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Finding Help with Your Bookkeeping

Why you should employ a bookkeeper to help manage the books

best way to find a bookkeeper myob xero quickbooks online
If you’re a small business owner, it shouldn’t be taking you an inordinate amount of time to keep your bookkeeping orderly and up to date. If it is, perhaps now is the time to get help.

PERHAPS YOU ARE a small business owner who is trying hard to keep up to speed with your regulatory bookkeeping requirements. But no sooner does one quarter end and another one seems to roll by with the commensurate paperwork due all over again. This is taking away from your regular work and you’re falling behind — and half the time you’re not even sure that it’s being done correctly. It sounds like you should be seriously considering finding a bookkeeper for your business.

Even if you have training in how to use Xero, MYOB or Quickbooks, or some other cloud accounting program, finding a great bookkeeper can make all the difference to your business. However, although there might seem to be plenty of “bookkeepers” around, finding the right one bookkeeper for your business is not an altogether easy thing to do. And if you’re financially challenged, you also need to find a bookkeeper who won’t break the bank.

Bookkeeper, accountant or tax professional?

These days, the term bookkeeper is almost an umbrella term for all the different types of accounting and tax professionals available to you, from basic data entry bookkeepers right through to specialised BAS and tax agents.

There are even some bookkeepers who are so knowledgeable in one particular accounting program that the software company has endorsed them as certified consultants or advisors, and some earn commission from accounting software companies, while there are others who aren’t beholden to any particular software company. We outline four steps you can take to narrow down the search.

Step One: What Kind of Bookkeeper Do You Need?

Think about your business and how it operates. Do you have lots of business purchases and transactions each week? Do you employ staff? Do you work in a specialised industry? Are you registered for GST? Do you require a bookkeeper to work onsite at your premises or can they work remotely?

Write down the needs of your business to help you determine the kind of financial help, and therefore, what kind of bookkeeper you need for your business.

Step Two: Research Local Bookkeepers in Your Area

Visit the websites of some local bookkeepers in your area, or search the National Bookkeeping Directory to find bookkeepers matching your requirements located near you. If you don’t require a bookkeeper to visit your premises, broaden your scope and research bookkeepers who can work remotely. Make a shortlist of potential bookkeepers.

Step Three: Check the TPB Register

BAS and tax agents are required, by law, to register with the Tax Practitioner’s Board (TPB), so if your business requires either a tax or BAS agent (or both), the TPB Register should be your first port of call to ensure the person who have in mind is currently registered to provide BAS or tax services.

Step Four: Interview Your Preferred Bookkeepers

During step two, you made a shortlist of potential bookkeepers, and, assuming your TPB search didn’t turn up anything to be wary of, you should now set about contacting each one to get to know more about the services they provide.

It’s a good idea to ask them how long they’ve been working as a bookkeeper for, the sorts of businesses they’ve worked with in the past, and any expectations they may have of you. You should also ask for a written quote for their services. This quote should form part of your professional services agreement.

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Many bookkeepers will provide an initial consultation, and if not, ask them to. We outline a number of things you can expect and ask them at this first consultation.

If you need help making your small business dream become a reality — with business planning and templates, identifying target markets, with any form of marketing and advertising, including social media, even just setting up a great looking website — then check out our EzyStartUp Course or contact us for more information. 


 

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Don’t Wing It With Customer Service – Plan It

Great customer service doesn’t just happen.

learn online training videos about small business customer service
If you’re unsure about what makes up the kind of customer service people rave about, then perhaps you should look into our EzyStartUp Course.

HOW TO PROVIDE REALLY exceptional customer service is just one of the modules covered in our EzyStartUp Course which teaches you all about how to start up your own business.

We handpicked this inclusion as our experience is that, time and time again, good, nay excellent customer service goes a long way to ensuring a business has longevity. Continue reading Don’t Wing It With Customer Service – Plan It

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Marketing for When Your Business Strategy Changes

Where lead generation services are useful

lead generation services
Using a dedicated lead generation service can be more useful than advertising but the quality of the leads may be questionable.

CHANGING YOUR BUSINESS STRATEGY to include additional services will require an additional investment in marketing if you are to make this successful. In terms of simply paying money to advertise your additional services, as you’re probably already aware, advertising doesn’t always yield immediate results. Therefore you might consider spending money on a lead generation service.

We cover how to account for marketing and lead generation costs in our Xero training courses, which includes a new workbook that looks at what to do when your business strategy changes. Continue reading Marketing for When Your Business Strategy Changes

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Turning Your Business Idea into Income

How not to plunge into working for yourself — while working for yourself!

becoming an independent contractor_comp
You might have to supplement your income by working at a cafe or similar while you find your first clients.

IF YOU’VE DETERMINED THAT your business idea is viable and has the potential to generate revenue, then it’s time to start earning income from it.

We show you how to carry out market research and competitive analysis in our Business Start Up Course and this blog post will tell you the steps you should take to start deriving income from your business idea.

Have an income on the side

It’s unwise to plunge headfirst into self-employment. You need to have some income behind you while you’re getting your business off the ground. That may even mean leaving full time employment and taking up part time work in a cafe or retail shop. You have bills to pay and it’s neither fun nor productive being unable to. You do, however, need time to work on your business, so you can’t be so time poor and stressed that you can’t devote the necessary time to organising it.

You need to have some income behind you while you’re getting your business off the ground. That may even mean leaving full time employment and taking up part time work in a cafe or retail shop.

Start working as a contractor for other businesses

finding work as a contractor
Initially, be willing to work as a contractor while you build up clients for your own business.

Getting that first job or client is always the hardest part of starting any business. But it’s easier when your business is providing a service and you’re working as a contractor or freelancer.

Whether you’re a bookkeeper, virtual assistant, even a tradesperson, you can apply for jobs working with other businesses, rather than spending money you probably don’t have to market your business, while you wait for clients to find you.

Look for part time, contract or casual jobs you can apply to. If you see a company has been advertising for a full time employee for a while and it appears they’re having trouble filling the position, get in touch with them. Find out if there’s an opportunity for you to work with them on an ongoing freelance or part-time basis, or until they fill the position.

There are many businesses that would like to hire freelancers or contractors but don’t know where to find them, so they continue to employ by traditional means. If you can show them you’re capable, and that there are benefits to using a contractor or freelancer, then the job might just be yours.

Find a recruitment agency

The businesses that do like to hire contractors and freelancers, but don’t want to manage it themselves, go to recruitment agencies. If you’re in any kind of specialised or creative industry — IT, finance, business management, advertising, marketing, etc — then it’s a good idea to get a recruiter, maybe two. It won’t cost you anything, and it’s the best referral marketing a person can get. Plus, it’s always good to have someone in your corner when you’re just starting out, to ensure you’re getting fair market rates, conditions, and the like.

“Packaging” your services

Before approaching businesses or recruiters, you need to understand the value you bring. Sometimes this means combining a number of your skills and gaining other ones, to ensure you’re always in demand.

In business parlance, this is known as packaging your services, which we also cover in our Business Start Up course. To learn more, visit our website.


Social Media and Digital Marketing online training course_comp

Are you in business as a bookkeeper, tradesperson, retailer, trainer or real estate agent and want to stand out from the crowd? We can teach you the online marketing techniques to help you do just this! Check out what’s included in our comprehensive Social Media and Digital Marketing online training courses.


 

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Should You Start a Business That You LOVE or a Business YOU CAN DO?

Pairing knowledge with a gap in the market

how to find the right career path
I love watching TV. And I have an opinion on many things. Doesn’t mean I can monetise the pairing of these two. Or can I? Did somebody say Gogglebox? 

CONFUCIOUS ONCE SAID: “FIND a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. That’s good advice, although it’s not always practical.

After all, I love watching television, but it’s probably impractical to try and monetise that to start a business — not impossible; but it is impractical.

A better measure of finding something you can turn into a business idea, and then a business, is to find something you’re good at, that also addresses a gap in the market. In other words, put your existing skills and work experience to use in a new, different way. Continue reading Should You Start a Business That You LOVE or a Business YOU CAN DO?

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Thinking of Starting a Second Business? Introducing Jerry

Case Study: Costs for starting up a second, related business

microsoft excel starting a second business
Contemplating starting a second business, related in some way to your first? Excel can help you forecast start up costs.

A LOT OF BUSINESS OWNERS branch out into related fields when their flagship business becomes successful enough (just look at Jim’s Mowing). However, this can be a bit dicey if the business owner doesn’t properly forecast all the start up costs. Not doing so can not only have an adverse impact on the new venture, but also on the existing business.

In this case study, we’re going to look at the start up costs associated with starting a real estate sales business. With real estate licencing laws changing and digital marketing available to everyone the ability to start your own business and work at home is now very realistic. Continue reading Thinking of Starting a Second Business? Introducing Jerry

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Making PowerPoint “Speak” with Audio

When Should I Use PowerPoint Audio?

using audio in powerpoint
You can get beyond the birds cheeping and insert your choice of quality audio into PowerPoint.

BEING THAT MOST PowerPoint presentations are created as a visual aid to accompany a speech — although there is just so much more you can do with PowerPoint — you may find yourself wondering when it’s ever appropriate to use audio in your PowerPoint presentation, and if it is appropriate, what kind of audio?  

First off, there are two kinds of audio you can use in a PowerPoint presentation: pre-recorded audio and audio you record yourself. You’ll learn how to record and insert your own audio files into PowerPoint in our PowerPoint Training Course.

When you might use pre-recorded audio

using audio in powerpointIf you’ve ever fiddled around with PowerPoint, you’d notice there are a few audio sounds you can use insert into your slides. They’re mostly generic sound effects, like the sound of waves or a bird chirping. To be honest with you, none of these are ever appropriate in a PowerPoint presentation, except in some really obscure instances. Or less obscure ones, like a training course teaching you how to insert pre-recorded audio into PowerPoint!

You can also add pre-recorded audio that you have on your computer, like a song from your music library. Again, there are few instances when this is necessary, but it’s another option nonetheless.

Adding audio you record yourself

And here is where the answer to using audio in PowerPoint really lies. You can record your own audio, using QuickTime if you’re an Apple user, or Sounds Recorder if you’re using an older version of Windows; otherwise you can also record it on your mobile or digital recorder and import it onto your computer.

You would use this audio if you were going to upload your presentation to your website for a webinar, or for people to watch online afterwards. EzyLearn uses it in some of of online training courses. You could use audio in your induction training courses, too.

learn PowerPoint online training course

Brush up on your PowerPoint skills, or learn how you can use PowerPoint to create your own online induction training courses with our PowerPoint training courses.


Xero online training course

At EzyLearn we offer an abundance of online training courses to help you up-skill and find employment.

Choose from our wide range of:

Enrol today!

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Working Out Job Costs and How to Charge Your Clients

Why You’re Underselling Yourself with Fixed Price Quotes

bookkeepers fixed price quotes
There are many reasons why you may lose out when fixed price quoting.

I’ve written a number of blogs on how bookkeepers can work out their fees and what good local bookkeepers generally charge. However, now we examine the nitty gritty of determining your on-the-job costs so you can clearly see what your hourly rate should be.

When it comes to working out fees, most business owners go: “Well, the average market rate for my profession is X per hour and this job should take around Y hours” and off they go and give their client a quote that, in today’s small business parlance, is frequently referred to as being a fixed-price quote or the project fee.

This would be fine except that you’re essentially working on an hourly rate, without the benefit of being able to charge the client if you run over your allocated timeframe. Continue reading Working Out Job Costs and How to Charge Your Clients

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What Bookkeepers Can Learn From Real Estate Agents: Facebook Advertising

Facebook – Great for Local Marketing

using facebook for bookkeeping marketing
Facebook can be extremely useful for marketing to a local audience.

In its decade of existence, Facebook has built up a wealth of data about its users, data that it likes to sell back to those who need it, in the form of targeted advertising. Facebook advertising, though similar in its approach, is very different to Google Ads in what it delivers.

Real estate agents discovered the value of Facebook advertising early, and have used a combination of images and videos to successfully deliver their marketing messages and sale pitches directly to their target market and in order to set their prices. Continue reading What Bookkeepers Can Learn From Real Estate Agents: Facebook Advertising

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What Bookkeepers Can Learn From Real Estate Agents: Using Video and Images

Focusing on Education Rather than Sales

how bookkeepers can use videoTHE INTERNET HAS CHANGED the way businesses market their services to prospects, from a simple sales message to an educational one.

Real estate agents caught onto this shift in buyer trends early and started creating online content to cater to these buyers.

Visit the website of any real estate agent and you’ll find lots of images and videos educating potential buyers about their services, previous sales and the local area they represent.

Continue reading What Bookkeepers Can Learn From Real Estate Agents: Using Video and Images

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What Bookkeepers Can Learn From Real Estate Agents: Sales Pitches

Never Fear: A “Sales” Pitch Can Really Just Be a Conversation

bookkeeping sales pitch
You actually don’t need to be ‘salesy’ at all; just find out how your services match another person’s needs.

After you’ve set the correct prices for your bookkeeping services, it’s time to perfect your sales pitch. It’s good to think about the way real estate agents sell a property to prospective buyers: Good sales agents don’t pitch to the buyer at all. Instead, they get to know the buyer and their needs.

If that happens to suit the property they’re selling, they tell them so. If it doesn’t they tell them that too. Often, they’ll mention another listing they have that might better suit the buyer.

Continue reading What Bookkeepers Can Learn From Real Estate Agents: Sales Pitches

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What Bookkeepers Can Learn From Real Estate Agents: Setting Prices

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Glean Relevant Info from the Property Industry

how much to charge as a bookkeeper
As a bookkeeper you can learn much from the humble, or not so humble, real estate agent!

As a bookkeeper, or someone thinking about becoming a bookkeeper, you may be surprised how much you can learn from real estate agents. For an example, take the way a real estate agent has to price a property for sale.

The key to selling a property quickly and efficiently, is setting the right price. A real estate agent who sets a price that’s too high for the market, isn’t doing her or his job properly. In such cases, the property will sit around for many weeks, or possibly even months, until the price is eventually reduced to one the market will bear, sometimes to well below market value.

Continue reading What Bookkeepers Can Learn From Real Estate Agents: Setting Prices

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Why Partnerships Can Be Risky Business

An Understanding of Business Partnerships is Essential

business-partnerships-training-course-online
Structuring your business as a partnership doesn’t have to be risky business if you arm yourself with the right information first.

As we mentioned in our previous post about doing the necessary actions to start your new business now, rather than in January, there are lots of tasks to carry out before your business will be ready to commence trading. The first, most important thing you should do, is register for an ABN.

There are lots of services available that, for a fee, will register your business name, company structure, domain name, email hosting, and even register your business for GST and PAYG. But do you really need to use these services? Well, it depends. 

You might if: Continue reading Why Partnerships Can Be Risky Business

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Start Your Business NOW!

The Christmas Holidays is a Terrific Time to Start a New Business

start-your-own-small-business-this-christmasIF YOU’VE DECIDED THAT this will be the year you start your new business, don’t wait until January to begin your journey to becoming the head honcho.

Right now is the best time of the year to begin — because while everyone else (businesses included) has gone on on holidays, you’ll be ready to take on your first client or customer by the time January 2017 rolls around. Continue reading Start Your Business NOW!

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Release: Concreting Business Case Study for Xero Training Course

Case Study: Tradespeople Using Xero Cloud Accounting

Concreting business uses Xero for jobs, purchasing and progress payments - online training case studyTradies across Australia are getting onto the cloud for their accounting and there’s a good reason for it — many busy people can use the system from remote locations to get their work done.

This means the estimator can use it to generate a quote at a site, the office administrator can convert quotes to orders and invoices and the remote contractor can sign in and do accounts receivable calls from their home office. This is good news! All major accounting programs now offer cloud access — MYOB, Xero and Intuit Quickbooks.

I wrote in the past about Rohan from Painters, Men in White; Ken the home theatre installer and Jason the kitchen appliance repairer. Today I’m happy to announce that we’ve released a case study in the Xero Daily Transactions course that relates to the building and construction industry — in particular a concreting business that quotes for the pouring of a 3 level apartment building. Sue, a contract bookkeeper from Yarra Junction helped me write this Case Study based on her experience in the building sector and in particular with concrete companies.

Bookkeepers Upskilling with EzyLearn

Sue is typical of the students who enrol with us to broaden their skills in cloud accounting — existing bookkeepers who want to upskill. She has a lot of experience in the day-to-day management and accounts for tradespeople and found that she could perform the bookkeeping from her own home at any time.

We’re Constantly Updating Online Course Content

While I’m blowing my trumpet I may as well add that this is an example of what we promote with our online courses — that during your student access period you’ll have access to ALL the courses you’ve enrolled into including updates and new content. This is particularly useful for MYOB and Excel Course students who enrol using the LIFETIME course access option.

Xero Course Student Testimonials

I haven’t posted any new pages with student testimonials to the website for a while (but they come in with every course) but today it must be trumpet-practising time for me because here I blow again! When Sue completed the course, she commented:

I would recommend this learning site to others and I am thinking about studying Excel next with this learning centre“. She also commented: “Convenient in that I can do it from home at my own leisure. The price was very reasonable.

While Sue was working with us we put her through our Microsoft Word and Excel courses at no cost and the main thing that really stands out to me is how much everyone benefits by doing a Microsoft Word course!

Use Microsoft Word to Create Xero Courses

Helen from Bright learnt how to use WordPress and got leads for website design work using our WordPress course
Helen from Bright is a registered BAS agent who did our WordPress course and got paid creating a website with out help!

Many students enquire about the Microsoft Excel courses because spreadsheets are complicated for people who don’t know how to use them. However, I never cease to be amazed at how many people confidently state, “I know how to use Word, that’s easy”.

Microsoft Word is used in so many aspects of a business yet too many people think that just because they can type they are good at Word. Things like:

are covered in our 203 to 205 courses (so they are considered beginners to intermediate Word skills) yet I am surprised at the number of people I meet who don’t truly understand how these work!

When we work with a new contractor, even as part of our National Bookkeeping Network, we ask new members to write up an education guide if a bookkeeping customer is looking for a certain task to be completed. We end up putting the bookkeeper through our Word course and they discover a whole new world of computer skills that enable them to do more office admin work for their employers or customers — particularly when it comes to long form documents like instruction guides, tenders and even eBooks which are becoming increasing used in online digital marketing.

Bookkeepers Can Be Great Web Designers!

One EzyLearn student helps another from MYOB bookkeeping to designing websites for baby massage using WordPressAs I’m sharing so many EzyLearn student stories, I’ll provide another example of a recent student, Helen from Bright in Victoria (check out where Bright is located in Google maps and you’ll see just how far away she is from the nearest capital city — again, the beauty of working from home using the internet!)

Helen is a Registered BAS Agent and has been for a long time. She performs all the bookkeeping tasks that many of our students aim to offer by being a BAS agent, but she is also interested in being a little more visually creative — at least part of the time — so she completed our WordPress Course and as a result we’ve introduced her to some clients. Since then she’s actually been paid for creating and editing websites! One website she created and continues to edit as required is for ANOTHER student, Sonia who completed our MYOB course years ago to help her with her husband’s business!

Sonia now spends a lot of her time teaching mums (AND dad’s) about baby massage and how they can use infant massage to build a bond with their new baby and help them relax when they are uncomfortable. With a nursing degree and a huge amount of experience with children, Sonia is able to help parents and babies alike create a special bond through touch, and ease new parents into the sometimes stressful experience of welcoming a new baby into their family.

PROMOTED: Corporate Training Licence

If you like the sound of all these courses you may like to take a look at our special bundled offers or even a corporate training licence for your staff or team members.

Referral Marketing is Something We Like

I hope I’ve managed to share with you how we genuinely like to support our students and clients in their journey. We welcome your feedback and love to hear directly how you’re progressing along the way, how we can improve what we do, and any other input you may have.

If you’re looking for a new job, we can advise you on our comprehensive courses with lots of content and examples and a fantastic price. If you’re looking to start a new business we can help you with our Business Startup Course. If you’re a small business in need of a good bookkeeper, writer or website designer — we can connect you.

Stay tuned for some new training content releases about Selling Your Property, Facebook Marketing and Intuit Quickbooks.

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Learn MYOB and Microsoft Excel, get help finding work with Career Academy

Learn MYOB and Microsoft Excel and get Microsoft Word Course for free

MYOB AccountRight Sign In Screen for MYOB Training CourseOne more rest for Australia Day before the year REALLY gets under way and it’s a great time to set your priorities straight for 2016. Our two most popular online training courses are our MYOB Course and our Microsoft Excel course. They’re complicated programs and most businesses need them for their financial management, reporting and forecasting so they’re great skills to learn if you are looking for a new job.

If you’ve followed this blog you’d also be aware that despite significant growth in the number of enrolments for our Xero Cloud Accounting courses the dominant player in the Australian market is still MYOB and MYOB accounting software also has cloud-based capabilities that make it more and more powerful. I recently wrote a blog about a service technician who uses Servicem8 as an Ad-on to the MYOB accounting software that his wife uses in the office.

Software Skills give you confidence to apply for jobs

Having confident software skills in MYOB, Excel and Word will give you a real advantage when applying for a position you really want because is gives you tremendous confidence. Sue from Yarra Junction was helping us with our forthcoming Quickbooks Online Training course late last year and although she knew Quickbooks very well she learnt a LOT about Microsoft Word and writing long documents. Even just going through the beginners courses in Microsoft Word she learnt about common terms and fundamental ways that text and paragraph are managed on each page.

For a limited time we are offering our Microsoft Word course for free to everyone who enrols into the MYOB and Excel course with 12 months access and a certificate.

How to get the Microsoft Word Course for free and Career Academy Membership

  1. MYOB Training Course and Microsoft Excel Training Course and get free Microsoft Word coursevisit our Online Course enrolment page
  2. enter your details, and
  3. click on the MYOB with 12 months and Certificate
  4. click the Microsoft Excel course with 12 months access and certificate
  5. You will see the FREE BONUS course offer
  6. You’ll have the option to register for our Career Academy also

Not only will you have new skills and confidence but you’ll have some resume templates and dozens of exercise files to create long and complicated documents, reports, proposals, sales letters and more using Microsoft Word.

ref cliparts.co
ref cliparts.co

Corporate Training Discounts

Remember too that if you are a small business with up to 5 employees you’ll find that all of them can learn MYOB and Excel, PLUS Word, WordPress and PowerPoint (and even Xero) for under $1300 for 12 months. You could literally run the software programs to take care of admin, accounting, financial management, sales, marketing and more with all these software programs. Check out our current Corporate Training discount offer.

EzyStartUp Course

EzyStartUp LogoThe small business course we renamed can give you all the software skills you need as well as templates, structure, financial forecasts and all the software and soft skills you need to start that business and become and independent contractor working from your own home (or for local small businesses if you don’t have the right setup for a home office). Check out the EzyStartUp Course.