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For most people, January is a dull month filled with after-holiday blues, lethargic weekends and weight loss programs. For the bookkeeper or accountant, January is the most exciting month of the year. It is when we get to look at the business we have been working for in black and white; cold rows of numbers which tell if we are financially healthy or ill., or leading a sedentary economic lifestyle that will benefit from change. January is also the time we prepare tax documents and set up the new year to begin the process all over again. What a great time to put your current accounting program to the test to see if it’s doing everything you want or need in your business.
I received MYOB’s AccountEdge software for review right at the beginning of the year. For me it was an upgrade from MYOB’s version 8 which I had been using since September of 1999. I had switched from Intuit’s QuickBooks for Mac in 1999 because I didn’t trust the patch to correct the Y2K glitch Intuit claimed was in their Mac version program. (The Y2K scare was something lots of us who were not power users took very seriously at the time.) MYOB had been touted to me for several years as the accounting software of choice by a trusted business associate who had been running his business with it pretty much since MYOB’s inception. So I charged ahead and made the transition.
Changing accounting programs before the end of a fiscal year is a daunting task. Fortunately MYOB has a downloadable conversion utility for Quickbooks and transferring information was relatively easy. But I was disappointed at that time that it did not have some of the same ease-of-use features that Quickbooks had. MYOB AccountEdge has changed all that. When I installed this software, the upgrade from the older version was instant, and the new features it has makes it a much better program that Quickbooks was at that time.
The company I work for is a small, private corporation which over the past four years has fluctuated between $600,000 to $950,000 gross income. Average full time employment is 12-15 people. Average starting wage is $8 per hour. Benefits are paid after 90 days full-time employment. Those who have been with company for three years or more are earning $15+ per hour with benefits which include medical insurance and production bonuses. We have an average of 175 regular clients and 80 vendors.
In the past we had employed an accounting service which prepared payroll, payroll taxes, quarterly reports, account balancing, and financial statements. My job as bookkeeper consisted mainly of tracking payables and receivables, and attempting to merge the information in my accounting system with the accountant’s, who was using peachtree software. Obviously this was done “the old fashioned way,” on ledger sheets and printouts passed back and forth. MYOB AccountEdge allowed me to take over all these functions with minimal fuss.
I am especially impressed with the card file features in MYOB’s AccountEdge program. Functions which required several different software applications are merged into one convenient base. I can store all my account information for customers, vendors, payroll, even personal contacts here. I can record contact with all the above in the contact log section of the card file. This makes it easy for me to remember when I contacted a customer about a past due payment; track order history of customers; high credit limit with vendors so we don’t overspend, or even when an employee has a birthday coming up.
The To Do List feature of MYOB AccountEdge is wonderful too. I have it set by default to open when the application opens. This way I can quickly review each day payables, receivables, orders, contact log, and other things such as overdue purchase orders and the reminder list to contact people.
Support for MYOB AccountEdge is good. They have an online FAQ section at their website which is very good, and I have referred to it extensively while setting up all the new functions I have taken over with this software. I did have to call their live support help once when I continued to have a problem entering a memo and it crashed the software. I was on hold for 48 minutes before a tech support person could answer my call. When I did finally talk to the person my question was answered quickly and competently. My only complaint here was the length of time it took to reach a technician, which is a toll call. MYOB offers free support for the first 30 days after registering. After that they offer several different levels of support at several different price ranges, beginning at $179, which can be purchased year to year. Purchased support plans offer toll-free technical assistance. Tax table updates are offered at the current price of $159. Of course, website support through the FAQ and MYOB Learning Center is free, is continually updated, and is very good.
The one feature I’m very disappointed with is that MYOB AccountEdge supports Excel and Microsoft Office, but not AppleWorks. As an application which was developed specifically for the Mac platform, it appears to me as a lack of vision on their parts. AppleWorks contains all the same features as Microsoft Office, including spreadsheets, yet there is no way to use some of MYOB AccountEdge’s more convenient features without investing in more software. These features include the ability to click on a customer’s history and have the pertinent information exported directly to a Mail Merge program which will write the past due letter with the name, address, and correct figures included. While I understand that most companies will own one or the other of those software applications, my company is not one of them. And as I’m not one to complain without taking action, I have written to MYOB to ask that AppleWorks be supported in their next version. For those companies which do use the above supported software, this feature appears to be a great time saver.
MYOB AccountEdge has a nice interface which was developed with OSX in mind. It is multi-user and cross platform accessible. Though we don’t run our accounting on a network, it does support both AppleTalk or TCP/IP protocols. MYOB offers over 160 different reports, and the reports are custom-tailored to your business. It has features such as multiple currency accounting, inventory tracking and professional time billing. These features make it useful to almost any size business without turning it into what I consider “bloatware”.
Having worked as a bookkeeper for many years for many different size companies, I can easily recommend MYOB AccountEdge to any business, whether Mac of Windows based, as a user-friendly, intuitive accounting program. You can try out MYOB AccountEdge for 30 days for free, available either as a downloadable version or requesting a free CD, by going here.
Minimum requirements for full installation:
PowerMac or equivalent with 32 MB RAM
40MB of available Hard Disk space* for program installation
Average of 35MB additional HD space for each data file maintained with MYOB AccountEdge
800×600 screen resolution
Mac OS 8.6 to OS X
*Microsoft IE 5 and QuickTime 4.12 are included with AccountEdge. Installation of these requires additional 16MB of free RAM with Virtual Memory plus 30MB available HD space.
MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5