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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Become an Office Administrator

AN OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR, or administration officer, will provide an array of general administrative tasks for a business or organisation.

These include filing, archiving, calendar & project management, reporting and customer service. Some office administrators carry out basic bookkeeping tasks, such as creating and recording invoices and expenses and the more skills you have the more valuable you become.

Continue reading How to Become an Office Administrator

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**

Why Older People are Saving Startups

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

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

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

Continue reading Why Older People are Saving Startups

How Aussie Mums are Starting their Own Businesses

THERE IS A FAIRLY SIGNIFICANT gender imbalance for executive positions in the corporate world. Sure, there are notable exceptions, but men in managerial positions in the workplace still outnumber women two-to-one.

But when you look at some industries, like Bookkeeping, the numbers are massively swayed towards the female gender and one of the reasons is it can be the perfect business to run from home.

Continue reading How Aussie Mums are Starting their Own Businesses

The Risk-Free Way to Become a Freelancer

IF YOU’VE EVER DIPPED your foot into starting your own business, while keeping a steady income flowing from elsewhere, all at the same time, then you’re far from alone.

During the global financial crisis and in the years that immediately followed it, a funny thing happened to the job market: it birthed a freelancer economy, of which a third of Australians in the workforce are a part, and many of these freelancing individuals are also working at (an)other job/s.

Continue reading The Risk-Free Way to Become a Freelancer

SPECIAL OFFER: MYOB, Xero & QuickBooks Online Courses ALL for One Low Price

The Internet has spawned several cloud accounting software program all over the world including:

Continue reading SPECIAL OFFER: MYOB, Xero & QuickBooks Online Courses ALL for One Low Price

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

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

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?

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 focussed on the kind of work that will help their clients grow successful businesses.

When cloud accounting software entered the market, many accountants thought it signalled the end of the bookkeeping profession. However, plenty of bookkeepers have in no way lost out to accountants (and we’ve given reasons as to why and how in previous blogs) but, rather, have found myriad ways to stay relevant.

Just some of these include becoming BAS or tax agents, providing software training to their clients and focussing on niche industries. And as more people start their own businesses, bookkeepers are as relevant as ever. It’s accountants who aren’t!

Talk to your clients about growth

As an accountant you understand numbers and what a business needs to do to grow. These are insights many business owners lack because they’re too close to their business to see that there are different ways of doing things. Instead of providing run-of-the-mill compliance services to your clients, offer services that will help them to focus on the ways they can grow their business, whether it’s by focussing on different KPIs or by establishing new processes.

Your role, here, is to work out the projects to be implemented and tested, then setup the systems to measure the results. It’ll be up to you to monitor the results and hold the client accountable. Think of it as being a personal trainer, except for businesses not people.

Help your clients manage cashflow

Cashflow is a huge problem for a lot of businesses, and it’s most often caused by poor credit management processes. However, in some cases, it’s also caused by businesses they spend more money than they make, or that spend money on areas of their business that isn’t revenue generating.

In each instance, as the numbers person, this is something you should be able to spot from a mile off, but which may not be obvious to your client. A lot of business owners also don’t see how inefficient credit management processes can adversely affect their business, when their business is profitable. Help your clients to understand the difference between cashflow and profit.

You need to evolve to be relevant

In a digital economy, no profession is safe from disruption. Just as bookkeepers had to evolve to stay relevant in an era of cloud accounting and DIY bookkeeping, accountants must too.

***

Think about the value you can bring to your clients’ businesses, and focus on providing those services — the ones they can’t do themselves or hire someone else to do for them cheaply — as opposed to spending your days knee-deep in compliance work.


Online bookkeeping accounting training courses for CPD points

EzyLearn Excel, MYOB and Xero online training courses count towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for bookkeepers and accountants. EzyLearn online training courses are endorsed by accountants, BAS agents and  bookkeepers. Find out how CPD points can be of benefit to you.


 

Reporting in QuickBooks Just Got a Whole Lot Better!

Quickbooks now providing superior options for filtering and scheduling bookkeeping reports

Xero online training course bank feedsONE OF THE BEST THINGS about cloud accounting software is that your data is live, which means, providing your reconciliations are up-to-date, you get a complete snapshot your business’s performance and financial health regardless of the day, week or month you run those reports.

Running regular finance reports is the key to ensuring your business maintains a healthy cashflow, which is also linked to your credit management process and procedures. Previously, the main gripe many bookkeepers and business owners had about QuickBooks was that it lacked the reporting functionality of other apps, like Xero and MYOB.

That’s all changed now that the reporting features in QuickBooks have been given a major upgrade, giving business owners more power and flexibility to monitor their business’s performance. Here are just a couple of the things you can — and should! — do with the updated reports feature in QuickBooks.

Filter sales by services / products

If you’re like a lot of businesses, you probably offer a couple of different products or services, and, like a lot of businesses, there are certain products or services that are more profitable to your business — and, therefore, should be a major focus — to sell.

Now that QuickBooks offers the ability to customise and save any of its reports into your management reports tab, you can filter your customer sales reports by services or products, and also run them across multiple periods. If you have multiple sales people, you can also filter your reports by sales people, too.

Schedule email reports

In addition to being able to customise and save your management reports, so you don’t have to keep filtering out the data you don’t need and adding in the stuff you do, you can also setup a schedule so your preferred reports are automatically emailed to you (and your business partners or other stakeholders) as required.

QuickBooks gives you the option to select which reports you’d like to see, and the frequency at which you’d like them — daily, weekly, monthly, twice a month, or custom. This’ll mean you won’t have to keep asking your bookkeeper to run them for you, nor will you need to go in to run them manually yourself. It’ll also give you a better idea of whether or not your bookkeeper is really paying close attention or not!

Familiarise yourself with customisation options

Here at EzyLearn, we believe Quickbooks has a lot to offer small business and bookkeepers alike. The reporting functions in QuickBooks now offer up seemingly unending possibilities by giving you the flexibility to filter and  customise your reports by any number of variables — sales person, periods, services, etc. Sometimes you don’t know the kinds of reports you need for your business until your go in and have a play yourself, so that’s exactly what you should do.

Maybe you haven’t taken a good look at the capabilities of Quickbooks for a long time — check out the options available with our Quickbooks online training courses to take you up to speed. Alternatively, you can ask your bookkeeper, and they should be able to customise, save and schedule a report that suits your needs to a tee.


What Do You Want to Learn Today?

running cashflow reports in xero and exporting to excel

At EzyLearn we offer online training courses to help you up-skill and find employment. Choose from our range of cloud-based online accounting software courses, to business start up, real estate and investment management courses, to marketing and sales courses, or update and further your skills in a range of Microsoft Office programs, (including Excel, PowerPointWord) or social media and WordPress web design). 


 

 

Are Online Payments Right for Your Business?

Getting paid seamlessly, online

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

 

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

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

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

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

Payment gateways

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

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

Online payments

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

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

Mobile payments

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

Request a Bookkeeping Quote

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 briefly 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 guide, Bookkeeping Basics: Cash vs. Accrual Systems, if you haven’t already.

Paying your employees

Before you employ staff, you need to determine how they will be employed. Are you going to use casual or permanent employees? If you’re employing the latter, will they be employed on a full-time or part-time basis? As the business owner and employer, you must also ensure that you’re paying your staff the correct rate of pay, as well as any entitlements — such as, sick leave, annual leave, overtime, etc — that may be owed to them.

This blog post isn’t going to go into the intricacies of how to work out what you should pay your employees, nor will the Bookkeeping Basics guide, as it generally falls outside the scope of the role of a bookkeeper, however, you can use the Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO) Pay Calculator to work out the following:

  • Base pay rates
  • Allowances
  • Overtime and penalty rates
  • Pay rates per hour
  • Pay rates per shift
  • An employee’s employment status (i.e., full time, part time, casual).

Record keeping

If you employ staff under a modern award or agreement (virtually all Australian businesses do), you have a legal requirement to keep accurate and correct time and wage records, in addition to issuing payslips to all of your staff — failure to issue pay slips incurs harsh penalties if it comes to the attention of the Fair Work Ombudsman. You must also keep your each staff member’s time and wage records for, at least, seven years and make sure they’re stored somewhere that’s always accessible, should they ever need to be inspected.

Although you don’t have to keep all employee records, it’s best practice to keep the following records for seven years, even after the employee has left the business, in case they ever file a complaint with the Ombudsman or the Tax Office ever does an audit:

  • Employee resume and application details
  • Employee workplace performance records
  • Employee trade certificates or registration certificates.

For tax purposes, all employee and contractor records must be kept for five years, but most businesses keep them for seven years, in case an enquiry is made by the FWO.

Deducting tax from an employee’s pay

Under the Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding rules, you are legally obliged to collect tax from employee payments so they can meet their end-of-year tax liabilities. In order to do so, you must first register with the ATO for PAYG withholding, which you can do online, over the phone or through your BAS or tax agent.

You must also provide your employees with a tax file declaration form, which you can also obtain from the ATO, and must be completed by an employee if they want to:

  • Claim an entitlement to tax offsets by having a reduced amount withheld from payments made to them
  • Advise you of changes to their:
    • tax-free threshold
    • residency status
    • HELP, Trade Support Loan or Financial Supplement debt.

You must then determine how much to withhold your employee’s pay, which you can do by referring to the ATO’s Tax Tables or the Tax Withheld Calculator.

If you have staff that are under 18 years of age

You do not have to withhold amounts from payments to employees under 18 years of age if those amounts are not more than:

  • $350 per week
  • $700 per fortnight
  • $1,517 per month.

Employees with HELP, TSL or Financial Supplement debts

If an employee has indicated they have a HELP, TSL or Financial Supplement debt, you should use the HELP/TSL or Student Financial Supplement Scheme tax table on the ATO website to work out how much extra to withhold for these debts. Add this to the amount withheld shown in the relevant tax table.

Your superannuation obligations

As an employer, you also have an obligation to make super contributions for each of your employees. You must also ensure that you:

  • Offer eligible employees a choice of super fund (temporary residents are eligible to choose)
  • Pay the minimum amount, called the super guarantee (SG), which is currently 9.5 per cent of ordinary time earnings
  • Make your super contributions on the required dates as set by the ATO.

If you don’t pay the super guarantee for your employees, you will have to pay the super guarantee charge, which is not tax deductible.

Which employees are eligible for the SG?

Generally speaking, all employees are eligible if they are paid $450 or more (before tax) in any calendar month. You must pay super for all employees who:

  • Are full-time, part-time or casual
  • Receive a super pension or annuity while still working — including those who qualify for the transition-to-retirement measure
  • Are a temporary resident — when they leave Australia, they can claim the payments you made through a ‘departing Australia superannuation payment’
  • Are a company director
  • Are a family member working in your business — provided they are eligible for SG
  • Are over 70 years of age
  • Some contractors, even if they quote an ABN — visit the FWO website for more information.

Final things to consider

Not all bookkeepers offer payroll services, because it can be time consuming and it’s always in flux (new software enters the fray, employees come and go, and each time that occurs, it results in more work). Additionally, the minimum wage is regularly reviewed and increased, which is something that needs to be monitored to ensure your employees continue to be paid correctly. If you decide to hire a bookkeeper to manage your accounting, and you’d also like them to handle your payroll, be sure to clarify how they’ll bill for payroll services and what your obligations are to ensure you’re not paying too much.

We provide online training courses in Payroll for MYOB, Xero Payroll and Quickbooks. Find out more about our industry-endorsed online training courses and videos.

***  ***  ***

Need help managing your bookkeeping system?

the perfect administrative executive assistant office manager learn online courses trainingIf you’re looking for a reliable bookkeeper to manage your bookkeeping system, who also specialises in payroll services, is highly qualified, or even a registered BAS agent?

See our bookkeeping directory, National Bookkeeping, for more information on the hundreds of bookkeepers listed who are available to work all around Australia. 


Remember, you can download our educational guide, Bookkeeping Basics, for free from the EzyLearn website.


Online bookkeeping accounting training courses for CPD points

Find out more about Continuing Professional Development with EzyLearn


 

 

 

 

Why Office Chairs are the Reason You Can’t Keep a Bookkeeper

Consider going remote for your bookkeeping

Bookkeeper with back pain
Are you taking good care of your contract, or casually employed, bookkeeper?

THERE ARE MANY BOOKKEEPERS who do not undergo the rather stringent requirements to become a registered BAS agent. Even without becoming a BAS agent, a bookkeeper can be employed by a business on the payroll, rather than providing bookkeeping services ‘as a business’.

Usually, these bookkeepers will work on a casual basis, once or twice a fortnight, at the business’s premises, which means they’re provided with a desk, computer, and desk chair.

Unfortunately too many business owners don’t make their casual bookkeepers a priority; often relegating them to a desk piled skyhigh with un-filed documents, old or broken technology, ergonomically unsound chairs, and probably a thick layer of dust on nearly every surface.

Think about your bookkeeper’s health

Aside from sending a clear message that your casual bookkeeper’s contribution to your business isn’t valued, it can also play havoc with their health, particularly when it comes to unsteady or broken office chairs.

Over time, sitting incorrectly on an office chair that’s broken or not adjusted correctly can contribute to back problems and muscle pain, because it places large amounts of pressure on your back muscles and the spinal discs. Poor posture and slouching can overstretch the spinal ligaments and strain the discs, which can damage the spinal structures. It’s also pretty hard to produce your best and most accurate bookkeeping work under these conditions.

Consider hiring remote bookkeepers

If you’ve been guilty of shoving your casual bookkeeper off to a workspace in the corner, with the wonky office chair and desk lined with dust, or even if you do just some of these things, it’s time to think more about how much you value your bookkeeper’s contribution to your business. This leaves you with a couple of options: invest in new office equipment — desks, technology, and ergonomic chairs — which could set you back a few thousand dollars, or hire remote bookkeepers instead.

A remote bookkeeper will cost you less, as they don’t require workspace in your office, so you won’t have to provide the office technology and furniture. And remote bookkeepers only bill you for the time they spend working on your accounts, not the time they spend making cups of tea and chatting around the watercooler.


Want to find a professional, reliable bookkeeper to work for your business, remotely?

a registered BAS agent wanting to join an industry associationNational Bookkeeping is our online directory of bookkeepers and includes data entry clerks, BAS agents, accountants and CFOs. These people are trained and qualified bookkeepers willing to work all over Australia and ready to help you now.

Whether your business uses MYOB, Xero or Quickbooks (or even other specialist software) our members can help from the basics to the complex and advanced.

Alternatively, if you are a bookkeeper thinking about starting your own business, register with National Bookkeeping before June 30 so you can claim it as a tax deduction right away; alternatively, to learn more, visit the National Bookkeeping website or continue reading our blog.

The July Launch of Cloud Accounting System, Wiise: What’s in Store for MYOB and Xero?

Should all good bookkeepers be getting wise to Wiise?

man thinking wiise accounting software learn study online training courses

THIS JULY A NEW ACCOUNTING SYSTEM is attempting to lure Aussie businesses away from the incumbent cloud accounting majors MYOB, Xero and QuickBooks, with the promise of “access to big-end-of-town technology,” according to a report in The Australian Financial Review.

Wiise, which is owned by the deep pockets of KPMG and will operate under a strategic partnership with Microsoft and the Commonwealth Bank, will combine cloud accounting, job costing, workflow scheduling and inventory management, payroll, sales and marketing and customer relationship management into one system.

Pricing hasn’t been confirmed, but it’s understood Wiise will operate a tiered model, costing businesses between $60 and $200 a month.

The software will integrate with all major Australian banks, but added functionality will be given to CBA customers, such as access to working capital and financing options.

Businesses that have outgrown their cloud accounting system

Although Wiise will target SMEs; founders KPMG, Microsoft and CBA say the software isn’t competing with MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks for customers.

Rather, the Wiise software will suit complex businesses that have outgrown traditional cloud accounting systems, because their business operates in more than one location, has a complex supply chain, various legal entities or high transaction volumes.

The Wiise software will suit complex businesses that have outgrown traditional cloud accounting systems.

Wiise will also appeal to businesses that want to use one piece of business software, rather than multiple separate systems or cloud-accounting add-ons.

That said, it’s probably a worry to MYOB, which signalled it would grow market share by pursuing bigger and more complicated businesses; acquiring the enterprise reporting system Greentree in 2016.

What does this mean for bookkeepers?

So while contract bookkeepers should remain competitive by keeping abreast of new technologies, is Wiise yet another cloud accounting system bookkeepers, tax agents and accountants will need to learn how to use? Well, that depends on how quickly it penetrates the market. And if it penetrates the small business market in any significant way.

As a general rule, most small businesses want to spend as little time worrying about compliance as possible, which is as it should be. Simple businesses with straightforward tax and compliance requirements typically stick with simple cloud accounting systems.  

So there’s value in bookkeepers that typically services larger, more complicated businesses learning more about Wiise, but probably not for bookkeepers that look after smaller, straightforward businesses.

***

Who’s Managing Your Business Accounts?

expense apps for self employed peopleIf you’re a business owner trying to decide on an accounting system, speak with your bookkeeper or tax agent to determine the best option for your business.

If you’re looking for a reliable bookkeeper or tax agent to manage your business accounts, visit the National Bookkeeping website to find someone professional, able to work in your office, or remotely,  to suit the needs of your business.