How We Create a Xero Training Course

MYOB AccountRight, QuickBooks Online and Xero come with job costing and job tracking functions allowing users to develop more accurate budgets and avoid cost blow outs.

I’m excited to be delving deeper into a micro course specifically targeting how you can manage on-the-job costs and track your project. This will be included in all of our Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks online accounting courses.

Real life case studies and micro courses

Project, Job Tracking, Job Costing, Job Reporting for Xero, MYOB & QuickBooks Online Training Courses
Project Milestone chart from Xero’s WorkFlowMAX Project Management Software

We design our training courses to be true to life. This means we create our training courses around real-life business examples, or case studies. This information helps you get a job in the real world.

In my last blog I talked about the job tracking function in Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks. In our Job Tracking and Projects Training Course, we’ve taken as our starting point a real-life situation where a tradie uses job tracking features in cloud accounting software to make sure he makes a profit from all his running around, allocation of staff, cost of stock and out of pocket expenses from trips to Bunnings.

The erection of a garden shed

Our Job Tracking and Projects Training Course case study highlights the seemingly simple example of the erection of a garden shed. Our client purchases the shed directly from a hardware supplier, then employs the services of a builder to deliver and erect the shed.

Job Tracking, Projects in Xero, MYOB AccountRight & QuickBooks Online Training Courses to report profits for tradies and builders - garden shed
Simple Job, but lots can go wrong and cost more than you earn

Although it seems very easy, just like life itself, the process is actually more complex than meets the eye. Here are the issues the tradie needs to consider:

  • Some of the products the tradesperson uses are stock (inventory),
  • others he needs to buy for the job,
  • others products and parts need to be purchased while on the job (expenses incurred by his staff).

Then there are circumstances which the tradie didn’t account for in his quote:

  • Some days the build is rained out and
  • some things end up taking longer than expected.
  • An extra staff member is required and the tradesperson then has to keep keep track of his worker’s timesheets,

Establishing the transaction costs

Just as this Cloud Accounting Training Course case study is based on a real life scenario, so the transaction costs (the cost of supplies, labour, expected profits and losses) are current and accurate.

In developing our course content, we actually liaise with the relevant suppliers, including various tradespeople, interviewing them and finding out the variations and possible blow outs they experience and the contingencies they implement to offset these.

We also draw on ATO benchmarking which compares the information gathered from your financial returns to the information the ATO gathers from all other similar businesses.

Make sure you subscribe to our Cloud Accounting Course blog to receive updates about the next steps we take when creating our courses!

Want to learn more about managing project costs and job tracking in the major cloud accounting software packages – Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks? See our new case study: https://ezylearn.info/how-it-works/case-studies-micro-courses/managing-jobs-or-projects-to-measure-profitability/

Why is job tracking and project costing so hard using MYOB & Xero?

In many industries, no two jobs are the same, making estimating job costs and resources tough. Job tracking is one of the best ways to develop an accurate budget and avoid blow outs.

But this can be hard work. Are the latest job costing and tracking functions in MYOB AccountRight, QuickBooks Online and Xero making life easier?

Job tracking functions in your accounting software

As its name implies, job or project tracking is a way of keeping track of, and allocating, all costs and incomes to a particular job or project.

Job tracking has numerous benefits. It allows you to stay on schedule, budget for costs and resources efficiently and work out job profitability.

Why job tracking can be difficult

Part of the challenge of job tracking is making sure that staff members responsible for invoicing, paying accounts, and payroll functions, know exactly how to allocate costs in a job. They also need to know which jobs are active at any one time.

How job tracking affects Accounts payable and receivable workers

We cover the skills needed to for clerical, administrative and accounts work in accounts payable and receivable in our Xero Advanced Certificate, MYOB Advanced Certificate and QuickBooks Online Advanced Certificate courses.

When it comes to job tracking, employees working in these accounts areas need training and awareness. If you have staff responsible for invoicing customers, they will need to know which job numbers to use.

Similarly, accounts payable staff who receive supplier bills and need to allocate the costs to the correct jobs or cost centres.

Payroll staff, too, are involved in job tracking as they receive employee timesheets and need to allocate hours worked to the correct jobs.

How the different accounting programs “job track”

MYOB AccountRight Job Tracking

You can track job costs and revenue using the Jobs function of MYOB AccountRight. This is available in the Lists menu. (Note: Job tracking is not available in MYOB Essentials.) The Jobs List in MYOB AccountRight provides a snapshot of the profitability of each job.

We cover job tracking in our MYOB BAS & Reporting online training course.

Xero Projects or WorkFlowMax

Xero, too, has its own much awaited job tracking function, called Xero Projects. The introduction of Xero Projects has been great for those wanting to make the move from MYOB AccountRight.

However, Xero Projects isn’t exactly like tracking costs by job in MYOB. The Xero Projects module tracks time and expenses and a billing process generates invoices. However, you can’t track job costs by line on each invoice.

You can overcome this by creating tracking codes in Xero which would allow you to allocate costs/income as appropriate. This only becomes a little unwieldy if you run lots of different jobs. An addon like Workflow Max may be worth considering for these kind of operators.

Read about some of the other project management tools you can use.

Overall, however, Xero’s more recent offerings, like Xero Projects, are making it increasingly competitive against MYOB. We’ve written a lot about the comparisons between MYOB AccountRight and Xero; it’s a heated topic among small business owners and bookkeeping businesses!

QuickBooks Online

We’ve talked before about how QuickBooks is comparable with Xero. Like Xero, it also has a Projects feature, which is available on a QuickBooks Online Plus subscription. The QuickBooks Projects screen provides a snapshot of the profitability of each job. A project name and customer is required to create a new project.

We’re currently creating a short course on Job Tracking, Job Costing and Projects

If you are a current EzyLearn student you’ll be thrilled to learn that we have a new case study in development that will teach you how to manage projects for tradies like builders, carpenters etc.

Learn more about our latest Micro Course Case Study and make sure you subscribe to receive updates on its progress.

We are creating a new Job/Project Tracking training course for each of our Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks Online Courses.

Should You Send Reports to Late-Paying Clients?

Want to learn how you can really manage late payers? Simply by reconciling more regularly, you can use a “real time” snapshot of your cash flow in your accounting software, rather than relying on your bank balance.

Continue reading Should You Send Reports to Late-Paying Clients?

Are EzyLearn students just like YOU?

‘Social proof’ is testimonials, reviews and feedback of others, that vouches for the product or service we’re thinking of buying. Social proof backs up the fact that what we’re considering buying is what it says it is.

Come see some social proof about EzyLearn by meeting some students from the past few weeks
— you just might have a lot in common with them.

Continue reading Are EzyLearn students just like YOU?

The smart cover letter to get your next accounting job

So you’ve switched on the job alerts with SEEK and accounting jobs, part-time or contract accounting jobs are coming into your Inbox! Jobs galore! Everyone needs accounts people, right?

IF YOU’RE RECEIVING the job alerts everyday — indeed, you may even have applied for some jobs already — but you’re still not getting called up for interview, then the following questions of doubt may be brewing:

  • Why haven’t they picked me?
  • Have I been filtered out for some reason?
  • Was my cover letter not good enough?
Continue reading The smart cover letter to get your next accounting job

Does Your Family Support Your Study?

Online MYOB Courses are flexible but…

ONLINE TRAINING IS one of the most convenient ways for busy people to study. While some people take to it naturally, for others the flexibility and freedom it affords itself is a learning curve.

The key to successful online training, however, is family support and we’ve noticed that many students for our Xero & MYOB Courses are parents who are stretched for time.

Continue reading Does Your Family Support Your Study?

How to nail the job search process using SEEK’s advanced job search features

I was speaking with someone who just landed a part-time job, in-fact a contract position, even though the job was advertised as a full-time job.

The job seeker was telling me about the advanced new features of Australia’s leading job board, including:

  • New Profiles (just like your LinkedIn Profile)
  • Resume Scanning
  • Job Recommendations
  • “You may be a strong candidate”
  • “Your application is unlikely to proceed further”
Continue reading How to nail the job search process using SEEK’s advanced job search features

Don’t use the FREE MYOB Training Student Edition

MYOB has recently changed their website and in particular their pages for the free trial software.

We’ve updated the FREE MYOB Trial (within our MYOB courses) so look for the link when you access your MYOB courses and use the free trial software to practice what you learn in the video tutorials and training workbooks.

While we’re on the topic of free MYOB software, did you know that we provide free training course samples for most of our online courses?

Continue reading Don’t use the FREE MYOB Training Student Edition

How to get an accounting job with no experience

There are plenty of reasons that you have no experience: Changing careers, new graduate or re-entering the workforce after many years away (like when you’ve started a family and been out of the workforce as a parent). These circumstances justify your lack of experience but there are things you can do.

Our team has reviewed the features of some of Australia’s biggest job boards for accounting jobs and we’ve used some of the features that can help job seekers receive notifications when new jobs become available. There is hope and there are things you can do.

Continue reading How to get an accounting job with no experience

I’m a Bookkeeper – How Do I Find Good Work?

As mentioned in an earlier post, job boards offer the best-quality jobs for people in professions that translate to any industry; and this includes bookkeeping and accounting jobs.

And as another post showed, there’s a vast number of bookkeeping jobs posted to those sites every day, be it for casual, part-time or full time work. In this post I’m going to explore some ways to do well in the job market. Continue reading I’m a Bookkeeper – How Do I Find Good Work?

Bookkeepers Need to Know All Cloud-Accounting Systems

GONE ARE THE DAYS when a bookkeeper only needed to know their way around MYOB. Since the internet democratised the accounting software market, abundant MYOB rivals have appeared.

But while there are close to a dozen cloud accounting systems on the market, most bookkeepers — thankfully — will only need to know their way around three: Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks. If you’re looking for a course or training resource on these programs we have a combo offer.

Continue reading Bookkeepers Need to Know All Cloud-Accounting Systems

ANNOUNCEMENT: Cert IV in Bookkeeping for $899 **Limited Time Only**

EZYLEARN HAS PARTNERED with a registered training organisation (RTO) to provide Cert IV in Bookkeeping!

However, previous to this we have consciously made the decision NOT to become a Registered Training Organisation because it was surplus to our needs. In other words, not being an RTO has never stopped us helping thousands of students go through our Bookkeeping Courses — as well as Microsoft Office and Marketing Courses — and focussing on creating great learning journeys using real world scenarios

Continue reading ANNOUNCEMENT: Cert IV in Bookkeeping for $899 **Limited Time Only**

Xero, MYOB, ERPs and Supply Chain Tools

ERPs, or Enterprise Reporting Planning systems, are divided into three categories or tiers. Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks and other cloud accounting software used by small businesses, sit at the low end of the scale; they’re tier three ERPs.

Xero is using it’s 3rd party app integrations and its API to climb up the ERP food chain and some good bookkeepers are being dragged up along with it. Continue reading Xero, MYOB, ERPs and Supply Chain Tools

MYOB Launches Single Touch Payroll Trial Product

LAST WEEK, MYOB LAUNCHED a beta trial of its single touch payroll (STP) product, as it gears up for the July 1, 2018 compliance deadline.

Businesses with 20 or more employees need to have transitioned to the ATO’s Single Touch Payroll initiative by July.

Businesses with fewer than 20 employees have until July 1, 2019 to be compliant but for these small business owners and contractors the ATO has a new free app.  Continue reading MYOB Launches Single Touch Payroll Trial Product

Do Bookkeepers Need to Learn All Accounting Programs?

Ways to diversify your bookkeeping skills

female bookkeeper with diverse skills
Are your bookkeeping skills diverse enough to service a multitude of clients?

NOT SO LONG AGO, bookkeepers and accountants only had to learn to work with one accounting program. That was back when MYOB, the market leader, had a strangle-hold on the industry, and though a few alternatives – Reckon, Quickbooks – tried to squeeze out a space for themselves, MYOB was too embedded in the accounting industry.

But the rise of cloud accounting has changed all that. Besides the reinvention of a couple of old brands (QuickBooks and Reckon – though the latter has exited the market again), it’s also birthed a new market leader in Xero, which now has more paid member accounts in Australia and New Zealand than arch rival MYOB.

A number of smaller players to have entered market, too. There’s Zoho, which has built an entire suite of productivity apps; and straightforward cloud accounting programs, such as Saasu and Freshbooks – to name only a few.

Xero bookkeepers

When Xero first pioneered cloud accounting, it quickly gained popularity among new and small businesses due to the ease with which you could get your accounts “online.”

There was no big, expensive outlay to buy the software – Xero offers a free trial, after all – and for the most part, setting up a Xero account, creating invoices, estimates and recording expenses was remarkably easy.

Many bookkeepers, who had been working with MYOB, quickly started offering bookkeeping services in Xero, and there are many more who work exclusively in Xero.

These bookkeepers are usually part of the Xero Partner program, but there are some that just prefer using Xero because it’s cheaper and easier for their clients to use, which makes their job a lot easier.

Diverse bookkeepers

Most bookkeepers are diversifying, not just in the services they offer (from only providing daily reconciliations services to providing BAS, payroll and credit management services) but also the programs they work with.

Many highly skilled bookkeepers not only work in MYOB and Xero, but some also work in larger enterprise reporting systems, such as Oracle and SAP.

Doing so enables, predominantly contract bookkeepers, to work with a range of different businesses and increase their income.

Even bookkeepers who don’t work with large enterprise reporting systems, but who do work with the major accounting programs Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks, are still able to increase their earning potential.

Learn the major accounting programs for one low price!

We are constantly updating our Special Offers page to include a variety of combination deals on our online training courses to provide established bookkeepers and would-be bookkeepers with the most training material for the lowest price. 

In one of our current special offers, students who enrol in our MYOB AccountRight and Xero online courses will also receive QuickBooks Online and MYOB Essentials online courses FOR FREE.

We have a host of other specials on this page as well which will suit students looking to enrol in everything from accounting software training courses, to social media marketing and business start up courses.

As with all of our online training materials, students can learn at their own pace, in a way that suits their busy schedules with 12 month’s or lifetime course access options.

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Remember, becoming proficient in a number of different software packages takes you a long way towards being able to offer diverse services to your clients. Then you only have to decide which services to offer — BAS, payroll, credit management — or perhaps all three and more? One you know what you can offer your clients, you’re well on your way to operating a successful bookkeeping business.

cashflow reports in xero and excel

 

MYOB, Xero, Quickbooks and the Cloud Accounting Ecosystem

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.

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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.