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Will Xero Dethrone MYOB as the King of Accounting Software?

Xero may not have toppled MYOB's crown, but they've certainly forced them to find new ways to remain relevant.
Xero may not have toppled MYOB’s crown, but they’ve forced them to  remain relevant.

We’ve been offering MYOB training courses for a very long time and that’s largely because they have long been the market leader in accounting software.

But in the last few years there’s been a definite shift in the accounting software space, and with cloud-based technology, a number of other players have entered the marketplace. Continue reading Will Xero Dethrone MYOB as the King of Accounting Software?

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You Can Still Be a Valuable Bookkeeper Without a Cert IV

Cert IV Bookkeeper
You don’t need a Cert IV to be a valuable bookkeeper for small businesses.

In our last post about getting bookkeeping clients for free, we mentioned how the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (the ICB) only adds bookkeepers to its Practice Directory who are Cert IV-qualified. Having a Cert IV qualification in bookkeeping enables you to apply to the Tax Practitioners Board to become certified to provide BAS services to your clients.

Only Needed for Lodgement of BAS

However, most of the work carried out by a BAS agent is work that can be completed by a bookkeeper without a Cert IV; it’s just that only registered BAS agents can lodge a BAS return for their client.

So while it may be useful for some contract bookkeepers to get their Cert IV qualification so they can lodge their client’s BAS returns among other things, it’s not necessary if you only want to manage the data entry for your clients.

Bookkeepers Needed for Data Entry

In fact, bookkeepers carrying out data entry is one of the core functions required by a lot of small businesses and sole traders because they have become too busy to look after it themselves and because it takes them away from their core work.

An experienced bookkeeper that can look after a business’ books is still an incredibly valuable asset to any business, and as more and more Australians go into business for themselves, the demand for bookkeepers is going to increase.

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So if you’ve completed our LIFETIME access MYOB Training Course with the certificate option, contact us today to arrange to have your profile placed on the MYOB Bookkeeper Directory.

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The EzyLearn MYOB Course Community

At EzyLearn we offer a handful of online training courses: Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook), MYOB Accounting, and WordPress website design and blogging. There are many companies who promote courses online and that’s just what they do — promote courses online — but we try to be a little different.

Here’s why:

  • We offer only a handful of courses and we do them very well
  • Our courses come with LIFETIME Membership
  • As a student you receive fresh, new content without paying extra
  • Where possible, we provide real life exercise files so you can work with the software.

Our Online Community

Our experience with thousands of students has taught us that some students need more interaction than just the videos. They also like to bounce off other people to better understand the software they are learning.

That’s why we provide our Student Community and Tutor Support — to provide our students with the ability to communicate with fellow students, as well as ask questions of our experienced community moderators. It’s like having your own tutor that you can ask questions to who can provide quality answers based on their own experience in their relative industries.

Our students range from job seekers to small business owners and existing bookkeepers wanting to learn more, to accountants who may be thinking of leaving the corporate world and setting up a small business for themselves (or even seeking greater work-life balance).

Qualified Moderators

Our student support community is moderated by our MYOB Bookkeeper and Registered BAS agent, giving students the benefit of both communication with other course attendees (to socialise and to learn) as well as obtain answers to specific questions.

Annual Membership

Our Student Community and Tutor Support is provided on a yearly membership basis and you can continue or opt-out as you please each year. The service is available to existing EzyLearn students or new students enrolling into any one of our courses.

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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.

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Now YOU Can Start Your Own Online Training Business

If you are a bookkeeper, selling online MYOB training courses to your clients could be the perfect complement to your business.
If you are a bookkeeper, selling online MYOB training courses to your clients could be the perfect complement to your business.

We’ve mentioned before how we offer enrolment vouchers for our MYOB training courses, which we sell to training organisations and accountants. The idea is that accountants and other trainers can give their customers additional training without having to having to provide the materials and content themselves.

Are you a Bookkeeper? What about Becoming an Online Trainer Too?

But this also presents the opportunity for existing bookkeepers to extend their businesses into the area of online training. We’re looking to partner with existing bookkeepers who would like to provide online MYOB training courses, for which we’d provide the website, tailored to your business needs.

For bookkeepers, this allows you to extend your business beyond just bookkeeping, and use your knowledge and skills to train others in MYOB without having to provide the course content or the necessary infrastructure to facilitate an online training course to your students.

For EzyLearn, it gives us the opportunity to extend our reach and capture a larger pool of students we may not have previously been able to reach. It also fulfils our goal of helping bookkeepers start their own businesses and take control of their careers.

How Does It Work?

Sound interesting? This is how it would work: you register your interest in working with us, and we would have a conversation about your business goals. If both parties are happy to move forward, we’d provide you with a website, tailored to your needs, and sell you the initial stock — vouchers for EzyLearn’s famous MYOB training course, which you would then sell onto your clients.

The end result is a partnership where we provide the materials and infrastructure to operate a training business. What you do after that is entirely up to you. For instance, you might decide to bundle our online training course with one-on-one training, for which you’d charge extra for your time. The possibilities are endless!

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If you’re interested, please let us know what type of online training partnership you want so we can have a discussion about your goals and what’s on offer.

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What’s New in MS Office 2013? Here’s a Quick List

Frequent updates and infrequent use of software like Excel can really leave you stumped - that's where Lifetime Membership comes in real handy!
Frequent updates and infrequent use of software like Excel can really leave you stumped – that’s where Lifetime Membership comes in real handy!

At EzyLearn we offer online training courses for MYOB — the #1 Cloud-accounting software — but did you know we also offer training in Microsoft Excel and Word?

Just as we do with our MYOB training courses, we also offer Lifetime access to our MS Excel and Word training courses, which means each time Microsoft releases a new version of MS Office, we update our course content so you’re always totally up to date with the latest versions of Word and Excel.

Keeping Excel in Your Memory

Let’s be straight up here; once you get the hang of Word you probably won’t need to refer back to our course content all that much. Excel, on the other hand, is a different ball game.

In many ways Excel is a lot like algebra or a foreign language: if you don’t use it often, you’ll forget it. Sure, you’ll remember bits — J’adore Dior! E = mc2! — but you’re likely to struggle through your day-to-day if it’s something you rely on heavily at work.

Because many people use accounting software like MYOB, their use of Excel is fairly infrequent. For instance, suddenly trying to create a PivotTable will probably leave most of us stumped! And let’s not forget that by the time most users have mastered how to create macros in their worksheets, Microsoft will have released a new version of MS Office and we’ll be back to square one again. This, in large part, is a key reason why we offer Lifetime access to our training courses— because we, just like you, also forget stuff.

New Features in New MS Word and Excel (in a Nutshell)

Now that Microsoft has released their highly anticipated MS Office 2013, it’s likely you won’t be able to find the ‘Paste Special’ button again, so we’re updating our course content to reflect the new changes.

Here’s a low-down on some of the new features in the new MS Word and Excel:

Word:

  • Open and edit PDF files in Word – finally! Gone are the days of having an additional piece of software installed on your PC to enable this.
  • Threaded review comments
  • Read mode with page turning
  • Alignment guides – hallelujah! Why have they never had this before!
  • Placeholder

Excel:

  • Quick analysis
  • Flash fill – we’ve always had this to an extent, but flash fill just got a whole lot more intelligent!
  • PowerView – for the real Excel pro, but still a welcome addition.
  • New PivotTable tools
  • Improved functionality when opening new Excel windows
  • Recommended PivotTables and charts
  • New chart controls
  • Get a link
  • Publish Excel data to social media – we don’t recommend using this often, because snore. But it’s still great if you want to quickly share your yoy sales results with your Twitter followers or Facebook friends.

So whether you’re using MS Office 2013, 2010 or prior, if you’ve forgotten how to do a VLOOKUP, it’s time you educated yourself in the mystery that is Excel — enrol in one of our Microsoft training courses today!

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Superannuation News: What is the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House?

Allocating everyone's super into different super funds can be taxing! Now the government's stepping in to help.
Allocating everyone’s super into different super funds can be taxing! Now the government’s stepping in to help.

One of the modules we cover in our MYOB course is the tricky business of payroll, which includes the even trickier business of superannuation. Over the last 12 months there’s been a raft of changes to the superannuation guarantee, including its gradual increase to 12 percent, which came into effect this July. But super just got easier.

Super: Confusing and Consuming

Many small business owners find managing the day to day items confusing enough without having to look after payroll — a complex, but all-important aspect of any business. Fortunately, the Australian Government has recognised that the superannuation requirements are making payroll and increasingly complicated business that many small business owners struggle with.

Making super contributions for your employees is not just complicated — it’s also time-consuming. Under the current tax laws, each of your employees have the option of selecting their own super fund, which means you can be making super contributions into different super funds for each of your employees. With the Government’s new initiative The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House, those days are over.

The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House

Every small business with 19 or fewer employees is eligible for this free service that enables you to make just one secure superannuation payment to The Super Clearing House, which is then distributed among your employees to their nominated super funds.

The Super Clearing House minimises the paper work and red tape associated with superannuation for small businesses and also allows you to nominate a regular contribution amount for each of your employees, so you can easily meet the superannuation guarantee obligations.

Using The Super Clearing House won’t affect the rest of your payroll requirements in MYOB — though it does look like it’s a direct competitor for MYOB’s M-Powered Superannuation — and once you register for The Super Clearing House service online, you can access it 24/7.

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For more information on The Super Clearing House, visit their website, the Department of Human Services website or download The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House reference guide here.

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Friend or Foe? The Bookkeeper-Accountant Relationship

Bookkeepers and accountants can be allies.
Bookkeepers and accountants can be allies.

IF YOU’VE RECENTLY COMPLETED our MYOB course, or perhaps started your own bookkeeping business, or thinking about starting one, the word ‘accountant’ can sometimes make you feel a little nervous. Particularly if it’s hurled at you in a sentence like: “I’m going to check that with my accountant!”

It is unfortunate, but many people aren’t aware of the important function a bookkeeper can play in a business. Bookkeepers are often relegated to being “the accountant’s poor cousin” (not dissimilar to the way nurses are seen in comparison to doctors); while for some people the only bookkeeper they’ve heard of hangs out at the dog track!

Don’t Fear Your Accountant!

But the word ‘accountant’ really doesn’t need to put the fear of God in you. The fact is a bookkeeper provides valuable services that many accountants simply can’t; and nearly all accountants are more than grateful for the work bookkeepers do.

To work as a professional bookkeeper, you must show you are amply qualified in areas of Australian tax, payroll and sometimes, basic accounting. As it happens, there are many qualified accountants that work as bookkeepers — as is the case with bookkeeping firm, Build on Bookkeeping.

Since most business owners will find themselves an accountant first and a bookkeeper second, if you have a good working relationship with all of the accountants you deal with, they will more than likely refer clients on to you.

So if you can work well with your client’s accountants — by getting your EOFY analysis done in time and the relevant reports to them quickly — you may find yourself a personal advocate for your business.

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So don’t live in fear of the accountant — embrace them. Read our tips on keeping the accountant happy come EOFY and you’re well on your way to a prosperous working relationship with the accountants of all of your clients.


 

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Be Real about Yourself for that Bookkeeping Job

Does your resume really reflect you? Remember, it's important to be specific and provide examples.
Does your resume really reflect you? Remember, it’s important to be specific and provide examples.

We’re always trying to help people who have done our online MYOB course get work, so it’s time to emphasise again the message that overselling yourself in your resume stands out a mile — for all the wrong reasons!

What to Ditch

We’ve written previous posts with tips on how to make your resume stand out. Whether it’s a bookkeeper, office admin, virtual assistant or executive-level role you’re after, we’ve selected a few commonly used phrases that you should be leaving out of your resume and what you might include to replace them. Here goes:

“Highly qualified” – instead of using this generic and largely meaningless term, describe what you will bring to the role. Highlight specific accomplishments in previous positions and any awards or certifications you’ve earned.

“Hard worker” – explain just how it is you’ve gone the extra mile. Perhaps you frequently met tough deadlines, handled a high volume of projects or tackled tasks outside your job description?

“Team player” – well, it’s a bit of a problem if you don’t work well with others, so this tends to be assumed these days. Talk about a specific objective you achieved by partnering with colleagues or individuals in other departments?

“Problem solver” – again, be specific; highlight a tricky situation you encountered and how you solved the problem exactly.

“Flexible” – adaptability is a must in most organisations. Demonstrate your flexibility by describing how you responded to a major change at work or dealt with unpredictable aspects of your role.

“People person” – here it might be an idea to provide an instance of how you won over a challenging customer or co-worker.

“Self-starter” – yes, companies need people with initiative – show how you took the initiative when you saw an issue that needed to be addressed.

Remember, It’s the Little Things

We spoke to a couple of head hunters we know about what can make your resume stand out amongst the hundreds a prospective employer might receive. They were unanimous in their view that what piqued their interest were details and specifics about such things as what changes you contributed to your last position; in other words, some aspect that they could delve into and explore a little more. Real examples and instances of where you’ve contributed to a company in a positive way could then spark a conversation in a job interview.

Specifics for Bookkeepers

If you’re looking for bookkeeping work, we suggest ensuring you demonstrate some sound information about the evolving legislation around BAS agents and information about Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for bookkeeping professionals. Keep subscribing to our blog to receive other job seeking tips and tricks in your Inbox.

 

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Payroll Advice: The Role of the Payroll Professional

There's a lot of aspects to payroll.
Sometimes the importance of payroll is underestimated.

When the national minimum wage increased this month, it got us thinking about the role the payroll professional plays in a business. Payroll is an important and often complex aspect of every business — and a topic we cover in our MYOB training course — but it’s often the most underestimated. So we decided to take a deeper look at the role of the payroll professional.

Payroll: There’s Quite a Lot to It

Even though payroll sounds easy enough — you just pay people their wages, right? — it’s actually not as simple as it sounds. As a payroll professional, you’re entirely responsible for understanding and interpreting the ever-changing regulations and legislation relating to payroll; as well as managing the demands of both the employer and employee.

And as such, payroll is not a simple task for the uninitiated; it requires a person with solid knowledge of PAYG and superannuation, as well as an understanding of Australian tax.

For instance, how do you ensure you’re making the correct contributions to an employee’s HECS or HELP debt? Or make sure super contributions are made correctly (and to the correct fund)? Are you certain your employees are being paid according to the correct modern award? Getting these things wrong is not just time-consuming to rectify, but can also incur fines to your company!

In a recent new book by Tracey Angwin called The Payroll Revolution (which has gone on to become an Australian best seller) Angwin discusses the responsibility of the payroll professional and offers practical and guided tips on Australian payroll.

Just some of the skills that Angwin suggests the payroll professional should possess are:

  • Strong people skills
  • AIS/payroll software experience (such as MYOB)
  • General email, word and excel skills
  • Strong understanding of superannuation and PAYG
  • Good knowledge of the Fairwork Act
  • Ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines
  • Strong mathematical skills
  • Strong problem solving skills.

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We cover the technical side of payroll in our MYOB training course; the Australian Payroll Association website can also give you more information on payroll practices. We also highly recommend The Payroll Revolution.

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Tax and BAS: How to Register with the Tax Practitioners Board

Bookkeepers Who Want to Provide BAS Services Need TPB Certification

start a bookkeeping business
Don’t stress: The TPB certification requirements may actually kick-start some people’s bookkeeping businesses.

Whether you are a bookkeeper who uses Xero or MYOB or one of the other accounting software packages that we offer training on, you are probably aware that Australian tax legislation has changed recently. As a result, providing BAS services to clients is not as simple as it once was. 

All bookkeepers who wish to provide a BAS service for a fee, must now hold a Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping or Accounting) or higher to be eligible for registration.

What makes up a BAS service?

The BAS services page on the ATO website can provide you with information about the qualification requirements and the education requirements for BAS agents to become certified with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) so you can offer tax and BAS services to clients.

Becoming certified with the TPB is a lot like getting your drivers license: you need to be able to demonstrate the relevant experience of at least 1400 hours, or 1000 hours if you’re already a member of a professional organisation — like the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers — which you can become a member of for free when you complete an applicable EzyLearn Training Course.

If you’re working under the supervision of another registered Tax or BAS agent, you cannot provide any Tax or BAS services to any clients you may pick up of your own. In other words, you must only provide tax or BAS services to clients known to your supervising Tax/BAS agent.

For some newcomers to the industry, this may seem daunting. But that’s just because conventional wisdom suggests that you must take on some form of permanent employment, working for a bookkeeper or accountant who is registered with the TPB and can supervise you while you gain the necessary skills to go out on your own.

But that’s not actually the case. While this is an option — and a good one if you’ve never worked as a bookkeeper before — it’s not the only one. You can still work with another registered Tax/BAS agent as a contractor, providing these services to the registered Tax/BAS agent’s clients until you’re eligible to go out on your own.

Kick start your own business

This is a great way to get a start on your own business — perhaps just offering non BAS services to start with — while you gain the skills to become registered to offer GST and BAS services. Contract bookkeeping jobs of this nature are actually easier to find that it may seem — often by striking up a working relationship with an accountant or another certified bookkeeper.

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Find out more information on how to register with the TPB so you can provide tax and BAS services. And remember: you can become a member of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers for free when you complete an applicable EzyLearn Training Course.


Online bookkeeping accounting training courses for CPD points

 


 

 

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Why I Chose EzyLearn for MYOB

EzyLearn online MYOB training course
Get certified with our EzyLearn online MYOB training course.

Hi, my name’s Michelle Stone and I’m an existing EzyLearn MYOB student. I’ve been asked to write a blog about why I chose Ezylearn for MYOB. Well, it didn’t take me much time to decide at all.

Last year, I was put in a situation at home that required me to take over my late father’s business. In taking over this business I needed to reorganise everything, including the accounting software they used. I was introduced to a chartered accountant who became a mentor and he runs his whole chartered accounting firm using MYOB. So I went into his office one day and his assistant director tried to teach me MYOB in one day. At the end of the day I was so confused!

I knew I needed to find something fast to help me with MYOB. It’s complicated software that can’t be trained / taught in one day, unless you are a genius (which I’m not!)

I went home to my trusty computer and looked up MYOB courses on Google and really looked at the different courses on offer. I had a few criteria of my own that had to be matched:

I wanted:

  • To study when I wanted to — mornings, night, and weekends, anytime suitable/available.
  • To study where I wanted to — café, work or more relaxing environment at home.
  • To study and learn at my own pace, not someone else’s pace; be it the teacher or other students.
  • To have visual examples with step-by-step instructions, then be able to practise the same thing in MYOB.
  • To have assistance when I needed it, not just when I’m learning but when I’ve completed the course as well.
  • To have a certificate or certification at the end. This made me feel good once I completed the course and I felt it would assist me in acquiring work afterwards.
  • To be able to use the course materials in real-time situations.

EzyLearn met all those criteria and more. The EzyLearn online MYOB course helped me to learn the ins and outs of running a small business from an accounting point of view. It made learning MYOB easy because all the learning material and guidance was at my fingertips with a push of a few buttons on my own computer.

So for me it’s not so much why choose Ezylearn for MYOB — it’s why not?

— Michelle Stone

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There’s Never Been a Better Time to Start Your Own Business!

Ah - the freedom of running your own small business!
Ah – the freedom of running your own small business!

A large number of bookkeepers who have completed our online MYOB course have successfully started their own businesses and to reiterate a recent blog post from Steve, the first step in starting your own business is making the decision to begin.  Secondly you have to come up with the idea, and whether it seems like it or not, all of us every day are full of ideas. It doesn’t matter what your level of education is or how old (or young) you are — we all have ideas and desires, so the initial stages of starting a business are really pretty simple. And never think you’re alone; did you know that small businesses (defined as having less than 20 employees) employ a whopping 47 percent of Australia’s total workforce. That’s a lot of people who had ideas and keep growing them.

Making Sure You’re Relevant

The actions you take after you’ve come up with your idea and how you develop this idea into a product or service that others are interested in or need is critical. We provide online training for Australia’s most popular accounting software, MYOB, and it’s clear there’s a strong demand for bookkeeping skills in small businesses around the country. Indeed, if you have accounting or bookkeeping skills and qualifications and are interested in starting a business, then there’s never been a better time to explore a Small Business Course that has now been loaded on our Learning Management System (LMS).

The Small Business Management Course for Self Starters

Our Small Business Management course covers all the aspects you need when starting a business. Our first subject covers ‘Originate and Develop Concepts‘. As you progress, the course provides you with the skills you need to create a business plan so you end up with something tangible and that ensures you’re idea can actually come to fruition. But the course is not only suited to those people thinking about starting a business; it’s also a terrific course if you want to elevate your skills in your current work too.

Our course has been designed by Maggie Richardson from the Australian Small Business Centre. Maggie has helped over 1,000 people build business plans that have turned their ideas into profitable realities.

Remember: Businesses are proven to be more successful when they operate to a business plan.

If this is your year to start a business, come and join us online with the Small Business Management Course or visit the Australian Small Business Centre and get started by subscribing to their blog posts.

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How to Get Paid on Time by Doing Absolutely Nothing

Doing nothing in office
Keep on top of invoices without lifting a finger!

In the past, we have talked about debtor management, the ways you can avoid late-payers by keeping an eye on your cash and assets cycle, and now we thought it was time we talked about the ways you can keep on top of those outstanding invoices without even lifting a finger!

Why Getting Paid on Time Matters

Dealing with late-payers is frustrating, time-consuming, and at times, downright awkward. For freelancers, sole-traders and small businesses, getting paid on time is essential to keeping your cash flow under control.

If you’re not in the position to turn down those perpetual late-payers’ business, then you need to put strategies into place to best manage those late-payers.

Gentle Email Reminders for Getting Paid on Time

Sending a polite, yet firm reminder email to clients a few days before their invoice becomes due is a good way to remind people an invoice is due to be paid, particularly if you have terms of 21 days or more. Often you’ll find most people will pay you once they’re given a gentle nudge via an email reminder.

Of course, there are always those who’ll still try and stretch it out as long as possible — it’s likely their cash flow isn’t much chop; in a sense, by paying you late they’re robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Most of the time, these clients are hoping you haven’t noticed. By sending them a follow up email reminder a couple of days after your invoice was due will show them you have noticed, you haven’t forgotten, and they’ll likely concede defeat and pay — if they still don’t respond, it may be time to implement some of the strategies we discussed here.

More Stringent Payment Terms

But if you find emailing you clients each time their invoices come due and then again when they’re late is not only time-consuming, but also awkward, try setting up the parameters in your invoicing software so that automatic reminder emails are sent out before and after your invoices come due.

Most cloud-based accounting programs, like Freshbooks, Zoho, Shoebooks, Saasu and Salestastic now offer this automatic reminder facility, freeing you up to concentrate on the other areas of your business.

For businesses that have a dedicated accounts receivable department, the ability to send automatic reminders could, depending on the size of your business, save hours, even days of manpower. Plus, it eliminates any awkwardness you may feel chasing someone for a $50 invoice — sure, that one $50 isn’t much, but over time they do add up.

So get paid on time without even lifting a finger by using the automated reminders in your accounting software.

Remember: If you have already completed one of our MYOB training courses and need a bit of a refresher on the Accounts Receivable module, which deals with the ways to get paid on time, you can review it again for FREE if you are within your 12 month enrolment access period OR if you selected our additional option of Lifetime Access.

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Tossing Up Where to Study? We Look at TAFE, Uni and Private Facilities

online study courses
Where you study will probably change over time.

There are more ways to study, more institutions to study with and more courses to study than ever before. But with so much choice, it raises the question: Where’s the best place to study?

Study to Suit Your Circumstances

I am a university graduate and I wouldn’t swap my degree for anything else. But I’ve also studied online and completed short courses and seminars run by universities and various other learning institutions.

Each time I studied, the method of delivery — face-to-face, online — or institution I chose offered me something that uniquely suited my circumstances at the time.

As a university student undertaking a five-year journalism degree, it was necessary to gain entry into the competitive media industry where a tertiary education is essential.

But when I decided to study again — this time an online course on becoming a freelancer — it provided me with the flexibility of studying when and where I wanted while I was still a full-time employee.

That said, I don’t believe an institution like TAFE or university is necessarily better than a private institution. For instance, I would NEVER study a language at university! I would much rather private tuition.

Online Study Benefits

I didn’t choose online study merely because of the flexible delivery — I was more than able to attend night classes at TAFE or uni if I’d desired. I chose online study because, having worked in the industry for several years already, I’d been exposed to much of the industry know-how and I was quite practised at working independently; face-time with the teacher and fellow students simply wasn’t necessary.

Studying with Peers

Sometime later I enrolled in a two-day seminar about building a successful freelance business. I had been freelancing for sometime by this point and I was seeking something that fostered interaction with fellow freelancers while I learned the low down, (semi) dirty tricks of the trade.

Stretching out your Study

And most recently, I completed a short course in investigative reporting; again at a university. What attracted me to the course was not the institution, but the teacher: a gold Walkley Award-winning investigative journalist. In this instance, I opted to attend the classes over a series of weeks rather than one intensive weekend, it gave me the chance to experiment with the things I was learning — accessing public registers like electoral rolls, seeking information from government departments through the Freedom of Information Act, and so on — so I could seek guidance if I ran into difficulties.

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So if you’re tossing up between online or face-to-face study, university or TAFE or a private institution, it’s not a matter of who’s the best or what’s the best method; it’s really a matter of what your circumstances are and what you’re hoping to achieve.

If you’re a motivated, self-starter we offer a number of online courses designed to help you develop and grow your skills across a range of pursuits, when and where you want.