Interest-free student loans and course finance VERSUS cheap courses

Interest free student loans for Xero, MYOB, Excel, Marketing and Business Startup Courses cost someoneIT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR again when my team and I review the success of our marketing for 2017 and plan our strategies for the New Year. The topic of interest-free student loans was on the agenda, so I thought I’ll write something about it.

Personally, debt has always been something that has terrified me until about 5 years ago. This stemmed from a time in my mid twenties when I got a commercial hire purchase (CHP) loan to buy an extra Telstra Mitsubishi van. It was selling for $12,000 at the time (which was a lot of money for me) and I paid it off within a year but needed to pay a penalty because the loan was for a fixed period — it cost me $16,000!

This experience left me feeling completely ripped off and began my intrigue into the different type of loans available to businesses, the risks, and how lenders cover their risks as much as possible. Then Jerry Harvey started spruiking the “buy now with nothing to pay for 3 years” mantra that has become commonplace for many retail businesses. We now have every man and his dog business giving away interest-free credit which usually comes with a credit card attached.

The fact is that borrowing money costs someone and if you’re offered an interest free loan it just means that the loan cost is being absorbed by the seller.

If you’ve completed our MYOB or Xero courses (or you’re already working in accounts) you’d know that a course debt is a liability to the student but an asset to the lender and that asset can be sold or written off. Further, if you read the financial news you’ll see that major retailers are either selling their debt or their in-store cards or credit card to the highest bidder.

The problem I have with any form of debt, except buying an income producing asset like real estate or business assets (or a business), is that if you can’t afford it now how will you be able to pay it back later?

Cashflow for a business is often lumpy and the interest cost for cashflow lending is an expense which comes off your taxable income. In this sense it’s “good debt”, but personal debt that can’t be claimed as an expense is bad and often you’re better off finding the same product or course for a cheaper price and just paying that — or use your existing credit card (and pay it back in time). Read about our newest Xero Cashflow, Budgets and ROI Course.

So, back to our marketing dilemma. EzyLearn has only ever tested part payments of courses and realised that we’re not a lender and rather than pay the cost of having a loan facility we’d prefer to include as much as possible in our courses (including additions and updates) and offer our courses at a cheap and competitive price with occasional special offers.


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At EzyLearn we offer online training courses to help you up-skill and find employment. Choose from our range of cloud-based online accounting software courses, to 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). 


 

When Your Business Strategy Changes

There are websites that make it easy to change your business name

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Having a plan rather than changing your business strategy in an ad hoc fashion, ensures greater success of your business going forward.

PLENTY OF BUSINESS OWNERS change their business strategy, but what makes this successful? We say, above all, planning and a willingness to change the ordinary operations of your business. In a new workbook contained in our Xero training courses, we take you through the steps you would take in Xero to affect a change in business strategy.

In this blog post, we’re going to look more generally at some of the things you might need to do if you were making a change to your business strategy — even before you would start making these changes in your accounting software.

Business name change

A change of business strategy and direction may warrant a business name change. As a basic example, a builder who begins offering plumbing, electrical, and handyman services should change their business name from John’s Building Services, for example, to John’s Building and Home Maintenance Services.

If considering a business name change, visit the ASIC website. There you’ll be able to register a new business name and make sure one you’re thinking of doesn’t already exist. ASIC doesn’t allow you to update or change your business name, but provided you’re operating your business under the same structure — i.e., sole trader — there’s no limit to the number of business names you can register and assign to your ABN.

In April this year, the business.gov website launched a new Business Registration Service, which although still in Beta, allows you to easily and quickly apply for a business name, ABN, company, and tax registrations for free. At the moment it’s only available for new businesses — whether they’re sole traders, partnerships, companies or joint ventures — but it’ll soon be rolled out to existing businesses, trusts, and superannuation funds.

Registering for GST

Many contractors don’t register for GST because they do a combination of contract work on their ABN and TFN. Provided their business doesn’t generate $75,000 per year or more, they won’t have to register for GST, even if they do earn more than that by also working as a contractor on their TFN.

If the change in business strategy means your business is going to generate substantially more than $75,000 per year, or even if your suspect it may get close to it, you should register your business for GST.

You can register for GST via the ATO’s Business Portal. Registering for GST does mean your business will need to lodge regular business activity statements. This is additional compliance that can yield fines for late or inaccurate lodgements.

If you’d like to try and defer registering for GST for as long as possible, run a profit and loss statement in Xero and compare your current revenue with the estimated additional revenue your new business strategy will generate.

If there’s good, safe margin between your projected income and the $75,000 GST threshold, you can hold off.

You can learn what you need to implement the financial side of your changed business strategy, plus how to run profit and loss statements, complete and lodge business activity statements and much more in our Xero training courses. For more information, visit our website.


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At EzyLearn you can choose from a range of XERO online courses, depending on your skill level — or you can access ALL courses for ONE LOW PRICE. All our 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.