How to tell a review is authentic
IF YOU’RE ANYTHING LIKE most people, rating and reviews are how you probably make many of your purchase decisions. This can be for purchasing white goods, clothing, a holiday, or even choosing a real estate agent.
The OpenAgent example
Take OpenAgent. A core function of OpenAgent, the real estate agent comparison site and lead generator, is its customer reviews, which serve two purposes:
- The first is to help consumers to make an informed decision when selecting a real estate agent
- And the second is to recommend top rated real estate agents to new OpenAgent customers.
True and and real ratings and reviews for businesses, whether they’re real estate agents on the OpenAgent site or reviews for OpenAgent itself on third party review sites, are important, because they’re the basis for which many consumers make their decisions.
Check reviewers are real people
So how do you know which ratings and reviews you see online are true, and which ones aren’t? It’s something companies like Google and Amazon and TripAdvisor have had to grapple with, because there are ways that companies can game them.
Lots of review sites don’t allow anonymous reviews or reviews that are left by people who don’t verify their identity by signing in with their Gmail or Facebook account. The theory goes that people are less likely to leave false reviews if they’re using their own name, and can be easily identified.
You can test this further by checking how many reviews, and the kinds of reviews, certain individuals leave on sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor.
If the same person shows up multiple times leaving only positive or only negative reviews for lots of different businesses, there’s a good chance this person isn’t real or they’re being paid to leave these reviews.
Likewise, a good test is to see how long the account has been active for. If it’s only recently been set up to give glowing (or negative) reviews to a new business, it’s likely there’s an ulterior motive at play.
Negative feedback is responded to
Not every business will be able to satisfy every customer or do everything right 100 percent of the time. But the businesses that make an effort to respond to negative reviews and criticisms, prove they’re committed to delivering the best possible service to all their customers, and also help show some reviewers for what they really are: baseless complaints or fakes.
Also keep your eyes peeled for the language used in reviews on businesses websites. If all the reviews say mostly the same thing, mostly the same way, they’re more than likely not legitimate.
Reviews with full names and locations
We believe there’s many reasons you can trust the reviews provided at EzyLearn. All of our student testimonials include their full name and location, and why they chose EzyLearn to study in the first place. We also offer a money-back guarantee and free samples of our course content, so students can trust they’re making the right choice.
Looking to brush up your skills in cloud accounting software? Looking to progress to intermediate or advanced levels in MYOB, Microsoft Excel, Xero or another accounting package? Need help with social media? Take a look at our wide range of online course options.
Are you in business as a bookkeeper, tradesperson, retailer, trainer or real estate agent and want to stand out from the crowd? We can teach you the online marketing techniques to help you do just this! Check out what’s included in our comprehensive Social Media and Digital Marketing online training courses.
Less complicated accounting software, like Xero, connects better with mobile apps
WE RECENTLY PUBLISHED A blog examining the different expense tracking apps you can connect with Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks, but during our research it became clear that most expense apps integrate with Xero or QuickBooks, but not MYOB.
That’s not to say there are no expense apps that integrate with MYOB. There are. Receipt Bank is one, Squirrel Street is another, and there are probably a lot more on the MYOB marketplace (or add-ons page). Probably the best expense tracking application we found is ExpenseManager, and it only integrates with MYOB.
MYOB is a robust, yet complicated system
As anyone who’s ever used MYOB can attest, it’s a complicated piece of software to navigate, even if it is a robust one. When Xero came along, it aimed to be both robust and easy-to-use, and for the most part it succeeded (it’s probably not as easy as QuickBooks, but then QuickBooks isn’t quite as robust).
Behind the scenes, there’s also a lot of complicated code driving MYOB that’s not easy to integrate with, unlike QuickBooks and Xero which rely on third-party integrations to deliver payroll and other services, so Xero and QuickBooks can keep the cost of their platforms down.
MYOB is used by accountants and bookkeepers
MYOB doesn’t really go after to same market that Xero and QuickBooks do (small and micro businesses), which is reflected in MYOB’s price. It’s aimed at medium sized businesses, which employ accountants and bookkeepers, and that’s not really the market expense apps like Expensify and Xpenditure are targeting.
Xero is one of our most popular training courses
That’s why Xero has become one of our most popular training courses. It’s robust and once you understand the principles of bookkeeping, fairly easy to use. And it integrates with a tonne of third party applications developed to make the life of the small business owner much easier and more efficient.
Keep an eagle eye on your expenses by using Xero and an expense app, and you’ll be able to see precisely where your business is the most profitable and where it’s not, so you can modify it accordingly.
Our Xero training courses will show you have to track expenses in Xero and how to connect third party apps to your Xero account. You can also brush up your MYOB skills or learn how to use MYOB with our MYOB online training course, incorporating 5 courses and 12 months’ access — all for one low cost. Visit our website for more information covering our ONE LOW COST for ALL LEVELS course options.
Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn 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.
Why it’s important to track your income streams
IF YOU’RE AN INDEPENDENT contractor, or you’re a full-time employee about to start up a side business, then you need to be able to keep a good track of all your income streams. There are a couple of reasons for this and both of them relate to tax.
Basically, income is income, regardless of how you earned it, and you’ll pay tax on the total amount. As an employee of another business, you’re likely to be earning money through your tax file number. Each week, your employer will withhold tax commensurate with how much money your employer has paid you. But this doesn’t take into account any other income.
If you’re also earning money from a side business, using an ABN, there’s no one to withhold tax on your behalf, so you need to keep a close eye on your income to ensure you have enough money in the bank to pay your tax bill — which you will get, I’m afraid — after your tax return has been filed.
Two tax returns? Use Excel
Although income is income, you will still have to file two tax returns, one for each income stream. That’s why you need to keep an eye on your accumulative income, and not just the money earned through your business.
There are lots of personal finance and budget apps that help you to track and manage your income, but the easiest, most flexible and most straightforward way to do this is to create an Excel spending or expense sheet, which our Excel training courses will teach you how to do.
Reasons why people have two income streams
It’s not just full time employees who are starting their own side business that have two income streams. Plenty of freelancers and independent contractors earn money through their ABN and TFN.
There are some businesses that prefer to put contractors on the payroll, usually because they’ll be working on a regular basis, onsite, and it’s just easier for the business to employ them as casuals. Often for insurance purposes, but it’s also because the work involved doesn’t conform to the definition the ATO uses for an independent contractor.
Other times, it’s because the contractor or freelancer is working in an entirely different industry on the side — hospitality or retail, for example — to supplement their freelance income, which is how a lot of people get businesses off the ground.
Focus on how to earn money
The main take away from all of this, is that when you’re tracking your income, focus on the ways to earn more income. If you discover that each month, you have a week where your income is lower, there’s an opportunity to fill that gap with another job or other income stream.
You can learn how to create and manage your expenses or spending in our Excel training courses, where you’ll be able to create your own spending or expense sheet, and how to perform daily bank reconciliations in MYOB or Xero in our cloud accounting training courses. For more information, visit our website.
Learn Microsoft Excel from scratch or brush up your Excel skills, at your own pace, with our affordable Excel online training courses — where you get THE LOT (that’s 9 courses in total) for ONE LOW PRICE — everything included! Volume corporate discounts are available.
Don’t miss a thing with an Excel expense sheet
HAVE YOU RECENTLY STARTED running your own business? Whether you have, or whether you’re about to, reconciling your bank accounts regularly is probably one of the best ways to monitor your expenditure in relation to your income.
If you’re operating your start up venture as a sole trader, the best way to keep tabs of where your expenditure sits is to use a cloud accounting application like Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks — in addition to a Microsoft Excel spending or expense sheet.
Your accounting software will help you to keep track of your income and business expenses and other important things that will affect your start up — such as how long it takes to get paid — while an Excel spending or expense sheet will help you to monitor all of your spending, business or otherwise.
The bank reconciliation process
This starts when you get your bank statement, but you can speed the process up, by entering recurring expenses into your Excel spreadsheet as they occur.
Remember that not all of your expenses are 100 percent business ones so you’ll need to estimate what percentage of your internet usage, for instance, has been for business purposes.
In your Excel spending sheet, you’ll enter the expense in total, but in your accounting software, you’ll only enter the percentage of the expense that relates to your business.
Identify cash flow problems
If your business has poor cash flow, using an Excel spending sheet in addition to your accounting software will allow you to identify what’s causing your cash flow problems. Sometimes cash flow problems are caused by later payers, due to poor credit management processes. Other times, however, you may find that you’re simply not earning enough to cover your expenses each week or month.
To remedy this immediately, you should look through your Excel spending sheet and see if there are any expenses, either business or discretionary ones, that you can reduce or eliminate. Then you should work on increasing your income. That’s easier said than done, which is why you should reduce your spending first.
If you don’t identify any cash flow issues, you will be able to begin forecasting profit. Typically, profit just refers to the income left over after all your business expenses have been accounted for.
But there are plenty of start ups and sole traders, who have a profitable business but are not profitable themselves.
That’s because there are many other expenses in your ordinary life — the remaining 70 percent of your internet bill, for example — that you still need to pay for.
If you’re also recording all your other expenses in an Excel spending sheet, you’ll be able to forecast your business’s profit, as well as your own personal profit (otherwise known as savings) with much greater accuracy.
The chart of accounts
In effect, what you’re doing here is creating a chart of accounts. You’ll learn more about the chart of accounts in our Xero and MYOB courses, but they are, in a nutshell, a financial record of every account — asset, liability, equity, revenue, etc — in your business.
You can learn how to create and manage your expenses or spending in our Excel training courses, where you’ll be able to create your own spending or expense sheet, and how to perform daily bank reconciliations in MYOB or Xero in our cloud accounting training courses. For more information, visit our website.
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 (and earn CPD points!) 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 (Excel, PowerPoint, Word) or social media and WordPress web design). Many of our courses are provided with ALL LEVELS included for ONE LOW PRICE.
We show you how to write off stock and inventory before the EOFY
IT’S A GOOD TIME TO START looking at any slow-moving or obsolete stock that your business (or your client’s business) may be holding, as we’ve reached the end of Quarter 3 and have now started Quarter 4 for the 2016/17 financial year — which means the end of the financial year is fast approaching.
Writing off stock in MYOB or Xero is known as making an inventory adjustment, and our MYOB BAS Reporting and GST or Xero GST, Reporting and BAS training courses take you through the steps to do this. But first, you need to identify which items aren’t selling. We’ve created this case study to help you understand how.
Understanding your inventory’s performance
Every business needs to understand how their inventory is performing, and how it impacts their business. If the business owner is too busy to stay on top of this, then they should employ a bookkeeper to help.
A good example of why understanding inventory is important to a business is to look at an air conditioning company. This business makes money two ways:
- Selling air conditioning units
- Installing / maintaining air conditioning units
The margin on the sale of an air conditioning unit is not much, a few percent on top of the wholesale price. Where the business makes its money is in the installation or maintenance of the units it sells.
The business purchases three dozen units, of varying brands, models, price points, etcetera. It now needs to know which units are most popular with customers and why; which units aren’t popular with customers and why; whether it’s profitable for the business to continue to stock the unpopular units; or, conversely, whether it’s profitable for the business to continue stocking the popular units.
The business’s bookkeeper regularly runs a number of reports in their accounting software, including profit and loss reports and stock-on-hand reports. These reports are used to identify which units sell quickly, as well as the units that take longer to sell, and the profit margins on each.
The units that sell quickly don’t require a technician to install them. Although they’re responsible for the majority of sales, they don’t generate more revenue for the business. The units that sell slowly, do generate more revenue as they require installation and maintenance, however too many units were ordered and they’ve now been discontinued by the manufacturer. Some units have hardly sold, and, although not discontinued, have been superseded by newer models.
Stock write offs and future orders
Because the bookkeeper regularly runs these reports, s/he has been able to export them into Excel for further analysis. By the end of Q3, the bookkeeper can make suggestions to the business owner about the future of the business.
In particular, the bookkeeper suggests that the units that have been superseded are marked down to clear as much stock as possible, and cease any new orders. Likewise, the discontinued models will be marked down.
Orders for the units that replaced the discontinued models will halve the order volume. Likewise, order volumes for the top selling units will reduced. The profit margin on these units is very low and they result in no additional revenue from installation or maintenance. The profit that would be earned on the additional units is negligible, however by reducing the unit volumes, the business improves its cash flow.
Act NOW for EOFY
If your business sells stock or a combination of stock and services, like the air conditioning business does above, start looking at your inventory now. Markdown any slow-moving stock at the end of Q3, to give your business time to move the remainder of it. If it doesn’t sell, write it off at EOFY.
Our MYOB and Xero training courses have recently been updated to include a workbook on how to write off inventory. Learn more about our MYOB BAS Reporting and GST or Xero GST, Reporting and BAS training courses at our website.
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.
Which is the Pick of the Bunch?
IN A PREVIOUS POST, we highlighted some of the biggest differences between QuickBooks and MYOB.
However Xero is also a serious competitor to MYOB (and QuickBooks to a lesser degree).
So let’s take a look at the different capabilities of each accounting application and the kinds of businesses they best suit.
FINDING PROSPECTS AND converting them into clients involves selling and most of us hate doing it, but wait…
For those of us in small business, be it as a bookkeeper, real estate agent, sales rep or the like, most of us are selling every day of our lives.
This means we get pretty good at it. We develop techniques that we can replicate and that become part of our daily lives.
The process of selling is really no longer about selling per se; it becomes about a systemised process of:
- sourcing new leads (using content marketing, networking and advertising)
- educating those leads about their services (using websites, social media, white papers, property reports)
- understanding whether the lead would in fact be a good buyer or potential client (using face-to-face meetings, phone conversations and emails)
- closing the sale (via offer and acceptance, funds transfer, receipts and after sales support).
With the growing power of modern cloud-based technologies, more people are taking the plunge to start their own businesses, but people who do so must constantly:
- stand out from their competitors (say, other bookkeepers) to get discovered by people needing help with their books, either remotely or in their home/office
- do an efficient job in managing their schedule and dealing with clients, and
- market their services effectively.
Content Marketing takes the “salesy” out of selling
I’ve written a lot about content marketing lately because content marketing is simply imperative for anybody looking to sell their products and services and source new clients.
The beauty of content marketing is that, as a system to source new leads, you can cover all the steps of the selling process without it seeming like a chore and, best of all, without feeling “salesy”, cheesy or inauthentic. It’s focus is about the potential client — it’s about providing them with relevant information that will benefit them — not ramming a sales pitch down their throat.
Good sales people realise that sales and the very process of selling is not about just “closing” a sale. Rather, it’s about understanding what the customer needs, seeing if your product is a good fit and then offering a solution to a customer’s problem.
How much of sales is Content Marketing?
To this end, content marketing is about 80% of the selling process or 80% of the sales funnel (as corporate sales people like to call it).
This is because content marketing involves information gathering; it involves seeing if your product and YOU are a good fit for your client.
These are the content marketing stages:
- creating relevant and interest website content
- ‘call to action’ that results in email or mobile number capture
- email or SMS marketing
- social media profiles to engage with your prospects
- CRM’s to manage the final parts of the selling process.
When you implement these systems you can sit back and watch it work and then focus on your conversion rate or what industry experts call CRO – Conversion Rate Optimisation.
Do you really want to be an online marketing professional? Let us manage it for you
Most of our students are looking for bookkeeping work, or want to start a bookkeeping service business — that’s why they use our services for MYOB Training Courses, Excel Training Courses, Xero Courses and Small Business Management Training.
Our recently updated bookkeeping directory is matching small business people to bookkeepers for a fair rate (for instance, if you want a level 3 bookkeeper, you pay for a level 3 bookkeeper). The National Bookkeeping directory is aimed at helping people (our students primarily) find bookkeeping work or start a bookkeeping business, but it’s also a great way for small businesses to find bookkeepers located close by, or who have the skills they require but who don’t necessarily need to come into the office and can assist them in the cloud.
To find out how you can be more than just a bookkeeper, and start your own bookkeeping business and promote your valuable bookkeeping services to a wider circle of potential clients via content marketing, read about listing yourself on National Bookkeeping or becoming a licensee.
When it Comes to Your Career, Hopping Around is OK
For many years, young people, particularly Generation Y, were cautioned about changing their jobs too often — or being a “job hopper”. It would give the impression they were flaky or disloyal or unable to commit, they were told. You want to find a job where you can stay there for at least 10 years, where you can grow and progress through the company. That was the advice handed out just a decade ago, perhaps even more recently than that.
But the tide is now rolling the other way. People of all generations and work experience are now being advised to change their jobs, not just every decade, but every 3 years, or 5 at a minimum. Do that and, rather than being seen as a liability, you’ll be seen as an asset.
What Job Hopping Gives You
All those different jobs, at different companies and in different industries, cultivates skills and attitude that’s highly sought after by a range of employers. Changing jobs shows you’re willing to adapt, able to move with the times, and that you possess many different skills that you wouldn’t had you been left to inevitably go stale in the same old job for a decade or more.
However, besides acquiring a new skill, there are other benefits to changing jobs regularly. People who change jobs will typically earn up to 50 percent more than if they stayed in one job. That’s because the economy isn’t what it used to be, and the days of being rewarded with a fat pay rise each year are pretty well over. And even if your company still regularly gives their staff a pay rise, it’s unusually anything more than between 3 and 5 percent — but 50 percent? Keep dreaming.
Job Hopper or Continuing Professional Development?
If you’re a person who can change jobs frequently, it indicates that you’re probably a quick learner. You’re the kind of person who can pick up on new systems, processes, procedures, and even workplace cultures, and that makes you incredibly valuable for prospective employers. In many ways, this job hopping could be considered a new skill itself, an informal type of continuing professional development. Sound like you or someone you know?
Continuing professional development has become exceedingly important to many employers in the last decade because of how quickly new technologies have been introduced into the workplace, as well as the changes to many industries themselves. In the bookkeeping profession, for example, there have been numerous software changes, as well as changes to industry regulations that now require all tax agents to register with the Tax Practitioners Board (TCB) and hold a minimum Certificate IV in Bookkeeping from TAFE to provide tax-related services; bookkeepers are also required to engage in continuing professional education in order to renew their registration with the TPB.
Just as it’s important for employees to show they’ve got the latest training in software that’s been introduced into their industry, it’s equally important to show that you possess other skills that usually aren’t taught in a classroom (or on an online content management system!) — such as, being receptive to change, quick thinking, personable, and being engaged by your work. That last one, the one about engagement, is super important, because it’s now believed that the learning curve tends to flatten after 3 years.
Flattening Out in Your Job
In other words, after you’ve worked somewhere for 3 or more years, you stop learning things, stop picking up new skills, and, usually, stop being engaged at work. You’re now just going through the motions because your job has become second nature to you. These are not sought after qualities in an employee; worse still, after 3 years, the skills you learned early on in the piece are probably close to being outdated, if they aren’t already, anyway.
Plan for the Next Three Years of Your Career
Think about where you’d like to be three new iPhones from now (one that’s waterproof, hopefully), and plan your career accordingly. Think about whether you’ll need to update your education in the future, too. Don’t forget that, with new technologies and new processes for using that technology in the workplace, you’ll need the skills to match if you’re going to be able to compete in the job market.
‘Think about where you’d like to be three new iPhones from now… and plan your career accordingly.’
In fact, the majority of students who take our online MYOB and Xero training courses, do so because they’d like to improve their skill sets to help them get work, or so that they can begin working for themselves as independent contractors, and they’d like to be able to offer bookkeeping services to businesses, regardless of the accounting software they use.
If you’re looking to improve you current skill set or you’d simply like to learn a new one, visit our website for a full list of our training courses and details on how to enrol. If you enrol in any of our MYOB, Excel, Word or WordPress training courses, you’ll receive Lifetime Membership to our course materials. This means you can stay up-to-date with each new version of software that’s released for no additional cost!
What To Do So You Don’t Lose Money When Doing Your BAS
If your business is registered for GST, it means you have to file regular activity statements with the ATO, usually each quarter. A lot of business owners export their Business Activity Statement (BAS) data straight from their accounting software, like MYOB or QuickBooks, and quickly prepare their BAS’ that way. But this is an imprecise method, and one that could be costing you money.
Tracey Marino, an experienced bookkeeper based in Rockingham, WA, knows how important it is that businesses of all sizes keep their Business Activity Statements error-free so as not to end up costing business owners money.
An Error-Free BAS in 6 Steps
Here’s six steps you can take for an accurate BAS:
- Check to ensure all bank, credit card, overdraft, loan, and petty cash accounts are reconciled with the original bank statements at the end of every BAS quarter.
- Print your monthly profit and loss (P&L) report for the respective BAS quarter, and check for abnormalities in income or expenditure over the three months. You should also compare this quarter’s P&L report with the P&L report from the previous quarter (in the same financial year), as well as the P&L report from the same quarter in the previous financial year to detect any unexpected transactions.
- Print out the balance sheet as at the end of the BAS quarter. Note the balances for the wage and salary, payroll, payable, super expense and payable, and PAYG and GST accounts, and investigate any abnormalities.
- Generate the general ledger exceptions report to review any abnormal transactions. This report will indicate any differences in the GST codes for the same types of purchases or sales by comparing the current transactions with previous transactions.
- Print your BAS and compare with it with last quarter’s BAS, as well as the BAS from the same quarter of the previous year, and ensure that your GST, PAYG, sales, and purchases are consistent across all three BAS’.
- Lodge and pay your BAS on time to avoid penalties, and remember to record the BAS payment in your accounting software.
Although this may appear to be ‘double handling’, in fact, it eliminates double handling by ensuring that the activity statements you lodge with the ATO are correct and error-free. Typically, the mistakes this method turns up are ones that would be of benefit to the ATO and not to the business owner. So rather than give the ATO more money than you need to, make sure you follow this method for an error-free BAS lodgment.
An Experienced Bookkeeper in WA
Looking for a reliable and accurate bookkeeper to manage your business’ daily or weekly bookkeeping and accounts, either in the cloud (remotely) or in-person?
Tracey Marino is available to service businesses located in Port Kennedy, Warnbro, Baldivis, Secret Harbour, Golden Bay, Safety Bay, Shoalwater, Rockingham and Cooloongup, WA. Tracey is a an expert in MYOB AccountRight, QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel and can prepare and lodge your company’s BAS, set up credit management systems, along with carrying out all manner of day-to-day accounting functions for small to medium businesses. Find out more about Tracey’s experience at her profile page.
Our National Bookkeeping website has recently undergone a significant upgrade so keep a look out for more stories about featured bookkeepers in forthcoming blogs. Join now and we can feature YOU in our articles too.
Is MYOB Just Another Program In Your Control Panel?
I was cleaning up my computer this morning and went to my Microsoft Windows Control Panel to discover MYOB Accounting Software sitting in the program list. I was removing any programs that I may have installed to test or get to know with a goal of REMOVING all that I didn’t need, when I saw MYOB software in the list.
I didn’t see WordPress and I didn’t see Commonwealth Bank Internet Banking in the list and at that moment I felt a little sad, realising that if I changed computers that I would need to go through the program installation process with my accounting software AND that EVERY person who needed to access our bookkeeping software would have to go through the same process.
Cloud Software Doesn’t Need to be Installed On Your Computer
I’m used to going to websites, logging in to do my work and then logging out at the end. Yes, with some I have to change the password regularly and others there is 2 level authentication using a mobile phone number as well, but the great thing about these “cloud-based” services is that I don’t even need my own computer! I can log in using an iPad, laptop or even my smart phone.
With services like Google Apps, we can run our entire company “server” in the cloud and have experts make sure it is up and running all the time for the cost of less than $100 per month, compared to several thousand dollars to buy the hardware (and have the floor space, data, power and air conditioning) , thousands of dollars in software licences and then having to hire an expert IT service person to manage it all for thousands of dollars per year – particularly if something goes wrong.
I’ve always wondered why MYOB didn’t focus all of their efforts on building a fully featured accounting program for the cloud only and wrote about how it seems like MYOB is computer based accounting program with the functionality of Dropbox. Some people think it’s more secure or safe to keep your accounting information local, but I’m not convinced.
How does MYOB compare to Xero and Quickbooks Online
I recently wrote about Ken from Love My Home Theatre and why he loves Xero Accounting Software (not Zero) and also about how the new market for cloud accounting software is not only introducing new competitors like Xero, but also enabling MASSIVE competitors like QUICKBOOKS back into the Australian market for accounting software once again.
If you are a regular reader you’d also know that we’ve had Xero Training Courses for quite a while now and that our focus is to help people looking for bookkeeping work AND small business owners learn bookkeeping software to help them run their business more efficiently and be compliant with the ATO.
The most impressive features of Xero Accounting Software are:
- Xero can be accessed from anywhere at any time
- Xero can accommodate multiple users (accountant, bookkeeper, business owner) no matter where they are located (which is great for virtual assistants doing bookkeeping from their own home)
- Xero integrates with other cloud software programs (watch the video interview about Xero accounting with a small business that love it)
The best thing about cloud based software services (apart from having experts making sure it is always up and running) is that when new features are built they are available to you immediately. Xero recently announced the capability to create quotes and manage inventory which brings it even closer “feature wise” with MYOB and although I haven’t had a chance to see it in action, Margaret Carey (who contributed to our XERO vs MYOB feature comparison) notes that:
[quote]Any business that requires more than basic tracking will need to continue to look at the add on solutions such as Unleashed or Dear but it is a promising start.[/quote]
Xero is Definitely Becoming More Popular
Whether Xero has just done some great marketing this year, or that people genuinely want the benefits of a cloud-based accounting program, we are experiencing increased enrolments into our Xero Training Courses.
It could also be because all of our Xero courses are included for the one low price – we don’t sell them separately AND we include new content during a students membership period.
We use all of the major cloud-based accounting programs and I can say personally that I like what I have seen with Xero and Quickbooks Online. The fact that you don’t have to go through that labourious process of downloading, installing and registering your software (for each user) is a great bonus, but the fact that you can use these programs from any computer is even better.
Stay Tuned for QuickBooks Online Training Courses
This year will become a very interesting year as online accounting software companies fight for your business as well as loyalty from bookkeepers and accountants. I can reveal that we have started writing the content for our soon to be launched Quickbooks Training Courses! Jacci, our Register BAS Agent is working to replicate the small business accounting processes we use in our MYOB and Xero courses to teach students how to manage business accounts using Quickbooks Online.
If you want to receive updates and launch information about this course please visit our Quickbooks Online Training Course page.
Is there a wave of innovation in online accounting from Canada?
Would you like to hear about MORE innovation in accounting? Want to learn about a cloud-based accounting program that boasts more than twice as many users as Xero?
I was speaking with an insurance agent who is contributing to the risk management components of our Small Business Management course and he was telling me about this great accounting software that is completely free unless you use their merchant services and/or payroll. I haven’t confirmed any of these features of the software, but a quick visit to their website shows an interface that looks very much like Quickbooks Online with the navigation panel on the left of the screen.
My insurance agent friend Ruben is sharing information with us about how Workcover works for small business owners as well as public and product liability. He’ll also share with us how these relate to contractors who might work for you and go to perform work at a customers site.
If you decide you’d like to take a look at Wave Accounting or you are already a customer of this accounting program please share your opinions with us at our Facebook page.
Because it’s the beginning of the year we are receiving a lot of calls from students who are looking to do an MYOB Course so we are thrilled to confirm that we offer access to ALL of our MYOB Courses for one low price and 12 months course access.
When we say ALL, we mean
- MYOB Setup Course and MYOB Daily Transactions Courses
- All versions we have (both version 19.5 and earlier as well as 2018 and later),
- MYOB Bank Reconciliation Course,
- GST, Reporting and BAS and
- MYOB Advanced Payroll Administration Course.
Why All MYOB Courses for One Price?
You can follow our journey from operating training centres in Sydney’s Dee Why, to the decision to go 100% online at the About EzyLearn page on our website, but I’ll sum it up in 1 paragraph here:
We can guarantee consistent course content to every student, with MYOB Course content developed over 15 years in teaching people how to use MYOB and from some of the best MYOB Trainers in Australia. By creating our own MYOB courses and updating them we are able to focus on the content of our courses as well as the systems to support it online rather than paying for office rent, computers and software licences, trainers and advertising.
MYOB Course Options
The only decision you need to make is whether you want an MYOB certificate and 12 months or lifetime course access. Remember that unlike some MYOB course providers our students can move freely from one course to the next as they please and use the course as a resource while at their new job or operating their own bookkeeping business.
MYOB Videos, Training Workbooks and Knowledge Reviews
With a 100% focus on MYOB Course content we create every form of training material for MYOB accounting software: Videos, Workbooks (with step-by-step exercises) and Knowledge Reviews that test your skills. You can watch a video and try to replicate it with the free MYOB software or follow the exercises in the MYOB Trainingg Workbooks to perform tasks that bookkeepers perform every day in their working environment.
When we were the first training company to offer MYOB courses online in 2008 we offered the money-back guarantee because not everybody had great broadband Internet speeds, not everyone knew how to navigate around websites and online learning management systems and people where generally scared to use their credit card online. Now-a-days we find that the biggest reason some students find it a comfort is because many students are Mac users and are not sure that they would learn by using MYOB Course content created for the Windows versions of the MYOB software.
Why Thousands of Students Choose EzyLearn for MYOB EVERY Year
We use the Content Marketing approach to building our brand and product awareness and it takes a lot of effort to put the amount of detail we put on our website and in our blog posts. We do it because it shows an ongoing commitment to openness but also to leave no doubt as to exactly what we offer and how we support it. If you want to get to know more about us read some of our blog posts or watch some sample videos. If you are ready to enrol into an online MYOB course then enrol now online and start by 5pm next business day!
There’s always Zoho Books
You may have a different opinion when it comes to paying your suppliers but I believe you should pay quickly. I’m talking mainly about service providers rather that product suppliers, but I think in small business it doesn’t matter. Everyone loves to be paid on time and if you can get paid earlier, even better. It once took me 16 minutes to pay a supplier – OK, I was making other payments at the time, but still, it looked impressive. I mention it today because one of my team told me that I was categorised by their accounting software as “high risk” and I wasn’t too happy – they use Zoho Books and it’s been recommended around here to team members who are just starting their own businesses as independent consultants. When I delved a little deeper I discovered that they offer automated bank feeds.
Zoho Books + Bank Feeds = Faster Reconciliation
We’re written about Zoho Books in several different blog posts about their free version which is ideal for virtual assistants, Zoho’s huge range of other cloud based software tools, and their fantastic automated tools to help you get paid faster and this time I was fascinated to learn about their banks feeds. Zoho uses a company called Yodlee to enable Zoho Books users to get their bank feeds and they boast that “Zoho Books does not store any of your bank login credentials.“. This is a comforting feature in the cloud accounting wars that have erupted since MYOB started facing stiff competition online against SAASU, Xero and Quickbooks.
I wrote about the time saving features of bank feeds and showcased some of the training videos in our online MYOB Training Course. If you are interested there are two free training videos to help you understand bank feeds in MYOB as an overview and how to setup bank feeds in MYOB.
I discovered a great article by “Cloud Commentator” Sholto Macpherson at his Digital First blog where he wrote about all the different perspectives of modern day bank feeds and the opinions of ICB, Accountants and the software companies themselves. If you’re interested it’s an interesting and objective read.
Zoho Books is in the Clouds
Either way you look at it, the new online cloud based accounting programs give you the power to work from anywhere, the tools to get paid faster and the connectivity to complete your bookkeeping in much less time.
Ever since EzyLearn’s early days, when we still had our training centres in Sydney, I’ve always gained a real buzz out of helping our students start their own businesses. I still do, which is why I recently presented a seminar at the Reinvent Your Career Expo and why EzyLearn has partnered with the StartUp Academy.
The StartUp Academy is a start-up incubator for entrepreneurs who want to work in industries currently experiencing rapid growth — like the work health and safety industry, for example — but who also want to have balance in their home and work life; to be their own bosses.
EzyLearn has chosen to partner with the StartUp Academy because I love the idea of giving entrepreneurs the support they need — not just to start their business — but to continue to support and coach those entrepreneurs, even once their business is established.
Training and Coaching
In many ways, I see this as an extension of what we’re already doing at EzyLearn, but with the focus on business coaching. I’ve never really considered myself a coach, even though I am in the training business and love helping small businesses, whether in bookkeeping, website design, administration, or any other field, to become more profitable and successful. The more I think about what coaching is, though, the more I realise many people are already business coaches.
Just this week, I sat down with one of my employees and we nutted out a plan for the week, which included some goals we wanted to achieve and strategies for achieving them. This is coaching. Being a boss and setting goals for your business, yourself and your staff (if you have any) — and then holding yourself accountable by ensuring you achieve them — is business coaching.
Bosses are Business Coaches
A fundamental part of being a successful business owner is planning and setting goals, which is something I’ve talked about on this blog before and which we cover in the Small Business Management course. If you can set goals for your business and work out strategies to achieve them — and then ensure you achieve them — you’re not just your own boss, you’re also your own business coach.
Perhaps the hardest and scariest part, though, is the start-up phase. Not every business owner hits the ground running. In fact, most entrepreneurs don’t. The StartUp Academy knows that most entrepreneurs, when they have to go it alone, make mistakes, which is why they provide all the training and support entrepreneurs need to avoid most of the mistakes new business owners make.
If you’re reading this blog, it’s because you’re interested in the idea of being your own boss, and you’re not one to shy away from setting goals and being responsible for achieving them. So if you’re looking for a low-risk business opportunity, I recommend having a look at the opportunities currently being offered by the StartUp Academy, and perhaps one day we’ll get to work together.
— Steve Slisar: CEO, EzyLearn
In running our Small Business Management Course and MYOB Training Courses, one of most common reasons we find that people want to start their own businesses is to be their own boss. This is a perfectly understandable sentiment — but it’s not necessarily conducive to making a small business work.
Entrepreneurs are known to be people who manage starting up and/or bringing to fruition their own businesses and ventures, but entrepreneurs are a certain breed and as many find out the hard way, self-employment is not for everyone.
The Qualities of Entrepreneurs
Even just having a brilliant idea and passion isn’t quite enough — although they’re two fantastic qualities to get you off to a flying start. To start your own business you need to be mentally strong so you can face the various disappointments that sometimes come with self-employment and come out the other side.
We have found in our experience that mental fortitude seems to go hand in glove with 5 other qualities possessed by successful entrepreneurs:
1. You don’t waste time with self-pity: entrepreneurs don’t have the time to waste feeling sorry for themselves when something doesn’t work out the way they hoped — they emerge from trying situations with self-awareness and gratitude and soldier on even after a failure. Indeed, I’ve heard one successful entrepreneur say that in order to attain his successes, he probably first failed more than anyone he knows.
2. You don’t give away your power: entrepreneurs avoid spending time with people who make them feel inferior because they understand they’re in control of their actions and know that their strength is in their ability to manage the way they respond.
3. You’re excited by change: entrepreneurs embrace change — and in some cases, even seek it out. In fact, becoming complacent is probably one of their biggest fears and so they seek out new challenges regularly.
4. You don’t make the same mistakes over and over: a good entrepreneur takes full responsibility for past behaviour and is willing to learn from mistakes. They don’t repeat the same actions, hoping for a different result.
5. You know the world doesn’t owe you anything: So the economy is bad — that doesn’t mean anyone owes you anything, least of all a living. Entrepreneurs know this; they know that their success is entirely dependent on their drive, ambition and motivation to do well in their lives and careers.
So do you feel you have what’s needed to take the plunge and start running your own, or someone else’s, small business? Perhaps you believe you have the mental strength to succeed in your own venture but could do with some more direction by others who have proved they have what it takes to launch and maintain successful businesses of their own?
Then take a look at our Small Business Management Course — it takes you through every aspect of managing a small business and introduces you to successful entrepreneurs and like-minded business people: invaluable resources for seeing to it that you can truly succeed in your own small business. What are you waiting for!
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.
Xero — Forcing MYOB to be More Competitive
One of those new players happens to be Xero, which has quickly gained momentum as the preferred accounting software among accountants and small business owners. Because of its increasing popularity, we decided to branch out from MYOB training courses by developing a Xero training course as well.
Although it’s unlikely Xero will topple MYOB from their position as the best known and most widely used accounting software, Xero’s presence has forced MYOB to get up off their laurels and find new ways to remain competitive in the marketplace.
For some bookkeepers the increasing fragmentation of the accounting software space is a drag and one that forces them to learn how to use a number of different account software packages as their clients move away from MYOB.
The upside is that all this competition in the marketplace has led to some very useful developments as MYOB, Xero and others battle it out in a bid to stay relevant to their customers. The first big development was MYOB’s decision to follow Xero into the cloud, by launching MYOB Account Right Live.
This was soon followed by the introduction of automatic bank feeds (which we’ll cover at length in a future post), and then MYOB Essentials, the low-cost option for small businesses.
The developments in the accounting software space are likely to keep coming — all to the benefit of you as a bookkeeper and as a consumer.
So while Xero may not take the crown from MYOB, they are an increasingly popular accounting software choice for many accountants and businesses. If you’re a bookkeeper and you’d like to stay relevant in the marketplace, Xero is a must-have skill.