Stay Stress-Free and Breach-Free This Holiday Season


The holiday season is so close we can feel it. We can smell the jasmine in the air, the Christmas decorations are up in the shops and Christmas party prep is well underway. So amongst all that, you may very well be planning your Christmas break from the office. As licensee, there are two requirements to ensure before you pack your bags. That your holiday is both stress-free and breach-free. We are here to make that happen. Here's what you are going to do. HOW TO STAY STRESS-FREE ON YOUR HOLIDAY These pointers will assist those who are heading O/S on their annual break from the office. Let everyone know you are closing down Notify all your clients of your pending office closure. We cover how to do this in a previous blog and even include nifty office messages you can use.  You're welcome! Buy data when you arrive at your destination Prepaid Australian data is a rip-off. Buy a local prepaid SIM card when you arrive. Take your banking token with you Keep it secure in ... read more >>

Stay Stress-Free and Breach-Free This Holiday Season2019-03-28T06:24:46+00:00

What is the Deal with Interest Bearing Deposit Accounts?


Is the concept of an interest bearing account as foreign as snapchat? Have you been requested to open an interest bearing deposit account and are breaking out in a cold sweat? Is the process as intimidating as visiting the dentist for the first time in 5 years? You are not alone (insert collective sigh of relief). So what is an Interest Bearing Deposit (IBD) account? Let's break it right down to the basics. An interest bearing deposit account is sometimes referred to as an ‘at call’ account. This is because the funds can be ‘called’ upon at short notice. It is a joint account often between two parties, the Seller & Buyer. It is where the 10% sale deposit is invested for a short term at a high interest rate. With me so far? Not so intimidating now is it! Perfect. Account terms are generally 42 days (the time between exchange & settlement). It can be longer depending on the settlement period. The interest is generally split 50/50 on settlement between the two parties. There can be variances such as ... read more >>

What is the Deal with Interest Bearing Deposit Accounts?2019-03-28T06:24:46+00:00

Creating Processes for Batch File Payments


Getting to the Bottom of Batch File Payments An aba file is an Australian Bankers Association electronic payment file format. These batch files are generated from your Real Estate trust accounting software when disbursing funds from your rental trust and can be read by your bank. Batch files are typically used in Property Management for paying Landlords and Suppliers and offer great time saving and accuracy than manually entering BSB and account numbers one by one. A batch file contains multiple lines of text of account names, BSB and account numbers. The funds are distributed to multiple accounts with a few clicks of your mouse. We have had several clients come to us lately with incorrect batch file payments. So this month we are discussing a guide around the batch file payment process to assist agents. Before we start, check out a previous article where we cover Bulk Bpay payments - another form of batch payments. Common Errors in Batch File Payments We generally see the same errors crop up on a regular basis. Here are the main culprits. Not renaming ... read more >>

Creating Processes for Batch File Payments2019-03-28T06:24:47+00:00

A Reconciliation a Day Keeps the Auditors at Bay


This month we are revisiting our oldest friend, reconciliation. Because, no matter how much love and attention we give this friend of ours, they seem to be the one that requires the most attention. It is a commonplace to receive last minute calls at EOFY from clients who have not reconciled their accounts for the entire year. Hence the need to share with your our top reconciliation tips. Whilst it is not a legal requirement to reconcile on a daily basis, it is always best practice. To prove our point, here are some previous musings on reconciling that we have covered in the past to get you up to speed. 5 REASONS YOU SHOULD RECONCILE YOUR TRUST ACCOUNT DAILY OUR TOP 10 RECONCILIATION ERRORS (AND HOW TO FIX THEM) ADJUSTMENTS ARE THE CARDINAL SIN OF TRUST ACCOUNTING 11 AVOIDABLE TRUST ACCOUNTING MISTAKES THAT CAN BREAK YOUR BUSINESS Reconciliation Tips Reconcile daily Don’t leave adjustments sitting there for more than 2 months, particularly at around 30th June. Reconciling daily means you avoid end of month stress and avoid ... read more >>

A Reconciliation a Day Keeps the Auditors at Bay2019-03-28T06:24:48+00:00

Real Time Banking New Payment Platform


The Future of Online Banking Reports released by the Sydney Morning Herald and Better Banking report that 3 out of the 4 biggest banks will roll out a New Payments Platform (NPP) offering real time payments. This new payment platform will allow customers access to clear funds in less than 1 minute as opposed to the existing 2-3 days. What is NPP? Gone are the days of a BSB and account number. Customers will instead have a unique ID which links to an email address or mobile. Still in the testing phase, the big banks are trialling the new system on a select group of customers to iron out any glitches and ensure the smooth and successful roll out to all customers. What does this mean for the future of Real Estate and Trust Accounting? No clearance waiting times No more waiting for 24-48 hours for funds to clear. Real time payments will clear 7 days a week - whether it be a weekend of a public holiday. Instantaneous Transactions Sales settlements will now be instantaneous with ... read more >>

Real Time Banking New Payment Platform2019-03-28T06:24:49+00:00

Opening a New Trust Account – Preparing for Changes Ahead


Earlier this month we discussed the upcoming 2018 trust accounting reforms as outlined by NSW Fair Trading. Of significance in these reforms was the introduction of the need for a separate sales and rental trust account. For those who already operate with separate accounts, you can pat yourself on the back, close this tab and grab a cup of tea, safe in the knowledge you will meet this compliance item. For those who aren't so lucky and have the one trust account for sales and rentals, then we have compiled your to-do list. Follow these steps and you too will soon be kicking back happy in your compliant state. Register the new trust account with OneGov New legislation from 2015 requires all licensees to have UINs for all trust accounts. Once registered with OneGov, you will be issued with a Unique Identifying Number which you are required to give to your authorised deposit-taking institution (ie - your bank). If in doubt about how to go about this, check out our blog for detailed instructions on meeting new guidelines ... read more >>

Opening a New Trust Account – Preparing for Changes Ahead2019-03-28T06:24:50+00:00

8 Steps To Switching Banks for Your Trust Accounting & Staying Sane


For one reason or another you have or are considering switching banks for the management of trust accounting. Perhaps your current bank isn’t living up to expectations so you are looking to start fresh with a new provider. Our simple checklist highlights 8 steps to make the transition to a new bank provider for your trust accounting as seamless as possible. But before you switch banks, check that your bank is registered as an authorised deposit-taking institution with your relevant state Department of Fair Trading as seen here on the NSW Department of Fair Trading. 8 STEPS TO A SMOOTH TRANSITION 1.    OPEN A NEW ACCOUNT WITH SERVICE NSW - (NSW ONLY) The new SERVICE NSW site makes the process of registering a new account quite simple. We have step-by-step instructions on how to create a new trust account on our blog. Once you have the new account set up, you can work towards moving your clients over to the new provider. 2.    ALLOCATE PAYMENT REFERENCE NUMBERS Now you have two accounts, you can track all future ... read more >>

8 Steps To Switching Banks for Your Trust Accounting & Staying Sane2019-03-28T06:25:04+00:00

Why Your Real Estate Agency Shouldn’t Offer Too Many Rent Payment Options


In the Real Estate business, technology plays a huge role in our ability to communicate with our tenants and streamlines the method in which we are able to receive rent into the agency’s trust account. The method by which we collect rent will largely depend on the demographic of clientele and the location of the agency. For example cash payments are still a common occurrence in rural agency practice and credit card payments are often used in high-end inner city agencies. There are a number of different payment options available for tenants but the question is, which ones are better than others? And how do you ensure that you’re not creating an accounting nightmare in your agency The other issue with offering too many options is that it’s extremely costly to the agency, some payment options also carry risks to the agency and can create an enormous amount of effort in reconciling the different methods within the trust account. In NSW, the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 stipulates that there is a minimum requirement of 2 payment methods, ... read more >>

Why Your Real Estate Agency Shouldn’t Offer Too Many Rent Payment Options2019-03-28T06:25:07+00:00

7 Things to Consider When Selecting the Right Bank for Running Your Real Estate Trust Accounts


Are you a startup Real Estate office looking for the right bank to open your trust accounts with? Or are you an existing Real Estate office and considering switching banks? This post discusses the considerations that need to be made when selecting the right bank for running the trust account. Our Top 7 Banking Considerations There are many things to consider when selecting the right bank to manage your Real Estate trust account, however only a handful of these banks are up to the task of creating efficiency and maximising the full capability of your trust accounting software. It is imperative first and foremost that whoever you select must be an authorised deposit taking institution under the meaning of Section 87 of the PSBA Act 2002. To view the list of Authorised Deposit Taking Institutions approved by NSW Fair Trading click here. You will need to ask your bank if they offer the following services: Business Banking Interface Token Password User Restriction Controls Multi-bpay Multiple Direct EFT payments No Limit on Transfers Auto-Receipting Business Banking Interface If you select the ... read more >>

7 Things to Consider When Selecting the Right Bank for Running Your Real Estate Trust Accounts2019-03-28T06:25:10+00:00