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ANNOUNCEMENT: NEW Microsoft Office Training Course BUNDLE now only $149

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Learn Microsoft Office — Word + Excel + PowerPoint + DropBox + Much, Much More! = $149

MICROSOFT BUNDLED ALL THEIR Office Productivity Suite software programs decades ago for many reasons.

The MAIN reason was so that all businesses, big or small, could use these software programs to improve their productivity and make them look more professional.

We’re now bundling them together for students who want it all.

Continue reading ANNOUNCEMENT: NEW Microsoft Office Training Course BUNDLE now only $149

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Why Freelancers and Contractors are Good for Your Company

freelance or contract workers for your business small business management online training course

THERE ARE ESTIMATED to be over 4 million Aussies working as freelancers. Of this, roughly 750,000 people work regular jobs but freelance on the side (which, needless to say, is a great way to break into freelancing while reducing your risk).

The number of freelancers in Australia has skyrocketed since the GFC, partly because of the overall reduction of the workforce; and partly because of the number of mature-aged workers staying in their jobs past the traditional retirement age.

These factors combined produced a bottleneck effect in the job market, which made it difficult for certain workers to advance their careers, while others, typically young graduates, struggled to gain a foothold in the job market at all.

Continue reading Why Freelancers and Contractors are Good for Your Company

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Why Older People are Saving Startups

older workers mature age employees startup bookkeeping business_comp

There’s a growing freelancer economy in Australia which is being driven by the decreasing number of full time jobs.

Freelancing and working as a contractor is popular among young workers due to fewer job vacancies that exist because older workers are remaining in their jobs for longer.

There’s also more women with children starting their own businesses and working as freelancers and contractors. Without generalising older contractors don’t try to pretend they’re something they’re not and business respect their experience – AND small businesses need these people.

Continue reading Why Older People are Saving Startups

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Are Online Payments Right for Your Business?

woman stressed about credit management and cashflow management

Getting paid seamlessly, online

woman stressed about credit management and cashflow management
Lack of cashflow in a business is still the chief cause of insolvency – which is why proper credit management procedures are as essential as ever.

 

WITHOUT SOUND CREDIT management processes, any business can come asunder. 

Credit management, in a nutshell, is the process of ensuring your customers pay you on time, every time, of which technology has played a big part.

Cloud accounting, for example, has sped up the time it takes a business owner to create and send invoices to their customers, which smartphone and tablet accounting apps has further aided too.

But the next frontier, and it’s one that QuickBooks is already pushing with its PayPal partnership, is seamless online payments.

Payment gateways

Businesses have been able to set up payment gateways in their accounting software for sometime, using PayPal (or Stripe or Braintree or many more in the US), for sometime. The downside, of course, is that you’re charged a fee each time your customer uses one of these services.

This is fine if you run an online shop, because you can incorporate the fee into the price of your products. It’s not so great if you offer professional or other services that may vary in price customer-to-customer, project-to-project. Hence, the PayPal-QuickBooks partnership was such a game changer.  

Online payments

Again, this option has been around for a while, with Xero and QuickBooks especially, but was only recently added to MYOB. It’s not dissimilar to the payment gateways feature we mentioned above, only it enables customers to pay your invoice securely and quickly directly from your invoice, with just the click of a button.

According to QuickBooks, this option has seen businesses paid two times faster than if they had to manually, by logging onto their internet banking and creating the payment themselves.

Mobile payments

These are the latest players in seamless payments, and they specifically relate to payments made by tapping or waving mobiles devices (smartphones, tablets, smartwatches) at a EFTPOS machine.

Currently, the Apple Pay is only available to AMEX customers, while Android Pay is available to customers of the ANZ, Bendigo Bank, Macquarie Bank and most credit unions.

If you accept credit card payments in person, and you’re EFTPOS terminal has the option for customers to tap or wave their cards to make a payment, you can also accept them from connected smart devices.

***

Getting paid by your customers as quickly as possible is a crucial component of maintaining a healthy cash flow for your business.

This also forms the basis of any good credit management system.

If you need help with your credit management, ask your bookkeeper if they also provide this as a service, or search the National Bookkeeping directory to find a bookkeeper who does.

Request a Bookkeeping Quote

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Bookkeeping Basics: Payroll and Paying People

EOFY is nearly here — can you manage payroll?

woman studying myob payroll xero payroll quickbooks payroll online training courseIN OUR FREE, EDUCATIONAL GUIDE, Bookkeeping Basics, we feature a section that discusses payroll, which we thought was worthy of being expanded upon on here.

You might also like to go back and revisit our other blog post that complements the free beginners guide, Bookkeeping Basics: Cash vs. Accrual Systems, if you haven’t already.

In this blog I explore some of the rudimentary knowledge for payroll administration jobs.

Continue reading Bookkeeping Basics: Payroll and Paying People

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TSheets for Independent and Remote Contractors

TSheets is a cost effective way to manage and track your time

tsheets by quickbooks logoTSheets, THE TIME MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE, is a great way for independent and remote contractors to manage their client’s projects. It’s especially useful for contractors who are collaborating remotely with other contractors and businesses on one project.

There are a bunch of other handy tools contractors and sole traders can use for expense tracking and forecasting too.

But back to TSheets. TSheets was recently acquired by Intuit, the parent company of QuickBooks. Both TSheets and QuickBooks shared 12,000 customers in common and the time management system had been developed to work specifically with QuickBooks. Deeper integration with QuickBooks can be expected now, following the acquisition.

The acquisition is part of the push into the cloud accounting ecosystem that’s being led by the major cloud accounting companies. (Read: EzyLearn’s explainer on the TSheets acquisition and the cloud accounting ecosystem.)

Inexpensive time tracking

expense apps for self employed peopleIf you were to think about the top three cloud accounting apps in terms of the types of businesses they appeal to, QuickBooks would appeal most to micro businesses and independent contractors. Check out an earlier blog post where we assess two main factors: User Experience & Ease of Use, and Reporting Tools in a comparison between MYOB and Quickbooks for small businesses.

The popularity of Quickbooks for contractors and the like is not just because it’s by far the cheaper system compared with Xero and MYOB. QuickBooks has also spent a lot of time simplifying the process of managing business accounts so that, while it may not be the most robust program, it’s by far the most accessible.

TSheets has been built the same way. It’s also one of the most inexpensive time tracking systems — at a minimum of $30 per month for two users, while it’s free for one user to use TSheets for unlimited projects.

Bookkeeping Academy to include TSheets

New content is being added to our Bookkeeping Academy “Academic Development Program” to include using TSheets with QuickBooks (or Xero and any other cloud accounting system it integrates with).  The Bookkeeping Academy is where you can purchase online training via short courses that you can use for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or Continuing Professional Education (CPE) or to upskill or re-train in one particular area. You can earn CPD points with our cloud accounting packages.

Read more about why continuing education for bookkeepers is so important in this ever-changing industry.

online bookkeeping courses to earn cpd points

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Is Xero’s Partner Program Really Affiliate Marketing?

Partnering exclusively with Xero

What to know about partnering exclusively with Xero

XERO HAS BECOME ONE of the major accounting software players in Australia. Like the other two major cloud accounting programs, Xero offers a partner program (officially, the Xero Partner Program), in which bookkeepers and accountants “partner” with Xero to exclusively offer Xero-based bookkeeping and accounting services to clients. Continue reading Is Xero’s Partner Program Really Affiliate Marketing?

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Catch Up or You’ll Need Rescue Bookkeeping

rescue bookkeeping work learn bookkeeping online training course videos

Is the approach of the end of the third quarter stressing you out?

rescue bookkeeping work learn bookkeeping online training course videosIF THE NEED to lodge another Business Activity Statement soon is already stressing you out (or indeed, if you haven’t even considered it yet — or more to the point, you haven’t for the past 6 months!!) then maybe some rescue bookkeeping for your business is on the cards.

We’ve written before about rescue bookkeeping; which is a service for businesses that are more than three months behind, and which may have an overdue business activity statement (BAS) — or maybe two.

And this is not about shaming or pointing the finger. Getting behind in your bookkeeping happens to some of the best businesses. It can be because an inexperienced person has previously been handling the books; you didn’t have the right systems in place to keep on top of it; or maybe your data file was set up incorrectly.

Diagnosing rescue bookkeeping

If your business has any of the following issues, you probably need rescue bookkeeping:

  • Your bank balance in Xero or MYOB doesn’t match with your bank statements
  • Bills have been paid, but they’re still showing as outstanding
  • Your employees’ payslips and super are incorrect
  • You don’t know who owes money.

Rescue bookkeeping is time consuming

There are many different reasons why people get behind in their bookkeeping. If it’s because the business owner lacks the time and let their bookkeeping pile up, it’s usually easy rectify, though it is time consuming. (There’ll be months and months worth of transactions and receipts to code and keep records of.)

If their data file was set up incorrectly, it’s sometimes a little harder to diagnose and it’s even harder to fix. It’ll need to be set up again and all of your transaction data re-entered; again, there’ll be months and months worth of transactions and receipts.

What happens during a bookkeeping rescue?

When you first meet with a bookkeeper, they’ll review your records to determine what your problem might be, and what needs to be done to get your bookkeeping up-to-date and in shape.

Given the volume of work and the complexity of it, your bookkeeper might not be able to tell you exactly how long it will take to get your accounts under control. They’ll generally have a ballpark idea of how long, but nothing concrete.

When your bookkeeper starts working on your accounts, they’ll be in fairly regular contact. You’ll need to be available to respond to emails or phone calls during this time.

Catch up or hire a professional

If you’re struggling to keep up with your bookkeeping, it’s wise to hire a professional. A contract bookkeeper, registered BAS agent or finance manager will get your bookkeeping under control. And if you retain them on a regular basis, you can avoid the costly need for rescue bookkeeping.

***

find a good local or remote bookkeeper

If your business is in need of rescue bookkeeping, we have bookkeepers, BAS agents and accountants located across Australia, available to help businesses in need of rescue bookkeeping work. Visit our online directory of local bookkeepers and bookkeepers who work ‘in the cloud’ at National Bookkeeping for more information. You can also view the different bookkeepers’ rates or request a quote.


 

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MYOB, Xero, Quickbooks and the Cloud Accounting Ecosystem

learn intuit quickbooks payroll online training course videos

How the cloud accounting ecosystem has paid off big time:

And how Xero has become the preferred accounting software for Aussies and New Zealanders (Part 2 of 2)

learn intuit quickbooks payroll online training course videos
Although Xero is enormously popular in Australia and NZ, Intuit QuickBooks is backed by a company that dwarfs Xero and MYOB and is huge in the US.

FOR YEARS, MYOB was the Australian market leader in accounting software. Small businesses and accountants spent hundreds of dollars to buy its clunky, obtuse software and load it onto their computers so they could mind their own business (hence, the MYOB) or the business of their clients.

In 2008, the tide began to roll the other way, when an upstart — and a Kiwi upstart, no less — entered the Australian market, two years after it was founded. That upstart was Xero, and it revolutionised the industry, with its software- as a -service approach to accounting systems.

Fast forward a decade, and Xero is now the preferred accounting software in Australia and New Zealand, with 692,000 subscribers compared with MYOB’s 585,000 paid users. (Overall, Xero claims 1.2 million subscribers worldwide.) In the 2016/17 financial year, Xero’s revenue increased 43 percent year-on-year to $295.4 million NZD ($271.7 million AUD); during the same period, MYOB’s revenue increased 13 percent to $370.4 million AUD.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice Xero has more paid subscribers than MYOB, but its revenue is about $100 million AUD behind. That’s largely due to differences in the price of both products.

So you can’t tell which one of Xero or MYOB is the true market leader — yet.

How Xero is growing their subscriber base

Basically, they’ve reached an impasse. There’s not much opportunity left in Australia and New Zealand (there are other players, like Intuit’s QuickBooks and Zoho competing the same space, too) to grow your subscriber base — unless you’ve a carrot to dangle under their noses that’ll lure them away from your competitor.

For Xero, that carrot has taken the shape of its suite of apps, plug-ins and integrations it’s added to its offering through acquisitions and partnerships — anything that would make Xero a one-stop-shop for small businesses, and help them to extract more value from their customers.

[Xero has lured people away from competitors via their] suite of apps, plug-ins and integrations [they’ve] added to their offering through acquisitions and partnerships — anything that would make Xero a one-stop-shop for small businesses…

Meanwhile, MYOB’s strategy for market share

To its credit, MYOB has pursued a similar strategy, acquiring payment firm PayCorp last year, which followed the launch of the company’s PayDirect Mobile and PayDirect Online payments service in 2014 and 2016 respectively, as part of MYOB’s push into payment processing technology.

MYOB also acquired Reckon’s accounting practice software last November for $180 million AUD. The company said the acquisition was part of MYOB’s strategy to see accountants become business advisors, rather than tax and compliance experts.

MYOB chief executive Tim Reed sees automation as being critical to the company’s ongoing success, as it pursues a “connected practice strategy,” which brings transaction processing, compliance and business advisory together and sees accountants become more like business coaches.

“They will be like personal trainers in the gym, but for business,” he said. “This is starting today. Accountants are already working down this process and what I’m seeing is the pace of change start to increase.”

And unlike Xero, which is simultaneously pursuing overseas markets (the U.K., North America, Southeast Asia), MYOB is content to stay focussed on its home market — Australia and New Zealand. (It’s also pushing deeper into big businesses with its enterprise software Greentree, acquired in 2016.)

Accountants and the cloud accounting ecosystem

With Xero pursuing code-free accounting, MYOB pushing into “connected practices,” and Intuit beefing up its own ecosystem of apps and integrations to simplify the bookkeeping and accounting process for small businesses, where does that leave accountants and bookkeepers?

Better off, actually.

Bookkeeping is a necessary step in the overall accounting process. But it’s the most time intensive one. There’s reconciling bank accounts, entering receipts, coding transactions, invoices, and so on. Small business owners don’t — or won’t — do it, so they outsource it to a bookkeeper or accountant, who has a preferred or in-house bookkeeper.

Despite being a time intensive task, it’s lower skilled work — like untangling a jumble of coat hangers; almost anyone can do it. And so it commands a lower rate of pay than other tasks, like financial forecasting, business planning and filing activity statements.

Automating elements of the accounting process, in particular the coding of transactions, eliminates inefficiencies and time wastage. Bookkeepers and accountants can charge their clients the same hourly rates, but they’ll spend much less time doing it.

More apps, more services

And with access to more apps — like a payroll plug-in — they can begin offering more services.

Just as QuickBooks, MYOB and Xero have become more valuable to their customers, by positioning themselves as a one-stop-shop for small business, accountants and bookkeepers can do the same.

Why would a business need to engage a data entry bookkeeper, a tax or BAS agent, and a payroll company when they can hire just one individual to manage all of these tasks efficiently in one cloud accounting program?

They wouldn’t.

Food for thought: Why would a business need to engage a data entry bookkeeper, a tax or BAS agent, and a payroll company when they can hire just one individual to manage all of these tasks efficiently in one cloud accounting program?

And just as MYOB boss Tim Reed stated: Accountants and bookkeepers have already cottoned onto this.

But it means bookkeepers and accountants need to become more skilled at what they do; they need to possess a greater understanding of a wider array of softwares and systems in order to remain competitive.

And even though Intuit, MYOB and Xero have all acquired or partnered with companies that offer payroll platforms, there are still plenty of third parties businesses can choose to connect to their accounting system — that’s democratised accounting for you — so you need to watch the market, and keep your skills up-to-date.

Where to from here?

The cloud accounting space is certainly in flux. There’ll be more acquisitions, more technologies, and definitely more automation. There’ll also be more global companies, as more businesses export their goods and services overseas — and more fintech companies pursuing growth outside Australia.

KeyPay is one such company. It’s based in Wollongong in NSW, and last December announced it would expand its services to the U.K. — a pre-release was slated for January this year, with a full launch due in April.

According to CRN, the company grew 53 percent last year (though it didn’t specify what or how that “growth” was calculated; as a private company, it doesn’t disclose financials or its share of customers). And KeyPay’s co-founder Richard McLean said the company decided to enter the U.K. market because 60 percent of businesses there outsource their payroll to a third party company.

The company intends to rollout its automated payroll system in the U.K. first, with an Australian launch due later in year, and also plans to expand to New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

*** 

lifelong learning platform woman online learning for life

To ensure you have the skills required in an era of cloud accounting ecosystems, code-free accounting and connected practices, we’ve added new modules to our QuickBooks training courses — with training on KeyPal — as part of the QuickBooks Payroll Course. Visit our website for more information or to enrol. We also invite you to read what our students and clients are saying about EzyLearn.


 

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MYOB, Xero, QuickBooks and the Cloud Accounting Ecosystem

smart woman realising xero most popular accounting software program in australia and nz

How accounting is becoming more simplified:

And how bookkeepers and accountants can become a “one-stop-shop” for those needing help with their finances (Part 1 of 2)

smart woman realising xero most popular accounting software program in australia and nz

EARLIER THIS YEAR, Intuit, the parent company of cloud accounting system QuickBooks, announced it had acquired U.S.-based time-tracker platform, TSheets, in a deal worth $340 million U.S.. This was part of Intuit’s strategy to expand its offerings to small businesses and the self-employed. (In the U.S. and Canada, Intuit also operates a cloud software package called TurboTax, which lets individuals file their own federal taxes.)

What the TSheets acquisition means

The TSheets acquisition makes a lot of sense, and provides a good guide to the kinds of businesses cloud accounting firms look to acquire. For example, TSheets and QuickBooks already shared 12,000 customers worldwide, and TSheets had been developed to integrate specifically with QuickBooks (though it also works with Xero and Reckon). It also brings Intuit and QuickBooks in line with one of its competitors, Xero, which acquired a similar project management system WorkflowMax back in 2012.

For TSheets, being part of a big global brands means it’ll be able to innovate faster, with access to the Intuit technology and product team; for Intuit, it’s an additional source of revenue and market share. (Although a privately held company prior to the acquisition, TSheets had been valued at around $40 billion US.)

The cloud accounting ecosystem

Intuit’s TSheets acquisition signals that both Xero and QuickBooks intend to push further into the cloud accounting ecosystem, by partnering with, acquiring, or developing integrations that simplify the accounting process and expand their product offering.

Intuit’s TSheets acquisition signals that both Xero and QuickBooks intend to push further into the cloud accounting ecosystem, by partnering with, acquiring, or developing integrations that simplify the accounting process and expand their product offering.

Xero’s latest suite of products

In 2017, Xero introduced a new suite of products — Xero Expenses, Xero Projects, Xero HQ App Suite, Xero HQ Ask, and Xero Discuss — all aimed at providing SMEs with the technology generally reserved for big enterprises, only far cheaper.

Xero already has an app ecosystem of more than 600 certified app partners and 40,000 developers. And since Xero migrated its platform to Amazon Web Services, the subsidiary of Amazon that provides cloud-computing platforms to companies, Xero has been developing its machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities in a push towards completely code-free accounting; in March 2017, Xero released a code-free invoicing and bank transactions feature. (MYOB previously released a similar feature called SmartBills two years earlier.)

Xero has been developing its machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities in a push towards completely code-free accounting.

The company’s chief executive Rod Drury said that the move towards automation “will be bigger than the move to the cloud.” He also said the company was working on a feature that would automate invoices entirely.

What else has Intuit acquired?

On Intuit’s part, it’s Asia Pacific arm of the businesses has made a number of acquisitions over the last few years to beef up its product offering, some of them you might not even be readily aware of — like the 2014 acquisition of Invitco, which created a product called Invitbox that extracts data from PDFs, and operates behind the scenes to extract data from bills and receipts uploaded to the QuickBooks system.

Intuit Asia Pacific also acquired the document management company Fifo in 2013.

Next blog: We look at how the cloud accounting ecosystem has paid off and how and why bookkeepers and others working in the accounting space must continue to up-skill.

***

learn online training Xero courses videos for less

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses. 


 

 

 

 

 

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New Tax Concessions for Small Business

Four big changes to small biz tax concessions

ato tax concessions for small business under $25mAS YOU MAY BE AWARE, each year the ATO updates the tax concessions for businesses. This is usually the result of a budget measure being passed by the Government. Other times it’s due to the ATO simplifying the tax processes for businesses.

For the financial year ending June 30, 2018 (FY17/18), there have been four big changes that affect small business. In particular, how a small business is defined, which lowers the tax rates for more Australian businesses.

Small business threshold increases to $25m

The threshold for how a small business is defined was increased to an aggregated turnover of $25 million. Aggregated turned over includes any other form of income associated with the main business — i.e., shares on the stock market, revenue-generating property owned by the business, shareholdings in other companies, and so on.

Providing your aggregated turnover is below $25 million, your business is eligible for the company tax rate of 27.5 percent.

In the financial year ending June 30, 2019 (FY18/19), the turnover threshold will increase to $50 million, while the company tax rate will progressively decrease until it reaches 25 percent by FY26/27.

Instant asset write-off

The instant $20,000 asset write-off threshold has been extended until June 30, 2018, which means any computers, vehicles, furnishings or other assets purchased for your business between July 1, 2017 and 30 June, 2018 can be deducted immediately.

This deduction can be used for any asset that costs less than $20,000, whether new or secondhand.

Professional expenses deductions for startups

Startups can immediately deduct any profession, accounting, legal advice in the year it was incurred. For instance, a person who, in the process of setting up a cafe, hires a consultant to determine a suitable location for the business, may deduct the consultant’s fees in the year they incurred. This is true even for an established business that is setting up a new business, unrelated to their existing one.

For example, the cafe owner may already operate a restaurant. As long as the cafe doesn’t share the same name and is independent of the cafe, the fees may be deducted. If the new cafe was an expansion on the existing business, the deductions wouldn’t apply.

Immediate deductions for prepaid expenses

You can now claim an immediate deduction for prepaid expenses where the payment covers a period of up to 12 months and ends in the next financial year. If you took out a 12 month lease on premises for your business and paid 12 months rent upfront, the deduction would apply. It wouldn’t apply, however, if you signed a 24 month lease, as the service period is greater than 12 months.

Small business restructure rollover

Small businesses can now change the legal structure of their business — from partnership to a company, for example — without incurring any income liability when the assets are transferred from the partnership to the company.

This rollover applies to any active asset, whether they’re CGT assets, stock, revenue assets or depreciating assets.

In changing the structure of a partnership to a company, the rollover only applies where there is no change in economic ownership. For example, if a husband and wife decide to change the structure of their caravan park to a company, and both husband and wife remain equal shareholders in the business.

The rollover wouldn’t apply, however, if a third person became a shareholder in the company or the shares were distributed unevenly between husband and wife. Both would constitute an economic change in the ownership of any assets, even though they’re a couple.

***

We’ll keep you informed of new and emerging technologies that help you do business better. As part of our Updates and Additions policy, any new content we add is yours’ FOR FREE as a current EzyLearn student. 

Interested in finding out about more Xero-integrated apps to help you manage your project more efficiently? See our recent blogs where we review for you and come up with a list of pros, cons and prices: Best Xero-Integrated Time Management Apps and Best Xero-Integrated Project Management Apps and the Best Xero-Integrated Document Management Platforms.


 

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The Best Xero-Integrated CRMs

How can you provide great customer service? Consistently?

IF YOU ARE LIKE most businesses, you’re probably communicating with your customers and clients via multiple touch points — email, social media, phone calls, chat bots. But how are you keeping track of all these interactions?

A while back I wrote a blog asking the question whether MYOB is, in fact, a CRM and which CRMs I found to be the best and why. It’s worth a read if you want to familiarise yourself with exactly what it is CRMs can do for you and your business.

Batchbook

Batchbook CRM xero integrated learn xero online training course videosBatchbook is a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that collects your communications in one central place. It also lets you organise to-do lists and automate tasks, but you will need to go elsewhere if you’re looking for a platform that will automate the sales process.

Batchbook integrates with Campaign Monitor, Wufoo, G Suite (on the “advanced” plan only), Twitter, Hootsuite (if you’ve multiple social channels), Xero, Quickbooks and Freshbooks.

Pricing starts at $19.50 per month for an “essential” plan and tops out at $39.95 for the “advanced” plan.

Batchbook alternatives

Hubspot

hubspot crm integration with xero learn xero online learning training course videosHubspot is one of the leading CRM apps and it’s always free. Businesses get everything they need to manage their contacts and companies, book meetings, log emails, phone calls (you can phone any telephone number for free through the Hubspot app) and sales.

If you want to manage your marketing and social media, you’ll need to go up a step to the paid Marketing plans.    

It integrates with Zendesk, PandaDoc, Proposify, WorkflowMax, and Freshbooks; a Google Chrome extension lets you track emails so you can see when emails, documents and links are opened.

Zoho CRM

zoho projects best integrated xero apps for project managementZoho CRM lets you manage your contacts, log emails, phone calls (you can make calls to any telephone number through the Zoho app) social media, and online chats, while Zoho provides detailed analytics of each communication.

Meanwhile, advanced CRM analytics give clear snapshots of top performing salespeople and your best clients. It also lets you “gamify” the sales process to motivate your sales team.

Zoho CRM integrates it Slack, Zendesk, Microsoft Office and Google G Suite. Being part of the Zoho ecosystem, you can also connect to other Zoho apps — Zoho Books, Projects, Campaigns, etcetera.

Pricing starts at $15 per month, per user for the “standard” plan and tops out at $100 per month, per user for the “ultimate” plan. A free plan for a maximum of 10 users is also available.

Freshsales

Freshsales is the fourth addition to the Freshdesk ecosystem, which includes its online customer service platform, IT support, call centre management, HR, messaging, and marketing platforms.

With Freshsales you can manage your leads, contacts, accounts, and deals; send and reply to emails, while its built-in phone lets you make and log calls. It integrates with Google G Suite, as well as other Freshdesk apps.

Basic “sprout” plans are free, while paid plans begin at $12 per user, per month for “blossom” plans and top out at $49 per user per month for “estate” plans.


We will help you keep abreast of new and emerging technologies for doing business better. As part of our Updates and Additions policy, any new content we add is yours’ FOR FREE as a current EzyLearn student. 

Interested in finding out about more Xero-integrated apps to help you manage your project more efficiently? See our recent blogs where we review for you and come up with a list of pros, cons and prices: Best Xero-Integrated Time Management Apps and Best Xero-Integrated Project Management Apps and the Best Xero-Integrated Document Management Platforms.


cashflow reports in xero and excel

Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses. 


 

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The Best Xero-Integrated Document Management Platforms

‘Seal the deal’ with a beautiful proposal

best xero integrated proposal quote software learn xero online learning training course videos
Sometimes it’s all in the proposal: win over your clients by presenting them with your value proposition in a way that not only looks professional and competitive; but that you can also track online.

FOR MANY BUSINESSES sending quotes and estimates to prospects doesn’t accurately describe the work you’ll be providing them.

Sometimes it’s because you’ll be providing an ongoing service or solution to a business problem — property management, content marketing, bookkeeping — and other times it’s because your business will be competing with others in a public tender.

In these instances, you’ll need to send a proposal to potential clients to explain your value proposition and how you’ll solve their business problem. Rather than sending a proposal in a Word document that you can’t track, use a cloud-based document management platform.

Quote Roller

quote roller learn xero online learning course training videosNow powered by PandaDoc, Quote Roller lets businesses create proposals and quotes quickly and uniformly, using templates and pre-set content blocks.

The platform’s real selling point is its back-end analytics that provides insights. For instance, you can see how long a prospect has spent reading each section; prospects can also ask questions in the built-in messaging tool and sign electronically.

Quote Roller integrates with Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Basecamp, time management app Harvest and cloud accounting software Xero.

Professional plan pricing starts at $19 per month, per user; business plans cost $39 per month, per user. Enterprise plans can be tailored to your business needs.

Quote Roller alternatives

PandaDoc

pandadoc-logo best xero integrated crms learn xero online training course videosPandaDoc acquired Quote Roller in 2015, but the two still provide fairly different services. Quote Roller is a basic solution for businesses wanting to automate and monitor their documents using analytics; PandaDoc, on the other hand, provides a robust tool to generate proposals, contracts and quotes.

It integrates with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Hubspot CRM, Oracle, Zoho CRM, Zendesk, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Xero.

Professional plan pricing starts at $19 per month, per user, and business plans cost $39 per month, per user. Enterprise plans can be tailored to your business needs.

Proposify

proposify learn xero online learning course videos training in xero onlineProposify promises to help you create beautiful proposals that close deals. It’s where design meets business, with a gallery of free, customisable templates that get the full electronic treatment — document analytics, electronic signatures, messaging.

Proposify also integrates with a boatload of third party apps, including Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Hubspot CRM, Harvest, Basecamp, and the cloud accounting apps Quickbooks, Xero and Freshbooks. Next on the list: PayPal, Dropbox, Trello, Slack, Asana, and more.

Pricing begins at $25 per month for individuals (5 active proposals) or $75 per month for unlimited users (50 active proposals).

Better Proposals

Better Proposals will help smaller businesses create beautiful proposals, just like Proposify; they’ll also close deals. The difference? Template design is limited, the analytics aren’t as in-depth, there’s no messaging built into the platform, but the pricing is more affordable. You get what you pay for.

It’ll integrate with Salesforce, Hubspot CRM and Zoho CRM, as well as payment provider PayPal; no accounting software integrations, though.

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We will help you keep abreast of new and emerging technologies for doing business better. As part of our Updates and Additions policy, any new content we add is yours’ FOR FREE as a current EzyLearn student. 

Interested in finding out about more Xero-integrated apps to help you manage your project more efficiently? See our recent blogs where we review for you and come up with a list of pros, cons and prices: Best Xero-Integrated Time Management Apps and Best Xero-Integrated Project Management Apps.


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Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses. 


 

 

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What is Xero HQ?

Now you can do more with Xero

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Xero is adding to its list of features with Xero HQ so it’s no longer just for more basic bookkeeping, but can be used for analysis as well.

XERO HAS LONG POSTIONED ITSELF as the cloud accounting software for small-to-medium businesses. It’s one of the most popular of our online training courses; appealing not only to bookkeepers, but small to medium sized businesses in all industries.

What makes Xero so popular is that it is inexpensive software that’s simple to use and has lots of time-saving features.

In doing so, it’s basically left MYOB to hold the mantle of the accounting software used by accountants and bookkeepers.

Now, however, Xero is looking to close that gap, with the launch of “Xero HQ”; a data and insights platform for bookkeepers and accountants who are part of the Xero Partner Program.

Xero HQ wants to help you grow

To shake MYOB’s stranglehold on the accountant and bookkeeper market, Xero had to do something to differentiate itself and tempt accountants and bookkeepers away from MYOB.

And they’re betting that Xero HQ will be the thing that does it. Xero HQ will provide bookkeepers and accountants with data and insights tools so they can provide “advisory level” services to clients.

Xero’s focus on “advisory level” services is important here, because it reveals a couple of things Xero plans to do with the industry. The first is to continue to automate many of the tasks a bookkeeper would traditionally carry out — the introduction of bank feeds eliminated data entry, for instance — and the second is to up-skill junior bookkeepers, while simultaneously embedding them within the Xero ecosystem — which will fit nicely with their recently launched Xero Lifelong Learning platform.

What exactly is the Xero HQ platform?

If you’re part of the Xero Partner Program already, then access to the Xero HQ platform is free. The Xero HQ platform is essentially a separate workflow that you access online, which provides a number of features not available though your regular Xero software.

These Xero HQ features include the following:

  • Activity feed: When your clients’ GST or activity statements are due, a notification will appear in the activity feed to alert you.
  • Client list: This is essentially like a contact book, where you can store all your clients’ information in one place; even those clients who aren’t on Xero.
  • Explorer: This feature pulls data Xero knows about your clients to help you provide them with better advice, or help you up-skill in areas you know are important to them. For example: it will show you which apps are popular across all your clients, so you can learn how to use them.

Xero HQ app marketplace

The Xero HQ platform also has an app marketplace, which has a focus on apps that will help bookkeepers and accountants with their business. That’s different to the existing Xero app marketplace, which is geared towards small businesses in any industry.

The Xero HQ app marketplace is split up into three tiers, depending on the size of your bookkeeping or accounting practice.

Which Xero HQ app marketplace will suit you?

If you’ve 100 or fewer clients, then you’d be best suited to the “activate” package of apps especially “curated” by the Xero HQ team.

If you have between 100 and 200 clients, then you’re best suited to the “energise” package of apps; practices with 300 or more clients suit the “supercharge” package.

It’s up to you which apps you switch on, but Xero has eliminated the leg work involved in finding apps to suit your business needs.

Some common third party apps, recommended across all three Xero HQ app marketplace tiers include:

  • Futrli: A forecasting and reporting app designed to help control cash flow and accelerate growth. Technically, you can pull all these data out of Xero by running a number of different reports and exporting them into Excel, but this app does all that work for you, and just delivers the insights. Partner pricing starts at $399 per month.
  • Receipt Bank: Extracts relevant information from paper receipts and invoices, imports the data into Xero, categorises it, and stores both the data and receipt safely in the cloud. Your clients just snap a picture of the receipt using the Receipt Bank app on their smartphone or upload from their PC.
  • BOMA: Is a marketing and advertising platform that lets you export data from Xero and use it for your marketing and advertising campaigns. With BOMA you can create and broadcast marketing and advertising messages across five channels (email, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter), including sponsored advertising posts on those platforms. It also provides you with all the imagery, templates and other design needs to create your campaigns. It’s basically a one- stop -shop for digital marketing and advertising. Partner pricing starts at $49 per month.  

Xero HQ is where accounting meets CRM

In essence, the Xero HQ platform is where accounting and customer relationship management meet. Xero provides bookkeepers and accountants with a platform that enables high-level analysis and data management through integrating third-party Xero HQ partner apps.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, Xero HQ serves dual purposes: it encourages bookkeepers to move away from providing basic bookkeeping services to deeper analysis and advisory roles; and they can use the Xero Lifelong Learning platform to up-skill and provide those services.

“Xero HQ serves dual purposes: it encourages bookkeepers to move away from providing basic bookkeeping services to deeper analysis and advisory roles…”


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Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses.


 

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The Best Xero-Integrated Project Management Apps

Which ones are best for your business?

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We look at project management apps that integrate beautifully with Xero to keep your project within timeframe and budget.

FOR BUSINESSES WORKING on large projects spanning weeks or even months, keeping track of time, cash flow and profitability is imperative. This is even more so for businesses that work on fixed-rate contracts or tenders.

Such fixed-rate projects are common in the building and construction industry, but also the creative, engineering, and IT industries.

Many of these businesses manage a project’s workflow across a number of different documents (spreadsheets, their CRM, accounting software) — and many don’t manage it properly at all.

As a consequence, projects often come in over budget. A number of cloud-based project management and workflow apps aim to change that, however.

WorkflowMax

xero productivity apps to keep you in budgetThis Xero-owned and operated project management platform contains four elements:

  1. Lead generation
  2. Project management
  3. Cash flow management
  4. Payment

PROS: Being a Xero product, it integrates “seamlessly” with the Xero accounting software, along with other third party software, such as Salesforce, Dropbox, Google Drive, ZenDesk and Receipt Bank, plus a number of payroll applications — Smooth Pay, MYOB Payroll (note: not MYOB’s accounting package) and SimplePay.

CONS: Unlike Xero, however, WorkflowMax is pricey; a one-user plan starts at $27.50 per month and can cost as much as $275 a month for a plan for 21-50 users.

WorkflowMax alternatives

Zoho Projects

zoho projects best integrated xero apps for project managementZoho Projects provides planning tools, Gantt charts, timesheets, document management and collaboration tools. Visually, it’s not much, but it’s easy to use. It isn’t as robust as WorkflowMax, but it’s a good tool for smaller businesses. And it’s part of the Zoho ecosystem.

For a Zoho app, there’s a good number of third party apps it integrates with, including Github, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Gmail, Microsoft Office, Basecamp, Dropbox and Slack.

Pricing starts at $25 per month for 20 projects on an “express plan” and tops out at $100 per month for an enterprise plan with unlimited projects; a free, one-project plan is also available.

Fergus

Fergus trade software logo best xero integrated project management appsFergus is the project management app built by tradies for tradies. Again, like the project management apps before it, Fergus is broken down into three elements:

  • project management 
  • communications, and
  • financial management.

The tradie-specific features include a GPS tracker and a site visits feature. Fergus integrates with Xero and MYOB AccountRight.

Basic “starter” plans begin at $19 per month, per user (recommended for concreters, plasterers, roofers and small firms) and tops out at $39 per month, per user for the “professional” plan. Sole traders get access to the starter plans for free forever.

ProWorkflow

proworkflow xero intergrated project management apps learn xero online course videosProWorkflow is the project management app that promises to be “the project management software your team will love!”

The features — task management, timesheets, messaging, invoices, etcetera — are standard fare.

But the software has opened up its APIs, so businesses can build their own apps, reports and integrations. It already integrates with Xero, QuickBooks online (and desktop), MYOB AccountRight and Freshbooks. It also integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.

Basic “solo” plans start at $10 NZD per month, per user; advanced plans cost $30 per month, per user.  

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We are always exploring and analysing new and emerging technologies and introducing new content as part of our Updates and Additions policy. Any new content we add to the course in which you’re enrolled is yours’ for free if you’re a current EzyLearn student. Find out more about our suite of Xero online training courses.


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How to Reduce Your Fail Rate in Business by 50%

What You Can Do this Christmas

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There’s lots to do in preparation for starting a business and the summer holidays is a good time for the ground work.

DID YOU KNOW research shows that by taking just one short course on small business management, the chance a business will fail is reduced by as much as 50 percent.

This is because business mismanagement is the primary reason businesses fail; the other most common reason is because owner/s fail to implement appropriate credit management processes. In both cases, this failure has come about because the owners, directors, partners or managers lacked the appropriate management skills to make it a success.

Learn the basics in business

The Christmas holidays is a perfect time for taking the steps needed to start your small business. While everyone else has gone on holidays, you’ll be ready to take on your first client or customer by the time business really starts kicking off again at the end of January.

business start up online training course christmas holidaysSo let’s get to it: there’s work to be done. And this work generally requires some rudimentary knowledge of Australian tax law, copyright law, trademarks and patents.

You should also have knowledge of particular software applications, and digital marketing.

Other key areas of business you need to know

The key areas business owners should understand before starting a business include:

Ordinarily, to become skilled in each of those areas, a person would have to take, at least, five different training courses. But few people are ever likely to do this. Instead, they’d be more likely to cherry pick the areas they’re least familiar with, and fly blind with the others. Needless to say, that’s where people run into problems.

Take Advantage of our Christmas Savings!

We don’t want you to wing it or fly blind — our goal is to help small businesses succeed which is what we’ve been doing for nearly 20 years.

We cover what you need to set up a small business in our EzyStartUp Business Course, priced at just $297. This course covers each of the key areas mentioned above that a small business owner needs to be familiar with, in addition to the following:

  • Originating and developing concepts
  • Establishing legal and risk management
  • Product packaging
  • Marketing your business

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When you enrol you will also receive FREE ACCESS to a bunch of our other online training courses, including Xero Set Up and Beginners’ Excel and Word.

Our Last Dasher Sale is also on now with special Christmas discounts on our online training courses in social media, and cloud accounting software (MYOB, Xero) and Excel, Word and WordPress.


Don’t Wait — Become the Head Honcho Today

Use your time off from work this summer to begin working on your new small business. All of our training courses are delivered online, and can be completed at your own pace, so you can complete them while you’re actually on holidays, or relaxing at home or at a cafe.

And since one of the best ways to start a new business is by operating it as a side project to your other job, if you get all the start up stuff out of the way while you’re on holidays, it’ll be ready to go by the time you back to work.

Learn more about the EzyStartUp Business Course at our website or view all of our special offers to save on your next EzyLearn training course.

start your own business online training course videosAnd as a gift to you, remember our Bookkeeping Basics Guide is yours’ for free!