The Art of Tidying Up Before End of Financial Year


How to KonMarie Your Trust Account at EOFY Are you obsessed like us and an avid follower of the #konmarie method of tidying up? If so, then you’ll have probably watched Marie Kondo’s series in full on Netflix – Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. For those of you not on the tidying movement (for the uninitiated you should really give it a go), Marie is a Japanese-born organising consultant. She helps people declutter their homes by following simple methods and ‘sparking joy’ through the satisfaction of organisation in the home. The premise being that everything has its own place. So this got us to thinking.... Can you imagine how clean Marie’s trust account would be if she had one? Which got us to further thinking.... could we apply these same principles to trust accounting? The answer is yes! Trust accounting software can accumulate a lot of clutter over time. It can be bought on by a change of staff, change of software or simply overlooking the clutter whilst we are busy with the daily processing and running ... read more >>

The Art of Tidying Up Before End of Financial Year2019-05-20T22:17:16+00:00

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

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

Staying Compliant When Moving To The Cloud 


I've Gone Live.... Now What? Last month we took you through the steps to successfully migrate your software in-house before the July 1st deadline. So at this point, you have successfully migrated your old software on a system-based server to a cloud-based server. Success! As an added bonus, you have maintained all your hair and not extracted a Coles week's supply of chocolate (or wine...). But now what? We often get asked the same common questions from clients who have migrated their software internally. They are (drumroll...): How long do I need to keep my old database open for? How long do I need to keep paying two subscription fess? You will find that a majority of external companies will cut off your access to your old software almost immediately after you have cancelled your subscription. No love lost there. On the plus side, you can request 'read-only' access to the information. Legally this is your data. You are able to access it if requested by an auditor or relevant governing body. So What Do You Need ... read more >>

Staying Compliant When Moving To The Cloud 2019-03-28T06:24:48+00:00

New Property Licensing Training Requirements – Prepare for the Changes Ahead


Getting to Know the New Industry Qualifications Discussions surrounding the reform of Property Licensing NSW started in 2016. Fast forward to 2018 and we are now looking at the implementation of these reforms, likely to be later this year. Of note is the introduction of three categories of qualifications as opposed to the existing two. Certificate of Registration Licensed Real Estate Agent Licensee in Charge So what does this mean? Certificate of Registration We will see an extension of the Certificate of Registration (COR) course for new entrants into the Property industry. COR holders will have four years to upgrade to a full license from the implementation of the changes. A 12 month operating exclusion will face those who do not upgrade within the four year deadline. Those COR holders looking to upgrade to a full license must hold a Certificate IV in Property Services and demonstrate 12 months practical industry experience. COR holders will not be able to sign agency agreements, leases or undertake trust account transactions. To be valid, these items are now required to be ... read more >>

New Property Licensing Training Requirements – Prepare for the Changes Ahead2019-03-28T06:24:49+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

How To Avoid Trust Accounting Mistakes of Epic Proportions


The day our Director transferred $100,000 instead of $1,000…and how you can avoid the same mistake. Before you think, no - that can’t be right! Think again. Yes these mistakes can, and do happen (even to the best of us). Major mistakes can happen in the blink of an eye – whether from a momentary lapse in concentration or simple administrative error. The good news is there are steps you can take to avoid such potentially costly and timely mistakes. So let’s backtrack to that fateful day and we can all learn a valuable lesson from an experience that Jane would rather forget! Setting the scene... Ever the worker bee, Jane set to processing mid month payments on the 15th April. Several BPAY creditors required payment, including a strata levy for $1,000. In a minor, (yet major) error, Jane entered $100,000 when processing the payment at the bank. With no limit on BPAY transfers and enough funds in the account, BPAY happily accepted the large transfer. As we all know, BPAY transfers are instant, so the moment ... read more >>

How To Avoid Trust Accounting Mistakes of Epic Proportions2019-03-28T06:24:53+00:00

5 Reasons Not to Outsource Your Trust Accounting Overseas


As a business owner, it is natural to look for ways to increase your bottom line and reduce costs. In our last blog on 8 Ways to Reduce Costs for Start-Up Real Estate Agencies we discussed various ways start-up agencies can minimise costs. This included shopping around on items like software, insurance and considering a virtual office as opposed to bricks and mortar. When it comes to minimising costs, the one place you don’t want to skimp is outsourcing your trust accounting. We’ve outlined our top 5 reasons why you should keep your trust accounting local as opposed to outsourcing overseas. REAL TIME COMMUNICATION WITHOUT TIME DIFFERENCES There will be times you need to contact your trust accountant on the spot. Outsourcing overseas means time differences that can play havoc with your deadlines. Working with a local agency means no delayed response. Any emergencies that arise can be dealt with on the spot rather than communicating via email. Information can be lost in translation and interpretations of instructions misunderstood. There may also be matters that cannot be relayed via email and require ... read more >>

5 Reasons Not to Outsource Your Trust Accounting Overseas2019-03-28T06:24:53+00:00

8 Ways to Reduce Costs for Start-Up Real Estate Agenices


Australia thrives on small business. It is what makes our country go round. So the reality of the number of small business that fail to succeed is definitely a cause for concern. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 60% of small businesses cease operating within the first three years of opening their doors. How Can You Reduce Costs for Your Start-Up Real Estate? We see the answer to this question lies in planning. You can have the best business idea in the world, yet without a solid business, financial and marketing plan, you are setting yourself up to be a statistic. The reality is that running a real estate agency is an expensive business. There are a lot of upfront and ongoing costs to manage. We have seen many agencies cease to operate in their first year – and it came down to poor planning. We have outlined some high cost areas and suitable alternatives to consider when starting out. Remember, you can start small and grow big. Living within your means is a ... read more >>

8 Ways to Reduce Costs for Start-Up Real Estate Agenices2019-03-28T06:24:54+00:00