applications.
For students looking to start their own bookkeeping business, it is worthwhile taking a look at EzyLearn’s partnership with National Bookkeeping. Individuals who join National Bookkeeping as a bookkeeper receive help starting their own business — through lead generation, marketing and promotion — in addition to software and digital marketing training to ensure their business’s longevity in the marketplace.
Learn more about why EzyLearn is an employer recognised training organisation and view our extensive range of training courses. You can also learn more about becoming a National Bookkeeping bookkeeper at the National Bookkeeping website.
See National Bookkeeping for more details.
An industry association membership may be just what you need
IF YOU LIKE BOOKKEEPING, but you’d like to provide additional services to your clients, the next step is to become a BAS agent. BAS agents provide businesses with a range of services, including the lodgement of business activity statements, registering and advice on all GST matters, assistance with PAYG, and a number of other services.
There are a number of requirements to becoming a registered BAS agent. For starters, you need at least a Certificate IV in Financial Services, and then you need to have supervised experience working as a BAS agent so that you can become certified by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). (If you’re not TPB certified, you can’t work independently as an unsupervised BAS agent.)
How industry associations help
There are a number of recognised bookkeeping industry associations in Australia. To register with the TPB, you must have a minimum of 1,400 hours of supervised experience with another BAS agent, unless you’re a member of an industry organisation — then you only need 1,000 hours of supervised experience.
Industry associations help BAS agents keep abreast of changes to the industry, including new legislation that make affect clients, as well as change to the Act that may affect BAS agents. They also administer or oversee continuing professional development (CPD) training, which the TPB requires BAS agents to undertake each year to keep their certification and continue working in the industry.
Industry associations BAS agents can join
There are a number of industry associations a BAS agent (or aspiring BAS agent) can join, each with different membership requirements and joining fees. They include:
- Association of Accounting Technicians — affiliate members must have Certificate IV in Financial Services or at least two years experience and no formal qualifications; membership fees: $295 for three months ($1,180 per year).
- Australian Bookkeepers Network — no requirements to join; membership fees: $462 annually.
- Institute of Certified Bookkeepers — Affiliate members must have Certificate IV in Financial Services or complete an ICB assessment; membership fees: $264 annually. (After achieving 12 months experience Affiliates can become Associate members; membership fees for contractors $432 annually.)
Other industry associations BAS agents can join, include:
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants ANZ
- Chartered Accountants ANZ
- CPA Australia
- Institute of Public Accountants
- New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA)
Industry associations and CPD training
A key reason to join an industry association is to gain access to training that goes towards your mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) points, which every individual working in the financial services industry — whether they’re bookkeepers, BAS agents, accountants or financial advisors — must complete annually. We have written before about the type of education the TPB requires in order to get your CPD points.
Many associations run their own webinars and in-person seminars (for an additional fee), which count towards your CPD hours. (BAS agents must complete 45 hours of CPD over a three year period.) Some of them will help you with the running of your own bookkeeping business, while others will take you through new trends in bookkeeping (single touch payroll) or changes to the Act and relevant legislation.
BAS agents can also complete software training, in MYOB, Xero or Quickbooks, as well as Microsoft Excel or Word training; they can even complete cyber security training, so long as it’s approved by the TPB.
Each time you complete a webinar or some other form of approved CPD training, it’ll be counted towards your CPD hours. You can also complete CPD training through an accredited training organisation. (Check with your industry organisation to see which training institutions you can learn with.)
Choosing an industry association
Not all industry associations are the same. Some are geared more towards the accounting industry (CPA, Chartered Accountants ANZ, etcetera) and accountants; others cater specifically to bookkeepers. Even within the group of associations that cater only to bookkeepers, some provide a range of services (updates on the industry, CPD training), while others offer very little (discounts on professional indemnity, a newsletter).
As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you want to pay very little, you’ll get very little in return from your industry association. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot either. Have a look at a few of the associations we’ve listed above, and see which one suits you best.
The Association of Accounting Technicians offers affiliate memberships, which provides affiliates with access to a number of discounted fees on training courses to help them develop their skills and progress to a “member” level membership — and then register as a BAS agent with the TPB at the reduced 1,000 hours of experience concession.
They also offer discounts on professional indemnity insurance and bookkeeping journals and publications. And they offer a range of online webinars to help members get their CPD hours up.
EzyLearn’s online training courses are accredited by BAS agents, accountants and bookkeepers — those we deem to be the industry’s “high water mark” for bookkeeping work. These people are the highest qualified individuals operating in the accounting and bookkeeping space. If they believe the content of our courses is genuinely of high quality and relevant to the bookkeeping world, then this is the accreditation that should give our students peace of mind.
I found the EzyLearn Xero course great — a comprehensive step-by-step learning tool to add to my resume and a new tool to use in my Bookkeeping Practice.”
— Patricia Darby
Registered BAS Agent and Bookkeeper, High Quality Bookkeeping