Want to Buy MYOB — but Which One?
MYOB have several different programs on the market to help businesses
with their accounting and GST reporting requirements to suit
the various stages of a business’s life cycle but which
one would suit your business?
MYOB constantly brings out upgrade versions of their top end
products, either to make things easier for the end user or to
keep up with the tax office requirements, ie updated tax tables
for employee pays.
Therefore, I would recommend you pick the program that suit’s
your situation now, rather than what you might need in the future
as all the MYOB products are fully upgradeable to the higher
end product. For example, you could purchase Business Basics
now but in 2 years time, you might need the features of MYOB
Accounting Plus. In this case you can simply purchase an upgrade
(difference in price between what you already have and the full
version) and convert all your financial information to the higher
But which MYOB will suit your business needs?
MYOB Business Basics is the baby of the family, and if you are
a sole trader business ie a plumber or electrician, MYOB Business
Basics would probably suit your situation. It will allow you
to create Sales Invoices, keep track of who owes you money,
when you have received payments from customers, as well as keeping
track of the expenses you have paid for. It also has the entire
reporting requirement to complete your Business Activity Statement
as well as the information to complete your tax return. MYOB
Business Basics also has a very basic database, to keep track
of your customer’s and suppliers.
You could also use MYOB Business Basics if you have a self managed
super fund or you have investment income and expenses you wish
to keep track of, to complete your tax return.
MYOB Accounting suits a slightly larger business that wants
a little bit more information from their accounting package
and they have perhaps between 1-5 employees.
MYOB Accounting has all the features MYOB Business Basics, some
of them slightly more sophisticated but you also get the Purchases
module, which will keep track of who you owe money to, as well
as when you have paid the supplier.
MYOB Accounting also has a full inventory module. The inventory
module will allow you to keep track of stock levels, as you
buy and sell your inventory, as well as keep track of any backorders
you have with suppliers. And more importantly, any customer
backorders, so you don’t miss out on a sale because you
forgot the customer had ordered 12 items but you had only sent
MYOB Accounting also has a more advanced job costing module,
which will give you job or departmental reporting, ie you want
to keep track of the income and expenses for a particular project.
MYOB Accounting Plus has all the features MYOB Accounting, plus
it also has a fully integrated payroll module. MYOB Accounting
Plus would suit a business that has five or more employees.
MYOB will correctly calculate the pay each week, including Tax
and Superannuation requirements, and it will also keep track
of any annual leave or sick leave entitlements that the employee
accrues. The real bonus comes at the end of the financial year,
when you can print PAYG Payment Summaries (formerly group certificates)
at a touch of a button. MYOB Accounting Plus also has a special
report, which will comply with all the quarterly superannuation
reporting to employees as required by law.
MYOB Accounting Plus also has a Time Billing Module, which suits
anybody that needs to keep track of time spent on working for
a client progressively and then invoice them at the end of a
period of time, ie a solicitor or consultant.
MYOB Premier is the granddaddy of the family, and would suit
larger businesses. MYOB Premier has everything MYOB Accounting
Plus has but it also has the ability to be Multi User. ie You
can have more than one person accessing the same company file
at the same time, for example, Mary in Accounts Receivable can
be processing Sales, while Jenny in Accounts Payable can be
MYOB Premier can also be Multi Currency, ie you can keep foreign
currency bank accounts, as well as invoice your customer in
the their own currency, ie US$ or NZ$ and MYOB will then convert
the information to AUS$ for your reporting requirements.
MYOB Premier also has a slightly more advanced inventory module,
where you can have price matrixes for different customers and
quantity breaks. Ie you can have a retail price as well as a
wholesale price and you can have one price for sales between
1 and 10 items, and a different price, between 11 and 20 items.
MYOB products are one of the few accounting packages that have
both a PC and Mac version available and they are interchangeable.
ie If you have a Mac and your accountant has a PC, you can still
give him/her a copy of your data file, and they will be able
to open it on their machine and read your information to prepare
your tax return.
MYOB Products are not just accounting tools to help you with
your end of year tax return or BAS returns, but they can help
you run your business if they are effectively use. For example,
you can use the database in MYOB to create mail merge letters
to your clients or suppliers.
MYOB also has a Test Drive version of the software that you
can buy at most retailers, ie Harvey Norman or Office works
for about $15.00 or you can download it direct from the MYOB
web site. The Test Drive version allows you to trial the software
before you buy, to ensure it is going to do the job for you.
There are also many MYOB Certified Consultants who offer free
demonstrations of the program in your own office. You can then
explain what you want to use the program for and they will tell
you which the best version to suit your needs.
Once you have purchased the right MYOB software for your needs,
you may need some help, either setting up the program, or with
some problems you might encounter after you have been using
the program for awhile.
Many people buy accounting programs like MYOB because they think
it will cut down on the amount of fees they pay their accountants
each year. This is true providing the information given to the
accountant is correct in the first place. It’s a case
of “Rubbish in – Rubbish Out”.
MYOB products are easy to use, once they have been setup correctly,
but the initial set up phase is critical to ensure that you
will be getting the correct information out of the system. If
the program is not set up correctly from the beginning or the
information entered in is not properly allocated, your accountant
may end up having to re-create the information or spend many
hours correcting any mistakes and this can end up being more
When it comes time to set up your MYOB to suit your business,
there are many resources available to you, from class room style
training course or self paced training manuals to on-site assistance.
There are many training institutes that offer class room style
training, ie MYOB themselves or Community Colleges and TAFE
courses, many of which are run by MYOB Certified Consultants.
They are worthwhile attending, especially if you don’t
particularly any accounting or bookkeeping knowledge, as they
will give you the steps to setup the program correctly. You
can also get on-site assistance from qualified people; sometimes
your accountant will know somebody that specialises in MYOB
or have somebody within their own office that can help you setup
MYOB also has a panel of independent trainers call MYOB Certified
Consultants, who are authorised by MYOB to offer on-site assistance
on their behalf. This is your quality assurance stamp to say
the person you have chosen to assist you, knows what they are
doing. MYOB require these trainers to pass a stringent test
to join the panel in the first place, and they are also required
to sit yearly exams to ensure that they are completely up to
date with all the latest versions as well as attending regular
If you do get somebody to help you setup your MYOB program,
it is best to do the training in small chunks. It is tempting
to get somebody out for a full day, and try to cram as much
information into that day as possible but the reality is, you
will forget most of what you are shown on that first day.
It is best to only have somebody out for no more that about
4 to 5 hours on the first day. This would consist of about 2
to 3 hours to setup the program, depending on what was needed.
For example, you may also wish to customise an invoice, as well
as setting up your opening balances, then have no more than
2 hours training, to learn how to use the program.
After a few weeks of using the program, get the consultant back
to check what you have done and give you further training. MYOB
also have a number of Support Notes which can answer some of
your common questions on their web site: www.myob.com.au
* Maria Landrelli runs a Sydney based business called Computer
Accounting ‘Doctor’ which specializes in helping
people with MYOB and bookkeeping problems. Established for over
10 years, she has helped hundreds of small business with their
accounting needs and MYOB.