There are five main cloud bookkeeping software providers in the Australian market. They are MYOB, Xero, Intuit with Quickbooks, Saasu and Reckon, the former Australian distributor for Quickbooks which now has its own cloud-based offering.
As two of the leaders in the market, it is worth exploring some of the similarities and differences between Xero and MYOB before making a decision on which cloud bookkeeping and accounting software solution you should choose to meet the needs of your business.
While Xero is a pure cloud based bookkeeping solution and can be accessed on any computer which has an internet connection anywhere in the world, it is now also available as an App for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. The availability of an App is particularly important when considering the increasing importance of mobile devices in the future. This is highlighted in the “Australian Small Business Mobile Study” of 501 small business owners by Intuit. This study reveals that 48% of small business owners think they will spend more time completing business tasks on their mobile devices in the next year. 88% of small business owners think it will be essential to complete business-related tasks on mobile devices in the future of which business tasks with the the largest predicted uptake being “accepting payments” rising from 13% today to 31% and invoicing increasing from 12% today to 26%.
To significantly speed up the bank reconciliation process, both Xero and MYOB offer live bank feeds. Recurring transactions can be saved and it can be recognised from the bank statement description whether a payment or receipt is for a particular customer or supplier and suggest the invoice or purchase the payment should be allocated to. The bank rules are very easy to use in MYOB Essentials, however they are quite basic while for Xero these are very detailed and allow up to seven rule conditions for matching transactions. This increases the accuracy in finding matching transactions in the live bank feed for Xero.
When comparing supplier payments and invoicing, Xero also allows you to attach scanned documents to the invoice or purchase, giving you a document storage solution in addition to an accounting software solution. Up to 1GB of storage is allowed for in the Starter edition with this increasing to 50GB in the Premium 50 edition.
Xero has a vast range of other cloud based systems (third-party products) that integrate seamlessly with it in order to add functionality. It has a published API which makes it easier to customise and lead to more third-party integration.
The customer support for MYOB is very good. They have online library of support notes, phone support, a community forum and live chat. There is also dedicated support for MYOB partners. Xero does not have live support. It has a community forum, but it does not have a phone support line. There is an online self-help Q&A site and 24/7 email support.
MYOB Essentials Accounting is priced at $29 per month, which includes unlimited transactions, bank feeds, unlimited customer invoicing, supplier bills and unlimited users. You can upgrade to unlimited payroll which increases the subscription $40 per month, commencing 1 October 2014.
Xero’s Starter edition costs $25 per month and includes bank feeds, unlimited users, payroll for one employee, 20 bank transactions per month, five customer invoices per month and five supplier bills per month. Xero’s Standard edition, which costs $50 per month, adds unlimited bank transactions, invoices and bills and payroll for up to five employees. You have to purchase Xero’s Premium packages for more employees – Premium10 ($60 per month) for up to 10 employees, Premium 20 ($70 per month) for up to 20 employees and Premium 50 ($80 per month) for up to 50 employees.
Consider your options and select your cloud bookkeeping and accounting provider carefully. If you need assistance with your bookkeeping and selecting a solution, give mel | outsource more a call on 0424 010908.