The Internet has spawned several cloud accounting software program all over the world including:
Cloud Accounting Software is CONSTANTLY Updated – SO IS OUR XERO COURSE
When I made the decision to convert EzyLearn from a Bricks and Mortar training centre to an online only provider of training courses I realised that we were going to have to get good at:
- online digital marketing,
- online pre-sales and student support, and
- course content creation.
EzyLearn has been in business helping job seekers, business owners, managers and clients of rehabilitation providers learn how to use software for over 20 years. Read our story here..
I’m lucky today to have a professional team who’s sole focus is on getting better at all of these tasks – every week! I guess this post is as much a thank you to all of them for their help as it is an announcement that ALL of our XERO courses have recently been updated!
Almost every course has been touched in our latest updates but here is a summary:
- Xero Course 512 (Level 2 Advanced Aspects of Daily Transactions using Xero) has been updated (videos and workbook contents)
- Knowledge Review tests for Daily Transactions and End of Month & Journal Entries Courses
- Updated instructional videos for GST, Reporting and BAS using Xero (Course 514) as well as Cashflow, Budgets and ROI Advanced Xero (Course 516)
- Advanced Payroll (Level 2) for Payroll Administration using Xero (Course 515)
One reason that students choose EzyLearn for their online training courses is because they receive access to new added content and course updates.
Available to New, Current Students and LIFELONG Students
The usual time to finish the COMPLETE set of Beginners to Advanced Xero Courses is 3 weeks but one of the reasons we offer 12 months course access (and the LIFETIME Xero Course Access) is so that students can go back and review the contents when they need it in their business or job.
Current Discounts for Xero Training Courses
TSheets is a cost effective way to manage and track your time
TSheets, 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
If 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.
I HAVE JUST BEEN THROUGH a gruuelling experience with our hosting company, technical people and course creators to make sure that EzyLearn continues to be the first choice for Bookkeeping and Marketing Courses.
Our servers are now twice as fast and have more storage so existing students should experience some nice and fast access speeds — unless you’re in an NBN area that drops out all the time (sorry Telstra, I love you BUT the access speed is no different from what it was over here in the NSW Lake Macquarie area!)
In case you weren’t aware, I was recently heavily involved in a renovation of an investment property in Newcastle (which I really enjoyed and has given us a whole lot of extra content from real world experiences with local tradies like electricians, plumbers, chippies, painters and more) but am now back on the tools (the internet and software tools, that is) and keen to continue improving every aspects of our courses for existing AND new students.
We’ve coming up to the crazy, silly season once again that is Christmas, and I thought I’d push our marketing up another notch to help those who want to learn more to improve their lives and businesses in 2018. I hope I’m not too early in thinking like this but it’s a great time to think about what’s important in life and go and get it.
New people, new experience and MORE new content
I’ve spoken with some fantastic people who’ve joined us in the accounting software space and they have some tremendous experience in the ERP (Enterprise resource planning) side of accounting — that is accounting software as used by mid size companies. From this, we’re going to share some great information, tips and experiences to help those businesses who either deal with larger companies as clients, or who are at the stage of ramping up their accounting as a mid size business.
We’ve also just gone through the upgrade of training materials for Microsoft Excel 2016 and Xero Courses, including the new Xero Cashflow Course, and I’ll share some of that information with you as it gets published on our LMS.
If you are an existing Xero Course student you can access this course for free as part of our EzyLearn Updates policy.
There’s much more news to come, but for now please take advantage of and share our current “LAST DASHer SALE!” with your friends. And do subscribe to receive our updates!
Credit Management is an Extra Job
I’ve always believed that as soon as you offer credit you’ve got yourself another business – a credit management business. When we first created our MYOB Daily Transactions course we designed it to take students through the cashflow process of where money goes when it first leaves your bank account and these are the main steps:
- Money in the bank (cash asset)
- Buy stock (inventory asset)
- Products sold on account (accounts receivable asset – Trade Debtors)
- Customer pays their account (cash asset)
The interesting part of this business process to me is the marketing (choosing the products, pricing, marketing message and advertising) and the credit management to get the money back. Each of these stages and their tasks carry a certain amount of risk but the credit risk part is actually something you can manage to try to eliminate altogether, but it takes work and a system.
Well the good news is that we’ve created a Credit Management Training Guide that goes through the different parts of your business where you can put measures in place to reduce this risk significantly – even if you are in the trades or building industry.
Credit Management is a Job for Contractors
Many tasks in businesses these days is actually contracted out to independent contractors because of the flexibility and credit management is a great example because it can be performed a day a week (for smaller businesses) and it can even be performed by a remote contractor (virtual assistant) working from their own home office. See Credit Management Services at Natbooks!
Since we’ve started working with local bookkeepers at National Bookkeeping we’ve realised that credit management and daily transactions type work is by far the most common form of task performed by a bookkeeper. The rate of pay for bookkeepers performing this work is generally lower, but it’s a great option for people like working mums or dads who want to fit their work into their children’s school schedules as well as corporate accountants who want to make a start on their own bookkeeping business in their local area.
The corporate accountants or accounts managers we speak with often start performing this work in their new bookkeeping business but as their business grows they fill this position with a contractor of their own. Pre Qualify to join National Bookkeeping
Paypal and Quickbooks
Last year I wrote about the joint venture between Quickbooks (Intuit) and Paypal and how they want to help businesses get paid faster. They commissioned a study last year found that Australian small businesses are owed a collective $26 million in unpaid invoices. That’s roughly $13,200 owed to each business at any given time, for which business owners will spend an average of 12 days chasing them each year.
It’s a lot of time and effort to earn that kind of money particularly if you’ve actually already earned it by supplying your products and services!
Check out our Credit Management information page and watch out for the announcement when we include it as a student inclusion for ALL students. We created this guide to help businesses use their accounting software to better manage the credit risk in their business. We’ve included information for builders and contractors about the Security of Payments Act.
Starting a Business as a Bookkeeper is about Business Knowledge, Skills and Support
If you’re subscribed to our blog and you’ve been following our recent posts, then you should know that EzyLearn has partnered with National Bookkeeping to provide them with courses that they can administer to their new licensees, so I thought I would take some time to talk about what you get when you become a licensee with National Bookkeeping.
To begin with, you get access to all of the EzyLearn training courses, including any new courses we develop in the future. This means that in addition to our MYOB training courses and our small business management course and our WordPress training courses, and so on, you’ll also have access our new content marketing course when it becomes available or any other course we develop in the future.
All the training you need under one roof
We made a commitment to give National Bookkeeping licensees access to our full suite of training courses because we’re big believers in continuing your professional development by constantly updating your skill set, whether it’s by learning how to use new software or getting training in new areas of study – like content marketing.
So straight off the bat, by becoming a National Bookkeeping licensee, you’re getting access to thousands of dollars worth of training courses as part of the license fee. The way we – and National Bookkeeping – see it is that the better skilled you are, the more chance your business will have at succeeding, which is a goal for both EzyLearn and National Bookkeeping as much as it is for you.
What do you get as a National Bookkeeping Licensee?
You also get the infrastructure you need to get your bookkeeping business off the ground included in the license fee. This includes:
VoIP business phone number: You can give out a landline telephone number (rather than just a mobile number) and configure it so you can use special in-dial marketing numbers to see where your calls are coming from, which is very useful to tracking your marketing activities. You can learn more about VoIP at the Virion website, who are also working with National Bookkeeping.
Business templates: Whenever you commence work with a new client, you should always have some kind of agreement in place to protect both yourself and your client. For an independent contractor – which is how National Bookkeeping licensees will operate their businesses – the most common kind of agreement you’ll use is the professional services agreement. But we’ll also give you access to other kinds of business document, such as intellectual property agreements, that can be easily modified, should you need them.
Bookkeeping business plan: In addition to the small business management course, which takes you through the process of creating your own business plan, National Bookkeeping will also provide you with an easy-to-modify business plan, developed especially for home-based bookkeepers, which you can tweak to suit your business needs.
Sales training and business coach: Even if you’ve worked in sales in a previous occupation, every new business owner can use sales training and that’s largely because as a business owner the sales process is different to when you’re working as a sales person for a large company. When you’re just starting out, the goal is to get clients – so is working for free or cutting your rates is a good way to establish yourself? The National Bookkeeping sales trainer will take you through the many common scenarios new business owners face in relation to getting clients, as well as ways to build your business through word-of-mouth referrals. You’ll also have access to your own business coach to help you keep on track to grow your client base and build a successful business.
Marketing materials: National Bookkeeping will also supply you with your own business cards, brochures, and marketing and sales collateral that you can distribute throughout your business networks and to potential customers.
What you need to do now?
Aside from registering your interest with National Bookkeeping there are a few things you will need to do in order to become a home-based bookkeeper.
Get a Cert IV in Accounting or Bookkeeping: Although you don’t have to get a Certificate IV in Accounting or Bookkeeping, we highly recommend it. Without a Cert IV, you cannot provide BAS or GST services, which are a major component of the tax process. By being able to provide these services, you make yourself infinitely more valuable to your clients, as well as accountants with whom you’ll be encouraged to network and make contact with. You can get a Cert IV in Accounting or Bookkeeping from most RTOs or TAFE.
Obtain an ABN: Every business must have an Australian Business Number, which must be quoted on your invoices. If you don’t have an ABN your clients are legally required to withhold 49 percent of your payment and send it directly to the ATO, who’ll hold it until you file a tax return for which you’ll be required to get an ABN. Thus, it’s better to get one before you commence trading.
Get in the zone: The decision to start and operate a new business is not one that should be taken lightly, so it’s a good idea to get mentally prepared beforehand. Read up on what it’s like to be a home-based office worker, get on Meetup.com and do some networking with other business owners who can share their tips, advice and wisdom on the new business journey with you; and just generally ready yourself (organise your home-office space, for instance) for diving in and taking the self-employed plunge.
If you would like to learn more about the National Bookkeeping licensee program, visit the National Bookkeeping website, read their FAQs page or get in contact with their team to discuss the opportunities available in more detail.
Otherwise, if you have all the information you need and you’re ready to get started, register now at the National Bookkeeping website and begin your bookkeeping journey today!
Outsourced Online Content Marketing and Bookkeeping
What is Content Marketing and Does it Work?
I recently wrote about content marketing and how we have used it for years to ensure our MYOB and Excel Courses appear in Google’s organic search results. I touched on the topic of “who is your audience”, why it’s important and how it may affect your writing style – in reality you just need to write like you are sending an email to a friend, don’t you think – but one of the most important things is to measure the results of your work.
We started using WordPress as our website development platform because it’s relatively easy to use, but mainly because millions of people use it around the world and there are LOT’s of great tools within the platform that enable any business owner to take control of their website and improve it bit by bit every week or month. It’s like the Microsoft Word of content management systems and enables all of the functionality that most people want to see in a professional website, including the capability of enabling a mobile friendly site (important with the new changes in Google for mobile optimised websites).
If you are starting a content marketing strategy the main thing I can recommend is to keep working at your website every week, writing great new, and relevant content and most of all check your results. The image in this blog post demonstrates the success we had helping one company improve constantly in their organic rankings (in a pretty competitive market). All they did is kept adding relevant text that helps website visitors and wrote regular posts.
Want To Learn How To Do This?
Can anyone do this? Yes they can. Like most things there is a formula to success and it takes constant work and regular improvement. I’ve teamed up with a content writer and a digital strategist (could you imagine seeing that job description even 15 years ago?!), to create a course designed to help you learn how to plan and execute a content marketing strategy.
[box type=”tick” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]If you are interested in learning more, visit our content marketing course page and join the waiting list – I’ll announce when the course is completed and you’ll receive a special invitation offer.[/box]
Can a Bookkeeper Do Content Marketing?
I was speaking with Ray from the Startup Academy and we were talking about what makes a good bookkeeper. He mentioned a conversation he had with an experienced bookkeeper he knows who has been bookkeeping for quite a few years and she mentioned that her focus is changing, that she is now starting to spend time on all sorts of aspects of the finance and administration of the businesses she works for. Because of her knowledge and experience she is able to take over many of the other “operational and administration” aspects of her clients businesses and as a result she can:
- Do more work for fewer clients (easier to manage, yet still spreads her risk between several clients)
- Perform more varied tasks for her small business clients
- Earn a higher rate of pay
Can a Bookkeeper Become a Small Business Manager?
Have you read about our relatively new initiative to help people start their own bookkeeping business? One of the training courses we include is the small business management course and we’ve included it because it helps you clearly define the operational aspects of your business plan. Things like
- how many customers do you want,
- how much do you want to charge,
- what type of work do you want to do etc.
Although there are fairly standard rates that bookkeeper charge for bookkeeping work, these rates can increase if your skill base is broader and you can become more valuable to your clients.
I read a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald (from Feb 27, 2015, by Alexandra Cain) where she talks about the number of bookkeepers there are in Australia (estimated to be 250,000) compared to the number of bookkeepers who are registered with the Tax Practitioners Board as How to become a Registered BAS Agent (12,000). Alexandra introduces the topic of what type of work bookkeepers do and it’s highly practical for them to venture into many other parts of the business.
Every Course To Be Included in National Bookkeeping Package
This is the news that I have been waiting to announce – that we will be including ALL of our courses and any future courses to people who join our new bookkeeping business opportunity, National Bookkeeping. New members will receive thousands of dollars worth of training courses in EVERY course we have so they’ll have knowledge (and access to a knowledge base) about
- Website design, Blogging and Internet Marketing
- Content marketing, plus using Microsoft Office Applications like,
- Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc
We have courses on using help desk software like ZenDesk (that we use), Dropbox and stacks of other short online courses, PLUS we’ll be creating new ones during the year (and the next and the next) that National Bookkeeping Licensee will have access to.
If you are interested in exploring this opportunity further, feel free to go through the Bookkeeping Business Opportunity FAQ’s or make contact with us for more information.
Is MYOB Just Another Program In Your Control Panel?
I was cleaning up my computer this morning and went to my Microsoft Windows Control Panel to discover MYOB Accounting Software sitting in the program list. I was removing any programs that I may have installed to test or get to know with a goal of REMOVING all that I didn’t need, when I saw MYOB software in the list.
I didn’t see WordPress and I didn’t see Commonwealth Bank Internet Banking in the list and at that moment I felt a little sad, realising that if I changed computers that I would need to go through the program installation process with my accounting software AND that EVERY person who needed to access our bookkeeping software would have to go through the same process.
Cloud Software Doesn’t Need to be Installed On Your Computer
I’m used to going to websites, logging in to do my work and then logging out at the end. Yes, with some I have to change the password regularly and others there is 2 level authentication using a mobile phone number as well, but the great thing about these “cloud-based” services is that I don’t even need my own computer! I can log in using an iPad, laptop or even my smart phone.
With services like Google Apps, we can run our entire company “server” in the cloud and have experts make sure it is up and running all the time for the cost of less than $100 per month, compared to several thousand dollars to buy the hardware (and have the floor space, data, power and air conditioning) , thousands of dollars in software licences and then having to hire an expert IT service person to manage it all for thousands of dollars per year – particularly if something goes wrong.
I’ve always wondered why MYOB didn’t focus all of their efforts on building a fully featured accounting program for the cloud only and wrote about how it seems like MYOB is computer based accounting program with the functionality of Dropbox. Some people think it’s more secure or safe to keep your accounting information local, but I’m not convinced.
How does MYOB compare to Xero and Quickbooks Online
I recently wrote about Ken from Love My Home Theatre and why he loves Xero Accounting Software (not Zero) and also about how the new market for cloud accounting software is not only introducing new competitors like Xero, but also enabling MASSIVE competitors like QUICKBOOKS back into the Australian market for accounting software once again.
If you are a regular reader you’d also know that we’ve had Xero Training Courses for quite a while now and that our focus is to help people looking for bookkeeping work AND small business owners learn bookkeeping software to help them run their business more efficiently and be compliant with the ATO.
The most impressive features of Xero Accounting Software are:
- Xero can be accessed from anywhere at any time
- Xero can accommodate multiple users (accountant, bookkeeper, business owner) no matter where they are located (which is great for virtual assistants doing bookkeeping from their own home)
- Xero integrates with other cloud software programs (watch the video interview about Xero accounting with a small business that love it)
The best thing about cloud based software services (apart from having experts making sure it is always up and running) is that when new features are built they are available to you immediately. Xero recently announced the capability to create quotes and manage inventory which brings it even closer “feature wise” with MYOB and although I haven’t had a chance to see it in action, Margaret Carey (who contributed to our XERO vs MYOB feature comparison) notes that:
[quote]Any business that requires more than basic tracking will need to continue to look at the add on solutions such as Unleashed or Dear but it is a promising start.[/quote]
Xero is Definitely Becoming More Popular
Whether Xero has just done some great marketing this year, or that people genuinely want the benefits of a cloud-based accounting program, we are experiencing increased enrolments into our Xero Training Courses.
It could also be because all of our Xero courses are included for the one low price – we don’t sell them separately AND we include new content during a students membership period.
We use all of the major cloud-based accounting programs and I can say personally that I like what I have seen with Xero and Quickbooks Online. The fact that you don’t have to go through that labourious process of downloading, installing and registering your software (for each user) is a great bonus, but the fact that you can use these programs from any computer is even better.
Stay Tuned for QuickBooks Online Training Courses
This year will become a very interesting year as online accounting software companies fight for your business as well as loyalty from bookkeepers and accountants. I can reveal that we have started writing the content for our soon to be launched Quickbooks Training Courses! Jacci, our Register BAS Agent is working to replicate the small business accounting processes we use in our MYOB and Xero courses to teach students how to manage business accounts using Quickbooks Online.
If you want to receive updates and launch information about this course please visit our Quickbooks Online Training Course page.
Is there a wave of innovation in online accounting from Canada?
Would you like to hear about MORE innovation in accounting? Want to learn about a cloud-based accounting program that boasts more than twice as many users as Xero?
I was speaking with an insurance agent who is contributing to the risk management components of our Small Business Management course and he was telling me about this great accounting software that is completely free unless you use their merchant services and/or payroll. I haven’t confirmed any of these features of the software, but a quick visit to their website shows an interface that looks very much like Quickbooks Online with the navigation panel on the left of the screen.
My insurance agent friend Ruben is sharing information with us about how Workcover works for small business owners as well as public and product liability. He’ll also share with us how these relate to contractors who might work for you and go to perform work at a customers site.
If you decide you’d like to take a look at Wave Accounting or you are already a customer of this accounting program please share your opinions with us at our Facebook page.
Bookkeepers Who Want to Provide BAS Services Need TPB Certification
Whether you are a bookkeeper who uses Xero or MYOB or one of the other accounting software packages that we offer training on, you are probably aware that Australian tax legislation has changed recently. As a result, providing BAS services to clients is not as simple as it once was.
All bookkeepers who wish to provide a BAS service for a fee, must now hold a Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping or Accounting) or higher to be eligible for registration.
What makes up a BAS service?
The BAS services page on the ATO website can provide you with information about the qualification requirements and the education requirements for BAS agents to become certified with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) so you can offer tax and BAS services to clients.
Becoming certified with the TPB is a lot like getting your drivers license: you need to be able to demonstrate the relevant experience of at least 1400 hours, or 1000 hours if you’re already a member of a professional organisation — like the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers — which you can become a member of for free when you complete an applicable EzyLearn Training Course.
If you’re working under the supervision of another registered Tax or BAS agent, you cannot provide any Tax or BAS services to any clients you may pick up of your own. In other words, you must only provide tax or BAS services to clients known to your supervising Tax/BAS agent.
For some newcomers to the industry, this may seem daunting. But that’s just because conventional wisdom suggests that you must take on some form of permanent employment, working for a bookkeeper or accountant who is registered with the TPB and can supervise you while you gain the necessary skills to go out on your own.
But that’s not actually the case. While this is an option — and a good one if you’ve never worked as a bookkeeper before — it’s not the only one. You can still work with another registered Tax/BAS agent as a contractor, providing these services to the registered Tax/BAS agent’s clients until you’re eligible to go out on your own.
Kick start your own business
This is a great way to get a start on your own business — perhaps just offering non BAS services to start with — while you gain the skills to become registered to offer GST and BAS services. Contract bookkeeping jobs of this nature are actually easier to find that it may seem — often by striking up a working relationship with an accountant or another certified bookkeeper.
Find out more information on how to register with the TPB so you can provide tax and BAS services. And remember: you can become a member of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers for free when you complete an applicable EzyLearn Training Course.
We are constantly refreshing the content of our MYOB training course so that you are privy to all the latest information you need for becoming a bookkeeper, running your own bookkeeping business, or doing the books for the businesses of others.
Certainly, technology has reshaped the way most of us work, learn and interact with each other. Whether working from home or from an office, many of us spend the bulk of our time online, and for many, it’s not uncommon to feel increasingly disconnected from others, lonely, even. However, in this ever-increasing virtual world in which we live and work, there are ways to combat loneliness — things we’ve probably learned from our mother’s and grandmother’s: to mind our P’s and Q’s.
If you are thinking about working from home and running a bookkeeping business in 2013 (or you already do this), it goes without saying that things are substantially different to the way they were 20 years ago; different, even to just 10 years ago. Instead of seeing your clients often and chatting regularly on the phone, you email. On a daily basis, your Inbox fills with emails from clients — emails you rarely read in full, scanning instead for keywords or instructions that you mentally note down for later; the email is then closed. Rarely a response longer than “No problem”, “Done” or “Sure, will do” is sent back (something I’m guilty of myself!).
However, there was a time when a client would have phoned through their request or query, you’d have chatted, built a relationship, and some of the loneliness of working from home would have been assuaged. Today, we rarely indulge in such pleasantries — and we complain we’re lonely.
But loneliness is so easily rectified, particularly in business. Instead of emailing a one-word email back, engage with your customers. Get to know them; ask them how they are, how business is travelling and, above all, thank them for continuing to do business with you. People like to feel appreciated; they like to feel that they’re not alone in the world.
At EzyLearn, we’re in the business of helping people build profitable businesses working from home. With all of our online training courses, we strive to ensure our online students don’t feel detached or lonely. We know that studying online can sometimes feel like you’re missing out on the student-teacher, student-student interaction, making your road to graduation a long and lonely one. It’s why we implemented the ZenDesk customer support system — to handle and respond to your queries quickly and efficiently — and why we’re also active on social media so you can connect with us quickly and easily, every time.
Next time you feel lonely when working or studying online or from home, perhaps consider whether technology has effectively placed a barricade between you and those around you. Are you likely to be regarded as a real person by your clients, or more a faceless, voiceless email that happens to bear your name? Use technology, instead, to connect (or reconnect) with people — and what better place to start than by saying, “Thank You”!
As part of our commitment to be the number one choice for online MYOB Bookkeeping training courses we are always keeping an eye and ear out for changes and improvements in the bookkeeping industry. If you do your own banking reconciliation, you might agree that sifting through printed statements and checking each entry off in your accounting software is maybe the most tedious part of bookkeeping.
But it need not be. With accounting bank feeds – a new feature in the world of cloud accounting – your bank transactions are automatically synched with your cloud accounting software.
This means that as long as you’ve entered your purchases into your accounting software, when your statement comes in from your bank, it will automatically marry up your purchases for you to approve with just the click of a button.
Automatic bank feeds removes the single most tedious step from the banking reconciliation process, which, depending on the size of your company, can take anywhere fifteen minutes to two hours (sometimes even more).
For a little more detail on how MYOB and bank feeds works, watch this video:
Or, for more information on how Xero and bank feeds work, watch this video:
But it’s important to know how your accounting software will access your sensitive banking information as currently there are two main methods for doing so.
First there is the method used by the likes of MYOB where your accounting software provider integrates a direct feed of your bank transactions from each of your banks into your software without needing your bank username and password.
The second method, called screen scraping, requires your accounting software to use a third party to access your bank transactions, thus necessitating your bank usernames and passwords, which can become a grey area with regards to protecting yourself from banking fraud.
While the companies that use the screen scraping method take security very seriously, should a breach occur, you could find yourself in violation of your bank’s terms and conditions because you gave out your usernames and passwords.
It’s up to you to choose what method you feel comfortable with but always check your bank’s terms and conditions before you give out your login in details.
Whatever option you choose, by eliminating the hours of data entry, your saving not only time, but also money.
And for the layperson doing their banking reconciliation themselves, services like Shoeboxed only eliminate the data entry even further.
PS: We’re also almost ready to announce our new Cert IV in Small Business Management with the Australian Small Business Centre so if you are looking to start a business or learn the skills to manage one stay tuned…
We’re augmenting our MYOB Training Courses as you may already be aware and that includes new training courses for cloud based accounting software like Reach Accounting.
Currently, the cheapest Australian cloud-based accounting software is Reach Accounting, provided by Australian domain registration and web hosting company, Net Registry.
Net Registry has been operating in Australia since 1997 and, over the years, has grown from a start-up business to the largest and most trusted provider of domain names and web hosting in the country.
Web hosting, as some of you probably already know, is another cloud-based service, so it seems only natural that Net Registry would eventually move into the cloud accounting space, which they have done with Reach.
While Reach is certainly the cheapest Australian-based cloud accounting software on the market, offering great benefits, such as, multiple user access (so everyone from owner, to staff, to bookkeeper, to accountant can have access at the same time from different offices), unlimited support and no hidden fees, it differs in functionality to MYOB AccountRight Live.
Over the years, MYOB AccountRight, has become a rather sophisticated piece of accounting software; its features include, access via the PC or the cloud, inventory, bill by time and more.
However, if your business model is relatively simple, Reach Accounting could prove a more economical option coming in at around $10 per month cheaper than the basic version of MYOB AccountRight Live, by far Australia’s cheapest cloud-based accounting software.
Although we do not provide training on MYOB AccountRight Live, we are exploring it along with Reach Accounting as part of the Bookkeeping Academy.
We have previously written blog posts about our Bookkeeping Academy and in particular, how students of our MYOB training courses can gain access to this for FREE. We are currently creating training materials on how to use Reach Accounting from NetRegistry.
We are currently creating new content for various cloud accounting software vendors, and in particular is the Reach Accounting package. This package is ideal for small serviced based businesses such as graphic designers, website designers and even bookkeepers . The Sales layout (Invoice) is more suited to small service based businesses’ as it does not allow you to manage items or inventory, but at only $14.95 per month it is extremely affordable while enabling you to remain compliant with your recording and reporting requirements.
Our Course Designer, Certified Bookkeeper and Registered BAS Agent had this to say about Reaching Accounting:
I love the report functionality and its ease of use, especially for people who are not familiar with bookkeeping or accounting reports. The BAS Calculation report is a prime example of this, whereby [quote]it gives us the information needed to simply transfer onto the BAS[/quote] . Another thing that really impressed me was the Thank Client Email functionality, this is received by the client in a professional look, displays the information needed and they can also see a list of their transactions regarding the invoice just by clicking a link in the email.
We are continually creating new content for our Bookkeeping Academy and if you have not already, sign up to one of our MYOB courses which include Lifetime Membership, and free 12 months access to all the content at the Bookkeeping Academy.
WE RECENTLY FEATURED AN article by Margaret Carey comparing Xero vs MYOB and as early as 2010 I wrote about Xero’s solid growth in the online accounting area and how it could steal business away from MYOB.
If you read my blog posts or follow the news about accounting software and cloud-based accounting software, you’ll be aware that MYOB is now owned by a large private equity organisation called Bain Capital (which was co-founded by Mitt Romney). I believe it overpaid for MYOB and as a result has to fight hard to justify its price and keep as many customers as possible. However, regardless of that, it’s interesting to see that MYOB is now the US competitor to the New Zealand and Australian owned Xero.
How is MYOB American?
What do I mean? Well, MYOB was once an Australian-owned company that you could buy shares in — it was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. It was subsequently purchased by Archer Capital and later sold to Bain. During this time, the man who started MYOB, Craig Winkler, sold his shares in MYOB and became a major investor in Xero. Read this article from the Sydney Morning Herald to better understand the “lay of the land” about cloud-based accounting software.
You can buy shares in Xero
Up until last week you could only buy shares in Xero through the New Zealand stock exchange. Last week, things changed and you can now participate in the fresh new competition in the online accounting market by buying shares in Xero! The graphic shows the rise of the share price since listing.
This blog post isn’t financial advice because I don’t know about your personal circumstances, but it could prove to be some safe career advice to get to know the software because they have listed in Australia in order to endear themselves to you and other small businesses in our part of the world.
Want to check out Xero’s ASX ticker and start keeping track of their price? Follow this link.
MYOB Bookkeeper, does this affect you?
If you are looking for work as an MYOB bookkeeper you will come across cloud accounting sooner or later because all the accounting software vendors are developing cloud based products. MYOB has recently launched their cloud accounting program MYOB AccountRight Live because they want to take advantage of the mass movement into the cloud.
More importantly as a bookkeeper these days you need to have bookkeeping qualifications like a Cert IV in Bookkeeping as well as software skills to find work or run your own bookkeeping business. Because of the more competitive landscape in online accounting you’ll also find several different accounting systems are being used and the more you know, the move valuable you become.
Always updating our content
In conjunction with bookkeepers, accountants and other finance industry experts we are always adding training materials covering a number of different cloud accounting applications like Xero, SAASU, Reach Accounting and MYOB AccountRight Live to our online training platform. We are also adding case studies to our courses to make them more true to life and interesting. When you enrol and opt to purchase our Lifetime Access option, you will have access to all updates to our courses forever.
Our online courses can be counted towards your CPD points
EzyLearn Excel, MYOB and Xero online training courses count towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for bookkeepers and accountants. We’ve been an accredited training provider of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers ever since the organisation started in Australia. Find out how CPD points can be of benefit to you.
Xero and MYOB
I’ve written many articles about the building competition between cloud-based accounting services like Xero, SAASU and Reach Accounting and MYOB’s AccountRight Live, but I sought an opinion of someone with much more experience with the various bookkeeping programs. Margaret from BusinessEEz is an accounting software specialist and she will share her opinions about whether you should switch to Xero or remain with MYOB.
We’ve noticed some big changes in the most recent version of MYOB AccountRight version 2012 and these changes not only affect small business owners, but also bookkeepers who perform most of the day to day and month end tasks for these small businesses.
Here’s what Margaret had to say about Xero and MYOB.
Should I switch to Xero or remain with MYOB?
MYOB is about to launch AccountRightLive, the cloud-based version of AccountRight 2012 which is exciting news for business owners, bookkeepers and accountants as it means that you will have the ability to remain on MYOB and enjoy the flexibility that the cloud can offer. Xero has of course been in the cloud for some six years and has wooed many Australian small businesses with its ease of use, functionality and flexibility. However now AccountRight Live is becoming a reality, business owners and bookkeepers can more readily compare apples with apples when deciding whether to switch or remain with the familiar product.
There are a number of key points of difference.
Firstly with MYOB you can choose to switch between the cloud and the desktop at any time but Xero however is a cloud-only product, accessed via a web browser and an internet connection. Some people may like the flexibility of being able to switch between the two, taking offline backups etc. and others are happy with the restriction of internet–only access, no offline backups.
[quote]MYOB is also allowing for up to 5 concurrent users, a welcome addition for users on Plus and compares well with the unlimited users for Xero.[/quote]
However, I believe that functionality is a major driver in product decision and there is a lot to consider here.
Functionality of MYOB
MYOB has been around for many years and over time has built up some industrial strength functionality. Xero has only been around for 6 years (less in Australia) and whilst new releases with new features come out every couple of months, it still has a way to go to catch up with the in-depth functionality of MYOB. So if your business has some more sophisticated processes – eg Job Costing, Purchase Order tracking
If you hold inventory for buying and selling, then you need to remain on MYOB, Xero does not have an integrated inventory solution, there are plenty of add-ons available but why go for an add-on if you can have an integrated solution?
Xero does now have a reasonable integrated payroll solution but again, if you have some more sophisticated requirements such as TOIL, RESC etc, you should carefully review how well Xero will handle these.
The number one efficiency feature with Xero is its bank feeds. You can directly download transactions from your bank accounts into Xero and through some sophisticated but easy to set up rules, Xero will suggest the correct postings for the transactions – this is a powerful feature that can save several hours of data entry but is probably more suited to the micro business than the small business.
- If you have a fairly simple business model, no inventory, straightforward payroll and are comfortable with a cloud-only solution then test drive Xero – you could well find that factors such as the bank feeds clinch the decision for you.
- But, if your business model is more sophisticated, you are still attached to a terra firma option or you need inventory then you are better sticking with the software you know.
- For all shades of grey in between – further analysis may be required to make the best decision for your business.
Learn more than just MYOB
When you enrol into our MYOB courses you receive free membership to the Bookkeeping Academy where we’ll show you how to use other accounting software programs like Xero, SAASU, Reach Accounting and more..
I’ve written a lot about MYOB in the cloud recently as training companies like us, accountants and MYOB software users grapple with their changing software and upgrading issues and a recent article I read brought up an interesting topic. Whether Cloud based accounting software will takes jobs offshore?
MYOB in the Cloud and IT support
The article I read was more about IT jobs and IT departments and whether cloud computing was making It Departments redundant. When you think about the various jobs within the accounts department the same question can be asked. I wrote a blog post about the looming threat to Australian jobs by overseas workers earlier in 2012 and scarily, it was reinforced by an article in yesterdays Sydney Morning Herald about 1 million jobs going offshore in the next 30 years.
If you check out the article you’ll notice that not only bookkeeping jobs, but accounting in general is one of the largest sectors under threat from offshoring! The picture above shows some other sectors under threat.
MYOB in the cloud vs data files on your PC
MYOB in the Cloud will enable the bookkeeper, data entry operator and accountant to access accounting records at the same time and from different locations and this is one of the best selling features of MYOB in the cloud compared to a data file on your computer. The issue for Australian workers is that anyone in the world can now perform this work if they have the skills to use the software and knowledge of basic Australian accounting.
One of the best ways to ensure your worth and value as a MYOB user is to keep yourself up-to-date. Continuing Education is important if you want to be a BAS agent, but it is also a very good way to become the MYOB and Bookkeeping resource for your own customers.
When you enrol into our MYOB training courses, you’ll automatically receive 12 months membership to the Bookkeeping Academy as well as free student membership of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.