It might seem unfair comparing MYOB’s best selling single user product with Quicken’s multi-user small business accounting package, but the key difference between the two is number of licences and not the functionality.
Both have the same core functions – business management, integrated payroll, time billing, reports, inventory tracking, GST tracking and BAS preparation; and integration with Microsoft Word and Excel. The major differences for the purposes of working out value for money are that QuickBooks Premier provides five separate licences and a choice of either a full version or a 12 month subscription while MYOB Accounting Plus comes with a single licence.
QuickBooks has no restriction on the number of companies you can use the software with and users can select from a variety of customised versions to suit their particular business, while MYOB restricts the user to five individual company files, however it allows 30 days free access before having to register the product compared with QuickBooks’ six uses.
Both programs take into account the changes to Superannuation Legislation that come into effect from 1 July.
MYOB is one of the great Australian IT success stories. Craig Winkler co-founded the company back in 1991 before most people had even thought about the potential market for localised accounting software for small to medium businesses.
The fact that this is the 15th version of its cornerstone software is testament to its success, which along with its foreign owned arch rival, QuickBooks, now dominates the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Accounting Plus is MYOB’s cornerstone product – a single licence accounting suite designed for the small business that has employees. It provides everything from invoices, quotes and payment advices to full accounts control and reconciliation, GST and BAS preparation and business banking.
Version 15 consists more of a series of tweaks and fine tuning than a major upgrade, so many owners of the previous version may find little reason to rush out and upgrade.
However, as many companies only upgrade on a two or three year cycle it should be looked at in conjunction with the changes made to the previous two versions.
Perhaps the most important improvements for the majority of users relate to company file auditing. MYOB has added a new company file audit assistant that allows the user to check that everything is going where it should. For example it will reconcile invoices with linked receivable accounts; ensure that you have the right tax codes allocated and highlight changes that have been made to transactions, accounts, tax codes, account numbers and a variety of other items.
For those who use the payroll functions of Accounting Plus, MYOB has provided a Process Payroll assistant for setting up employees pay and the old Pay Employee window is now incorporated within the assistant. The new assistant provides a lot more flexibility in the way businesses can handle wages and allows users to enter default recurring paycheque details as well as setting up a choice of payment methods – cash, cheque or electronic.
While it is easy enough to use, the one drawback for anyone using earlier versions in which they already have their employee pay details entered is that they will have to re-enter them as they are not automatically converted.
Accounting Plus has improved a lot in recent years and many users will tell you – justifiably – that it has several advantages over QuickBooks, not the least being the increased customisation that is available compared to its rival.