The Accounting Industry: What it’s like.


The Accounting Industry

There’s been talk that the accounting industry might be declining thanks to technological advancements. But this is simply not true. Accounting has too many complexities and intricacies for a machine. Most individuals and every company in every industry needs an accountant.

There are many different types of accountants, and many different area to work in. Some examples include – accounts administrators, reconciliation clerks, accounts payable, accounts receivable, bookkeepers and SMSF administrators.

Then there are accountants who work in accounting practices. These accountants have roles  such as – auditing (who examine company’s financial statements), management accounting, taxation advising or business services. Business services accountants work across all areas of accounting consulting to small business and individuals.

Some accountants are consultants, who help businesses with their decision making, or in specialist tax areas, like film production. Other accounting roles include forensic accounting – which involves fraud prevention and detection; cost accountants, project accountants, as well as analysts.

There are unique areas like environmental accounting, which involves analysing the environmental impacts of business such as the financial damage from ecological disasters.

Do you have a particular interest in an area outside of accounting?  You could combine your passion with work as an accountant within areas – such as a sports or music company. There are also industry specialisations, such as SMSF accountants and Real Estate Trust Accountants.

What Do Accountants Do?

The accounting industry is diverse. Accountants prepare reports, analyse, and assess on many various financial or tax items, which yes, does include tax returns. They also interpret and apply regulation, as well as keep up with ever-changing legislation. A good accountant is adaptable, diligent, committed and detail-orientated. Some accounting positions can be stressful, with tight deadlines. Mostly, accountants also need to be affable, as they work with people.

From our CEO – What do you like most about the accounting industry?

The most interesting thing about the accounting industry is the people you meet. Definitely, its the people, you meet new clients and catch up with old clients. You learn about their life, their family, their business, their investments, their goals and objectives.

Then it’s the problem solving. How can I help this person meet their goals and objectives, how can I help them save on their taxes, is their business tracking well?

Knowing that you can’t please everyone all of the time is important. Knowing that you are helping your clients and getting positive feedback is the ultimate goal for any accountant.

To move up in the accounting ranks;

You can begin an accounting career with a Certificate IV in Accounting and develop the skills and knowledge to move ahead. With a Certificate IV in Accounting your career will commence with jobs such as an accounts clerk, payroll clerk, accounts clerk, bookkeeper or assistant accountant.

Starting with a Certificate IV in Accounting is also a great way to springboard into university with a little prior knowledge. There are many professional associations in Australia including the Australian Bookkeepers Network, Association of Accounting Technicians, and the National Tax and Accountants’ Association.

If you would like to find out more about our Certificate IV in Accounting phone us on 1300 228 338 or complete the contact form and one of our staff will respond to you as soon as possible.

 

National Skills Week


National Skills Week is the focal point for the promotion of Australia’s Vocational Education and Training sector (VET). Each year the week continues to celebrate and inform students and the wider public of the diversity and career pathways available through VET. The week, (August 28th – September 3rd, 2017) will communicate the emerging trends and new growth drivers connecting skills training with job outcomes.

NSWK has demonstrated the capacity to consistently find innovative ways to extend positive messaging; influencing the way people think, raising the status of practical and vocational learning and enabling Australians to gain a greater understanding of the opportunities and their potential.

Keep an eye on National Skills Week and SkillsOne social media accounts and stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter to receive the latest information on the weeks launches and activities.

Developing Your Study Skills for Success


Managing yourself for study – Developing your student skills

Following on from the first post, ‘Success as a Student’, this post is about the study skills you will use and how to develop them. Since it’s been a while, here’s a reminder of the last topic, I’ve copied the skills needed to be a successful student. Skills valuable to the student:

  • self-motivated
  • self-discipline
  • organised
  • goal-orientated
  • perseverance
  • routine
  • perspective
  • problem solving
  • and stress management

Basic Research Skills

This is the ability to find information, speed reading, using multiple sources, making notes of important information, organisation skills, as well as using numerical data. Basically, these are all skills required when completing homework or assignments. This will come naturally to some, but others need time and practice to build these skills. One helpful tip I can give, is to use keywords when looking for information, and speed reading.

Thinking Skills

Now, this one really does rely on you. It’s about decision makings, such as which piece of information to use; memory skills; critical thinking; creative problem-solving, and understanding. Memory skills are quite obviously important, and there are many strategies available to aid your memory recall. Critical thinking skills will be essential in all studies. It requires you to evaluate the quality of sources, interpretation of information and building a strong line of reasoning. Your understanding of the content and the task at hand is instrumental in using these skills, so you will need to be engaged in the material and discussions to practice these skills.

Written and Other Communication Skills

This is about how you write, getting your ideas across in a clear and precise manner. This brings in organisation and planning, the style and format, the audience, referencing, specialist terminology, academic integrity and using subject appropriate conventions. This is also where having organised notes from research will be beneficial.

People Skills

Studying with others requires you to take an active part, make a constructive contribution in classes, give feedback, work collaboratively, and support your fellow students. This doesn’t have to be a big thing, and if you don’t know what to do to help in a group setting – ask another group member.

Task Management Skills

Task management is like a combination of self-discipline, time management and the above skills, in one. As a student you will have to produce set items, like essays, reports, and presentations, etc. You will find that there is criteria to meet, formats that you need to follow, and potentially – specific resources that you are require to use. Therefore, having good task management skills means you have to be organised, goal orientated, motivated, develop self-management and stress management skills.

It takes time to build these skills, if you haven’t already, however, in the studying environment you will find these come quickly from observation of fellow students.

 

Inspiration taken from ‘The Study Skills Handbook’ by Stella Cottrell, 4th Edition.

ATO Tax Essentials


The ATO are running a Tax essentials, a FREE introductory workshop.

You’ll learn about:

business structures and their different rules, tax rates and obligations
tax and non-tax business registrations
allowable deductions, including motor vehicle deductions, depreciation and home-based business expenses
annual and quarterly reporting requirements
record keeping principles
where to go for help and information when you need it.

We encourage our students to attend one of these events.

Don’t worry, if you can’t get there in August, the ATO are holding events later in the year and also throughout Australia.

Cyber-security Webinar #2


We’re attending the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science cyber-security training webinar today. This is webinar 2 of a 5 part series.

All businesses are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Being responsive and active cyber security plan is essential for business success.

Linden College recommends that all staff and students take part in these free webinars. We have signed up to watch the first one today!

Webinar 2: The cyber threat landscape for small to medium enterprises

Small to medium enterprises can be particularly vulnerable against cyber-attacks. Webinar 2 will outline the cyber security landscape that SMEs may be operating in. It will address the reasons why SMEs may be targeted, highlight why cyber security should be prioritised and discuss some of the tactics that are used against businesses.

Key objectives for this webinar:

  • emphasise why cyber security should be a priority
  • to highlight the reasons why attackers target SMEs
  • demonstrate some of the methods of attack that may be used.

Success as a student


Managing yourself for study – Success as a student.

We all desire success when commencing a new study. This blog is the first in a series that will provide more insight into getting the best out of your study.

What is expected of you?

In vocational and higher education, there is more freedom of when and what time you learn – however, this also means you need to have more determination, persistence and self-discipline. That last one especially. You need to be independent – which includes looking for your own answers instead of asking the course facilitator or lecturer. Be self-motivated, organised, goal-orientated, and open to group work. You need to figure out how you learn best, and how you study best. This could be at a particular time of day, in a certain space, with or without music, etc etc. It’s also helpful to make goals and keep track of due dates. I find this works best for me with a monthly calendar and a whiteboard to write the weeks priorities. You are expected to manage your own time and life, which often requires a bit of organisation.

How vocational and higher education differs from previous levels?

The teaching methods are different, with you partly being responsible for your own learning. The work is harder, more complex, and takes more time – which makes time management is essential. Lecturers/tutors will encourage debate and self-research, but ultimately, it requires you to be open to new learning opportunities, and take some initiative with your own education. You will find that a lot of the material and content requires you to be tech literate.

How to make the best of the experience?

Studying in vocational and higher education, it may feel like you have more time, more choice, but you also have more control, more responsibility, and less guidance.

To make the best of the experience, you will need to learn some new skills (some mentioned in the “what is expected of you” section). Self-discipline and time management are the most critical student skills. Building your self-discipline, i.e. the thing that makes you sit down and finish the reading or assessment instead of bludging or going out, will enable you to stay on top of work and meet deadlines. None of which can happen if you aren’t organised, and don’t manage your time well. The best thing to do is to write out all the due dates, and plan some time in the weeks before to get the work done. Once you get the hang of it, you will find student life less stressful – and you may even have a better study-life balance.

How to build resilience as a student to maximise success:

Resilience helps you manage when study and life gets stressful and tough. Starting a vocational or higher education course can feel like a lot of change, but have confidence in yourself. When you are challenged, it is resilience that makes you push back. Key skills that aid resilience are; motivation, perseverance, routine, perspective, problem solving and stress management.

Other things to consider are:

  • What success looks like for you?
    • what makes you feel successful
    • realistic goals
  • What are your anxieties and resources?
    • stresses, pressure
    • family, friends, college or university student services, experience
  • Student relationships that are beneficial for both parties
    • study buddies
    • going to class together

 

Inspiration taken from ‘The Study Skills Handbook’ by Stella Cottrell, 4th Edition.

ATO – Record Keeping


During August the ATO are running a fee Record Keeping Essentials workshop.
If you are thinking of starting starting a business this workshop will cover:
Keeping good records
Record keeping tips and traps
How money flows through a business
Work through case studies and examples
Completing records, statements and other forms
Stocktakes and associated records.

We encourage our students to attend one of these events.

Don’t worry, if you can’t get there in August, the ATO are holding events later in the year and also throughout Australia.

Do you want to become a BAS Agent?


Do you want to become a BAS Agent?

Have you ever considered becoming a BAS Agent, which is a specialist Bookkeeper? A Bookkeeper maintains the records of the financial affairs of a business, however, a BAS Agent advisors on the BAS tax affairs of the business. The path for this career is simply a case of having the relevant experience and qualifications. There are two qualifications that will enable you to work as a BAS Agent.

What do BAS Agents do?

BAS Agents provide their clients with advice, in addition to completing a BAS Service for their clients business. A BAS Service requires you to work out and advise on any taxes that are included in the Business Activity Statement (BAS). Usually this will include working out or advising on the taxation liabilities, obligations or entitlements of clients. These taxes typically include the following:

  • goods and services tax (GST) law
  • wine tax law
  • luxury car tax law
  • fuel tax law
  • Pay As You Go (PAYG) system, and
  • Applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN) or Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Dealing with Superannuation

The Tax Practitioner’s Board website provides more information about BAS Services, and the qualifications and experience which are required to become a BAS Agent.

BAS Agent requirements?

To become a BAS Agent, you must meet the requirements to be registered. Anyone who provides a BAS service for a fee, must:

  1. Complete a FNS40615 Certificate IV in Accounting or FNS402015 Certificate IV in Bookkeeping or higher to be eligible for registration.
  2. Complete an approved course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles, such as the BAS Agent Registration Skill Set.
  3. Register with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) and follow the requirements of the TPB, which are:
    • Be a fit and proper person
    • Have the education outlined above
    • Have the relevant experience
    • Maintain Professional Indemnity Insurance
    • Meet the continuing Professional Development requirement

The approved courses in basic GST/BAS taxation principles are:

The current approved GST/BAS taxation units offered are within either the FNS40615 Certificate IV in Accounting, as well as through the BAS Agent Registration Skill Set. To meet the education requirements, you must complete these two units:

  • FNSBKG404 Carry out business activity and installment activity statement tasks and
  • FNSBKG405 Establish and maintain a payroll system.

Gain the relevant experience

To become a Registered BAS Agent you must have at least 1,400 hours of experience. If you have been a member of a professional organisation over the last four years, it’s only 1,000. This includes hours working under the supervision of a registered Tax Agent or registered BAS Agent.

Study Options

If you are interested in becoming a BAS Agent and are seeking further information about possible study pathways, please contact us at: info@lindencollege.edu.au

Linden College School of Finance offers the following courses:

BAS Agent Registration Skill Set

FNS40615 Certificate IV in Accounting

Cyber-security Webinar Starts Today!


We’re attending the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science cyber-security training webinar today. This is webinar 1 of a 5 part series.

All businesses are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Being responsive and active cyber security plan is essential for business success.

Linden College recommends that all staff and students take part in these free webinars. We have signed up to watch the first one today!

Webinar 1: Cyber security for small to medium enterprises

Key objectives for this webinar:

  • to introduce cyber security as a must have for businesses
  • outline what a good approach might involve and how SMEs can be prepared
  • introduce key resources.

 

Business: The Start Up


Tips To Starting Your Business

You have this great idea, it’s awesome, and you cannot wait for everyone to know and think it’s awesome too. That’s great! Maybe you’ve been working in your field for a while and are thinking it’s time to branch out on your own. Fantastic! I admire you for striving towards your dream. However, there are a few points to notes before beginning your business owner journey. Many of these may be tough questions, or require some time to answer, but starting a business is a big thing and it’s always best to be prepared. It always requires planning and a lot of attention.

Are you ready?

  • Is this the right time for you to start a new venture?
  • Do you have the time?
  • Why do you want to start a business?
  • Will it be your sole source of income?
  • Take time to think about the future if your business succeeds, but also if it fails, all businesses have ups and downs.
  • Make a pro’s and con’s list, and if necessary, adjust the time frame accordingly.

Assess your idea

  • Do your research! Is there a plausible market – is there a demand?
  • Do a SWOT analysis, what are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats?
  • Does your product meet a niche market?
  • Does it have the ability to evolve with time?
  • Will it keep up with competitors?
  • Will you need employees?
  • Do you have the money or investors?
  • Will you need to work with a partner?
  • Do you need help from other professionals?

Choose your business structure

  • Sole trader, partnership, trust, company?
  • These all have pros and cons and THIS gives you a good idea of what they are.

Making a plan

  • Make a detailed and structured business plan outlining your operational and financial strategies for the start-up, short term and long term.
  • This is important to work out the finer details here, it helps you avoid getting stuck in the mud later. (We’ll cover doing a business plan in a future blog)
  • Use your answers from the first two sections to help you.

Check your legal obligations

Build your support team

  • This could be your family, your business partner, business contacts that you will be working with, friends or potential customers.
  • These people are going to be trustworthy and reliable advisers who can help you at various stages in growing your business.
  • Who will be your business advisers for legal, accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, etc

Figure out your finances

  • Your business plan should have addressed some of this, but think about it in even more detail.
  • Do you have a good credit score?
  • Are you good a keeping financial records?
  • Do the financial projections in your plan look positive?
  • Can you analyse financial statements?
  • If finance is not your strong suit, one of your support team members, such as an accountant or bookkeeper, may be able to advise and assist you.

Market your business

  • By now, your business name should be registered and your finances and support team will be in check.
  • Marketing to your potential consumers will be the biggest part of setting up a small business to grow successfully.
  • There are many marketing courses and professionals that can help you, only a quick google search away.

Linden College offers a short small business course to work through these with you, including customer service strategies, how to build customer relations, and grow networks. With this guide and our course, you will be well on your way! Good luck!