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Is the money really owed to you? Then pursue it!

Get paid on time using MYOB, Xero or SAASU - accounts receivable
Image from Sydney Morning Herald article about difficult payers on September 14th 2011

I was reading an article about difficult payers and the steps that some companies need to take to chase money that is owing to them and thought that this is something that every MYOB Bookkeeper needs to be aware of.

There seems to be perception (and most of the bad news seems to come from the building and construction industry) that payment of debts is something that should be stretched out as far as possible. I was discussing this concept with a colleague and was interested to find that this person believes that payments should be stretched out as long as practical. The interesting part of this conversation is that this person is a very reasonable man. He believes in long term investments and dealing with every person in a fair and reasonable manner, so it was strange for me to hear this mentality.

If you commission someone to do some work for you, shouldn’t they be entitled to be paid on the same terms that an employee is entitled to? I think so and you’ll find some skills to find out who owes you money in our MYOB Day-to-Day training course.

Here are the steps that are recommended:

  1. Charge in Advance if you can
  2. Chase money owing early
  3. Provide multiple payment options
  4. Be as up-to-date as possible
  5. Enforce your trading terms
  6. Be honest about non-paying clients
  7. Give customers an opportunity to complain
  8. Be polite
  9. Get heavy on time

A leading author of MYOB and Small Business “How to” books, Veechi Curtis says that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. So, chase money as soon as an account falls behind. Perhaps a more relevant saying is “work with the willing”. There are many people who value the work you do enough to pay you before the due date. There are customers who can afford what you do and want you to think positively of them so they pay as early as practical.

Find customers who want to be good to you!

This blog post is an introduction to articles that will be coming shortly for the continuing professional development of the bookkeeping academy so make sure you subscribe to receive updates via email.

References taken from an article in the Sydney Morning Herald on September 14th 2011.

 

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Don’t be afraid, connect with the ATO via Business Portal

ATO Business Portal to lodge your BAS online using MYOBAre you still receiving your Business Activity Statements via mail? We receive our notification that the BAS is ready at the ATO’s Business Portal but the Business Portal is much more useful than just a way to deliver your BAS.

There are some great features of online tax lodgement:

  1. You can lodge your BAS immediately online
  2. You can see historical lodgements
  3. You can change your contact details

The most complicated part of dealing direct with the ATO is the setting up of a digital certificate, but once that is sorted out you have all the convenience that you have come to expect from your internet banking and any other online service. All the information is there, you don’t have to rely on the mail to send or receive your BAS and you know exactly where you stand. If you have missed a lodgement you’ll also find that information at the portal.

The website address for the portal is https://bp.ato.gov.au/ so check it out and get through your compliance issues faster.

MYOB GST, reporting and BAS training coursesOur MYOB Reporting, GST and BAS course (which includes bank reconciliation) shows you how to get to the BASlink to produce a BAS using the data that you have already entered into MYOB. If you have entered everything correctly you will just need to complete your contact name and number and how long it took to complete. Then you can print that form out and keep it in your records. The information you see in the totals can then simply be entered in the Business Portal and submitted to lodge your BAS and get your compliance tasks out of the way so you can focus on running your business.

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The Richest Man in Babylon

We wrote about the superannuation guarantee last week as part of our bookkeeping academy and continuing professional development (CPD) for bookkeepers and we wanted to expand on an excellent concept within the blog post about “The richest man in Babylon”.

There are some excellent phrases and some simple, but important lessons in the Richest man in Babylon book which dates back to 1926! The one which we found interesting (and it stood out to us because we are an education and training provider) was the heading “Increase thy ability to earn“.

This concept applies to many industries and we’ve found there are two types of workers (whether you are a business owner or employee), those that seek new information and education so that they can be innovative and productive or those who do it because of necessity. When we say necessity there are two types:

  • If I don’t learn I will be out of work, OR
  • I need to learn to keep my job, licence etc

The Bookkeeping industry has been undergoing massive changes since 2010 and will continue to do so because bookkeepers responsible for lodging BAS’s on behalf of their clients will need to be registered BAS agents and as a result will need to always be abreast of changes in legislation. This webcast transcript from the tax practitioners board will give you some insight into how much the bookkeeping industry is changing.

You can be assured that our online MYOB training courses will be regularly updated to ensure that your knowledge on MYOB is up-to-date.

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Is your compulsory super about investing or saving?

We recently wrote about the yearly returns that APRA (the governing body for the financial services industry) announces to showcase the rate of return of the top 200 superannuation funds. This information forms part of our new Bookkeeping Academy for continuing professional development (CPD). 

It prompted a question in our think tank about the purpose of superannuation and whether it should be used as a tool for investing in equity?

The problem with equity is that there is no guarantee of return and its value is completely dependent on the performance of the company. Even things like dividends are only paid at managements discretion. Interest on the other hand must be paid and the capital returned to the investor at the end of the term. In the event of a liquidation, debt is repaid first and it is usually secured by something.

It all really depends upon your personal circumstances but we found a product on the market that seemed to fit very well with the thinking of the concept of super. It is the Commonwealth Banks Superannuation Savings Account. It earns interest which  might not be as impressive as equity, but this is only 10% of your income and it goes along with the adage from the Richest Man in Babylon…  Make thy gold multiply.

In the end, as Financial Planners will attest, the decision you make depends upon your risk appetite and your investment time horizon, but one thing is certain – you must have super as an employee and pay it as an employer. Stay tuned for the news about our MYOB Payroll Level 2 course where we go into more detail about how to manage the paying of staff. All new content generated for our online MYOB training courses is available to existing students as part of their lifetime access.

 

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Are you losing money in super? Who runs it?

As part of our continuous improvement for our online MYOB training courses and the development of our Payroll Level 2 course we explored the superannuation market. Superannuation was established as a way for ordinary working families (sorry to steal this catch phrase from Julia’s government) to contribute to their own retirement income and as a result gain tax benefits.

There was horrendous news and publicity about bad returns for many superannuation funds in the global financial crisis and we thought we’d explore these results a little closer. If you are reading this as an MYOB student, a bookkeeper, small business owner or employee you would be aware that superannuation is compulsory for most employees and you now have the choice of where you want this money to go. APRA is the government organisation which overseas the banks and banking regulation in Australia and they announce the rate of return for the top 200 superannuation companies each year.

If you want to take a closer look yourself, check out the figures from page 5 onward in the latest superannuation report from APRA. You can download the report as Excel or PDF format.

This brings up some interesting questions. Can a superannuation funds manager outperform the Index and how do you guarantee a positive return for your super every year? We’ll explore these questions soon…

 

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Want to use Dropbox to replace your USB thumb drive?

dropbox_cloud based storage for MYOB datafile backupWe wrote earlier in the week about Google Drive and asked the question about how it compares with Dropbox to store and share files in the cloud. Today we provide you with a free training tutorial video to show you exactly how Dropbox works. It’s simple.

Many people talk about dropbox as a means for storing files and sharing them with other people but it’s also important to realise that you can use dropbox as a backup solution to store important files like your MYOB datafile. It can also be a place where you store common documents that a group of people are working on. Remember that when you backup to a place like Dropbox you are effectively keeping a copy of your file “off site”. If your building goes up in flames or your computers are stolen you still have access to those files!

A great feature about Dropbox is that many people can share a folder and as soon as a file is uploaded into a shared folder, or as soon as a shared file is modified you receive an instant notification in your system tray area (at the bottom right, near the time, of your Windows desktop).

Watch the video below and start enjoying the benefits of cloud based computer storage. Remember to click on the heading of this blog to see the video at our blog site and subscribe if you want to receive these free tips automatically in your email.

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Want to see what MYOB looks like when it’s hosted in the cloud?

Remote_desktop_connection_icon for MYOB hosted in the cloudAs part of our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program for our Bookkeeping Academy we write and inform about products and services that will help bookkeepers build their business and job seekers learn new skills to become more employable.

We recently wrote about companies that offer MYOB hosting. This enables companies to access their MYOB datafile from no matter where they are and it also enables remote contractors to manage a companies bookkeeping from their own homes. In this blog post we include a video demonstration about how easy it is to use MYOB in the cloud.

We spoke to John from Bluewave who use to promote his MYOB hosting services under the domain MYOBinthecloud.com (we think it’s a great name because it describes the service that he offered very accurately) and he was kind enough to give us a demonstration account so that we could give a hosted version of MYOB a spin. He said that they provide hosted solutions for more than just MYOB and we were able to create an invoice and email it using Microsoft Outlook.

The MYOB version we used in this demonstration is the stable version 19 (as opposed to MYOB AccountRight version 2011 that had a lot of bad publicity). The great news about MYOB is that it’s navigation hasn’t changed significantly for at least 10 years from our experience.

If you area reading this blog post via email, click on the heading to be able to see the video). If you want to ensure that you get each update as it is published via your email feel free to subscribe. If you want to create your own blog using WordPress and Google Feedburner learn how to create it in our WordPress course.

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Hundreds of businesses already use MYOB hosted in the cloud!

ozBeanz MYOB Approved Hosting Provider for MYOB in the cloud
Screen Shot from ozBeanz website

In our research about cloud based accounting software we discovered that MYOB have an approved hosting reseller program. This is a program where MYOB partners with companies who specialise in providing hosting services so that MYOB users can access their data file from anywhere.

We recently spoke to one of those hosting businesses and took their service for a test drive and it was amazingly quick and did everything we needed it to do. We were able to login, access the MYOB data file, create an invoice and email it via the cloud based hosting account!

[quote]This is a definite boon for Remote Contractors who provide bookkeeping services from their own home, like working mums.[/quote]

The term cloud means different things to different people and Heather Cox from asponline wrote an excellent article about hosted MYOB services. We spoke to the people at ozBeanz as well and they have been MYOB Approved Hosting Providers for many, many years.

Do you have any experience using MYOB in the cloud? If you do, we’d like to hear from you at our Facebook page.

Our MYOB training course is also in the cloud so you can complete all 5 MYOB courses no matter where you are.

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What is a PAYG tax table and how does it work?

ATO 2013 tax tables for online MYOB payroll training courseWe recently announced our updated MYOB Payroll Course videos and training workbook and were asked to explain PAYG tax tables in a bit more detail. We’ll explain tax tables using the data from the ATO website relating to tax tables for the 2013 financial year.

We recently witness a federal budget and there are usually some changes in each budget that relate to tax tables or tax thresholds. These tax tables simply define how much tax you pay for each threshold and the simplest way to describe it is to define the first category. This category is called the tax-free threshold and it is the level at which you don’t pay any tax. The annual pay for this level will be $18,200 from 1st July 2012 (the beginning of the next financial year). Any money you earn up to this level you don’t pay any income tax on.

Any money you earn over this tax-free threshold amount but less than $37,000 will be taxed at 19c per dollar.

The most important thing to note is that just because you earn $50,000 doesn’t mean you will be taxed at 32.5c in every dollar you earn. You’ll be charged

  1. zero for the first $18,200, 
  2. 19% from $18,200 to $37,000 and then 
  3. 32.50% for each dollar over $37,000.
Stay tuned for more bite size chunks of knowledge in the coming weeks as we evolve our MYOB Payroll training course. Make sure you subscribe to receive these posts via email.
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MYOB Payroll (Processing Pays) Workbook now available

Payroll is one of the most significant costs involved in operating a business and also represents the main form of income for Australian workers. Our MYOB course development for the coming months is focused on increasing the depth of skills taught about how to handle Payroll using MYOB accounting software.

TFN Declaration Form - MYOB (processing pays) Payroll training course and workbookThe beta version of our latest training guide for Payroll is now available as part of the 17 new MYOB training tutorial videos we have produced for the MYOB Payroll course. The videos provide the visual demonstrations for the tasks that are covered in the workbook and the workbooks provides you with step by step instructions about how to load tax tables, create employees, process pays and perform reconciliation and end of year tasks regarding payroll.

Our MYOB Payroll case study for the course involves a hair styling salon that employs staff to operate their salon. Follow their journey as new employees come on board.

There will be more to come so make sure you subscribe so you can receive these blog posts via your email. We’ll also be producing some Excel spreadsheet files for students to use regarding payroll and we’ll have some free demonstration videos as well.

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Pay today, slip tomorrow

MYOB online training courses and support - Weekly Pay Slip screen shot
MYOB Payroll screen from MYOB website

Did you know that you are required by law to provide a payslip to your employees no later than the day after payday?

We recently completed our new and revised MYOB Payroll online training course as part of our full suite of five online MYOB Training Courses (all available for one price and LIFETIME course access!) and one of the topics we cover is emailing Pay Slips (or payment advices) to employees. As part of the course we reference the FairWork Australia website which clearly states that every employer must ensure that an employee receives their pay slip no later than 1 day after being paid.

The site also goes on to explain more information about what should appear on a payment advice and they even provide some very detailed Microsoft Word templates for Pay Slips, Weekly time and wages records, employment details and leave records (very handy), roster template and time sheet. They are provide in a Microsoft Word format so you can customise them for your own business!

Need to learn Microsoft Word to modify documents? See our online Microsoft Word course outline.

If you are an existing EzyLearn online student you can see our 17 new training videos in the MYOB Payroll Training Course.

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New employees, TFN declarations and ATO requirements

TFN Declaration Form for online MYOB training courses and support including PayrollIt is now READY! The 17 new training video tutorials for our MYOB Payroll Online Training Course are now ready and on the learning site. If you are an existing EzyLearn online MYOB training student you will be happy to hear that all this new content is available to you (if you are a LIFETIME student) right now and at no extra cost.

The new videos cover these topics:

  • 505201 – Create a brand new company file using the MYOB trial version software
  • 505202 – Easy Setup Assistant for MYOB Payroll and Tax tables
  • 505203 – Creating new employee cards and setting up categories
  • 505204 – Extra Payroll settings for employee cards
  • 505205 – Superannuation information for employees
  • 505206 – Processing Payroll – Performing a pay run
  • 505207 – Processing Payroll – Editing and Deleting incorrect pay slips
  • 505208 – Processing Payroll – Editing and Deleting incorrect pays using transaction journal
  • 505209 – Processing Payroll – Understanding Payroll and the Account List
  • 505210 – Processing Payroll – Processing Payment of Payroll Liabilities
  • 505211 – Processing Payroll – Processing Payment of Salary Sacrifice
  • 505212 – Processing Payroll – Setting up a deduction for employees social club
  • 505213 – Processing Payroll – Including deductions for employees social club
  • 505214 – Payroll Reporting – Payroll Summary and Employee Register
  • 505215 – Payroll Reporting – Reconciling your Super, Wages and PAYG Taxes
  • 505216 – Payroll Reporting – Printing of EOY Payment Summaries
  • 505217 – Backing up your MYOB Data file before Closing off the Payroll year

For more information about our online MYOB training courses and student support services feel free to visit our information page. You can also enrol online for the current price and receive lifetime student membership to new training material as it is updated! Enrol today and start by 5pm tomorrow afternoon.

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Certificates are coming shortly

Congratulate all the students who successfully completed their MYOB Bookkeeping courses this quarter, your certificates are now been issued via our support site.

If you are contemplating our online MYOB training course you’ll be very happy to know that the EzyLearn MYOB Course certificate includes the logo for the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB). We are proud to be an Accredited Training Provider of the ICB and also of their their continuing professional development (CPD) program for bookkeepers. You may also recall that you can join the ICB as an EzyLearn student for free.

Make sure you subscribe to this blog for the pending announcement of our CPD training program for bookkeepers.

In the mean time you might also want to stay tuned for the pending release of our upgraded MYOB Payroll course, Advanced Microsoft Excel courses and updates to our Microsoft Word online training course. We’ll be releasing some free training videos shortly to show you what we’ve done.

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Why is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) important?

Continuing Professional Development for Bookkeepers- CPD and CPETwenty years ago you could safely complete a degree knowing that your qualifications will fuel your wages (that in turn fuel your lifestyle and desires) for the rest of your life. This is no longer the case. Changes in technology are partly to blame but so too are changes in legislation and workplace practices.

If you are an accountant, working in the finance or medical professions you would know about CPD (also called Continuing Professional Education – CPE). It’s a system of providing education for professionals to keep them up to date with what is going on in their professional and this is particularly important if your profession involves advising your clients.

CPD usually involves training seminars, short courses, watching online webinars and completing assessment tasks and each one of the tasks you complete give you a certain number of points towards your total yearly point requirement. Keeping track of your attendance or the results of an exam you did at the end of completing a short course are some ways of keeping track of these points.

Why do we mention it? Because it going to become VERY important if you want to be a professional bookkeeper.

If you have completed (or plan to complete) an EzyLearn online MYOB Bookkeeping training course you will be reassured by the fact that we are currently working on tools and assessment tasks to providing you with a solution for affordable Continuing Professional Development.

You’ll also be thrilled to hear that as an accredited training provider of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers our CPD program will provide you with points towards their CPD program.