A mortgage for your home is a huge debt, particularly for those living in the swelling capital cities with soaring house prices. The pro and cons of buying your own house and living in it are:
You don’t pay capital gains tax on a property you live in, but
You can’t claim the interest component of your loan
The big problem with this is the interest charge – you can’t claim the cost of it yet it’s a massive component of each and every payment you make on your mortgage. You’d need your house price to go up at least at the interest rate you are paying to make it a good investment – and right now you’d be doing fine (perhaps except in Perth now).
Bigger payments reduce the interest paid
Our Microsoft Excel Training Course now includes an Excel spreadsheet file that will help you see just how much money you’d save if you paid even a small amount off extra each month!
You can use the mortgage comparison file to compare two mortgages, make extra payments or even shorten the term of the loan to see how much you’d need to pay each month if you want to pay your mortgage off quicker.
I don’t want to turn this into a financial education blog, but there are several reasons to open this spreadsheet and start seeing the resulting figures to workout the best way to allocate the money you earn. Interest rates are at record lows, house prices ‘may’ be peaking, some people say that Australian banks are so highly leveraged to the residential property market that they’ll need to hold more capital reserves.
Either way you look at it, why not use your Microsoft Excel skills and play with some calculations to see how much better off you could be if you are financially prudent now. You can also use this Microsoft Excel file to do a stress test and see how much your mortgage would be if interest rates do go up as many people expect they will.
Free Microsoft Word Course (or Xero Accounting) when you enrol in Excel Certificate Course
Note that if you enrol into Microsoft Excel Courses and choose the certificate option you’ll receive a BONUS course in either Microsoft Word (to create a professional resume) or Xero Accounting! Read our BONUS course offer announcement.
It’s been a surprising year this year for our Xero Training Courses. Xero must be doing something right with their marketing and strategy because we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of students enrolling for this course.
I was just speaking with one of our students only recently and she mentioned that of all the software programs she uses (and she uses them all) that Xero makes bookkeeping so easy that some of her clients who’ve gone onto it have reduced the number of hours that they employ her!
[quote]It’s a scary thought if you are an independent contractor who doesn’t have a professional services agreement in place for regular work with their clients, but it’s also a sign of the times for bookkeepers in the cloud (online) software era.[/quote]
The biggest reason for the ease of use? Bank Feeds. See below for our free Xero course offer..
Do Bookkeepers Need to Change What They Do?
I recently wrote about content marketing and whether a bookkeeper is someone who can discuss or even recommend this service to the people they work for. The best way to think about this is how the bookkeeper role works in many companies, for example, do small businesses look for a bookkeeper who can provide a wider range of services than just bookkeeping? It’s common for a bookkeeper to work in the administration areas of a small business because finance and administration go hand in hand and it’s common for contractors who understand cloud based services to delve into and explore other cloud based services.
I was speaking to another bookkeeper who is a Registered BAS Agent about her website and online marketing and she was telling me about all these fantastic things she was doing to promote her own business.
[quote]After talking to her for an hour I started thinking that she is a good person to talk to about Internet marketing – and that perhaps she starts offering these services to her clients too![/quote]
In the end it often depends on the size of a bookkeepers clients and the type of work they want to do. When you develop your bookkeeping and accounting skills you become more valuable as an accounts contact, particularly as a Registered BAS Agent, however you can become more of a small business administrator if you are aware of how to manage many different parts of the business.
It’s a Great Time for Free Xero Courses with MYOB Course enrolment
Sorry, I digress.
[box type=”tick” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]What I really wanted to announce was our new fantastic special offer of a free Xero course or Microsoft Word course when you enrol into a Microsoft Excel or MYOB Training Course with EzyLearn.[/box]
Xero is great to know if you want to delve deeper into the various software programs available to do bookkeeping (and a great tool to offer if you want to operate a bookkeeping business from home). Microsoft Word is a great program to master if you want to create documents for yourself or the business you work for and the tool of choice for creating a great resume so you can get that next job you’re going for.
9 Microsoft Excel Training Courses from Beginners to Advanced for One Price
Most students know about us because of our online MYOB Training Courses (5 courses for the price of 1) but we have a fantastic offer for Microsoft Excel Training Courses where we include every course from Excel Beginners, Excel Intermediate and Excel Advanced for one low price.
We create our own courses so we have the perfect combination of:
Training Videos (where we use the exercise included with the course to demonstrate how to use all the features of Microsoft Excel),
Training Workbooks (where we lay out the exercises in a step-by-step approach so you can practise every new skill at your own pace and in your own time – even without internet access),
Knowledge Review Tests to make sure you remember the most important aspects of each training course and can receive a certificate of completion (if you enrol for that option)
Microsoft Excel Training Course Certificate to demonstrate the completion of your course
Worksheets, Charts and Databases
Our Microsoft Excel Training Courses will teach you about ALL of these uses for Microsoft Excel and provide you with dozens of files to learn, practise and even use in your own home or business.
[quote]Charts or Graphs are visual tools that can make mundane data interesting and useful to demonstrate patterns.[/quote]
Excel charts are based on data that is entered into a worksheet but can also be produced from more advanced tools like Pivot tables.
Charts are introduced in our Microsoft Excel Beginners Courses, along with worksheets and databases and it is covered in more detail in the Intermediate Microsoft Excel Training Courses AND in the Advanced Microsoft Excel Training Courses that include pivot tables.
[box type=”tick” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]We even include the example of how we used enrolment data from 2003-2004 to find out the best time of the day and day of the week to offer our class-based Microsoft Excel Training Courses when we had our Sydney Training Centre in Dee Why.[/box]
12 Months or Lifetime Course Access
One of the fantastic things about operating an online training business is we can give students as much access as they need even LIFETIME course access. We can do this because we use a LMS (Learning Management System) called Moodle that is used by well regarded universities around the world (as well as many more humble training organisations like ours.
When we operated a class-based training centre we offered students free repeats so they could refresh their Microsoft Excel skills if they didn’t use the software for a while after their course – now we can offer unlimited access to all courses for 12 months or LIFETIME access.
No Need to Choose Between Beginners Intermediate or Advanced Excel Courses – you get them all
A skills assessment is the normal procedure a HR manager puts their employees through to understand how much their staff know and where they need to improve. It’s also the assessment that students used to go through with us over the phone when they had to decide between the different skill levels of courses (Beginners, Intermediate or Advanced), but because we include EVERYTHING in our online course there is no need to perform a skills assessment.
You can bone up on any Excel basics, reinforce your existing skills and hone some new skills because all courses are included when you enrol into Microsoft Excel with EzyLearn!
They’re competing with Xero and we wrote about the fierce competition looming against MYOB in 2010 when Craig Winkler (the man who build MYOB into the success it become now being a significant shareholder in Xero).
What made bookkeeping exciting to so many more people?
Bookkeeping became exciting, in large part, because of the flexibility it offered busy people wanting more control over their working lives, and busy parents trying to juggle priorities.
We could create a content marketing strategy about how cloud accounting makes bookkeeping faster and easier for small business, while also making it possible for parents to work closer to home (or at the family home), performing bookkeeping tasks and avoiding traffic, congestion and time you never get back commuting.
I should also confess that, at the time, I didn’t realise how important AND time consuming content marketing would be. Every blog post takes at least an hour!
You may ask how what appears to be a relatively simple blog post can take that long? In reality, a well researched blog post, including topic research, finding images, finding the right page(s) to link to can take several hours and that’s what we’re going to share in our soon-to-be-launched Content Marketing Course & Services.
Why does it take so long to write a blog post?
If it were the case of just writing some sentences, it wouldn’t take that long at all. But what’s the point of that?
I’m not going to insult people, particularly people who have proven that they take the time to read my blogs on a regular basis, with poor quality, rushed content.
Furthermore, everything I write relates to something else we do and it involves:
Referencing our own landing pages for the services we provide, and
Linking to relevant blogs that I’ve written.
Getting found: Optimising your blog posts for Google
I haven’t even mentioned the time and effort in optimising each and EVERY blog post for the keywords that are important to us. That involves:
Relevant landing pages
Keywords in headings
Outsourcing blog writing to the Philippines, India or the Ukraine?
Tempting isn’t it? The thought that you can get someone to write a great blog post for your business for $2-3 per hour!
I mean in one day you could get all your writing done and then just schedule the blog posts to be published in something like your WordPress Blog over the next month or two. But it’s not that easy it is?
We are in an age where just stringing some words and sentences together isn’t going to get any one to pay much attention, particularly if there is a hint of broken English or disconnect with the topic. And anyway, if you’re going to write content you need to be an expert don’t you? Who wants to read some words that have just been sprayed onto a page because they have relevant keywords?
Content Marketing Strategy — who is the reader?
Like many tasks involved in small business, the most important part of the work is creating the Content Marketing Strategy; the plan for:
Topics that will interest your readers and potential customers
The keywords to be used in those articles (blogs)
The landing pages that will convert potential customers into customers
Some of these components have nothing to do with the intended reader, but if your content marketing is going to be effective you’ll have to have a clear description of your reader in your head — I like to give them a name, imagine how many children they have, where they live, why they’re using my products/services, who their friends are, how they are going to talk about our company etc.
A wise old business owner I use to speak with regularly kept asking me the question, “Who is your customer, Steve?” This relates to everything. It relates to content marketing, but it also relates to when our courses are available, how we combine several features into one offer, how we try to do more for that market, like find other ways for them to benefit by using our service, hence National Bookkeeping!
For most people it’s because they’re looking for bookkeeping work or want to start a bookkeeping business. Finding out as much as possible about why our students do our courses enables us to develop products (and write content about) what they need.
Join our Bookkeeping Directory TODAY
We partner with a bookkeeping directory which is aimed at helping people (our students primarily) find bookkeeping work or start a bookkeeping business. It’s also a great way for small businesses to find bookkeepers who are close to them.
$197 Beginners to Advanced Microsoft Excel Course includes Exercise Files
One of the best ways of learning how to use a program is to use that program during your training. Some people can sit with programs like Microsoft Excel and learn by trying something out and making mistakes and then trying again.
[box type=”tick”]We’ve discovered that Microsoft Excel course students want to work with real world files in a logical step-by-step method that uses the exercise files for the basic skills and then keep using that file for the more advanced skills.[/box]
By the end you’ll have a powerful Microsoft Excel spreadsheet using advanced skills and because you learnt in a logical and methodical way, using gradually more complicated tools, you’ll have learnt most of the Microsoft Excel skills you’ve wanted and won’t even notice the time go by.
Real World Use of Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets
The main uses for Microsoft Excel are as a:
Worksheet that enables you to lay out information in a logical fashion and then perform calculations with that data
Database that lists all of the information in a tabular format that can then be filtered and manipulated into a format that can be used in mail merges etc, and
Charts and graphs that visually present the information in a worksheet or table so that we humans can make sense of the information
Here are some of the ways that we use Microsoft Excel for our training business.
Present information for use in newspaper ads
In Microsoft Excel Course 303 we look at formulas and formatting and one exercise file we share with students and an example of what’s possible using Excel is the artwork we created for the newspaper ads for our courses at our training centres in Sydney. The table structure of Excel enables us to lay the information out precisely and if we need to change the dates
What costs us the most money
Yes, you can see the costs of running a business in a simple table, but when you put it in a chart you can visually see the differences in costs and in our 305 course on charting we’ll show you how to create the various different types of pie, line and bar charts as well as many other types. You’ll learn how to format the charts to make certain areas stand out and you’ll learn how to demonstrate trends.
Budgets and forecasting
It’s great when you have historical information to work with because you can spend a lot of time working out percentages, margins, budgets etc to try to figure out how you will go in the future. We include many exercise files in Microsoft Excel Course 306, including files to help you:
Maintain a household (or business budget)
Calculate sales margins and commissions for sales people (we have several different versions of this file to demonstrate how the file should look at the various stages of creating it).
Create a price list (including all wholesale product costings – that will be hidden from view)
Making the right decisions
When we operated our training centres in Sydney we spent a lot of our time scheduling courses. We had to allocate training rooms, roster on our great trainers, print training materials and we needed to know when people where coming to courses. We discovered that most people who wanted to learn Microsoft Excel did a night class. We had these variables to work with:
What days people had come to these courses in the past
The time of the day that students had enrolled into these courses: morning, midday, evening or weekend.
Different training methods (class-based and Flexible Learning)
By discovering the best days and times that students had enrolled into courses from the past we were able to better schedule our courses to get the most students. It means we didn’t need to cancel courses.