Posted on

Xero, MYOB, ERPs and Supply Chain Tools

man-studying-xero-online

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

Posted on

When Does Practice Ignition Make Financial Sense for a Bookkeeper or Tax Agent?

busy bookkeeper using practice ignition

THE ACCOUNTING SPACE is currently dominated by systems that make it easy for small businesses — a builder or tradesperson, virtual assistant, online retail shop — to manage their business’s accounts with the help of their bookkeeper, tax agent or BAS agent and/or accountant.

However, very few systems are dedicated to helping the bookkeeper, tax or BAS agent or accountant manage their clients — that’s the builders and tradespeople, virtual assistants and online shops and retail outlets they provide bookkeeping and tax services to. Until now.

The new way to automate your quoting, defining your scope of bookkeeping/BAS services, having clients agree and pay for your services – all in one streamlined system Continue reading When Does Practice Ignition Make Financial Sense for a Bookkeeper or Tax Agent?

Posted on

How Accountants Can Remain Competitive

See yourself as a personal trainer — for business

man on treadmill carrying weight wearing business suitACCOUNTANTS DO GREAT WORK for their clients (so be sure to see our EOFY checklist and our EOFY series of blogs for tax preparation for how to keep ’em happy). Accountants find ways to help them save money, make money, and improve the profitability of their businesses. But too many accountants spend too much of their time on compliance work, when they should be focused on the kind of work that will help their clients grow successful businesses. Continue reading How Accountants Can Remain Competitive

Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

Does the ICB Have a Conflict of Interest?

a registered BAS agent wanting to join an industry association

How to get your CPD points

a registered BAS agent wanting to join an industry association
Membership with an industry association, even if a registered BAS agent, is not compulsory and you don’t have to rely on them as a source for obtaining your requisite CPD points.

NOT LONG AGO we published a post about industry associations, such as the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB), and how they were useful for would-be BAS agents because a membership makes it easier to register with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).

Industry associations also help registered BAS agents, who are required to complete a minimum of 45 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) within a three year period, to maintain their CPD hours by providing them with access to “approved” training courses, webinars, seminars, and so on.

In the past, most industry associations would refer BAS agents to a number of partner training organisations that provided relevant training courses. However, industry associations, such as the ICB, have increasingly started running their own training courses, both online and in-person.

CPA’s conflict of interest

Although the TPB provides guidelines for the types of training courses that will be accepted as evidence of CPD, industry associations still possess a considerable amount of oversight. If a BAS agent is a member of an industry association, the TPB doesn’t question their CPD training because it’s supposedly been approved by the industry association.

Recently, questions have been raised about CPA Australia’s potential conflict of interest as the organisation also operates a financial planning business, CPA Advice, as an affiliate of the industry body.

But new rules that will come into effect in 2024 stipulate that to provide financial advice, you must be a member of a monitoring body or professional association (such as CPA Australia), but that the professional association cannot be an Australian Financial Services licensee or an affiliate of a licensee.

Is providing and overseeing CPD training a conflict?

EzyLearn, until very recently, used to be an ICB partner. When the ICB started offering their own training courses, their promotion of partner training providers, like EzyLearn, reduced considerably in favour of promoting their own training courses and seminars.

In other words, in many ways, the ICB started competing with their partner organisations. Our return on investment (ROI) had never been great anyway, so EzyLearn decided to cancel our corporate sponsorship as it seemed the ICB had a conflict of interest. Although the TPB may not see it that way.

What about the Business Support Program?

For $396 a year, the ICB also offers businesses that do not have a bookkeeper doing their books, access to training materials and information on how they can manage their own bookkeeping on their own without a bookkeeper.

That’s despite charging BAS agents and bookkeepers as much as $480 annually in membership fees, which they promise will help them to get clients — and the sponsorship fees to partner training providers that provide the same or similar services.

Membership with an industry association is not compulsory

Joining an industry association can be incredibly useful, but membership is not compulsory. And as industry associations try to find new ways to extract revenue from the industry — through paid memberships, sponsorships, training courses and even undercutting their members and sponsors by directly offering services which help businesses do their own bookkeeping — they stop being a critical resource for professional bookkeepers and BAS agents working in the industry.

Instead, bookkeepers and BAS agents can complete their CPD training anywhere. For $175 a year (or $15 per month), EzyLearn offers a membership called the Bookkeeping Academy, which gives members access to a complete library of content, including instructional videos, on how to carry out common bookkeeping tasks in MYOB, QuickBooks and Xero. Visit the Bookkeeping Academy website for more information.

***

Online bookkeeping accounting training courses for CPD points

Posted on

The Cloud Accounting Risk

When the downside of cloud accounting becomes apparent

man frustrated when xero goes offline
Many of Xero’s customers were exasperated, to say the least, at Xero going offline, leaving them unable to access their accounts.

IF YOU FOLLOW XERO in the news, then you might already be aware that since the cloud accounting giant’s migrated over to Amazon Web Services (AWS), the technology arm of the e-commerce company, Xero’s servers have gone offline a number of times — twice this March alone.

On March 1, Xero’s 800,000-plus customers were unable to access their online accounts for several hours when an AWS outage left cloud computing services offline around the world.

Two weeks later, Xero had server issues again. This time an upgrade to its database server to improve performance resulted in issues that prevented some Xero users from logging into their account or to experience issues using the service once they did log in.

No options for offline access

Unlike some MYOB products, most cloud accounting programs, like Xero and QuickBooks, don’t allow for users to access their accounts in an offline mode or to download a copy of their own data to store locally on their computer or tablet.

MYOB, for example, allows users to access and work on a local desktop version of their accounts, which they can then sync with the cloud when they’re finished. This means, that even if the MYOB server is down, MYOB users can still work on and access their accounts, and sync later when the server is back online. (Or, conversely, when the user is back online, which handy in case of internet access issues.)

Xero, QuickBooks MYOB and AWS

Amazon Web Services provides either partial or complete cloud hosting to all three of the top cloud accounting programs — Xero, QuickBooks and MYOB — yet only Xero appears to have been significantly impacted by the AWS outage this past March.

While QuickBooks is mostly hosted by parent company, Intuit’s, own servers; some features and functions of the QuickBooks service have been developed on AWS as well, though it’s not totally reliant on the Amazon service and may have been spared from the Amazon outage.

But two key cloud-based MYOB products — MYOB Essentials and MYOB Advanced — have operated on AWS since 2011. Because users can access their MYOB products offline, however, any interruption to their service appears to have been minimal.

For what it’s worth, Amazon Web Services is the largest cloud hosting company in the world. It’s used by Netflix, Spotify and Apple Music, none of which went offline during the AWS outage.

Xero to learn from AWS issues

A Xero spokesman promised a “post-mortem” to learn what happened to cause their service to go offline on March 1, admitting that the company didn’t realise “it was entirely reliant on a United States storage facility operated by AWS until it crashed.”

Although AWS is the largest and, probably, most reliable cloud hosting service in the world, it’s not immune to problems. The challenge, then, for companies, such as Xero, is to learn from and about the potential issues that can arise, and implement measure to mitigate the impact to their customers.

In Xero’s case, a simple offline mode could have prevented much of the ire its outage caused bookkeepers, accountants and small business owners trying to access their service on a time limit.

***

smart woman realising xero most popular accounting software program in australia and nzWant to learn how to use Xero like a pro? 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.  EzyLearn courses are endorsed by industry professionals and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses. 


 

Posted on

What are Practitioner-Created (and Endorsed) Training Courses?

women studying accredited training course online in MYOB Quickbooks Xero

Learn from the professionals living and working in your industry

women studying accredited training course online in MYOB Quickbooks Xero

YOU HEAR A LOT about industry association-accredited training courses and internationally accredited training couses; which are typically training that’s delivered by an industry association at a prescribed time, in person, or delivered by a third party provider.

EzyLearn chose to be an Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB)-accredited training provider for six years until this February, when we pivoted to focus on practitioner-created training courses instead.

“Real world” training courses

EzyLearn’s course content has always focussed on real world scenarios, whether that’s in our case studies or in the exercises students are asked to complete. That’s because we want our students to get a thorough grasp of the kind of work they’ll be expected to do during the course of their job.

That’s especially true for students of our MYOB, Xero and QuickBooks training courses, who either are, or will work, as bookkeepers for a number of different clients from different industries. So instead of including generalised case studies and exercises in our course work, we include ones that relate to specific types of businesses and transactions you’ll encounter working as a bookkeeper.

The same is true for our Excel training courses, where you can learn how to use Excel to estimate the return on investment (ROI) on a granny flat, among other real-world exercises.

The “practitioner-created” difference

We’re able to do this because our training courses are created by bookkeeping and accounting professionals, not by software companies.

Software companies and their developers do a great job at creating accounting software to manage a business’s accounting needs. But they don’t always know which different accounting scenarios will apply and when. Bookkeepers who understand Australian tax do, however.

EzyLearn doesn’t teach Australian tax law or procedures, but because our courses are developed by accounting practitioners, they’ll show you where different tax procedures apply.

Industry association courses

Membership with an industry association or associations can be a popular choice for some registered BAS agents and they often provide training to their members as part of their continuing professional development (CPD). This training usually takes the form of in-person seminars, which may discuss legislative changes or feature a product demonstration from a software company; and webinars that discuss similar.

For in-depth software training, most associations — the ICB, for example — refer students to an accredited third-party training organisation. This third-party accredited organisation will have chosen to become accredited with the ICB and pays an annual fee to them in order to have this accreditation and be able to share this fact on their website.

A lot software training organisations are partners with a provider, like Xero or MYOB, and the train students according to how MYOB or Xero recommend them to. There’s nothing wrong with this kind of training, particularly if you’re only in need of a quick refresh or a general software skills.

Software partners vs. bookkeeping practitioners

Most software partners are companies that understand software and cloud computing first, bookkeeping and accounting second. But training companies that offer courses developed by practitioners have set the new benchmark in software training.

EzyLearn has always offered practitioner-created training courses, and now we’re going to work with more practitioners to create more courses, and more content for existing courses.

Over the six years that EzyLearn was an ICB-accredited training organisation, we found that it wasn’t our industry association accreditation that brought students to our courses, it was the content, grounded in real-world scenarios, that did.

Practitioners create high watermark

Instead of learning how to create a pivot table in Excel, or other data sources you can use to create a pivot table, containing any old data and for any old reason, our practitioner create — and endorsed — Excel training courses give you a real-world example exercise to work from, so you understand when and why you will need to use a pivot table.

That’s important because Excel, as anyone who’s used it at an advanced level will know, is a complex maze of tables and graphs and formulas. So when it comes to Excel skills, you either use them or lose them. By grounding our Excel training content in real-world examples, it makes it just that much easier to hold on to what you’ve learnt until you do get to use them.

(If you do happen to lose them, students enrolled in our lifetime access courses can always go back and refresh their skills whenever they want.) By the way, we’ve written previously about the mighty Excel pivot table.

Continuing professional development courses

If you’re a bookkeeper or BAS agent used to working with one software — MYOB, say — you can update your skills with our Xero or QuickBooks training courses, which can be counted towards your continuing professional development (CPD) hours.

***

Find out more about the online training courses we provide and those helping to create, endorse and who are benefiting from our courses.

learn to use excel online training course videos cheap best

Learn Microsoft Excel from scratch or brush up your Excel skills, at your own pace, with our affordable Excel online training courses — where you get THE LOT (that’s 9 courses in total) for ONE LOW PRICE — everything included! Volume corporate discounts are available and our courses count towards CPD Points.

Creating and managing databases is included as part of our Advanced Microsoft Excel training courses — and you receive access to ALL OF OUR COURSES, including ALL SKILLS LEVELS for ONE LOW PRICE. You can even start your Excel journey with our FREE Beginners’ Excel Course Workbook. Read more about our beginners’, intermediate and advanced Excel training courses on our website, or enrol to start learning by 5pm tomorrow!


 

 

Posted on

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. 


 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

The Lowdown on the National Accreditation of Software Training Courses

What is a nationally accredited bookkeeping course?

walking on a pathway to a profession with a nationally accredited online training in bookkeeping courses
If your training is deemed a pathway to a profession you may be able to get national accreditation for your course.

EZYLEARN IS OFTEN ASKED whether our Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks training courses are nationally accredited bookkeeping courses.

They’re not. In fact, there’s no nationally accredited training course for Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks or any other accounting software.

That’s because software skills are all the same, regardless of the program you’re using. (You won’t find any “nationally accredited” training courses for Adobe Photoshop or WordPress or Microsoft Office either.)

Nationally accredited training courses are for professions

The government only grants accreditation to training courses for professions, not individual skills. In other words, a Certificate IV in Financial Services is nationally accredited because it’s a pathway to a profession.

For an institution to offer nationally accredited training courses, it must be a registered training organisation (RTO), which means they comply with a number of requirements set by the government, and they keep up that compliance to maintain their accreditation. You can read more about RTOs at the national accreditation page of our website.

BAS agents can complete CPD anywhere

For six years, until part way through 2018, EzyLearn was an Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB)-accredited training organisation.

Bookkeeping industry accredited accreditation associations companiesThat meant that students could complete an EzyLearn course and get a free ICB student membership. The ICB charged us $1,200 a year, which we thought was a good investment, as it gave aspiring BAS agents a foot-in-the-door with an industry organisation, so they could continue their career development.

However, during our six-year stint as an accredited training provider with ICB we came to realise that very few students ever joined the ICB. And the ICB referred very little traffic to our site. Furthermore, we don’t need to partner with, or be recognised by, an industry association to provide CPD training.

BAS agents can complete their CPD training at any training provider, so long as the training is approved by the TPB — which is pretty much anything that relates to being a BAS agent. That includes things like Excel and Word training. (BAS agents should just make sure to keep a log of their training, in case the TPB ever requests it.)

Is industry association-accredited training really any better?

For the six years EzyLearn was an ICB-accredited training provider, our organisation was never assessed, nor were are training courses ever evaluated or reviewed. The ICB is one of the industry’s leading associations.

woman wondering whether national accreditation makes for a better online training course
During the 6 years EzyLearn was a “nationally accredited” by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB), our courses were never evaluated or assessed by this organisation in any way.

Because we provided relevant training, the onus was on EzyLearn to ensure that students completed our training courses with the skills they needed to provide MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks bookkeeping services to their clients.

Since we ceased being an ICB-accredited training provider, our course content hasn’t changed — well it has actually; it’s gotten better as it continues to always get better because we continue to keep adding new modules and courses to our Xero and MYOB training. But the standard of training hasn’t slipped — it, too, has only gotten better.

CPD is mandatory, but industry associations aren’t

Industry associations are a great idea, but it’s not mandatory for BAS agents to join them. As long as you keep up your CPD to remain certified by the Tax Practitioners Board (CPD), you may not find any need to join an industry association.

Unless you would like discounts off in-person training and seminars and a discounted subscription to an industry publication or journal, you can completed all of your CPD hours with online training courses, just like the EzyLearn CPD courses.

Practitioner-endorsed training courses

We found that, rather than spend $1,200 a year to be “accredited” by the ICB — or any industry association, for that matter — we’d rather become endorsed by BAS agents. By providing practitioner-endorsed training courses, it means our content is grounded in the real world. Anything a BAS agent would be required to do in MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks for a client, is included in our training courses, making them more relevant and more practical to students.

For people who choose our training courses offering lifetime access, they can go back a review different modules whenever they like — whether it’s a month, six months or two years later! Visit our website to learn more about our lifetime access courses.

***

EzyLearn’s online training courses are accredited by BAS agents, accountants and bookkeepers — those we deem to be the industry’s “high water mark” for bookkeeping work. These people are the highest qualified individuals operating in the accounting and bookkeeping space. If they believe the content of our courses is genuinely of high quality and relevant to the bookkeeping world, then this is the accreditation that we trust will give you peace of mind as well. 

I found the EzyLearn Xero course great — a comprehensive step-by-step learning tool to add to my resume and a new tool to use in my Bookkeeping Practice.”
— Patricia Darby
Registered BAS Agent and Bookkeeper, High Quality Bookkeeping

Posted on

What’s the Role of Industry Associations for BAS Agents?

An industry association membership may be just what you need

a registered BAS agent wanting to join an industry association
Joining an industry association can help towards things like CPD points, but it pays to make sure you’re getting market rate for any courses and that the ongoing fees are of benefit to you.

IF YOU LIKE BOOKKEEPING, but you’d like to provide additional services to your clients, the next step is to become a BAS agent. BAS agents provide businesses with a range of services, including the lodgement of business activity statements, registering and advice on all GST matters, assistance with PAYG, and a number of other services.

There are a number of requirements to becoming a registered BAS agent. For starters, you need at least a Certificate IV in Financial Services, and then you need to have supervised experience working as a BAS agent so that you can become certified by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). (If you’re not TPB certified, you can’t work independently as an unsupervised BAS agent.)

How industry associations help

There are a number of recognised bookkeeping industry associations in Australia. To register with the TPB, you must have a minimum of 1,400 hours of supervised experience with another BAS agent, unless you’re a member of an industry organisation — then you only need 1,000 hours of supervised experience.

Industry associations help BAS agents keep abreast of changes to the industry, including new legislation that make affect clients, as well as change to the Act that may affect BAS agents. They also administer or oversee continuing professional development (CPD) training, which the TPB requires BAS agents to undertake each year to keep their certification and continue working in the industry.

Industry associations BAS agents can join

Bookkeeping industry accredited accreditation associations companies

There are a number of industry associations a BAS agent (or aspiring BAS agent) can join, each with different membership requirements and joining fees. They include:

  • Association of Accounting Technicians — affiliate members must have Certificate IV in Financial Services or at least two years experience and no formal qualifications; membership fees: $295 for three months ($1,180 per year).
  • Australian Bookkeepers Network — no requirements to join; membership fees: $462 annually.
  • Institute of Certified Bookkeepers —  Affiliate members must have Certificate IV in Financial Services or complete an ICB assessment; membership fees: $264 annually. (After achieving 12 months experience Affiliates can become Associate members; membership fees for contractors $432 annually.)

Other industry associations BAS agents can join, include:

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants ANZ
  • Chartered Accountants ANZ
  • CPA Australia
  • Institute of Public Accountants
  • New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA)

Industry associations and CPD training

A key reason to join an industry association is to gain access to training that goes towards your mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) points, which every individual working in the financial services industry — whether they’re bookkeepers, BAS agents, accountants or financial advisors — must complete annually. We have written before about the type of education the TPB requires in order to get your CPD points.

Many associations run their own webinars and in-person seminars (for an additional fee), which count towards your CPD hours. (BAS agents must complete 45 hours of CPD over a three year period.) Some of them will help you with the running of your own bookkeeping business, while others will take you through new trends in bookkeeping (single touch payroll) or changes to the Act and relevant legislation.

BAS agents can also complete software training, in MYOB, Xero or Quickbooks, as well as Microsoft Excel or Word training; they can even complete cyber security training, so long as it’s approved by the TPB.

Each time you complete a webinar or some other form of approved CPD training, it’ll be counted towards your CPD hours. You can also complete CPD training through an accredited training organisation. (Check with your industry organisation to see which training institutions you can learn with.)

Choosing an industry association

Not all industry associations are the same. Some are geared more towards the accounting industry (CPA, Chartered Accountants ANZ, etcetera) and accountants; others cater specifically to bookkeepers. Even within the group of associations that cater only to bookkeepers, some provide a range of services (updates on the industry, CPD training), while others offer very little (discounts on professional indemnity, a newsletter).

As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you want to pay very little, you’ll get very little in return from your industry association. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot either. Have a look at a few of the associations we’ve listed above, and see which one suits you best.

The Association of Accounting Technicians offers affiliate memberships, which provides affiliates with access to a number of discounted fees on training courses to help them develop their skills and progress to a “member” level membership — and then register as a BAS agent with the TPB at the reduced 1,000 hours of experience concession.

They also offer discounts on professional indemnity insurance and bookkeeping journals and publications. And they offer a range of online webinars to help members get their CPD hours up.

***

EzyLearn’s online training courses are accredited by BAS agents, accountants and bookkeepers — those we deem to be the industry’s “high water mark” for bookkeeping work. These people are the highest qualified individuals operating in the accounting and bookkeeping space. If they believe the content of our courses is genuinely of high quality and relevant to the bookkeeping world, then this is the accreditation that should give our students peace of mind. 

I found the EzyLearn Xero course great — a comprehensive step-by-step learning tool to add to my resume and a new tool to use in my Bookkeeping Practice.”
— Patricia Darby
Registered BAS Agent and Bookkeeper, High Quality Bookkeeping

 

Posted on 1 Comment

How Are You Managing Rostering, Timesheet, Wages, PAYG, Super?

Manual Wages book and timesheet from the 1890's Cork City Archive - PAYG Super rosteringYou could use a wages book

I RECENTLY SPOKE WITH the owner of a hairdressing salon who’s been in business for over 18 years (at various different businesses). This woman has ALWAYS used a manual wages timesheet system.

Our team are exploring typical rosters and problems which occur in the payroll processing, and as such, we’re also exploring all the different ways that wages are managed.

The manual wage processing that this hairdressing salon owner uses is very similar to this timesheet tracking system from the late 1890’s and she seems to be quite efficient at it. When I explore the process she uses I can see why business owners would prefer not to spend the money, but if things got busy or tricky and staff numbers are high and hours varied, then a computerised system is definitely more “systemised”.

Computerised Time Sheet Software

I wrote recently about popular time-tracking apps for Xero (also QuickBooks Online) and how they help you manage the time that you spend on various work projects as a professional service provider (like website design, marketing and even bookkeeping) and in the next couple weeks we’re going to explore time sheet management software like Tsheets and Deputy. Not only are they good for scheduling your staff but they can help you keep track of when they sign on and sign off for work.

I was recently talking with someone who uses Deputy as an employee and they described the experience like signing in on a bundy clock! The particular person I spoke to didn’t enjoy the regimen of doing it but it makes perfect sense from the business owners perspective so they have a very tight record of time worked.

Announcement: MYOB Payroll Course recently beefed up

EzyLearn has beefed up our MYOB Payroll online training courseIf you’re an existing EzyLearn student who is interested in learning more about the more advanced, more complex areas of Payroll you’ll be pleased to learn that we’ve created and implemented the Advanced Payroll Course (Level 2) into the MYOB AccountRight Payroll Course package.

Here are the topics included:

  • Set Up Timesheet Preferences
  • Edit an Existing Super Payroll Category
  • Create a New Super Payroll Category
  • Add a New Payroll Category
  • Edit Employment Classifications to Suit the Business
  • Create Casual & permanent Employee in MYOB
  • Enter Timesheets in MYOB
  • Process a Pay Run
  • Import Timesheets
  • Process Payroll with Personal Leave included
  • Create a New Deduction Payroll Category
  • View Employee Leave Accrued
  • Process Pay including Annual Leave
  • Run a Payroll Entitlements Report
  • Run a Payroll Journal Report
  • Produce a Balance Sheet
  • Record your Bank Details
  • Record Employee Bank Details
  • Process a Pay Run
  • Create an Electronic Payment File
  • Process Final Pay

Stay tuned for updates and additions of advanced MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks training content in the coming announcements.

Employer Recognised & Trusted Course

Employer Recognised and Trusted Online Excel, Word, Office, MYOB, Xero, QuickBooks Online Training CoursesI was going through some enrolments from recent and past students with our marketing team and realised we’ve helped thousands of students from hundreds of different companies large and small, government, not-for-profit and industry organisations which help students retrain and up-skill if they are injured at work. That’s not to mention the thousands of students who do one of our courses to help them in their career advancement or to find a job.

***

Take a look as some of the employers who recognise and trust EzyLearn as their first choice for bookkeeping and office admin courses.

PS. I have some exciting new additions to announce from Ross Miller regarding the Workface Career Academy!

Posted on 1 Comment

What’s The Difference between LIFETIME Access and Lifelong Learning?

We’re here to help you learn FOR LIFE!

lifelong learning platform woman online learning for lifeWE HAVE TALKED about lifelong learning in a previous post; lifelong learning being the concept of learning as an ongoing exercise that individuals should undertake throughout their lifetimes, in order to remain productive and engaged members of society. In other words, learning never stops.

Lifelong learning is particularly important in the workplace, where the rates of technological advancement threaten to wipe out entire professions and replace them with new ones. We’ve talked about Xero’s newly announced lifelong learning platform, which launched in November 2017, in partnership with Swinburne University (for Australia and New Zealand). A full global roll out is expected in 2018. 

We are also thrilled to announce our new Lifelong Learning Hub for all EzyLearn students to access. It is part of our Additions and Updates policy and all students who have signed up for Lifetime Access since 2013, and all students within their 12-month access period, can access the following:

Lifelong learning is a theory, not a platform

Xero’s Lifelong Learning Platform is clever, but it’s a misnomer since “lifelong learning”, as a concept, doesn’t relate to a single pursuit (accounting or finance), but rather an individual’s entire attitude toward learning and how they learn.

If you haven’t already, I recommend you go back and read our post about lifelong learning, specifically the section on the four pillars of learning, which outlines four key types of learning – another topic we’ve covered at length in the past.

Xero’s lifelong learning platform offers just one pillar (learning to do) of lifelong learning, not a framework to engaging in lifelong learning, the concept.

Lifetime Access is what it says it is

Have you ever gone to re-watch a movie or TV show on Netflix and discovered that it’s been removed from the Netflix library to make way for other titles? Good thing, you’ve seen it already.

The same happens at educational institutions that have to update or make way for a new course, and so they purge their content and course offerings. (Just try and find a TAFE that teaches shorthand nowadays, even though it remains a sought-after skill in a lot of professions.)

If you’ve already taken a now-deleted course, the good news is that you’ve learned those skills already. The bad news is that you can’t go back and brush up on them. The ever worse news is that you have to start a new course from scratch if you want to build on your existing skills with the update content.

That’s where EzyLearn’s Lifetime Access training courses are different. When you enrol in a training course with lifetime access, you have access to every version of that training course for life. When we update our course content, we continue to provide you with access to previous content (which includes older versions of the software), so you can go back and refresh your skills.

Lifetime Access for CPD points

As Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a requirement for most professions today, but particularly for bookkeepers and BAS agents, the Bookkeeping Academy’s training courses with lifetime access are also recognised by the ICB, so you get your CPD points and access to all of our course content for as long as you need it — for one, low price.

Help us provide better courses

If you join the EzyLearn Beta Club, you get access to our courses that are still in development, giving you the opportunity to learn new skills before other students, and provide feedback on the types of exercises and scenarios you’d like to see in our courses.

Our Beta Club courses are important to us because we get to hone our course content based on feedback from students while the courses are still in development. This saves us lots of time, particularly if the feedback from students means we take the course in a substantially different direction.

It also benefits our students and partners who get the content before it’s officially launched, and can request content that covers areas of business relevant to them and their clients. This helps students and partners stay ahead of industry trends, and become experts before the courses are officially rolled out.

***

EzyLearn already has a number of training courses currently in beta and available to our Beta Club members. Visit our website for more information on Lifetime Access training courses and our Beta Club.


 

Posted on

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. 


 

Posted on

$99 MYOB Course: Intro, Intermediate, Payroll – ALL FOR $99!?

Mr Ed a horse is not just a horse and an online course is not just an online course

When a training course is not really a training course…

WE REGULARLY PARTAKE in competitive analysis so we can keep giving you top quality online training courses for the best value out there, and in doing so, I found an online offer for not just one, but THREE levels of MYOB — Intro, Intermediate and Payroll OR ALL THREE for $99.

Not mentioning any names; we’re not in the business of naming and shaming and, besides, you can search the deal easily enough online yourself, but it prompted me to put out a reminder that not all courses are created equal.

Not all training courses are the same

I guess it’s obvious to some degree, but many of us are still misled by marketing, and sometimes what’s packaged to the customer as an online training course, is simply a pile of videos (and not even featuring current and up-to-date software versions, either!) all plonked together. You know what, you can get this, and possibly more, directly off You Tube for free!

Using old versions of the accounting software

myob logo online myob training course videosThere are many online courses available for cheap prices, but many of these same courses are not providing training on the latest version of software packages. A quick scan of the fine print shows that this particular $99 MYOB deal is training you on Version 19 of MYOB. This dates back to 2010, which in any one’s language, is very old. Very, very old.

As part of our suite of online MYOB courses, we include access to our old “archived” courses where we use version 19 of MYOB; only for the benefit of those people who still use it and don’t need features like payroll, super and other added features that you’d expect to get after 8 or so years of software development.

What’s retail price anyway?

Box saying If its too good to be true read the fine print for online training courses

Another thing to be wary of is “retail price” comparisons. Plenty of these may be legit, but there are others out there who deliberately distort the truth or make a current cheap offer seem far more appealing by comparing their cheap price to a retail price that isn’t really indicative of what’s on offer out there online.

Make sure you’re talking “courses for courses” and that the retail price comparison isn’t looking at prices from half a decade ago or thereabouts. The price of online training courses is a forever shifting thing, so do your research!

What your online training course should include

In our books, an online training course that’s actually going to deliver results for you should come with these ingredients at the very least:

  1. A detailed workbook to supplement your training and absorption
  2. Knowledge reviews, quizzes and tests (so you can see how you’re absorbing information as you go)
  3. Certificate of completion option formally stating what you’ve achieved
  4. Case studies that keep the content based in real-world scenarios and ensure you’re learning things that will be practical in real-life circumstances and situations
  5. Responsive email and phone student support for all queries
  6. Money-back guarantee; if you’re not happy with the course content, or it’s not what you thought it would be, you shouldn’t be stuffed around in the fine print by not getting a full refund, (no matter how small the amount you’ve originally paid).

The training course should feature the training on the software as it is in its current version and this training, or training videos, workbooks, whatever, should be provided in an order that’s been carefully considered, trialled and tested.

Oh, and some testimonials by real people vouching for the effectiveness, quality and professionalism of the course content and course content provider is pretty important too. Then there’s CPD point accreditation, access to lifelong learning platforms, the option to get lifetime course membership to course content so you’ll always get updates at no extra cost and have an “after course resource” … yep, don’t get me started, courses simply ain’t all the same and you usually pay for what you get (though I think we’re super cost-effective by those standards!)

***

People say “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. This isn’t always the case, and sometimes excellent opportunities in life seem, at first, too good to be true. But when it comes to online MYOB courses for $99 or $29 or $69 or whatever the probably-too-good-to-be-true price point is, just make sure you’re getting apples for apples, or courses for courses, or horses for horses, Mr Ed.

Mr Ed a horse is not just a horse and an online course is not just an online course

You can watch some FREE MYOB course videos? Scroll through our freebies list of online training videos that you can watch without charge or obligation and subscribe to our blog to get updates to more free videos as we’re adding them all the time. Or check out our special offers page to see what discounts we’re giving at the moment or online training courses in MYOB, Xero, Excel and many others.


Online bookkeeping accounting training courses for CPD points


Posted on

What are Lifelong Learning and Lifelong Training Platforms?

Xero Lifelong learning and training platform beginners essentials and advanced certificate courses

Xero Lifelong learning and training platform beginners essentials and advanced certificate coursesLifelong learning is the concept that learning isn’t confined to an individual’s childhood, but can be pursued throughout their life, and often in non-traditional settings. With lifelong learning, the knowledge or skills a person acquires through social interactions and other everyday experiences (soft skills) are considered just as important as those learned in formal education settings.

This approach means that learning is no longer considered to take place at two, traditional stages of a person’s life — school and the workplace — but rather is ongoing throughout the individual’s life.

How lifelong learning was born

The concept of lifelong learning isn’t new. It’s been around since the 1970s, when it was referred to as “lifelong education” by the French politician Edgar Faure in his 197s book “Learning to Be”. Lifelong learning gained more recognition during the 1990s, particularly with the publication of the Delors Report by the Delors Commission in 1996.

The Delors Commission was an administration of the European Union led by Jacques Delors through the 1980s and again through the 1990s. The Delors Report proposed an integrated vision of education based on two key concepts:

  1. Learning throughout life
  2. The four pillars of learning

The Delors Report identified three characteristics of modern life that made lifelong learning necessary, in order for individuals to remain productive and actively engaged members of society throughout their lives. Those characteristics included technological, economic and social change.

Technology made lifelong learning vital

From the mid 1990s onward, rapid technological advancements have made lifelong learning especially critical for people in the workplace. Aside from the need to keep up-to-date with changes to software (desktop software shifting to the cloud) and the introduction of new technologies (smartphones and tablets), technology has also changed the way people work.

The majority of adolescents who start university today, will be studying for a degree in the profession that will not exist in twenty years time. But in twenty years, jobs will exist that did not today, just as social media and search engine optimisation did not exist twenty year ago. And this drives the need for people to engage in lifelong learning.

Technology has also fundamentally changed our economy. More people engage in freelance or contract work than they did twenty years ago, and that’s given rise to what’s now called the “gig economy” — people engaging in short term, piecemeal or temporary work as their primary means of income.

And that’s all coincided with some big changes to our society. Paid parental leave, for example, sees dads taking time off work to become the primary carer of their children, while a new crop of mums have chosen to start home-based businesses so they can work flexible hours while they care for their children.

In each instance of change, be it technological, social and economic — though technology is the driving force of all three — people have had to learn new skills for their workplace, either formerly or informally.

The four pillars of learning

The Delors Report, which brought the concept of lifelong learning to greater prominence in the 90s, identified the four pillars of learning, which make up a central component of lifelong learning. The four pillars of learning involve:

  • Learning to know — the mastery of learning tools rather than the acquisition of knowledge
  • Learning to do — acquisition of occupational skills for jobs today and those in the future
  • Learning to live together — resolving conflict, discovering other people and culture, fostering community, economic resilience, social inclusion (soft skills)
  • Learning to be — education that contributes to an individual’s complete development (to act with autonomy, use judgment and take personal responsibility.

Implementing lifelong learning

Since the 1990s and the release of the Delors Report, universities and other formal education institutions have implemented some elements of lifelong learning, particularly the “learning to know” and “learning to live together” pillars of learning. In high school, students will study society and culture as a component of their HSC. This is designed to equip them with the tools to develop values and attitudes that promote social literacy and cohesion.

Workplaces have also become responsible to promoting lifelong learning by requiring employees to carry out continuing professional development (CPD) — although this is sometimes an industry requirement, as in the financial services and real estate sectors, for example.

Ezy Learning Lifelong training platform for Xero, MYOB, Excel, Digital Marketing training coursesBookkeepers and BAS agents are required to maintain a certain number of CPD points each year in order to keep their BAS registration. The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) is just one of many Recognised Professional Associations and it lists accepted training courses, including Microsoft Excel and cloud-accounting software training which are all available as LIFETIME Courses with EzyLearn! I like to think that EzyLearn can go one better than Delor and offer students the option to get LIFETIME course access to Xero rather than LIFELONG paying for Xero Courses.

This November, Xero also launched it’s own lifelong learning platform, in conjunction with Swinburne University. The Xero lifelong learning platform is currently being piloted in Australia and New Zealand, with a full global rollout expected in 2018.

Xero lifelong learning

The Xero offering will be available for secondary and tertiary students, as well as businesses. It will provide students with access to a learning management system (LMS) that will deliver training in the form of business scenarios and simulations, in addition to grading and assessment tools.

Xero’s chief partner officer Anna Curzon said in a statement that technology has “reshaped the way people work” and created a need for lifelong learning so people can “stay relevant in the workforce”.

“Handling finances, both personal and business, is a necessity for everyone, from school age students to retirees,” she said.

“Xero lifelong learning platform allows students to grow their financial literacy to help prepare them for the real world.”

Curzon also said that the gig economy is driving demand for Xero’s services, which in itself is driving demand for a lifelong learning platform centered around financial literacy.

No pricing for Xero’s lifelong learning platform has been released, though it’s understood it will be included in the subscription price of the Xero software for businesses.

Ref#728