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Why are there More Expense Tracking Apps for Xero than MYOB?

Less complicated accounting software, like Xero, connects better with mobile apps

accounting-apps-that-link-with-xero-and-quickbooks
The robust nature of MYOB can make it harder to link with mobile apps that track your expenses and cash flow and the like.

WE RECENTLY PUBLISHED A blog examining the different expense tracking apps you can connect with Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks, but during our research it became clear that most expense apps integrate with Xero or QuickBooks, but not MYOB.

That’s not to say there are no expense apps that integrate with MYOB. There are. Receipt Bank is one, Squirrel Street is another, and there are probably a lot more on the MYOB marketplace (or add-ons page). Probably the best expense tracking application we found is ExpenseManager, and it only integrates with MYOB.

MYOB is a robust, yet complicated system

As anyone who’s ever used MYOB can attest, it’s a complicated piece of software to navigate, even if it is a robust one. When Xero came along, it aimed to be both robust and easy-to-use, and for the most part it succeeded (it’s probably not as easy as QuickBooks, but then QuickBooks isn’t quite as robust).

Behind the scenes, there’s also a lot of complicated code driving MYOB that’s not easy to integrate with, unlike QuickBooks and Xero which rely on third-party integrations to deliver payroll and other services, so Xero and QuickBooks can keep the cost of their platforms down.

MYOB is used by accountants and bookkeepers

MYOB doesn’t really go after to same market that Xero and QuickBooks do (small and micro businesses), which is reflected in MYOB’s price. It’s aimed at medium sized businesses, which employ accountants and bookkeepers, and that’s not really the market expense apps like Expensify and Xpenditure are targeting.

Xero is one of our most popular training courses

That’s why Xero has become one of our most popular training courses. It’s robust and once you understand the principles of bookkeeping, fairly easy to use. And it integrates with a tonne of third party applications developed to make the life of the small business owner much easier and more efficient.

Keep an eagle eye on your expenses by using Xero and an expense app, and you’ll be able to see precisely where your business is the most profitable and where it’s not, so you can modify it accordingly.

***

Our Xero training courses will show you have to track expenses in Xero and how to connect third party apps to your Xero account. You can also brush up your MYOB skills or learn how to use MYOB with our MYOB online training course, incorporating 5 courses and 12 months’ access — all for one low cost. Visit our website for more information covering our ONE LOW COST for ALL LEVELS course options.


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Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses. 


 

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Top 3 Expense Applications for Xero, QuickBooks and MYOB

Get your financial software working harder

best-apps-for-myob-xero-quickbooks
There are a number of apps which link with Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks to help you closely and seamlessly track ALL your business expenses.

WE PREVIOUSLY WROTE ABOUT using Expensify and Xero to do the grunt work of your account reconciliations. We’ve also touched on how Expensify works for retail shops, online shops and hospitality businesses.

This time we’re looking at other expense applications that not only integrate with Xero, but other platforms like MYOB and QuickBooks, too. (For the record, every transaction Expensify does with Xero, it also does with QuickBooks; and also for the record, we not only provide online training in Xero [all levels for one low cost] but MYOB and Quickbooks too.)

Xpenditure (QuickBooks, Xero, Fresh Books)

It’s a little more expensive than Expensify, but you also get a little more bang for your buck. From around $4 a month, you can scan 200 receipts per month, plus all of Xpenditure’s core features, such as expense rules, real time reporting, accounting integration, and mileage tracking. Speaking of which, Xpenditure tracks your mileage using Google Maps, which as discussed previously, isn’t the the most accurate way to do it.

However, it does calculate the estimated cost of each trip using the current “mileage rate” — or kilometre rate for Australians — set by the Tax Office. It’s mobile app, however, only has an average 1 star rating in the Australian Apple App Store, while it’s currently rates at 3.5 stars in the Google Play store, so it appears it’s best served on an Android platform.

Abacus (Xero, QuickBooks)

At $9 a month for up to 50 users, it’s on the pricier side for small businesses. And although Abacus lets you give your accountant or tax agent free access to your Expensify account, it doesn’t really make up for the higher price tag (we happen to think the point of an expense app is that you only need to give your accountant or tax agent access to your accounting software).

Yes, it includes all the standard features, such as receipt scanning, real time reporting, multi-level approval workflows, and automatic approvals — plus, an EzyLearn favourite: automatic direct deposits for reimbursing employees once an expense is approved — but features like mileage tracking are absent. It’s rated 4 stars on the Google Play app store, but unrated in the Apple App Store.

Squirrel Street (Xero, QuickBooks, MYOB)

Formerly known as Shoeboxed (they explain name change on their website), Squirrel Street is a rather expensive way to track your expenses and store your receipts. Plans start at $26.95 a month for 50 receipt uploads and 2-5 day turnaround, which explains the steep price: This is a software application that relies on manual labour, rather than machine learning, to import expense data. As a consequence, there’s no other features of note — no real time reporting, no expense reports, no automatic approvals.

There is also a “forever free” five document per month DIY plan available. Of course, they are an Australian owned and operated business, but it’s still not the best service for your dollar. It’s rated 4 stars on the Apple App Store and 4.5 stars on Google Play.

By keeping an eagle eye on your expenses using an expense app that integrates with your cloud accounting software, you’ll be able to see precisely where your business is most profitable and where it’s not so you can modify it accordingly.

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Our online courses in Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks will show you how to track expenses and connect third party apps to your account. Read more about cloud accounting.


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Creating and managing databases is included as part of our Advanced Microsoft Excel training courses — and you receive access to ALL OF OUR COURSES, including ALL SKILLS LEVELS for ONE LOW PRICE. You can even start your Excel journey with our FREE Beginners’ Excel Course Workbook. Read more about our beginners’, intermediate and advanced Excel training courses on our website, or enrol to start learning by 5pm tomorrow!


 

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Financial Reporting with Expensify and Xero

How Expensify can link with Xero

learn xero online training learning videos
Are you deducting everything you could be? Perhaps you need an app to help you.

WE’VE TALKED IN THE past about what a life saver daily reconciliations can be, and why some businesses could benefit from reconciling their account daily, twice weekly, or at least, on a more regular basis than once a month.

The expenses your business incurs form deductions that reduce your taxable income, so making sure you’re recording them accurately — and then storing them securely too — is an important part of your business remaining compliant.

An online software program like Xero will enable you to enter your expenses and transactions; and you can also use an app to automate the process for you, like Expensify.

Expensify for accurate record keeping

The way Expensify works is pretty simple. You connect it to your bank or credit card accounts, and it will import transactions into its app, which you then approve as business expense and it send the data through to your connected accounting software — in this case, Xero.

If all your expenses were electronic, Expensify wouldn’t provide much more value than the bank feeds feature in Xero. But Expensify does more than just that.

It can, with impressive accuracy, import expense data from any hardcopy receipt — even handwritten ones — by taking a picture on your smartphone, sending them to a dedicated email address for upload, or importing them straight from Dropbox or Evernote.

Once a receipt has been uploaded to Expensify, it stores it in the cloud, so you don’t have to keep the physical copy.

Accurate vehicle mileage

The best feature, which anyone who uses their vehicle for business purposes will appreciate, is how it tracks mileage. You have two options: input the distance you travelled by typing it into the app, or using the app’s built-in GPS.

You simply tell Expensify to start tracking your mileage and it will, using its own motion sensors and GPS. This is different (and better) than other apps that work out the distance you travelled using routes in Google Maps after the fact.

Expensify would be better if it automatically detected car motion without having to open the app at the start of your journey, like the QuickBooks Self Employed app does. Of course, that also results in many unnecessary travel trips — taxi, Uber and bus rides, lifts from friends, as well as your own personal trips — showing up in the QuickBooks app.

Create expense reports

Expensify also lets you create expense reports to collate expenses together. This is extremely useful for businesses that want to see expenses associated with their projects, bill their clients for expenses, or for businesses with employees who need to be reimbursed for their expenses.

Rather than manually collating expenses together and matching them to employee trips, work trips, customers or projects, Expensify does it for you, and then imports it straight into Xero as either a bill or invoice.

An expense app like Expensify will help your business reconcile its accounts regularly and more accurately, and will also ensure you’re compliant by storing your receipts securely in the cloud.

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Our Xero training courses will show you how to track expenses in Xero and how to connect third party apps to your Xero account. We provide training in ALL SKILLS LEVELS for ONE LOW COST.


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Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses. 


 

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Are You Making these GST Mistakes in Your Bookkeeping?

Being Jack of All Trades can land you in hot water with BAS

find a bas agent in your local area
Don’t submit inaccurate financial documents by trying to do everything yourself by way of bookkeeping.

IT’S PERHAPS EASIER TO do your own bookkeeping these days than it used to be; particularly if you’re using a cloud accounting program like MYOBXero or QuickBooks, which are among the easiest, yet robust, accounting applications currently on the market.

But even so, there are many aspects of Australian tax that, while accounting software makes it possible to carry them out yourself (like business activity statements, for example), it’s not a good idea unless you really know what you’re doing. Here are the three GST mistakes nearly every business owner makes in their bookkeeping.

Claiming GST twice

This is most common when a business has vehicles, machinery, plant equipment, etcetera that are either being leased or are under hire purchase. The business owner’s accountant will typically claim the full GST component for in the first quarter that the business purchased the equipment, but confusion generally sets in when it comes to recording regular monthly payments.

Very often the business owner will record it as GST or a capital expense, and because both show up in their BAS reporting sheet, they end up claiming the GST twice.

Recording GST for all expenses

There are many expenses that do attract GST. They include:

  • Motor vehicle registrations
  • Bank charges
  • ASIC fees
  • Paypal transaction fees
  • Interest and director fees / drawings.

Claiming GST credits on purchases from suppliers not registered for GST

Not all business owners are registered for GST, and although they should state somewhere on their invoice that no GST has been charged, oftentimes they’ll leave you to assume that. As a general rule of thumb, if the invoice doesn’t show an amount in the GST column, there’s a good chance the supplier isn’t registered. To make sure, though, visit the ABN Lookup Page and search their ABN.

Accounting software is easier, but Aussie tax remains as complicated as ever

Even though MYOBXero and QuickBooks are among the most user friendly accounting software applications on the market, Australia’s tax laws remain as complicated as they’ve ever been. So while you can do your own data entry (reconciling your bank statements), it’s a good idea to hire a BAS or Tax agent to look after the more complicated aspects of your tax and BAS requirements.

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Want to learn or brush up your cloud accounting and bookkeeping skills?

At EzyLearn we offer online training courses to help you up-skill and find employment. Choose from our range of online accounting software courses, as well as business start up and management courses, to marketing and sales courses — or update and further your skills in a range of Microsoft Office programs (ExcelPowerPointWord) or social media and WordPress web design). Many of our courses come with a ONE LOW COST for ALL SKILLS LEVEL option. 


Need help finding a BAS or TAX Agent?

find a local bookkeeper

National Bookkeeping is an online directory of local bookkeepers looking to add to their customers. Visit National Bookkeeping to find a suitable and experienced person available to work in your area, or able to work anywhere in the cloud. Alternatively, if you are a bookkeeper looking to expand your client list or find contract work, you can register and become part of our network for free


 

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A Close-Up Look at a Listed Company and How it’s Performing

We show you what financial data really reveals

how to read financial reports
There’s more to profit and loss than meets the eye: Sometimes a company’s losses outweigh its revenue, but it doesn’t mean that company is in a bad position.

AS A BUSINESS OWNER you’ll need to run regular financial reports (never more so than at the end of financial year) to ensure your business is in good shape. Understanding what each element of a financial report means is critical to your business’s financial health.

You’ll learn to run and interpret financial reports in our Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks training courses, but we’re just going to look at a couple of areas of most importance.

Close up: BuyMyPlace’s financial results

BuyMyPlace is an ASX-listed service that allows property owners to sell their properties without a real estate agent. Because it’s a publicly-listed company, they have to make all of their financials public too.

As such, we got hold of their most recent financial results for the first half of financial year 16/17.

It’s not the most detailed financial report, probably because the company itself is still in its early stages — there’s actually a good argument against early stage ventures listing on the stock exchange, but that’s fodder for another post.

Revenue vs. losses for the period

The good news for BuyMyPlace is that its revenue increased 129 percent on the prior comparative period (PCP) to $1 million for H1 FY16/17, up from $133,518 in H1 FY15/16.

That’s an impressive leap in revenues in just 12 months, however, the BuyMyPlace financial results also reveal that the business made an even greater loss of $1.7 million, an increase of 1205 percent on the PCP.

A closer look at the report shows that, while the losses increased more than a thousand percent, it was due to an increased investment in marketing and advertising — principally on TV spots which totalled $517,723 compared with $98,578 the year prior.

This resulted in an 80 percent increase in the number of listings on the site (that is, the number of people using BuyMyPlace to sell their home), while order value increased 27 percent (people who were choosing more expensive packages).

BuyMyPlace is in good health

Although this business recorded losses that outweighed its revenue, BuyMyPlace is still in good financial health.

The report also shows that it has over $4 million in cash and cash equivalents, and only a little over $600,000 in liabilities. Although the liabilities have increased, it’s not due to taking on any additional debt — indeed, BuyMyPlace has paid down all of its loans — but was instead due to a 786 percent increase in staff salaries and, as a consequence, an increase in staff provisions and benefits — i.e., sick and annual leave.

Strategy for future growth

Not many homeowners actually want to sell their properties themselves — one estimate puts it at around 7 percent of the total number of homeowners. However, most people do want greater clarity around how the process works (including fees and commissions) — even if they still want assistance selling their homes.

Perhaps realising this, or perhaps in response to increased competition in the fixed-fee real estate services (see: Purplebricks, Settl, etc), BuyMyPlace also launched its own full service package, giving homeowners access to a real estate agent to sell their home for a fixed fee.

This will enable BuyMyPlace to capture a greater volume of homeowners, who are looking for a low cost alternative to sell their homes, but who don’t want to do it entirely themselves.

The other strategy for growth: increasing listing depth revenues.

At some point, BuyMyPlace will stop growing its market share. Or, in other words, the market of people looking for a low-cost option to sell their home will be tapped out.

But as a business, and as a publicly listed one, BuyMyPlace will need to keep growing its revenue, not merely keep it steady. It’ll need to do as other real estate services, such as REA Group and Domain have done, and increase listing revenue depths, by selling more expensive packages to customers.  

BuyMyPlace will need to find additional value it can sell to customers, without necessarily increasing its own expenses to do so — or putting up its prices, which a business can usually only do once it’s cornered about 65 percent of the market, and BuyMyPlace is a long way off that yet.

***

That’s a lesson for every business owner out there. And it’s something we cover in our online Business StartUp Course.

You’ll learn how to run and understand the financial reports for your business in our Xero and MYOB training courses. You can also learn about strategies for business growth in our Business StartUp Course. Or for more information, visit our website.


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Learn Microsoft Excel from scratch or brush up your Excel skills, at your own pace, with our affordable Excel online training courses — where you get THE LOT (that’s 9 courses in total) for ONE LOW PRICE — everything included! Volume corporate discounts are available.


 

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Paying Several Employees With One Payroll Payment

MYOB and Xero now make payroll easier to manage

myob and xero online payroll management
Struggling to manage your online payroll management? Our Xero and MYOB courses will help you get the most out of this software so you can manage payroll in house.

MANY COMPANIES OUTSOURCE PAYROLL because it contains many moving parts. For instance, there’s the payment of wages each week or fortnight or month, sure. But there’s also superannuation contributions, PAYG obligations, annual and sick leave accrual. 

Fortunately, most accounting apps like Xero and MYOB have made payroll easier to manage, particularly if you only have a handful of employees.

Superannuation clearing houses

Nearly every major cloud accounting package has a connected superannuation clearing house within its payroll package. Xero and MYOB are both SuperStream compliant, a government initiative to help business owners tell which accounting software apps will let them make electronic superannuation payments. And QuickBooks uses a partner payroll system which is also SuperStream compliant.

Batch wage payments

Electronic superannuation payments are one way that paying staff is made easier, but paying a dozen or so employees individually each week or fortnight can be tedious. Fortunately, both Xero and MYOB have a ‘pay run’ function that lets you make batch wage payments. This eliminates the tedium of paying employees individually, as well as the potential for error.

Accounting software calculates entitlements

MYOB, Xero and QuickBooks, if you’ve set up your employees correctly and have the appropriate payroll subscription, will also calculate your employees’ sick and annual leave entitlements, also reducing the time it takes to process payroll and the potential for error.

Our MYOB training courses and our Xero training courses both cover payroll, where you’ll learn how to set up employees correctly, process wage payments and more. Using a cloud accounting program for payroll, saves time and reduces errors. Visit our website for more information.

EzyLearn courses now include real life case studies

managing ad hoc payrollAt EzyLearn we are constantly refreshing the content of our online training courses. Relevant to those of you doing Payroll, might be our Excel Ad Hoc Payroll case study which is part of our Intermediate Excel Online Training Courses. Where possible, we draw on real-life case studies as examples, to help you learn, and apply your skills, in a relevant way that makes sense. Visit our Micro Courses page to learn more.


 

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MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks: Which Suits Your Business Best?

Which is the Pick of the Bunch?

xero myob or quickbooks which is best
It’s a competitive accounting software market place out there … which is the pick of the bunch for you?

IN A PREVIOUS POST, we highlighted some of the biggest differences between QuickBooks and MYOB

However Xero is also a serious competitor to MYOB (and QuickBooks to a lesser degree).

So let’s take a look at the different capabilities of each accounting application and the kinds of businesses they best suit.

Continue reading MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks: Which Suits Your Business Best?

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Reckon One or MYOB?

Just What Do We Reckon?

find-a-good-bookkeeper
Reckon One was the original distributor of QuickBooks.

Not so long ago, we looked at the major differences between MYOB and QuickBooks. We also explored some of the other benefits of Quickbook more generally over MYOB, but Reckon One, which used to distribute QuickBooks in Australia before striking out on their own with their cloud accounting software, is also becoming a major player in the cloud accounting space for small businesses.

We thought we would take a look at how Reckon One stacks up compared with MYOB, which is still the market leader in Australia and the mostly widely used account software application among accountants.   

Reports

The reporting functions in Reckon One are extremely powerful. This is true of MYOB, as well, but with one major difference: Reckon One has the ability to customise and save the reports you’d like to run. This is a big time-saver, as it renders all your reports just one click away, rather than several. If you’re using a bookkeeper, they’ll be able to run your reports for you the first time, and then you’ll be able to go in and generate them as often as you like afterwards.

Payroll

Both products offer a very good payroll system for businesses that need it (Reckon One, at the time of writing, charges an additional $3/month to turn this feature on), while unlimited payroll comes standard with the MYOB Essentials Unlimited Payroll plan. Both products are also SuperStream Compliant, so if you’re looking for a stable, yet flexible, payroll system, either products are a good choice. Of course, depending on your business’s other needs, you may lean more toward the cheaper Reckon One option.

User Experience

MYOB AccountRight, even to this day, looks dated. The MYOB Essentials platform, however, has a much cleaner interface, as does Reckon One. The product you choose will depend on the size and needs of your business, the features you require, and who will, primarily, be using the software. MYOB is famously more difficult to use compared with Xero, QuickBooks or virtually any other accounting software. Indeed, everything you can do in Reckon One takes about three or four more clicks to perform in MYOB, so, again, it’s a matter of personal choice. There are many Apple users who can’t understand why people still use IBM computers, just as there are many IBM users who can’t understand why people use Apple products.

In selecting a cloud accounting package for your business, remember not to choose solely based on price. Make a list of the needs of your business and the functions you’ll require, and then select the accounting package that suits your needs the most. It’s also a good idea to speak with your bookkeeper before making a choice. 

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Right now, for a limited time, we’re offering over $300 off a number of our online courses — we also have new great courses in QuickBooks online daily transactions and, if you’ve ever struggled with filling in a timeline of posts on social media, or you want to start promoting yourself or your business in social media, try our Digital Business and Social Media Marketing Courses.

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Is QuickBooks Better than MYOB for a Small Business?

How Does QuickBooks Really Stack Up Against MYOB?

compare QuickBooks and MYOB
QuickBooks is a much simpler accounting package to use than its rival, MYOB.

WE RECENTLY INTRODUCED our QuickBooks Online Daily Transactions Course because we can see that QuickBooks is fast becoming a serious and respected rival to the more established accounting software packages.

We recently wrote about how QuickBooks uses the SuperStream-compliant service KeyPay to deliver payroll services because QuickBooks itself isn’t actually SuperStream compliant. Currently, the payroll feature in QuickBooks is free for all Small Business plans, as the company further positions itself as the low-cost accounting software option for Aussie small businesses.

Continue reading Is QuickBooks Better than MYOB for a Small Business?

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Video: Receive an Automatically Discounted Price for Online Course Enrolments!

Specials and Summer Training

2016-12-20 How to use the EzyLearn website to get discounts and special pricingIt’s Christmas time and we’ll be open every day (except the public holidays) which means you can make contact with questions or support during your course.

But best of all, we’re offering a fabulous special offer with a saving of over $300. Check out the quick video below which shows you how to get $663 dollars worth of training for just $296a saving of $337!

All you have to do is choose your courses at our Online Course Enrolment page and the discounts will be applied automatically.

Get New Skills for A New Year!

discounted Myob QuickBooks online courseWith the New Year coming fast we find most of our students are looking to change careers and/or up-skill so as to feel confident with their computer skills in job interviews and the like, so our current special offers will train you up to be your best, cheaply. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Choose Microsoft Excel course (12 month’s access, all 9 courses and Certificate).
  2. Scroll down to the discounted courses section to see the Xero Training Course available for $30 less.
  3. Scroll down further to see the Microsoft Word Course (12 month’s access, all 9 courses and Certificate), which is normally $267 is now FREE
  4. Tick the box next to “Yes, I have a discount voucher code” and enter 8881818 to receive a further $70 discount off the Microsoft Excel course!

If you don’t have the time right now, don’t worry, you’ve got 12 months to complete all these courses at your own pace — so just enrol now to get the current special offers.

Watch this video to see how to get the discounts

New Online Courses for the New Year

It’s been a very busy year for new course creation and we’ve just launched two new courses that are all based on new online cloud-based services in bookkeeping and marketing/advertising. Read about them here:

QuickBooks Online

Provide quotes on your tablet computer, convert them to invoices when you get the order and take photographs of your receipts for expenses — works on your smartphone too. These are the features of America’s most popular accounting software program that is now aggressively promoting itself to Australian small businesses.

And what do we think? We believe QuickBooks is good software — find out more about our Intuit QuickBooks Daily Transactions Course.

Our New Digital & Social Media Marketing Course

Facebook and social media online training course
Tired of struggling to post consistently on Facebook and other social media sites? We’ve had a WordPress course for several years to teach you how to create your own website and blog, edit images, and optimise it for search engines (like Google). But if you’ve ever struggled with fleshing out a Facebook Page, or want to start promoting yourself or your business in social media, try our Digital Business and Social Media Marketing Courses.

We show you what you should include on a modern day website as well as including Facebook Page, Content Marketing and Facebook Advertising training (which we used to help Derek Farmer show up on Page 1 in Google for the competitive Cammeray Real Estate Agent search query).

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Most of all, from all of us here at EzyLearn, HAVE a FANTASTIC and SAFE Christmas — doing things you love!

Online computer training Christmas specials_comp

 

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QuickBooks Isn’t SuperStream Compliant, But It Doesn’t Matter!

How QuickBooks Palms Off Payroll

quickbooks superstream compliant
Quickbooks is gaining traction in the Australian marketplace.

I’m a fan of QuickBooks as the functionality is excellent and the cost of the software is still low. I’m really pleased to announce that you can now enrol in our QuickBooks Online Daily Transactions Course — but does QuickBooks fulfil Australian legal obligations to be SuperStream compliant?

The background is that from July 1 this year, all Australian businesses with fewer than 20 employees were required, by law, to be SuperStream compliant. SuperStream is a government initiative to improve the efficiency of Australia’s superannuation system, namely by making superannuation a totally electronic process.

Most cloud-accounting packages that have been developed for the Australian market (such as major applications, like MYOB, Xero, Reckon and so forth, but not smaller apps like Zoho or QuickBooks, which can be used in Australia but don’t interface well with Australian tax procedures) are now all SuperStream compliant, with one exception: QuickBooks.

KeyPay: The Payroll Partner of QuickBooks

Earlier this year, a student contacted us to say that QuickBooks wasn’t listed as being SuperStream compliant on the ATO website. We thought that was strange, because we’d previously spoken to Margaret Carey of Business Eez, who’d confirmed that QuickBooks, along with all the other major cloud-accounting apps, was SuperStream compliant.

So just what’s going on?

As it turned out, QuickBooks itself isn’t listed as being SuperStream compliant because it doesn’t, technically, provide any payroll services. It’s partner, KeyPay, does. KeyPay is owned by an entity called Webscale, and Webscale is SuperStream compliant. It uses ClickSuper as their superannuation clearing house. In other words, although QuickBooks itself isn’t SuperStream compliant, it doesn’t matter because they’re partnered with a payroll company that is SuperStream compliant.

You Can Be SuperStream Compliant for Free

If you’re not using a cloud accounting application that’s SuperStream compliant because you’re using Freshbooks or Zoho, for example, or because you’re not using any account software at all (although, in this case, you need to stop being silly and implement an electronic procedure for managing your accounts now), there are still other, free options to ensure you’re SuperStream compliant.

The ATO’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is free for businesses with fewer than 20 employees and an aggregated annual revenue of under $2 million. You can register your business details with the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House and use it to make super contributions to your employees.

Alternatively, the superannuation fund, AustralianSuper, has its own clearing house, which is free to use for its members (i.e. as a registered employer using AustralianSuper as your default super fund). AustralianSuper’s clearing house, called QuickSuper, allows members to make electronic super payments regardless of the number of employees or whether the employee belongs to another super fund.

Need a Good Local Bookkeeper to Help Manage Your Financials?

National Bookkeeping Online DirectoryWhether you are a bookkeeper keen to expand your client base or perhaps work remotely, or whether you’re a business person needing some vital bookkeeping advice and assistance, check out our newly updated, online National Bookkeeping Directory. Our goal? To match experienced and highly qualified local bookkeepers to local businesses around Australia.

But of course, with cloud accounting technologies, you are not limited to only working locally. Plenty of our bookkeepers and accountants work remotely for clients located all over the country.

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Want to know still more about SuperStream? You can read lots more about SuperStream on our blog.

 

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NEW COURSE: QuickBooks Online Daily Transactions Course

Enrol Now for our Special Priceintuit-quickbooks-accounting-software-training-courses-logo

We’re coming to a rather frantic yet very exciting end to the 2016 calendar year with a whole bunch of new course announcements coming — the first of which is the creation of our QuickBooks Online Daily Transactions Course! It’s currently only $50 so hurry up and enrol now to enrol at this price — it’ll go up soon as we develop new content to beef it up!

I written a lot about Quickbooks Online since Intuit, a MASSIVE accounting software company in the US, started to promote itself directly in Australia after breaking up with Reckon, their local distributor. And why did this happen? Because of the power of cloud accounting for software companies to deal direct with the customer!

Why a New QuickBooks Online Training Course?

Our QuickBooks Online Daily Transactions Course is the result of comparisons we’ve made between the accounting software programs and the belief that this software will start to take a larger chunk of the accounting software market in Australia — if for only one reason: the cost for the software is very low and remains low while they try to win market share. The functionality of QuickBooks is excellent, and as far as navigating and “user experience”, it is far easier and less clunky than having to install a software program on your computer, like you need to do with MYOB!

 

At EzyLearn we use each of these main accounting software programs (MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks) and for me, personally, QuickBooks is the pick of the bunch!

— Steve Slisar, Managing Director, EzyLearn

 

Our course has been created by highly qualified professionals — in this instance, Tracey, our registered BAS agent and Helen, a qualified accountant, so you can feel confident the information is covered thoroughly and precisely. You can view our course prices and enrol now to take advantage of the great price on this new course.

If you’re looking to improve your current skills set or you’d simply like to learn a new one, visit our website for a full list of our training courses and details on how to enrol. If you enrol in any of our MYOB, WordPress or Excel online training courses, you’ll receive Lifetime Membership to our course materials. This means you can stay up-to-date with each new version of software that’s released for no additional cost! What’s stopping you? Enrol today!

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The Secret to an Error-Free BAS Report

What To Do So You Don’t Lose Money When Doing Your BAS

lodging correct business activity statements
Why pay more money to the ATO at your expense? A good bookkeeper may save you money when it comes time to lodge your BAS.

If your business is registered for GST, it means you have to file regular activity statements with the ATO, usually each quarter. A lot of business owners export their Business Activity Statement (BAS) data straight from their accounting software, like MYOB or QuickBooks, and quickly prepare their BAS’ that way. But this is an imprecise method, and one that could be costing you money.

Tracey Marino, an experienced bookkeeper based in Rockingham, WA, knows how important it is that businesses of all sizes keep their Business Activity Statements error-free so as not to end up costing business owners money. 

An Error-Free BAS in 6 Steps

Here’s six steps you can take for an accurate BAS:

  1. Check to ensure all bank, credit card, overdraft, loan, and petty cash accounts are reconciled with the original bank statements at the end of every BAS quarter.
  2. Print your monthly profit and loss (P&L) report for the respective BAS quarter, and check for abnormalities in income or expenditure over the three months. You should also compare this quarter’s P&L report with the P&L report from the previous quarter (in the same financial year), as well as the P&L report from the same quarter in the previous financial year to detect any unexpected transactions.
  3. Print out the balance sheet as at the end of the BAS quarter. Note the balances for the wage and salary, payroll, payable, super expense and payable, and PAYG and GST accounts, and investigate any abnormalities.
  4. Generate the general ledger exceptions report to review any abnormal transactions. This report will indicate any differences in the GST codes for the same types of purchases or sales by comparing the current transactions with previous transactions.
  5. Print your BAS and compare with it with last quarter’s BAS, as well as the BAS from the same quarter of the previous year, and ensure that your GST, PAYG, sales, and purchases are consistent across all three BAS’.
  6. Lodge and pay your BAS on time to avoid penalties, and remember to record the BAS payment in your accounting software.

Although this may appear to be ‘double handling’, in fact, it eliminates double handling by ensuring that the activity statements you lodge with the ATO are correct and error-free. Typically, the mistakes this method turns up are ones that would be of benefit to the ATO and not to the business owner. So rather than give the ATO more money than you need to, make sure you follow this method for an error-free BAS lodgment.

An Experienced Bookkeeper in WA

bookkeeper-rockingham-wa
Tracey Marino is available to provide bookkeeping services in the Rockingham area of WA.

Looking for a reliable and accurate bookkeeper to manage your business’ daily or weekly bookkeeping and accounts, either in the cloud (remotely) or in-person?

Tracey Marino is available to service businesses located in Port Kennedy, Warnbro, Baldivis, Secret Harbour, Golden Bay, Safety Bay, Shoalwater, Rockingham and Cooloongup, WA. Tracey is a an expert in MYOB AccountRight, QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel and can prepare and lodge your company’s BAS, set up credit management systems, along with carrying out all manner of day-to-day accounting functions for small to medium businesses. Find out more about Tracey’s experience at her profile page.

Our National Bookkeeping website has recently undergone a significant upgrade so keep a look out for more stories about featured bookkeepers in forthcoming blogs. Join now and we can feature YOU in our articles too.

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Bad Payers Cost 12 Working Days to Collect $13,200

Credit Management is an Extra Job

credit-management-training-assessment-management-and-enforcementI’ve always believed that as soon as you offer credit you’ve got yourself another business – a credit management business. When we first created our MYOB Daily Transactions course we designed it to take students through the cashflow process of where money goes when it first leaves your bank account and these are the main steps:

  1. Money in the bank (cash asset)
  2. Buy stock (inventory asset)
  3. Products sold on account (accounts receivable asset – Trade Debtors)
  4. Customer pays their account (cash asset)

The interesting part of this business process to me is the marketing (choosing the products, pricing, marketing message and advertising) and the credit management to get the money back. Each of these stages and their tasks carry a certain amount of risk but the credit risk part is actually something you can manage to try to eliminate altogether, but it takes work and a system.

Well the good news is that we’ve created a Credit Management Training Guide that goes through the different parts of your business where you can put measures in place to reduce this risk significantly – even if you are in the trades or building industry.

Credit Management is a Job for Contractors

credit-management-accounts-receivable-payable-and-data-entry-are-jobs-for-contractors-with-their-own-bookkeeping-businessMany tasks in businesses these days is actually contracted out to independent contractors because of the flexibility and credit management is a great example because it can be performed a day a week (for smaller businesses) and it can even be performed by a remote contractor (virtual assistant) working from their own home office. See Credit Management Services at Natbooks! 

Since we’ve started working with local bookkeepers at National Bookkeeping we’ve realised that credit management and daily transactions type work is by far the most common form of task performed by a bookkeeper. The rate of pay for bookkeepers performing this work is generally lower, but it’s a great option for people like working mums or dads who want to fit their work into their children’s school schedules as well as corporate accountants who want to make a start on their own bookkeeping business in their local area.

The corporate accountants or accounts managers we speak with often start performing this work in their new bookkeeping business but as their business grows they fill this position with a contractor of their own. Pre Qualify to join National Bookkeeping

Paypal and Quickbooks

Quickbooks Online is back and they want to beat MYOB and Xero
Stop tearing your hair out chasing money 

Last year I wrote about the joint venture between Quickbooks (Intuit) and Paypal and how they want to help businesses get paid faster. They commissioned a study last year found that Australian small businesses are owed a collective $26 million in unpaid invoices. That’s roughly $13,200 owed to each business at any given time, for which business owners will spend an average of 12 days chasing them each year.

It’s a lot of time and effort to earn that kind of money particularly if you’ve actually already earned it by supplying your products and services!

Check out our Credit Management information page and watch out for the announcement when we include it as a student inclusion for ALL students. We created this guide to help businesses use their accounting software to better manage the credit risk in their business. We’ve included information for builders and contractors about the Security of Payments Act.

 

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BAS Service deadline looming – BAS Audits, self assessment and benchmarks

BAS Service, compliance anxiety and cash-flow

MYOB GST, reporting and BAS training coursesIt’s that crazy time when the end of financial year TAX and quarterly BAS periods combine to cause compliance anxiety for business owners and managers if they don’t have a handle on their bookkeeping processes and accounts. This is often caused by not having the best team available for all the tasks required and I spent some time during the week speaking with Tracey our MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks Trainer from Rockingham in WA about the different levels of bookkeepers and whether they could complete tasks relating to a BAS Service. Here’s some of the information that I thought you’d find useful.

Getting receipts as evidence

The biggest issue that many bookkeepers experience is getting information from business owners, particularly small businesses that are stretched between:

  • the work they need to do every day
  • Keeping and filing the financial records like receipts
  • Getting the financial records to a bookkeeper or accountant

I’ve written in the past about the ways that small businesses file their receipts as well as cloud technology like Shoeboxed (who now seem to prefer selling their services to accountants and bookkeepers and have removed the educational video that demonstrated how the software works!), but Quickbooks Online has a downloadable app that enables business owners to capture a photo of each receipt for each transaction and if business owners utilise this function they can save a lot of money in data entry and evidence of expenses that could be expected as part of a BAS audit by a BAS agent.

BAS Audits, red flags and tricky GST codes

I’ve mentioned in a previous blog that you can hire a cheap bookkeeper to take care of your data entry and only use the services of a more expensive bookkeeper (ie. BAS agent) for purposes of confirmation of expenses and the GST components of these expenses. In this case a simple BAS audit involves witnessing these source documents to confirm that there is no error in calculating the money owed to the ATO. If you’ve had any of the following transactions you’ll probably need to pay close attention to the information in your BAS lodgement and mention them to your bookkeeper:

  • Purchasing a motor vehicle
  • Motor vehicle expenses
  • Real property purchase
  • Any purchase coded as a GST-Free transaction
  • Low value purchases (under $82.50) that are coded as GST free
  • Purchase of second hand trading stock
  • Hire Purchase contracts
  • Local fees and handling charges for imp

Learn more about BAS Audits by BAS Agents and the benchmarking and self assessment that ATO use and recommend

TIP!: Bank feeds can cause more work!

I’ve written a lot about bank feeds in the past and included a blog post about how bank feeds work in MYOB and Xero. Bank feeds can be a real time saver because they automatically bring your bank transaction records into your accounting software, but Tracey mentioned that in MYOB you should bring them in BEFORE you do any reconciliation tasks otherwise you may need to undo any reconciliation work you’ve already done so watch out for that!

Need One-to-One training or a QuickFix on MYOB, Xero or Quickbooks?

We did a lot of one-to-one training when we operated our physical training centres in Sydney and the training was often completed at our training centre (because we had it!). Now I’m thrilled to advise that we’re helping local bookkeepers in your area deliver MYOB and Xero training according to our profession course structures! To learn more visit the National Bookkeeping training page. You’ll also discover that our bookkeepers area also available to fix problems or lack of knowledge with the QuickFix service so check that out.

Coming up..

Here is what we are currently working on and what will soon be published or made available at our LMS.

  • Guide to Credit Management (aspects of a business and your accounting software where you can tighten your credit management processes). We’re creating this guide in conjunction with the local bookkeeper at National Bookkeeping
  • Xero Course training material update (workbooks and videos are being updated and added as we speak so stay tuned for more announcements soon
  • Wholesale training course and partner offer – we’ve beefed up our Enrolment Voucher system to help more business buy cheap courses
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Intuit Quickbooks: take a 70% discount or free trial ultimatum

Intuit Quickbooks sign up ultimatum – clever marketing or a turn off

Intuit Quickbooks Setup Training Course - 5 Sign up for the free trial or get a 70% discount and pay nowI was reviewing the course content for our soon to be released Intuit Quickbooks Setup online training course and noticed the interesting offer that the company makes when you sign up for the free 30 day trial – take the discounted price or lose the offer of a discount!

For their premium online product, Quickbooks Online Plus, that’s a free trial OR the 70% saving of $294.

On the flip side they do offer the ability to cancel at any time. What do you think of that? Feel free to like us on Facebook and share your opinion.

I use MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks and I like Intuit Quickbooks

Intuit Quickbooks Setup Training Course - 6 Share price and enterprise value of Intuit - publisher of QuickbooksCall me a masochist but I believe the best way to be able to use and recommend accounting software is by getting exposed to the programs and how they work by using them yourself – I also think most good bookkeepers should be doing this too.

I confess that I currently use each of these major accounting programs (MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks) and find the Quickbooks Online software very impressive.

Intuit Quickbooks has all the features small businesses expect, including mobile phone apps that make it easy to keep track of receipts using your phone’s camera, for a price that is VERY attractive to small businesses.

Why Intuit Quickbooks can take the Aussie accounting crown

I wrote about the threat that Intuit represent to MYOB and Xero in my blog about whether these two accounting software companies could end up being SMASHED by Intuit in 2014 and if you look at the share price of this company over the last 5 years you can see how they are in a very healthy position (with a valuation just shy of $30 Billion) to maintain strong and constant pressure on the two most widely used accounting software programs. Except for the fact that people don’t like change these are the 3 factors that I think can win Intuit the Accounting software crown in Australia:

  1. Excellent features, including Payroll and bank feeds as basics – they have it all
  2. Great user interface that is easy to use – Xero seems to be trying to emulate parts of the Quickbooks dashboard
  3. Attractive price compared to Xero and MYOB – They constantly have good specials and regular cheaper prices
  4. An App marketing place for project management, point of sale, CRM and other online tools – Intuit have the benefit of being a massive global company with millions of customers (US market leader)

Payroll included for no charge and they’ll convert your current Xero or MYOB data

Payroll has always been a premium feature for MYOB, who earnt significant annual income from businesses who used the software for their payroll and HAD to upgrade to get the new tax tables (even though this was previously a simple file update). Intuit QuickBooks give this to you for their normal subscription prices. The other pain factor for most people is getting the data across from their existing system into Quickbooks and Intuit have sorted that out with a free conversion offer.

When we talk about Quickbooks you should be aware that Quickbooks has always been published by Intuit, but when it was a computer based software program that you had to download, it was distributed in Australia by a company called Reckon. You can read here about the changes since Intuit Quickbooks became a cloud accounting program.

Pre register now for the free training workbook

Pre-register your interest in our forthcoming Intuit Quickbooks course to receive the first workbook for free!

This offer will only be available to everyone registered in our system before the release announcement date and of course it is free to register and free to receive the workbook!