There is certainly a bigger focus now with M.Y.O.B Live Accounts and Quickbooks On-Line to get your business “live” at any time. Quickbooks and M.Y.O.B have dominated the Australian market share and they are now branching out to cloud based software that people can access securely across the web. (There are two other smaller players Xero and Saasu to keep an eye on).
The majority of M.Y.O.B business users can now use the cloud version which gives greater flexibility if you are regularly away from the office i.e. “on the road”. Some of its strengths are that M.Y.O.B live accounts has a strong support team backing it. (that comes with your subscription). It is slightly cheaper than the Quickbooks version at the moment. I am concerned both companies will lift their prices, once the have developed a large loyal, client base.
But some of the features of M.Y.O.B are unavailable in the cloud version. It lacks some of the cash reporting options. It also lacks inventory management, supports for other credit terms, and job costing. It also has no capability to export to excel.
If you have become really used to the basic functions of M.Y.O.B over Quickbooks, and you need to have that remote access then you should try out M.Y.O.B live.
Quickbooks Online has received many praises for its ease of use because you get the same features you have in the standard package. More importantly, with the online version, you can access it from anywhere using a browser. If a client wants access to an invoice, all you need to do is login and access it remotely through your laptop.
However, the benefits probably end there. Quickbooks is a smart computer program but it may be a little too smart. It locks similar transactions together. So, if you send money to your business as a loan it locks it in and it can get a little confusing. You can however, change the setting but if your funds are coming in from different sources the system will not allow you to select customer, only online accounts.
Many reviews of its technical service do not bode well for Quickbooks either. A quick search of user reviews show that many customers have concerns about the availability of their support team. You also have to pay for Quickbooks support for concerns other than the problems related to installation or error massages.
There are two other players positioning themselves. Saasu and Xero. Saasu is probably the winner for features, $25/month including basic payroll. You need to know your accounting and bookkeeping more as it isn’t as spoon fed. But once you’re going it’s reportedly great to work with. Xero is good but about twice the price for an established small business (and the payroll is useless, it doesn’t actually calculate tax, you may as well just do a general journal, sigh…). But it looks nice and is easier to work with for business owners who are accounting novices.
So where does this leave us? There are some inherent risks in whichever package you choose. Having your accounts “up in the clouds” could be as problematic as having your “head up in the clouds”. But if you are backing up your data regularly, then that risk should be reduced. Price wise “live accounts” is going to be more expensive. However, if you are the type of business where remote access for you or your customer is crucial, then you will need to give live accounts serious thought. For the rest of us, then it is probably a case of “steady as she goes” .
If you want to found out what other people are thinking …. try this forum: