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No internet banking

My partner has a small business and his Mum does the bookwork etc. She knows what she's doing she did it all for their farm for years, only thing is she is refusing to use a computer or internet banking. Partner doesn't know his way around a computer either, he's 43 and our age seemed to miss out on computer training, the focus for free computer training is old people or young people, everyone else is on their own. He wants to take his business up a notch and start using facebook etc, but he's still writing cheques out instead of transfers and using the bank for simple banking matters. Mum is 70, she's a clever lady and I don't think she would have any trouble learning how to use a computer but she is really stubborn. What can I suggest without being insulting or rocking the boat? He has had the business since before we met and I have always stayed out of it.

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Answers (9)

Can you slowly start to learn book keeping? Do a computer course yourself? Your local library or community centre probably runs courses for free or low costs, check out local job network agencies roo. Your partner can take you on as a Clerical Trainee (training & financial incentives) & you can learn the theory & practical tasks of business admin. Xero is great for online cloud book keeping. You may need to be a bit proactive in finding a solution, use the training idea as a valid excuse/ reason that you need to learn about computers & business admin/ accounting etc . There is always a possibility of the Mum getting unwell, suddenly, & not being able to continue her current role. It would be difficult for the Mum to reduce her input/help, but it's really a necessity. Your partners accountant could also help in the transition. I think it requires action right now ...... she won't be here forever & you need to start 'handing it over / learn the ropes now.

 Yes! Succession planning is required ASAP
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Could you offer to help out do the Internet banking side with the MIL. Maybe once she sees you doing it and realises its easy she might be happy to learn. Or you might even learn some of the bookkeeping side and she might be happy to hand it over to you. If your husband wants to start using facebook most of the business coming from there will expect to be able to communicate through messenger, pay online etc so you husband and his mum will need to get computer savvy if they want to make it work.

My husband is a farmer and when we met he still used cheques for everything. He also did all his bookwork on paper, the same way his Dad does. Drove me crazy! I work in a bank too so I had helped a lot of customers make the change, and encouraged a few to change. I started with my husbands phone bill, convinced him to use bpay just for the phone bill (husband already used internet banking but only to check balances and transfer between his business and personal accounts). As soon as he saw his statement said “Telstra $xxx” rather than “cheque 12345 $xxx” he started using it more, realising how much time he saves not having to go through the cheque book and statement every month. Now we write about 6 cheques for the year and his Dad pays most of his bills online too.

Plenty of businesses still use Cheques, especially in the plumbing/construction industry.

Maybe explain that they will lose business of they don't have internet banking. I wouldn't use a business if I had to go to a bank with a cheque. Facebook is a great way to get new customers. Could you take over? How does he get paid, does he ask for a cheque?

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We have a business, & I personally hate it when we are paid by cheque. It's a 100km round trip to the bank ( which I need time to do & costs me), then I have to wait the clearance days.

Internet Banking will improve your partners business cash flow too

helpful (0) 
 I wouldn't use a business that I couldn't pay by card or online transfer. He is doing himself out of a lot of business.
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 Our work wont even accept cheques I dont think. Nobody uses them any more.
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Internet banking is super easy. You can do it on your phone without knowing much about computers

If everything is going well, just let them do what they are doing.

 Takes too long and people want their money ASAP
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 Yeah I wouldn’t want to wait for a cheque in the mail,take into account the time for it to clear. I would take my business elsewhere. They need to get with the times. He can use Facebook but not internet banking? Online banking is easier by far. Offer to do it for them. Mum won’t be around forever either. Maybe tell her you can take the pressure off her. H
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 If they are so crap with computers Facebook is not such a good idea. You need to monitor it closely and control settings properly otherwise it can be damaging to your business.
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What bank do you bank with? Some internet banking is easy and user friendly and others can be a little harder, but still ok once you get your head around it. We have a small business too and my husband can now do a transfer without having a heart attack! lol. He use to send me the details and get me to do it but he is ok now. I understand the whole sending out cheques, if he has always done it this way his head would understand the cash flow side of things. He would feel overwhelmed see at transaction of $3456 leaving the bank account and then knowing what it was for. His mind is old school, will be hard to change. But he and your mum will need your patience and help if you are going to make the change. We don't send any cheques anymore and haven't for quite a few years now, your suppliers will appreciate that change. If he still prefers to see each transaction leave the bank account you can do each one separately, which would be time consuming and you would need to check your bank fees if you have to pay after a certain amount of transactions.

 sorry just re-read his mum... not yours .. even harder to make the change! Do some research for them and wait until the time is right to explain it to them. If you show confidence and willingness to help, it will help make it a smooth transition.
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 Internet banking with Westpac is very easy and logical. I actually stayed with Westpac simply because of their internet banking being so easy to use.
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