What Kind of Bank Account Do You Need for Your Business?

Carrying out your bank reconciliation without the use of Banklink can be tedious and time consuming.
Carrying out your bank reconciliation without the use of Banklink can be tedious and time consuming.

At EzyLearn, we’re committed to helping students of our MYOB courses gain employment as a MYOB bookkeeper or even start their own bookkeeping businessit’s why we provide you with lifetime access to our MYOB training courses as part of our commitment to continuing professional development.

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 the same 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.

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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.

Bank of Queensland not Using BankLink – and Others?

It appears not every bank is using BankLink.
It appears not every bank is using BankLink.

We wrote a post last year about a service called Bank Link, which we discovered is being used by a large number of accountants to reduce the amount of data entry involved in bookkeeping. Being that one of our most popular training courses is our MYOB training course and that many of our students are bookkeepers, we wondered what the bank link service would mean for the future of bookkeepers.

Bookkeepers Still Vital!

As it happens, we don’t believe that the BankLink service will make the role of the bookkeeper redundant, given that there is so much more to be being a bookkeeper than just data entry. In fact, we found that because BankLink eliminates much of the time-consuming data entry process, BankLink should be used by more bookkeepers.

Since the post on BankLink was published, however, we heard from one of our readers who told us that the Bank of Queensland does not provide credit card transactions data through BankLink. We thought this was unusual, so we decided to look into it a little further.

After doing a little digging, we discovered that BankLink is not available to be used with all banking institutions, and Bank of Queensland happens to be one of those institutions. We tried to contact the Bank of Queensland to find out if the BankLink service would be extended to their customers, however, we were unable to reach anyone able to give us any information as to if, and when, this service would be adopted.

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For bookkeepers, or small business owners, even, who are customers of the Bank of Queensland this means that you will still need to enter your credit card transactions into MYOB manually. If you are aware of any other banking institutions that do not provide credit card data though BankLink, we’d love to hear from you — let us know in the comment section below.

Is the Death of the Bookkeeper Imminent?

Happy New Year to all our readers! And take comfort in knowing that we think the death of the bookkeeper is FAR from imminent! Read the post to find out.
Happy New Year to all our readers! And take comfort in knowing that we think the death of the bookkeeper is FAR from imminent! Read the post to find out.

All right, so it’s not the most joyful heading we could have gone with on New Year’s Eve, but it’s not actually meant to conjure up doom and gloom! We have  researched and developed new online training courses for Reach Accounting and Xero, which have now been added to our suite of training courses that include the flagship MYOB training course. In the process we’ve spoken to a number of accountants to see what software they’re using, to ensure we’re providing the training courses you need to get a bookkeeping job. This is good news because you can then rely on us to inform you what more you may need to offer clients.

Throughout this process, we’ve come across a number of accountants who are using BankLink, an accounting service we’ve written about previously, which streamlines and automates the data entry portion of managing a client’s account.

The ‘In-House’ Extra Employee

For many accountants the BankLink software, which was acquired by MYOB in June of this year so they could further extend their reach into the accounting space, is being billed as an “extra employee” that never makes mistakes and is comparatively cheaper than the additional in-house bookkeeper or admin person headcount.

The big question for us is: Does this spell the end of the bookkeeper? For instance, think of the way personal computers did away with the need for the office stenographer working in a steno pool? The answer is that this is indeed possible — but this is only if data entry is the sole service you offer. Like most professionals today, the more specialised you are and the more services you can offer, the more likely you are to experience career longevity.

At the end of the day, software is only as good as the person who uses it. If you’re a highly experienced bookkeeper in a particular industry or possess a number of highly sought-after accounting skills, you’ll find BankLink a dream come true in that it eliminates the tedious, time-consuming data entry from your job.

BankLink: Giving You More Time

With more time on your hands, you’ll be able to grow your client-base — a goal for most small businesses and previously only available if you miraculously grew a spare set of hands, or employed a spare set of hands, at least. You may even be able to move your business out of the narrow bookkeeping space into the small business management space.

With the number of new small businesses increasing, the key to their individual survival in a highly competitive marketplace is good management — and who’s more suited to that job than someone with a thorough understanding of account keeping?

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So while BankLink may spell the end of tedious, time-consuming data entry, for the experienced bookkeeper it presents more business and career opportunities — not less. Upskill and enjoy greater career success as a result.

What is BankLink and Why are So Many Accountants Using It?

Your accountant can access your records easily via BankLink.
Your accountant can access your records easily via BankLink.

As we have freshly rolled out our new Reach Accounting course, as well as our new Xero Accounting coursein addition to our existing and ever so popular MYOB training course — we have been speaking to a number of different accountants across Australia to find out how they currently manage their clients’ bookkeeping needs.

What we’ve discovered during this R&D process is that an increasing number of accountants have told us that they use a service called BankLink, so we thought we’d take a closer look at BankLink to see how it works and what it means for the bookkeeper.

BankLink for Bookkeepers

BankLink is an accounting service that delivers bank transaction data from banks and financial institutions and directly to an accountant, which the accountant then uses to code their clients’ transactions.

For any uncoded data, there are number of online tools that allow an accountant to request additional information from their clients; the coded data is then used for GST, end-of-year tax reports, management reports and various other reports required for tax compliance.

In short, BankLink eliminates all of the data entry usually performed by a bookkeeper, and in June of 2013, BankLink was acquired by MYOB to further facilitate accountants as they manage their clients’ books.

For sole traders and very small businesses that have neither a bookkeeper, nor the time to manage the data entry side of their accounts, their accountant can now manage this for them easily and efficiently, without the added cost of employing an external bookkeeper.

One accountant, extolling the virtues of the BankLink software on the MYOB website calls Banklink his “extra employee; one that never makes mistakes, gets lots done and doesn’t cost much.”

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BankLink is being billed as the future of accounting; the inexpensive future of accounting, where people are being replaced by machines and pieces of software.

So what might that mean for the humble bookkeeper? We look at this in our next post.