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.
The feedback we receive from our students helps us to understand what’s working and what isn’t, which is why it’s invaluable to us that you get in touch and let us know what you think.
It was based on the feedback we received from our students that we decided to develop our Reach Accounting and Xero training courses. It is also based on the feedback we received that we changed the way we issued our certificates so that students received them faster and could use them to find work.
Here’s just some of the feedback we’ve received from our students recently:
“I found the workbooks the most helpful for giving practical experience.” — Karen Dimitri, Glengowrie SA 5044
“The best part is that you can do it on your own time and pace.” — Juliana van Wyk, Hilton WA 6163
“Short, easily digestable videos. Can fit in easily with a busy lifestyle.” — Korina Power, North Shore, Auckland 0630
“I could learn at my own pace.” — Jackie Smith, Sheidow Park, SA 5158
“Doing the workbooks and watching the videos at my own pace has helped me a lot in pursing the current workforce requirements.” — Merritt Ray, Loganholme QLD 4129
“I was able to finish the whole course in just a couple of weeks.” — YoonOck Lee, Atwell, WA 6164
“By watching videos on one particular topic and doing a test straight after relating to those videos, you don’t become too overwhelmed with too much information.” — Michelle Bankstown, NSW 2200
“I am happy as I could completely the course at my own pace. It was easy n simple to understand. As a mother I felt the course was very time efficient. Looking forward to putting my knowledge into action.” — Kimberline Francis, St James, WA 6102
“This course is best for me because I can access any time from home, I can replay any video provided when I didn’t understand.” — Mika Humphreys, Innisfail, QLD 4860
“Everything within the course itself was great. I liked the most how easy it was to understand and navigate through.” — Katie Davis, Whyalla, SA 5608
“Being able to actually move around the sample company file to get a feeling of how the software is structured, made me have more confident.” — Joy Khoo, Mudgee, NSW 2850
“The best parts of this course is that we get freedom to learn and complete this course in your own suitable time. There is not so much pressure that you have to complete in certain time limit. I would advise and recommend this course from EzyLearn to international students who want to further their career in bookkeeping and accounting. It was a great privilege to be part of your institute.” — Prabin Gurung, Auburn, NSW 2144
We’d love to hear from you too. Get in touch via our course evaluation page.
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.
People File Differently Now
But as cloud computing, internet banking and email have changed the way businesses operate, the way people file their expenses and important business documents has changed as well.
If you’re a business owner — that includes self-employed bookkeepers — and you’re taking one of our MYOB training courses for work, you’d have received our invoice by email. So how will you file this?
What about bills? There are many companies that now offer electronic bills — and some of these companies, like Optus, for example, even allow their bills to be automatically integrated into your internet banking.
A lot of bookkeepers would probably defer to tradition and print each invoice, bill or other expense and then file the hard copies — but is this still necessary? With the availability of low-cost cloud-storage software like Dropbox, are there other, more efficient ways to file and store your business records?
On this blog, it’s usually us suggesting new ways of doing things to help make your business more efficient, so we thought we try something different this time: we want you to tell us how you manage your filing in today’s digital age.
How Do You File?
How do you file your expenses? Do you file them alphabetically, by business name or chronologically, by date?
If you have a lunch meeting with a client, how do record these expenses? Do you include an agenda of what transpired in the meeting?
Most invoices from other businesses are emailed; do you print these invoices and file them or do you store them in the cloud?
If you store your invoices and receipts in on your computer or in the cloud, then how do you file them? By date or by client name?
What about those receipts and invoices that are still hardcopies — what do you do with these?
How do you give your bookkeeper or account access to your expenses?
We want to hear from YOU about your unique or interesting ways of filing and managing your business records, so get in contact with us! Simply leave your answers in the comments below.
We recently wrote posts about the service, Banklink, (generally used far and wide except by the Bank of Queensland) and since then we’ve heard back from a couple of our readers, who told us about some of the problems they’ve experienced trying to use BankLink with their bank account.
Banklink and Credit Card Issues
We spoke to one reader, Anton Prinsloo, who owns and operates CSTAY Budget Holiday Accommodation at Magnetic Island, off the Townsville Coast. Anton uses the Bank of Queensland for his business banking, and as part of his business strategy uses his credit card for all of his business purchases.
Anton has found that while the BankLink service “beautifully reconciles my everyday business account, BankLink doesn’t work with my credit card.” Anton later discovered that the reason BankLink doesn’t work with his credit card is because in 2007 the Bank of Queensland transferred its credit card service to Citibank.
According to BOQ Managing director, David Liddy, the decision to transfer BOQ’s credit card service to Citibank was “part of Bank of Queensland’s ongoing strategy to provide its customers with the best in access and customer service, while providing the full range of finance products.”
“Bank of Queensland customers will continue to have the advantages of a BOQ card, but with greater support, better product range, and more extensive national and international systems,” Liddy said of the deal in 2007.
However, as Anton found out, the Citibank-provided BOQ credit card doesn’t offer thesame advantages as a BOQ card would have, as it can’t be used with BankLink because it’s a service provided by Citibank.
“I contacted Citibank to see if I could get BankLink from them, but because they don’t hold the account they’re not able to offer this service to me,” Anton told us, adding, “I get the feeling they have no intention to even try to resolve this issue, either.”
For Anton and, we imagine, many other business owners who bank with BOQ, this adds upwards of three hours to his reconciliation process using what he calls “half technology”.
Issues with the NAB
But BOQ isn’t alone. The National Australia Bank requires businesses to have a debit card account that’s separate to their business account, requiring the business owner to make time-consuming journal entries in MYOB each time they transfer money from their business account to the account attached to their debit card.
For business owners, selecting the right bank account for your business is a decision you should make wisely. Make sure you think about how you intend to use your account and do your research before settling on any particular bank. Be extra certain to find out if your bank offers the Bank Link service and how it will work with your account, so you can save yourself the hassle of journal entries and manual reconciliation.
Thanks again to Anton who shared his story with us. If your have a story you’d like to share with us, please let us know in the comments or get in touch.
Many of the students who take our MYOB training course in order to start their own bookkeeping business wish to then become certified with the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB).
How to Get ICB Stamp of Approval
Since 2006 the ICB has had a set of requirements bookkeepers must meet before they are permitted the ICB stamp of approval. Among these requirements – which also include possessing a Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping) and personal indemnity insurance – all bookkeepers seeking to become certified with the ICB must possess a minimum of two years’ working experience.
For many bookkeepers starting out, getting that two years experience is a tough hurdle, particularly since the vast majority of bookkeepers in Australia are, according to General Manager of the ICB, Rick van Dyk, “independent sole traders”. “That’s why the ICB holds networking events at 59 locations around the country,” Rick says. “Because the best way to get the experience you need to become an ICB certified bookkeeper is to network with other bookkeepers.”
The ICB also holds online webinars each month, but Rick recommends attending networking events in person, because it provides you with more opportunity to network and get to know other bookkeepers.
Good Ways to Gain New Business
While it may seem like a lot of hoops to jump through in order to obtain membership to an organisation that’s voluntary, being an ICB certified bookkeeper does set you apart from the many other bookkeepers; it’s also a way of gaining new business, as the ICB is often the first port-of-call for many businesses looking for a contract bookkeeper.
But Rick van Dyk says that if your really want to stand out as a contract bookkeeper, become a registered BAS agent. “If you’re a contracting bookkeeper, you can look after a client’s data entry and do their reconciliation, but you’re not allowed to print any of the reports and advise your client on figures and so forth, as that contravenes the Act,”
Rick explains. There are currently about 9000 registered BAS agents in Australia, so there’s plenty of opportunity for bookkeepers to enter into this field by becoming a registered BAS agent with the Tax Practitioners Board.
Rick also offers this last piece of advice to budding bookkeepers-to-be: “Learn to use Excel; Excel still plays a very important part of the bookkeeper’s role, so it’s important bookkeepers know how to use it – fluently.”
You can find more information about out MYOB course here or our Excel course here. Alternatively, if you’d like more information about becoming certified by the ICB, visit their website.
We are regualarly refreshing the content of our MYOB training course so that you can benefit from all the new information that is always coming in about being a bookkeeper, running your own bookkeeping business or doing the books for someone else’s business.
Too many small businesses suffer from cash flow problems, which is why our Small Business Management Course covers financial planning and how to monitor and manage your cash flow through debtor management. 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.
This was the case for AJ Singh who, after selling a wholesale distribution business he had owned for five years, began to suffer poor cash flow problems with his next venture. After doing a little research, he discovered that over 90 percent of small-to-medium-sized businesses attributed the failure of their business to poor cash flow.
These startling statistics got the cogs in AJ’s brain turning and ultimately resulted in his latest venture: ezyCollect, a web-based software that synchs to your accounting software to manage your account receivables. We spoke to AJ to find out how ezyCollect works and how you could benefit from it.
Q: Can you explain how ezyCollect works?
A: By synching to your accounting software, ezyCollect uses the account information to send real-time, personalised reminders to customers using a variety of different methods (email, mail, fax, sms, etc). ezyCollect also schedules follow-up phone calls, and includes single-click “demand letters”, on demand credit checks and easy debt escalation tools.
Q: How do the functions of ezyCollect differ or improve on the functions already available within accounting software like MYOB?
A: The functions offered by ezyCollect are not offered by MYOB, but as an MYOB partner, the ezyCollect software enhances the value of MYOB as it reduces the labour costs associated with credit management.
Q: What businesses would benefit from using ezyCollect?
A: ezyCollect is great for businesses with a large number of smaller-value invoices, but all SMEs can benefit from using ezyCollect as it is a completely automated, secure cloud-based application. ezyCollect increases your cash flow and your productivity, because you’re not stuck on the phone all day chasing money when you could be out winning new business.
There was once a time when saying the word “redundancy” in a workplace stirred much the same feelings as saying “Bomb!” in an airport. But today, as workplaces adapt and change to suit an ever-evolving marketplace, redundancies have become much more commonplace.
Adapt or Die.
Adapt or die. It’s true for businesses, and it’s certainly true for workers. That’s why we find many of our students come to EzyLearn to following a redundancy, taking our MYOB courses and Small Business Management courses to add to their knowledge base — and indeed, add an extra accomplishment under the “education” section of their CVs.
For more on CVs, see our post where we interview a recruiter to find out what makes a fabulous CV. Indeed, when we spoke to Fiona Neumann, recruitment specialist and director of Sydney-based recruitment agency, Skills Savvy, she told us that employees today could expect to be made redundant at least once in their career, if not twice. One young job seeker she interviewed for a position had been made redundant three times in almost as many years.
There was a time when to be made redundant reflected poorly on your skills, capabilities and desirability as an employee. Today, however, that’s no longer the case. In fact, there are many positive sides to being made redundant; we’re going to take a look at just some of them here:
1. Firstly, no one makes you redundant: this is an important thing to remember: you weren’t made redundant; your position was. It’s not personal, it’s just business. Accept that and go forth into the world of employment.
2. Why did you leave?: now when you’re asked that question during an interview with a prospective employer, you don’t have to try and romanticize or find the silver lining in the fact that you couldn’t stand working for your former employer a minute longer. Your position was made redundant. The business was restructuring, and there was cutback in your department. It happens. Employers get that.
3. It gives you the opportunity to do something new: it could be a new job, a new experience, or a new business startup, but with a redundancy payout comes the financial opportunity to do something new. In fact, it’s often after a redundancy that many people decide to go into business for themselves, as an article on the Sydney Morning Herald website last year found.
Job reporting in MYOB enables companies to keep track of the costs and revenue for each project. It also helps in analysing the sales data of employees and tracking productivity.
We’ve noticed students of our MYOB training courses review this part of the course content more than other parts of the training material, so we thought we’d post this refresher video on job reporting in MYOB.
Sure, some bookkeepers can go a long time without having to use this function, but if they take on a client in the building or construction industry, or a client who wants detailed sales reports, they will suddenly need to know how to set up job reporting in MYOB.
Here’s the video:
Remember, the job reporting function makes it possible to extract highly detailed accounting information from MYOB. For businesses in the heavily regulated building and construction industry, such information is a government requirement.
At EzyLearn we are always updating our course content and when you enrol you can access lifetime membership for free continued updates.
One of the many reasons we became early champions of MYOB Account Right Live when it was first released — the software you’ll learn to use in our MYOB training course — is because of the bank feeds feature. Take a look at the video below for a demonstration on how to set up bank feeds for a business:
The Beauty of BankLink
For a long time, one of the most tedious aspects of the bookkeeping process was the data entry. For bookkeepers with large clients, who had many expenses and transactions each month, the process of manually entering each of those transactions into MYOB could be the most time-consuming parts of the job.
And it’s not just large organisations with many expenses and transactions each month that can benefit from the bank feeds feature in MYOB. Everyone from sole traders through to large corporations can and should use the bank feeds feature.
Remember, enrol with EzyLearn to learn MYOB and take up our lifetime membership offer to receive continuous, free MYOB updates.
As one of Australia’s largest providers of online MYOB training courses, we’ve come to learn a thing or two about our students’ learning habits and what we’ve discovered is that there are three different kinds of learners — visual learners, auditory learners and kinaesthetic learners.
There’s no right or wrong way of learning, but we thought it would be interesting to have a look at these three learning styles in a little more detail.
Learning … Kinaesthetically
First up: kinaesthetic learners. People with a kinaesthetic learning style learn by touching and doing things, and although they only make up about 5 percent of the population, they’re a group of learners we see a fair bit at EzyLearn. This is because our training courses are software-based and at some point people become pretty eager to give the software they’re learning about a test drive.
Kinaesthetic learners are the students who learn by discovery, can complete more than one task at once and are those students who like to listen to music while they work.
Kinaesthetic learners are likely to:
Need lots of breaks
Speak with their hands and gesture a lot
Learn by working with others
Remember what was done
Learn by doing activities
The benefit of being a kinaesthetic learner and studying with EzyLearn is that you’re able to study at your own pace (so you can take lots of breaks), get hands-on with the software and try some of the exercises, and you can also interact with other students at our student community to get that much-need dose of human interaction.
It is this kind of flexibility that online learning offers that makes it so appealing to a broad range of learning styles that the traditional face-to-face offering often can’t provide.
Not a kinaesthetic learner? See tomorrow’s post on visual learners.
We’ve talked previously about cheating and what’s to be lost by students who cheat, and in particular, what a person has to lose from cheating. Not only do you miss out on learning, you also lose out on the valuable experience of sharing the learning process with others. We believe this is such an important part of the learning experience that we’re even in the process of creating an online community for the students of our MYOB, Word, Excel, and WordPress training courses.
Studying Online? You Can Still Share with Others
When you study online it can sometimes be a lonely business. But we want to change all that, and encourage our students to interact and connect with each other; to share their tips and advice, and make the most of the learning experience.
For people who decide to cheat in their coursework, it’s usually for one reason: they don’t want to fail. But realistically, from the moment they decide to copy someone else’s work, they’ve already failed, but without the valuable experience that comes from trying something and failing: learning.
So you take a test and you get a couple of the answers wrong; at least now you know where you went wrong. It gives you an opportunity to go back over your coursework and try and learn that portion again — or even ask someone.
If you were taking one of our online training courses and you were stuck on a particular portion of the coursework or you got an answer wrong in the test, you can contact someone in the EzyLearn team to help you, or you could discuss the problem with your fellow students, and see how they tackled that question.
Developing the Skill of ‘Problem Solving’
But the important thing is that you’re problem solving; you’re taking steps to resolve a problem. And those problem-solving skills that you employ when you reach a bump in the learning road are invaluable when you operate your own business.
As a business owner you need to be able to problem solve, often on a daily basis. When you reach a problem in your coursework that you’re having difficulty with, by asking questions and talking with others, you’re building up your problem-solving skills, in addition to learning how overcome that particular problem, itself.
So don’t forget: if you don’t try, you’ll never learn. As business owners, we should exercise our problem-solving muscles from time-to-time, so start now while you’re studying a training course.
As Australia’s largest provider of online MYOB training courses, we work with people who are looking to start their own bookkeeping business, find a bookkeeping job and even people who just want to learn how to manage the books for their own business. But did you know we also offer enrolment vouchers?
Who’s A Perfect Candidate for our Enrolment Vouchers?
We sell enrolment vouchers to training organisations and accountants who want to be able to provide their customers and clients with the option of taking an MYOB training course. Our enrolment vouchers are offered at a discounted price when purchased in bulk.
Other Training Organisations
A typical scenario might be a training organisation which buys enrolment vouchers because they don’t offer a MYOB course but think it would be of benefit to some of their students. In this instance, they can purchase vouchers from us, which they can then on-sell to any interested students.
For accountants with clients who want to be able to do their own bookkeeping, they can also purchase enrolment vouchers from us and on-sell them to their clients.
Each voucher is valid for 12 months from the date that the training organisation or accountant purchases them, giving you 12 months to sell them to your clients and customers, who also get a further twelve months to use the voucher.
For more information, including pricing, please feel free to contact the EzyLearn team, who’ll be able to answer any of your questions.
As part of our MYOB Training Course, we’re constantly adding new content and helping our students win work and improve their employability. That’s why we always emphasise the importance of continuing to educate yourself — for the obvious skills advantages you bring to any company, but also for your own confidence.
For many people, it can be a little nerve racking when new blood enters the workplace and in today’s job market, it’s not at all uncommon to see a new face appear. Sometimes it’s in the form of a new employee there to share your workload and other times it’s because your organisation has employed someone to help restructure the business so they operate more efficiently.
The Many and Varied Threat
For many employees, this new face around the office can make them feel threatened — threatened about the future of their jobs and threatened by the prospect of the office dynamic changing. Fortunately, however, there’s an antidote for this rather common reaction to change: taking a course or continuing professional development.
The thing about feeling threatened is that it’s entirely to do with your confidence. You may feel like you’re not quite as educated or as skilled as this other person and as a result, you think your employer won’t need you any more. The truth is, your employer probably has no intention of letting you go, but nevertheless, the job market is changing and up-skilling to increase your knowledge base is invaluable — to you and your employer.
Confidence in Upskilling and Continuing Professional Development
Aside from the tangible knowledge and experience a highly-skilled employee brings to an organisation, they also bring with them confidence. The more secure you feel with your ability to do your job and do it well, the more confident you’ll feel as a result. For this reason, EzyLearn is a big believer in continuing professional development.
Our MYOB, and Microsoft Word and Excel training courses each come with lifetime access to the course content, so that you can review the course material and even access updated content, whenever you need it.
A truly confident person would embrace the idea of working with someone new and potentially learning and sharing knowledge, rather than feeling threatened by them. But the key to achieving this confidence is being able to feel secure in your own knowledge base and that’s what EzyLearn’s Continuing Professional Development Program aims to provide bookkeepers with: knowledge.
So stop worrying, stop feeling threatened, and feel more confident in your skills and knowledge by taking one of our online courses today!