The end of the calendar year, school holidays, summer and Christmas all combine to give us all a break from what we’ve been doing all year. It’s also a time for reflection about what we’ve done during the year and of things we would change in the new year.
One of the challenges we faced this year was trying to explain the differences between our training courses and those provided by dozens of new training options which are now available – even Youtube!
Udemy is a particularly interesting challenge because they are not a training company but a Learning Management System that also spends money advertising some of the courses on their platform.Continue reading Competing with Udemy for Micro Skills Training Courses in Xero
We’ve received lots of training course inquiries from new business in this last couple of months and a question that came up recently was “do you have a course that explains how much I can claim”. The person was asking about how much of the cost of their car can they claim as an expense because they use it for their business.
The answer to this question reminded me of how “flexible” the taxation laws are in Australia. You can “claim” any amount that you want and unless you are audited by the ATO you could possibly get away with it!!
The correct way is to determine how much of your costs are actually associated with your business and use that percentage. The ATO goes on to explain how to do this in detail.Continue reading What % of expenses can you claim to reduce your taxable income?
If you’ve connected PayPal with Xero, and have been using it for quite a while, it might come as a bit of a surprise when you get an email from Xero telling you that your existing PayPal direct bank connection will no longer be supported and will stop importing transactions into Xero.
Why is Xero emailing you this? Especially considering there’s a timeframe in which you need to switch to the new PayPal bank connection, you’re probably eager to figure out what it all means.
Don’t stress, here’s what you need to know.Continue reading Why is Xero Saying Your PayPal Bank Connection Needs Updating?
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
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
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
MYOB partnered with Bunnings to give tradies Smart Receipts and now they’re partnering with Telstra to give business phone customers 3 months free use of MYOB Essentials.
Telstra use the terms Essentials a LOT in their marketing for mobile phones, websites and now MYOB Essentials. Here’s what their offer looks like.Continue reading Telstra is pimping MYOB Essentials with 3 months FREE. MYOB is pimping a page out of George Orwell’s 1984
Did you know that Afterpay (and ZipPay) and some other Buy Now Pay Later providers decline sellers? Most Afterpay transactions are centered around the selling of physical products that change ownership from the merchant to the customer. This evidence is enough to bind customers legally, but what happens if you provide professional services like bookkeeping or accounting?
Accountants and Bookkeepers, like many other professional service providers including Lawyers and solicitors charge for their time or defined outcomes (like fixed fees for a certain number of transactions).
Will Afterpay take you on as a client? We’ve heard that many industries are rejected but there are alternatives and Xero’s App Store can help.Continue reading Rejected by Afterpay? Xero Marketplace has an alternative
One of the scariest things about working remotely or learning remotely is that you’re more of your own boss. With no one glancing over at you or engaging with you face to face there are more of those moments when you think to yourself, “what will I do now, then?”
The bigger question is what do you expect to achieve by the end of the week!? There are a couple tools that I use and here are some of the tips that I use to stay on track each week.
What You Can Do this Christmas
DID YOU KNOW research shows that by taking just one short course on small business management, the chance a business will fail is reduced by as much as 50 percent.
This is because business mismanagement is the primary reason businesses fail; the other most common reason is because owner/s fail to implement appropriate credit management processes. In both cases, this failure has come about because the owners, directors, partners or managers lacked the appropriate management skills to make it a success.
Learn the basics in business
The Christmas holidays is a perfect time for taking the steps needed to start your small business. While everyone else has gone on holidays, you’ll be ready to take on your first client or customer by the time business really starts kicking off again at the end of January.
So let’s get to it: there’s work to be done. And this work generally requires some rudimentary knowledge of Australian tax law, copyright law, trademarks and patents.
You should also have knowledge of particular software applications, and digital marketing.
Other key areas of business you need to know
The key areas business owners should understand before starting a business include:
- Business planning
- Digital and traditional marketing
- Intellectual property and general law
- Researching the market
- Cloud-accounting software
- Working with content management systems.
Ordinarily, to become skilled in each of those areas, a person would have to take, at least, five different training courses. But few people are ever likely to do this. Instead, they’d be more likely to cherry pick the areas they’re least familiar with, and fly blind with the others. Needless to say, that’s where people run into problems.
Take Advantage of our Christmas Savings!
We don’t want you to wing it or fly blind — our goal is to help small businesses succeed which is what we’ve been doing for nearly 20 years.
We cover what you need to set up a small business in our EzyStartUp Business Course, priced at just $297. This course covers each of the key areas mentioned above that a small business owner needs to be familiar with, in addition to the following:
- Originating and developing concepts
- Establishing legal and risk management
- Product packaging
- Marketing your business
When you enrol you will also receive FREE ACCESS to a bunch of our other online training courses, including Xero Set Up and Beginners’ Excel and Word.
Our Last Dasher Sale is also on now with special Christmas discounts on our online training courses in social media, and cloud accounting software (MYOB, Xero) and Excel, Word and WordPress.
Don’t Wait — Become the Head Honcho Today
Use your time off from work this summer to begin working on your new small business. All of our training courses are delivered online, and can be completed at your own pace, so you can complete them while you’re actually on holidays, or relaxing at home or at a cafe.
And since one of the best ways to start a new business is by operating it as a side project to your other job, if you get all the start up stuff out of the way while you’re on holidays, it’ll be ready to go by the time you back to work.
Learn more about the EzyStartUp Business Course at our website or view all of our special offers to save on your next EzyLearn training course.
And as a gift to you, remember our Bookkeeping Basics Guide is yours’ for free!
People “who want to learn” are everywhere
IN THE EARLY DAYS OF EZYLEARN, I spent most of my time going to people’s homes and teaching them how to use different kinds of software. Sometimes I was just helping them improve their software skills to increase their employability; other times, I would be teaching them brand new skills.
It’s known as ‘in-person’ or ‘one-on-one’ training, and the students who prefer this kind of training, find it very rewarding. Compared with group training in a classroom, students can work at their own pace, have individualised guidance from the trainer, and ultimately get more out of their training.
The benefits of in-person training
Of course, there are pros and cons to in-person training for both the student and the trainer. During the years I spent training students both in the classroom and in a one-on-one setting (these were the pre-internet days!), I determined the main benefits were:
- As the trainer, you’re paid for your time and ability to determine the student’s needs and goals, and to develop a training program that’ll ensure they succeed.
- Patience is a virtue — and a prerequisite if you’re going to provide one-on-one training. Students are paying more money to have a trainer modify their training sessions to suit their individual pace, not the pace of the ‘average’ student. If they need more time to move through the coursework, so be it. Be patient and let them learn.
- Students are happiest when their trainer listens to them, is attentive to their needs, and explains the content in a logical order — without showing off all the things they know.
Students are happiest when their trainer listens to them, is attentive to their needs, and explains content in a logical order — without showing off all the things they know.
You can join EzyLearn as a training partner
As EzyLearn got busier, I had less time to go around training people in their homes, and focused more on classroom training. Over the years, we built up a large amount of training material that helps people learn in a methodical manner, which is why we could move our content online.
Although the demand for group or classroom training has diminished somewhat, there’s still a big demand for one-on-one or in-person training. Our EzyLearn training partners use our online course content to train students and provide in-person training, because the modules are easy-to-follow and contain heaps of practical exercises that use real-world scenarios.
Ask around, you may be surprised at the broad cross-section of people who would be interested in receiving one-on-one or in-person training in one of the many courses we offer online. Learn more about becoming an EzyLearn training partner and the different ways you can earn while others learn!
Save $$ with our Spring Specials!
We have a host of online training course specials for the spring season — take a look!
How does Xero stack up in the cloud accounting game?
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!
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!
Why you can’t beat old-fashioned word of mouth
ONLINE RATINGS AND REVIEWS ARE a great way to determine whether a business is trustworthy or whether they products and services they provide will suit your needs. TripAdvisor and Yelp have transformed the hospitality and accommodation industry, for example. And Airbnb is doing similar with short-term rentals.
But as we’ve previously discussed, online ratings and reviews can be easily faked and sometimes biased or devoid of useful information.
Looking for a local? Ask around!
While recently working on a home renovation in Newcastle, I came across a carpenter who had seven employees working for him. Jimmy the Chippy in Belmont has been in business nine years, has no website or online presence — but his business is booming.
How does he do it?
The old fashioned way! He does exceptional work for his customers and clients, who hire him again and again and refer him to friends, relatives, colleagues and so on. He also made a point of networking with local builders and plumbers in the area, who contact him when they have work to do, and refer him to other builders and plumbers as well.
Use word of mouth
If you’re looking locally, and the online ratings and reviews of the businesses you’re trying to decide between aren’t helping, asking a friend, relative or work colleague if they know any of the businesses.
If no one in your social network knows the business, you can also google an online forum like Whirlpool, where members frequently provide fair and balanced opinions of businesses they’ve dealt with — and if they don’t, they’re usually called out for it.
Testimonials are helpful, too
Real estate agents, accountants and many other businesses — EzyLearn included — use testimonials rather than ratings or reviews (except on Facebook), so you shouldn’t discount these just because they’ve been vetted before going online.
And don’t be put off if a business has received the odd bad review. Look at why they’ve received the review and what the business has done or said to address the bad review. Some businesses with a less than perfect record may be more trustworthy than those with reviews and ratings moderated by the businesses themselves.
At EzyLearn we provide testimonials from our students, which include their full name and location, and why they chose EzyLearn to study in the first place. We ask each student whether it is ok to publish these beforehand. We also offer a money-back guarantee and free samples of our course content, so students know they can trust they’re making the right choice.
At EzyLearn, we’re committed to helping students of our online training courses, be it in in Xero, MYOB, Excel, social media or other courses, gain employment as bookkeepers, generally better their businesses, or even start their own bookkeeping business. To this end, we provide you with a Lifetime Access option to our cloud accounting training courses.
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.
The power of using Excel and Xero combined
THERE ARE MANY UPSIDES to buying a commercial property for your business and if you’re able to buy an industrial unit like a Cubbyhole, it can also be a lot cheaper than renting premises.
If you’re in the financial position to buy your business premises outright, it may seem like a no-brainer to do this instead of getting a mortgage. However, there are some things you need to consider:
- You’ll lose liquidity on the assets in your property, which means you won’t be able to tap into any equity in the property, unless you take out an equity loan against the property.
- You’re tying all your cash to one asset class, which may limit your ability to make other investments and prevent your business from expanding. This could run counter to your reasons for making the property purchase in the first place.
Getting a mortgage
When you get a mortgage, you have the benefit of being able to access equity in the property, which will enable to invest elsewhere. Of course, there are still factors to keep in mind:
- You’re spreading the payments over many years, which ties you to paying down that asset for the foreseeable future.
- You’re paying interest, which although it’s a tax deduction, will significantly inflate the price of the property.
Work out the best way in Excel
Using the data from your Xero accounting software package, Microsoft Excel can help you determine whether your business will be financially better off buying its premises outright or getting a mortgage.
You can also create a financial forecast in Excel. Using Excel, you can calculate the depreciation amounts, which can then be entered into Xero. We cover how to deal with aspects like depreciation in our Xero Bank Reconciliation Course, because many businesses own, or will own, a capital asset at some point.
Check out our new Cash Flow Reporting, Budgets and ROI Course for Xero which shows you how to deal with an asset purchase like a business premises in Xero. Remember, you get access to ALL our Xero courses for ONE LOW COST. Visit our website for more information on our suite of online training courses or enrol today!
Importing from Xero to Excel and back again is included as part of our Advanced Microsoft Excel training courses — and you receive access to ALL OF OUR COURSES, including ALL skill 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!
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. Continue reading Can You Trust Online Ratings and Reviews?