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STP Phase 2 Training Added to Xero Payroll Course – Learn ALL Payroll Courses Across Multiple Software in Advanced Certificate in Payroll Administration

EzyLearn had added Single Touch Payroll (STP) Phase 2 Training to our Xero Payroll Administration Training Course.

As Xero continues to be one of the leading accounting program for Aussie small businesses, we’ve been updating our courses to stay up to date with changes.  We’ve also recently added Xero My Payroll content to this course.

The Australian government launched STP in 2016, where employers with over 9 employees must report their payroll information for each pay run to the ATO.  When the ATO introduced STP Phase 2 earlier this year, some of the reporting obligations changed.

Here’s what you need to know about STP Phase 2 reporting in Xero, and how EzyLearn’s got you covered with the training.

Continue reading STP Phase 2 Training Added to Xero Payroll Course – Learn ALL Payroll Courses Across Multiple Software in Advanced Certificate in Payroll Administration
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Are You Complying With Your Fringe Benefits Tax Liability of up to 47% (especially COVID-19 related ones)?

Do you provide your employees with gym memberships or concert tickets?  Or maybe you work for a company that provides you with a vehicle or accommodation? There are lots of perks that business can provide to their employees outside of salaries and wages – and these are called fringe benefits and they may apply to you if you worked at home due to COVID-19.

FBT is not as simple as handing out freebies.  Employers have to pay tax on these benefits they provide, and the amount can depend on the type of fringe benefit they’re providing. 

We’ve written before about how fringe benefits tax is important to consider when you engage a new worker, but let’s look more in-depth into what fringe benefits are all about, and how to ensure you comply with your liabilities:

Continue reading Are You Complying With Your Fringe Benefits Tax Liability of up to 47% (especially COVID-19 related ones)?
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Here’s What Businesses Need to Know About eInvoicing in Xero

Invoices can be a hassle for both businesses and their clients.  There’s nothing fun about chasing up that client about their late payment, nor is it an efficient use of time to trawl through emails and  inboxes trying to find that invoice from however long ago.

The Commonwealth Government is pushing ahead with an alternative, that looks like it will make things a bit easier for everyone.

eInvoicing is on the rise!  And since software like Xero has jumped in on the change, it’s important for small businesses to know what eInvoicing is all about:

Continue reading Here’s What Businesses Need to Know About eInvoicing in Xero
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Intuit (QuickBooks) Buys Mailchimp! – Marketing Will Finally Speak to Accounts.

Intuit (the maker of QuickBooks, an online accounting software for small-businesses) has recently announced a new purchase that could see them breaking into the ERP world of business software. Mailchimp is now owned by Intuit!

Although they’re not huge in Australia, Intuit is trying to compete with the likes of Xero, whose add-on software integrations have extended its functionality and made Xero a powerful business administration system for Aussie small businesses.

Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform for small businesses and ecommerce, mainly focused on email marketing campaigns. I wrote a couple years ago about how digital marketing tasks seem to be creeping into the job descriptions for office support and admin staff.

Let’s have a look at what Intuit’s acquisition of the world’s largest marketing automation platform means:

Continue reading Intuit (QuickBooks) Buys Mailchimp! – Marketing Will Finally Speak to Accounts.
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Xero Asks Nicely for Feedback using NPS, But EzyLearn Interviewed Xero Course Students via Zoom

If you’re looking into a business, maybe you’re thinking of buying a product from them, subscribing to a service, or even just doing a bit of research, one of the places you’ll want to go is the ratings and reviews page.

I’ve written before about how reviews and testimonials are more valuable than number ratings when it comes to revealing important things about a business but for medium and larger companies, who aren’t able to have a personal relationship with their customers, they have to rely on these ratings. They’re also used an opportunity to measure what matters to their clients.

One of the ways they do this is through Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and you’ve probably contributed to one even if you don’t know it!

Continue reading Xero Asks Nicely for Feedback using NPS, But EzyLearn Interviewed Xero Course Students via Zoom
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Engaging a New Worker? Here Are The Things You Need To Do, particularly if you’re classified by the ATO as a withholder:

There’s lots to do when businesses engage a new worker.  As an employer, you’ll be busy going through the onboarding process and showing your new employee the ropes, but there are other important things to do when you add a new member to your team.

Keeping accurate records complete with the right information is essential for businesses to maintain, and that means updating and adding data when engaging a new worker.  Here are some things to keep in mind as you go through this process:

Continue reading Engaging a New Worker? Here Are The Things You Need To Do, particularly if you’re classified by the ATO as a withholder:
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Xero’s Integration With DiviPay Can Help Small Businesses Manage Expenses

Expense management is an important thing to have control of in order to keep a business running smoothly.  But it can be a time-consuming process, full of paperwork, data entry, and chasing up staff members for receipts and invoices.

Xero’s integration with DiviPay promises to make the whole process easier, with seemingly half of it being done by staff members on their mobile phones!

But how does it all work?

Continue reading Xero’s Integration With DiviPay Can Help Small Businesses Manage Expenses
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How are Small Businesses Changing in 2022?

It’s not a stretch to say the last few years have been tough…especially for businesses.  Through lockdowns and restrictions we’ve seen businesses struggle, falter, adapt, and survive. 

Now that we’re in to 2022, and things are (fingers crossed) almost looking normal again, it’s exciting to see how businesses will recover and thrive.

Xero has released a guide to small business trends for 2022, based on surveys they conducted in 2021 of their subscribers in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Singapore, Canada, and the US. 

Here’s are 10 trends on the rise for small business this year:

Continue reading How are Small Businesses Changing in 2022?
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Our Students Have Been Talking – Here’s What They Have to Say

EzyLearn Worklife is a new initiative we’ve started this year, and it’s already proven to be a success!

We set out to hear from past students about their experiences with EzyLearn, and how they’re using the skills they learnt in their training in their work lives – and we’ve been hearing lots of interesting things from them.

From challenges they faced in their jobs, to skills they find help make tasks easier, we’ve been getting some amazing insight into the experiences of our students – and it’s only right we share them with you too!

Here are some of the things we’ve found from our Worklife interviews:

Continue reading Our Students Have Been Talking – Here’s What They Have to Say
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Here’s How to Find the Best Training Course for You

So you’re looking at completing a training course.  Maybe your employer wants you to upskill on a new software program, maybe you want help to run your own business more efficiently, or maybe you’re a jobseeker looking to stand out to employers.

Whatever the reason, you find yourself in the position of trawling the internet in search of a course that’s right for you.  But how do you figure that out? It can be difficult comparing courses from one provider, let alone from multiple. 

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options, don’t stress, because we’ve put together this guide to finding the right training course for you!

Continue reading Here’s How to Find the Best Training Course for You
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Xero vs GoDaddy Website Hosting Company Accounting Software? Attn: New Minimum Viable Website Service

Xero to re-elect Steven Aldrich as non-executive director - online customer service and receptionist services - Xero online training courses

When you look at the two companies Xero Accounting and GoDaddy hosting companies are very similar. They both provide cloud-based solutions, for a subscription fee and have small businesses as their major clients. They are both in a very good position to provide accounting software for their customers.

One of the Xero Directors sold an accounting software program to GoDaddy in 2012 and at the time TechCrunch reported that Accounting software is a logical service for them to provide to their small business clients. What does it mean for the future though?

Continue reading Xero vs GoDaddy Website Hosting Company Accounting Software? Attn: New Minimum Viable Website Service
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SPECIAL OFFER: MYOB, Xero & QuickBooks Online Courses ALL for One Low Price

Bookkeeper Combo Bonus Courses learn Xero, MYOB AccountRight & MYOB Essentials and QuickBooks Online Training

The Internet has spawned several cloud accounting software program all over the world including:

Continue reading SPECIAL OFFER: MYOB, Xero & QuickBooks Online Courses ALL for One Low Price

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When a Bookkeeper Isn’t Just a Bookkeeper

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Why NOW is the time to become a work-for-yourself bookkeeper

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Bookkeeping is a career that keeps on growing as you grow you and your client’s business.

THERE ARE UMPTEEN REASONS why starting a bookkeeping business is a great low-cost venture for people looking to take a step back from the corporate world, or even for those looking to do quite the opposite by working from home so they have the flexibility they need as parents to young children.

If you’re a subscriber of this blog, then you’ve read posts about National Bookkeeping, the company EzyLearn has partnered with to deliver training courses to people who become National Bookkeeping licensees.

However, I’m going to talk about it again because there are still too many talented people out there who don’t think they have what it takes to go into business for themselves. And I’m here to tell you, you do, and we’ll help you!

Register as a National Bookkeeping licensee before 30 June

As it’s nearing June 30 and the end of this current financial year, it’s a great time to kick-start your own business, by registering to become a National Bookkeeping licensee. Their license fee is a hundred percent tax deductible due to the large component of training courses included in the fee, so if you register before the end of June, it can go towards reducing your taxable income straight away.

The reason I became interested in National Bookkeeping is because I felt it provided just enough structure for new business owners to get their business off the ground, but also the right amount of flexibility for those business owners with the desire to take their business (and incomes) to the next level by providing addition services, such as content marketing, virtual assistant services, or even financial planning.

I think that in order to be successful in business and for your business to have longevity, you need to be open to new opportunities and to be able to constantly update your business model and offerings. Particularly now that we’re in an age of great technological change, staying abreast of changes to the way people work and do business is the key to staying in business, period.

…Now that we’re in an age of great technological change, staying abreast of changes to the way people work and do business is the key to staying in business, period.

New technologies mean new opportunities

There are many business analysts and economists who see the reduction of permanent jobs as a bad thing – and to some extent, they’re probably correct – but I see it as an opportunity. New technologies have made it easier for people to work at home, wherever their home may be – a city, a beachside town, outback Australia – so long as they have access to a reliable Internet connection.

Now, people who have previously been excluded from the job market have an opportunity to earn an income. That’s great news for workers and for the economy, and it’s why the government has spearheaded a move to encourage working from home, or teleworking as it’s officially known, among businesses and their staff.

We continue to need bookkeepers

Bookkeeping is a necessity for all Australian businesses, as it’s a fundamental requirement of Australian tax law to keep accurate business records. Hiring a contract bookkeeper to take care of their business’s bookkeeping allows business owners to go out and find more work and grow their business, rather than having to worry about keeping up with all of their administration and book work.

With continued training your business grows as your client’s business does too

As their business grows, the bookkeeper will become busier too and they may even be asked to provide more services – BAS services, tax services, financial planning and advice, even one-to-one training — the list goes on. The more training you have, the better you’ll able to service this client yourself and the more business you’re business will grow as a result. (Want to read more about what’s required to become a registered BAS agent?)

It’s not uncommon for a bookkeeper to start out providing simple data entry and reconciliation services to business, and then wind up providing full financial advice and planning services, providing, of course, they’re qualified to do so. And these are qualifications you can acquire while already providing services to clients and earning an income.

When you become National Bookkeeping licensee, you’re free to continue your studies so you can eventually progress from a bookkeeper through to a financial planner and adviser, and with clients to help them grow their business, just as you did yours.

National Bookkeeping even provides you the blueprint for doing it by offering the EzyLearn Small Business Management Course, (our EzyStartUp Course) which has been augmented to help bookkeepers develop a business plan specifically for a bookkeeping business.

With National Bookkeeping you’re not just a bookkeeper

ato tax concessions for small business under $25mAs a National Bookkeeping licensee you’ve got the tools and the support to build a successful, sustainable small business that can provide an array of services, beyond those of the typical bookkeeper.

So if you’ve been thinking about starting your own business, register with National Bookkeeping before June 30 so you can claim it as a tax deduction right away; alternatively, to learn more, visit their website or continue reading our blog.


 

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Is Xero Really All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

How does Xero stack up in the cloud accounting game?

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Xero CEO, Rod Drury

WHEN XERO FIRST ENTERED the accounting space, it gave MYOB a real run for its money — something Xero continues to do to this very day.

When Xero first entered the market, it was with a bang. You see, even though  Xero and MYOB share many of the same features, Xero was cheaper and easier to use than MYOB, but perhaps even more so, it was also cloud-based. Being cloud-based meant you didn’t have to buy and install pricey software that would be out-of-date within 12 months. A huge advantage.

Since then, however, a number of cloud-based accounting applications have entered the market — QuickBooks Online (now distributed by their US-based parent company Intuit), Reckon One, Saasu, Zoho, and so on.

As business owners have more choice than ever before, it’s got a lot of people wondering about whether the two market leaders (Xero and MYOB) are really all they’re cracked up to be, Xero in particular.

Missing a dropdown menu

Even though Xero was hailed as a breath of fresh air when it first entered the market, it is still a little more complicated to use when compared with other cloud accounting apps, like QuickBooks and Reckon One. For instance, the purchase orders feature is still hidden behind bills, when it could easily be access via a dropdown menu. But it’s not a major quibble.

Xero’s contact profile misses a beat

Although Xero allows you to assign customer numbers for your suppliers or customers in the contact profile, it doesn’t have the functionality to record customer numbers assigned by supplier or customer.

If you’re trying to get in touch with Telstra, for example, with whom you’ll have been assigned a customer or account number, you’ll have to dig around for the paper bill to find that customer or account number.

It’s easy to file bills, though

This feature is available in QuickBooks, and it’s also available in MYOB, but as is often the case with MYOB, it requires more steps to do what you can in Xero in just a few clicks. Rather than keep paper bills on hand, Xero allows you to attach them to you transactions, so you never have to go hunting around for a bill again (very useful given the contact profile issue mentioned above).

In MYOB, you must upload your bills to your in-tray, and then link them to your transactions. This is annoying, because it requires you to leave the transaction window and open the in-tray one.

***

Remember that when you select a cloud accounting package for your business, do not 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. Ask your bookkeeper and other business friends for their recommendations as well.


Announcement: Microsoft Excel 2016 Beginners’ to Advanced courses now available!

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At EzyLearn we include all versions of a software program in our training courses. That means when you enrol into Excel you get 2016 — AND — the older Excel courses which include version 2013, 2010, 2007 and even 2003 (if you really need it).
When you enrol in Lifetime Course Access you get access to ALL versions and ALL FUTURE VERSIONS as we continually update them — at no extra cost!

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Is a Certified Advisor or Certified Consultant Better Than a BAS Agent?

Finding the best bookkeeper for your business

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A bookkeeper who’s certified in a particular accounting software may not mean that much for your business. Better to have someone who is simply a good bookkeeper. Period.

IT’S NOT ALWAYS EASY to find a bookkeeper who suits your business’s needs. This can be further complicated by the fact that a lot of business owners don’t know too much about bookkeeping.

Now that virtual bookkeepers have become more common, lots of business owners have started selecting bookkeepers based on their affiliation with an accounting application. Such bookkeepers are often called a Certified Advisor (Xero), Pro Advisor (QuickBooks) or Certified Consultant (MYOB). But are they really the best bookkeeper for your business?

What are Certified Advisors, Consultants and Pro Advisors?

In a nutshell, a certified advisor, consultant or pro advisor is just an individual who has been endorsed by a software company because they’ve demonstrated a high level of knowledge and skill with a particular accounting product.

Hiring a bookkeeper who’s been endorsed by MYOB, say, means you shouldn’t have to worry about whether your bookkeeper has set up your accounting package correctly, or whether they’re using the correct codes. What it doesn’t guarantee, however, is that each consultant or advisor is a highly experienced BAS or tax agent, as the certification relates to their software knowledge only.

Find a highly qualified BAS or tax agent instead

Sure, a bookkeeper who’s experienced in your accounting package is important. It’ll help keep your bookkeeping bill down because they’re able to perform certain functions quickly, while your accountant shouldn’t need to fix any errors, either. But that’s only providing that they’re as knowledgeable in Australian tax as they are MYOB or Xero or QuickBooks.

Unfortunately, however, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. So instead of focussing on a bookkeeper’s software experience, it’s more beneficial to ensure they’re qualified BAS and tax agents, with either a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping or higher.

If you don’t get a bad reference from their current and former clients, then there’s a pretty good chance they’re proficient in the major accounting packages, and if they’re not, most bookkeepers will tell you upfront.

Get the accounting package that’s best for your business, not your bookkeeper

There are lots of reasons a bookkeeper would choose to become certified with a software company, the biggest being that they get their accounting software for free and receive a commission for each new client they sign up to use the accounting package they’ve been certified with.

However, when you hire an independent bookkeeper who’s well-versed in a few different accounting packages, you’re more likely to get better advice about which accounting package is best suited to you and your business’s needs, rather than the accounting package that will generate income for your bookkeeper.

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Are you looking to brush up your skills in cloud-accounting packages like XERO, MYOB or Quickbooks? We provide a range of online training courses in all of these packages at ONE LOW COST for ALL SKILLS LEVELS. Find out more.


find a local bookkeeper

We feature our own 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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Is the ATO Getting into the Cloud Accounting Game?

The ATO is helping you keep track of deductions and expenses

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The ATO’s recently launched app isn’t helping you invoice just yet, but it is good for keeping track of your business deductions.

ALL BUSINESSES CAN TAP into useful cash flow forecasting apps, whether they use Xero, Quickbooks or MYOB. There are also a host of basic expense and budgeting apps that sole traders and contractors can use for similar purposes.

The difference between the two boils down to price and functions: The more functions you need, the higher the price tag. Businesses that require high-level reporting and forecasting tools, such as a “scenarios” function that lets you determine the impact different business decisions would have on your cash flow, before you actually make them, would need to stump up, at a minimum, between $50 and $80 a month for this functionality.  

Free expense and budgeting apps would suit most contractors and sole traders who don’t require complex forecasting and reporting tools, but who do need to see when money is coming in and when it’s going out, and whether there are deficiencies.

The ATO’s tax and superannuation app

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Image: Courtesy of ATO website

Looking into the best expense and budgeting apps for small business, we came across the Australian Tax Office’s app, simply called ATO. It works on Windows phones, as well as iOs and Android devices, and it’s updated regularly by the ATO, so you know this isn’t just a passing fling.

Our post on cash flow reporting and forecasting for contractors and sole traders went through the app’s functions, including what we thought were some standout features:

  • Recording expenses and deductions
  • Tracking mileage
  • Inputting income
  • Tax calculators
  • Business performance calculator
  • Lodging income tax returns.

If these features sound familiar, that’s because they’re all the features you’ll find in a basic cloud accounting program, with the notable exception of invoicing. Electronic invoicing is not something the ATO is particularly concerned with because it’s not a requirement. Invoicing, of course, is a requirement, but how you do it — in person, by snail mail, email, etc — isn’t.

Cloud accounting still best and easiest

If the ATO app introduced a simple way to invoice customers, we’d say it was definitely muscling in on QuickBooks and Xero’s territory, since both programs appeal to the small business owner, QuickBooks in particular.

In absence of that, the ATO app is a great tool for contractors and small business owners to use to keep track of their expenses and deductions, and especially to calculate their tax rates (so as to properly keep money aside for tax, rather than being hit with a tax bill you have to pay off). For contractors with a very simply business model, it’s even useful for lodging your tax return.

But otherwise, cloud accounting applications are still the best and easiest way for businesses to run an efficient, compliant business. At the end of the day, for many small business owners, they’re not drawn to Xero or QuickBooks because they want to stay compliant, it’s because they want to be able to easily invoice customers and track their income — compliance is just an added bonus.

Our online Xero training courses meet all skills levels for ONE LOW COST. We will show you how to record deductions, invoice customers, run financial reports, and lodge activity statements and tax returns. Visit our website for more information about our range of online accounting, media and general business courses.


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Need to brush up on Excel? 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! And all of our Excel courses can be counted towards CPD points.