You may have a different opinion when it comes to paying your suppliers but I believe you should pay quickly. I’m talking mainly about service providers rather that product suppliers, but I think in small business it doesn’t matter.
Everyone loves to be paid on time and if you can get paid earlier, even better. It once took me 16 minutes to pay a supplier – OK, I was making other payments at the time, but still, it looked impressive.
I mention it today because one of my team told me that I was categorised by their accounting software as “high risk” and I wasn’t too happy.
In a previous post we wrote about business bank accounts. Some banks, even though they offer business accounts, aren’t actually all that business friendly, and this can sometimes add hours to your bookkeeping and reconciliation processes.
Not all Business Accounts are Created Equal
If you’re starting a new business and going to open a business account, we recommend you do your research and shop around, because not all accounts are the same.
Some business accounts integrate nicely with your accounting software, while others, like a Bank of Queensland account, for example, does not because they transferred their credit card service to Citibank, preventing integration with the Banklink feature of MYOB.
Other business accounts don’t allow businesses to have a Visa or MasterCard debit card attached to their business account and only allow businesses to make online purchases using their own money.
Business owners can only use a linked credit card to make online purchases or a separate debit card. Either option still results in additional journal entries in your accounting software.
End of Financial Year – Best Time to Get Business Friendly
If you’ve been battling with your current bank, now that we’re approaching the end of the 2013/14 financial year, it might be the time to consider moving your accounts elsewhere so you can start afresh come July 1.
Or perhaps it’s not your bank that’s playing havoc with your bookkeeping – perhaps it’s your bookkeeping software. As we approach a new financial year, it might be a good time to consider switching your account keeping software to MYOB, or something simpler, like Xero (we have written in the past comparing the two).
At EzyLearn, we provide a range of training courses for a number of different accounting programs from the basic Reach Accounting to the more sophisticated MYOB. For more information on our training courses, visit our website.
Our MYOB training courses are more than just training course in software. They also function as a quasi induction to the life of a bookkeeper, in that they train you in the day-to-day processes and procedures of a bookkeeper as well.
Even though you still need to have completed a Certificate IV in bookkeeping to become a registered BAS agent, you can still provide clients with basic bookkeeping services if you’ve done our MYOB training course.
Quizzes and Knowledge Reviews
The MYOB workbooks provided in the training courses contain practical exercises that students can complete to familiarise themselves with the software, which they are then later tested on to through a series of quizzes and knowledge reviews.
By the time you’ve completed our MYOB training course, you’ll be proficient not just in the MYOB software, but also in the day-to-day of a professional bookkeeper.
Some of our previous students are already business owners themselves and our MYOB courses provide them with the necessary skills to take care of the data entry and bookkeeping for their own business.
An Entry Point to Your Home-Based Business
But a good many more of our students also use our MYOB courses as an entry point to starting their own home-based bookkeeping business, providing other businesses with data entry while they’re completing a Cert IV in bookkeeping.
This is a great way to familiarise yourself with the bookkeeping process while you’re still learning, and even help you to network with accountants who could later help you become certified with the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and supervise your work.
We also offer a Small Business Management Course to help those people thinking of starting a home-based bookkeeping business develop a business plan, carry out marketing activities report on financial activity, and so forth. Currently we’re offering this course for just $897 (for a short time only!).
The word ‘induction’ has many uses, which can make it rather subjective. It can refer to the time interval between the cause and the first measurable effect in an experiment; it can refer to stimulating the process of childbirth; it can refer to a rite of passage or ritual event, like a Bar of Bat Mitzvah; even our MYOB training courses act as a kind of quasi induction into the world of bookkeeping.
Exposure to Real-World Scenarios
Even though our MYOB courses are primarily teaching you how to use an accounting software package, we deliberately created training courses that would expose our students to real-world bookkeeping scenarios, so they would properly understand the software.
When you complete the day-to-day transactions module of our MYOB course you’re taught how to receive money and pay bills, record a cash-sale, settle credits and returns, and analyse payable, among other things.
Each module within our MYOB training courses teaches you a fundamental aspect within the whole bookkeeping process, and in that way our courses act like an induction into the role of a bookkeeper.
Inducting You as a Bookkeeper
An induction helps to give a person a basic understanding of what to expect of a particular situation or circumstance. In the instance of our MYOB courses, we’re helping you to understand what is expected of you as a bookkeeper, and what you should expect in turn.
Many organisations provide new employees with induction training to help them understand how the business operates, and to keep their existing staff up-to-date with changing policies and procedures – such as work, health and safety.
As Australia’s leading provider of online training courses, EzyLearn has recently ventured into providing companies and organisations with the facilities to provide their staff with online induction training.
Whether you’re a bookkeeper or business owner, if there’s one thing we probably all have a shared hatred of — it’s filing. Filing is the little task we always put off, until eventually we can’t find anything through the sea of paper and receipts cluttering our offices.
This wouldn’t be so bad if filing wasn’t such an important part of a business.
However, few small businesses suffer from poor cash flow because they’re unaware of how to manage their debtors properly.
Rather they suffer poor cash flow because they lack the resources to chase late payers or, as in most cases, they don’t have the time to stay on top of their accounts receivables to ensure their clients don’t become late payers in the first place.
Aussie company, ezyCollect, aims to solve this problem for medium sized companies – here’s how.
We wrote a post last year about a service called Bank Link, which we discovered is being used by a large number of accountants to reduce the amount of data entry involved in bookkeeping. Being that one of our most popular training courses is our MYOB training course and that many of our students are bookkeepers, we wondered what the bank link service would mean for the future of bookkeepers.
Bookkeepers Still Vital!
As it happens, we don’t believe that the BankLink service will make the role of the bookkeeper redundant, given that there is so much more to be being a bookkeeper than just data entry. In fact, we found that because BankLink eliminates much of the time-consuming data entry process, BankLink should be used by more bookkeepers.
Since the post on BankLink was published, however, we heard from one of our readers who told us that the Bank of Queensland does not provide credit card transactions data through BankLink. We thought this was unusual, so we decided to look into it a little further.
After doing a little digging, we discovered that BankLink is not available to be used with all banking institutions, and Bank of Queensland happens to be one of those institutions. We tried to contact the Bank of Queensland to find out if the BankLink service would be extended to their customers, however, we were unable to reach anyone able to give us any information as to if, and when, this service would be adopted.
For bookkeepers, or small business owners, even, who are customers of the Bank of Queensland this means that you will still need to enter your credit card transactions into MYOB manually. If you are aware of any other banking institutions that do not provide credit card data though BankLink, we’d love to hear from you — let us know in the comment section below.
With 2013 now come to a close, many of you may be thinking about how you will work in 2014. Now is a better time than ever to start a home-based bookkeeping business! It’s why we offer online MYOB training courses, in addition to Reach and Xero, so you can learn how to use the most popular accounting software in the world. But now, let’s give you three tangible reasons why NOW is one of the best times you could start your own bookkeeping business, working from home:
1. Health and Well-Being Reasons
The reasons for starting a home-based bookkeeping business are many and varied, but some of the first are to do with your own physical and mental health. In a post we published earlier this year, we listed five reasons why you should start a home-based business; we’ve also discussed the benefits to your health that working from home can bring, particularly in reducing your stress. Working from home has never been easier, and it’s a trend that’s fast catching on, particularly in the accounting and bookkeeping industry.
2. Cloud Software and Low Capital Investment — Creating More Opportunities
Cloud-based accounting software is also creating more opportunities for home-based bookkeeping businesses. According to market research firm, IBISWorld, in the five years to 2013, revenue in the bookkeeping and payroll industries has reached $2 billion, with an increasing trend among companies to outsource bookkeeping functions due to the higher level of connectedness — thanks in part to cloud-based accounting software.
But there’s even better news for people looking to start their own home-based bookkeeping business: capital investment is extremely low, and for every dollar spent on capital, the industry spends an average of $26.25 on labour. This is largely due to capital investments being small, and usually only include, computers, access to the internet, accounting software and office furniture.
Due to the industry becoming increasingly fragmented — in 2013, there were some 1,892 registered bookkeeping businesses operating in Australia — there’s a huge demand for bookkeeping services, particularly among SMEs, who usually don’t have any payroll or bookkeeping staff employed full-time.
3. LOTS of Work Available — And Accounting Services Growing
According to ABS data, 96 percent of the businesses operating in Australia are small businesses, of which the largest number operate within the construction industry (16.2 percent), followed professional and scientific services (11.7 percent), and rental, hiring and real estate services (10.5 percent). For bookkeepers that are highly skilled in these industries, there’s no shortage of work. That’s why we also offer a Small Business Management Course, to provide bookkeepers, virtual assistants, or simply anybody who wants to work for themselves, with comprehensive training in what you need to know to run or manage a small business.
But for those bookkeepers hoping to strike up a working relationship with a local accountant, there’s good news on that front, too: the accounting services industry has recorded annual growth of 2.9 percent in the four years since 2009, and annual revenue totaling $16 billion, according to IBISWorld.
If you’re a bookkeeper and you’ve been thinking about starting a bookkeeping business, you know better than anyone that the numbers don’t lie — the time to start that business is now!
Today we’re blogging about MYOB Account Right Live. We recommend this in all of our MYOB training courses — not because it’s the latest version of the hugely popular MYOB software — but because it gives business owners the kind of data they need to run their business efficiently and securely. This was no more evident than in the case of Cheryl and Jim; business owners who discovered that they were literally throwing money away by using an outdated version of MYOB. With the recent addition of our new real-time accounting programs to our suite of products, we figured it’s an apt time to revisit this popular case study.
The Blessings of ‘Real-Time’
Perhaps the biggest bonus with cloud accounting software is that you have access to information about your profits and expenses in real-time.This is enormously useful for small businesses to constantly track how they’re going and make any necessary changes.
We decided to take a look at how one business owner grew a moderately successful business into a totally thriving one by using cloud accounting software to track their expenses.
From a Break-Even Bakery — To Owning Two Successful Stores
Cheryl and her husband, Jim, operated a small neighbourhood bakery in a busy block of local shops. Jim was the baker and pastry chef in residence, while Cheryl, who had previously worked as an account executive at an advertising firm, managed the office side of the business.
“I was used to budgets and targets, so it made sense that I would handle the admin side of the business,” Cheryl tells us. “But, coming from a large-scale ad agency, I had been spoilt for choice in the way of CRM and other software that tracked my sales in real-time,” she says. “I didn’t have any of that with the bakery. Just an outdated version of MYOB!”
Cheryl and Jim estimated that it would take them about a year before they would start to see any real traction with the bakery, but a year had come and gone, and they were still just breaking even.
“Jim would come in and go ‘we had a great day today, heaps of customers’ but at the end of the month we were still struggling with all the expenses, paying our staff and trying to pay ourselves a wage too,” Cheryl says. “Finally I asked my accountant what was going on and he just said ‘update your MYOB.’”
Cheryl comments that having access to data they had previously only received once it was too late was a game-changer. “This sounds funny, but I could see we were spending all this money on flour, but our sales didn’t reflect a need for it,” Cheryl laughs.
“Finally I asked my accountant what was going on and he just said ‘update your MYOB,’” Cheryl says.
“I asked Jim if he was over-ordering because that seemed like the logical answer, but he said he only ordered what was needed,” she says. “This led me to do some investigating.”
What the Data Revealed…
Jim would bake an average of 75 loaves of bread a day, but sales records in MYOB showed they old sold an average of 40 loaves a day; Jim was baking twice as much bread as he needed and all left-over stock was thrown out at the end of the day.
“We were literally throwing our money away,” Cheryl says. “But it was a learning curve.”
Before long Cheryl and Jim implemented various other systems to track their stock, so they could better manage their expenses. Within a year, Cheryl and Jim had completely turned their business around.
“Now we have two shops,” Cheryl says. “Where before we struggled keeping just the one going. Being able to see what we were spending as we were spending it — that changed everything.”
Basically you’re running blind if you’re not able to see your accounts in real time. The use of cloud accounting software like MYOB Account Right Live, Reach and Xero grants you this, safely and securely. Want to get up to speed with everything MYOB? Our MYOB training courses will equip you with the information you need. Enrol today.
In our quest to always present you with the latest information about bookkeeping for your own business or someone else’s, we are pleased to present you with another free training video from our recently added Xero online training course. Last time we showed you how to enter a credit note in Xero, but this time we’re going to show you how to enter a business’ financial settings — something every bookkeeper needs to set up for their clients.
Knowing how to set up a business’ financial settings is important as every business will need to enter their financial information (such as the GST collection method, frequency of GST calculation, PAYG withheld, and so forth). As a bookkeeper, all of this is probably familiar to you, given that MYOB, too, requires this information in order to produce accurate reports. That being said, there are some differences between how you enter this information into MYOB and Xero, and in this training video we break it down for you:
Xero is currently one of the most straightforward, yet powerful pieces of accounting software and fast becoming a major rival to MYOB for its simplicity of use. Check out our new Xero training course. We also provide an online training course in cloud-based accounting program, Reach as well as our flagship MYOB training course.
At EzyLearn we are constantly refreshing the content of all our courses, such as our MYOB training course and our Xero training course — which we have recently added to our suite of online training products. Xero is the cloud-accounting software that is fast becoming one of MYOB’s key competitors. So that you can benefit from all the new information that is always emerging about being a bookkeeper and running your own bookkeeping business (or doing the books for someone else’s business) we want to share with you the following video about how to enter a credit note in Xero:
Where Xero Differs from MYOB
If you’re familiar with MYOB, then you know that when you enter or approve a transaction in MYOB, you can still delete it from the system at a later stage — in the event you need to give a customer a refund, for instance.
In Xero, however, you can’t delete a transaction once it’s been approved. In one sense, this is great for auditing purposes as you can see everything that’s occurred in the account over the past month or quarter or year. But it also means putting through credit notes, which in MYOB is notoriously hard.
The fact that pretty much everything in Xero is easier to do than in MYOB, including entering a credit note, is one key reason why Xero is fast becoming one of MYOB’s biggest rivals. Again, we invite you to check out our new Xero training course. EzyLearn also offers courses in other cloud-based accounting programs, such as Reach.
If you spent money on Christmas pressies recently, you’re a small part in the continual climb of online trading in this country. Did you know that in 2012, the value of online trading in Australia reached $237 billion dollars? This represents a 25 percent increase year-on-year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This increase in online revenue reflects the growing number of small businesses moving their operations online, either in part or entirely — and it’s largely thanks to new technologies facilitating e-commerce for small business.
The Growth of Online Businesses
Prior to 2006 the online marketplace was all but monopolised by the eBays and Amazons, organisations that had the resources to create the necessary infrastructure needed to allow customers to shop entirely online. After 2006, when we first moved our MYOB training courses online, offering a completely online shopping experience was just starting to gain popularity among the small players like ourselves; in the years since, it’s now pretty much become the norm.
As platforms like WordPress have made it possible to create and maintain a website without any design or HTML knowledge, theme clubs like Woo Themes, which provide web-themes to suit a range of different business types, now even include ecommerce plugins that can be linked with a PayPal account.
By offering you services online, you’re opening yourself up to an entirely global customer base, allowing you to offer new or different services than you did before. Since we moved our business online, we’ve also been able to build on our business — this year we added the highly popular Small Business Management Course to our suite of training courses, for example.
For some businesses, moving online is more of a necessity, a way to stay competitive in a world with ever-evolving technologies. For example, new cloud accounting software like Reach (and we offer a course in Reach Accounting too) makes it easier for small businesses to manage their own books, without needing the services of a bookkeeper.
For many bookkeepers this could spell doom and gloom, or it could provide them with the opportunity to venture into the business of training people on how to manage their own books. As a bookkeeper looking to extend their services into training as well, by setting up a website with an e-commerce facility, you could partner with us to sell vouchers to our training courses.
With a share of $237 billion up for grabs, now is a good time to consider offering your services online, particularly when it’s become so darn easy! We even offer WordPress training courses, which covers setting up ecommerce, so you’ve no excuse for missing out!