MYOB AccountEdge 3
Price: Full Version $249
Way back in the Roman times (1999) when Y2K fears were all the rage, I switched accounting programs from Quickbooks to MYOB Accounting v.8. Intuit had been promising a Y2K ‘patch’ for it’s Macintosh version, but as the months rolled along into September and no patch appeared, I convinced my company to switch to MYOB accounting software which had been Y2K compliant since 1993. The learning curve was simple, as this software had been first developed in 1989 for the Macintosh platform as “a software program that enables small businesses to ‘Mind Your Own Business’.” MYOB added a Windows version in 1991, but over the years the company has maintained its commitment to the Macintosh platform as a first priority.
MYOB was one of the very first applications ready for OSX when Apple announced the new operating system in January of 2000. MYOB hasn’t left OS 8.6-9x users in the dust, either. AccountEdge version 3 and FirstEdge (the slimmed down version of AccountEdge developed for sole-proprietorships) are available for all Macintosh operating systems 8.6 and newer. Upgrading from one of the older operating systems to OSX is made easy as well. Users who want to switch from QuickBooks are offered a downloadable patch from the MYOB website, to easily import QuickBooks data.
My interest in MYOB as a company prompted me to request an interview with one of their product developers. I was put in touch with Tom Nash, who graciously took time from his busy schedule to teleconference with me about the company and AccountEdge v.3. Tom said that the success of MYOB products come from thirteen years of listening to their customers and certified consultants; a commitment to attending Macworld Expo; and, their commitment to developing for the Macintosh platform. Their multi-national product is available in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia, Hong Kong and South Africa. MYOB has a cross-platform capability not available to many other accounting programs. They even offer free software for your Accountant, for new MYOB users.
I took advantage of having Tom on the phone to run me through a few of the new developments in Version 3. He had the same unbridled enthusiasm as a new grandmother who is asked to show pictures of her grandchild. Naturally he started with what every geek loves, new technology developments. In this case it is the vCard capabilities of the cards list in MYOB. By dragging the file to the desktop, the user can then drag this card and all its data right into the OSX address book, Entourage, or Palm desktop software, or vice versa. It is simple, functional, drag and drop technology in a standard file format. It also works with Apple’s new iSync software, so if you really want to get that information into your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, you can do it.
The next two features convinced me that MYOB really does listen to its customers, because I’ve requested them myself in feedback to the company. The built in calculator can be enabled by hitting the +, -, or space bar on an amount field. The calculator then automatically enters the final figure. The calendar offers date shortcuts in several ways: by hitting the + or -, using the autofill feature by typing the day of the current month, or by using the space bar to bring up a calendar field for easy date selection. Simple as this seems, these two features will save me a lot of time.
Category tracking is an optional new feature that can be enabled from the Setup menu. Users now have the option of creating category names for whatever they want to track, and get financial reports per category. There is refined password protection that allows the account administrator to view sensitive information, such as payroll information in the card file, yet hide it from others in the organization. MYOB v.3 is now multi-user ready between OSX and earlier OS versions to 8.6. (A multi-user license is required for this feature.)
The Reports area is vastly improved. Now the user can resize columns, drag and drop columns, freeze headers when scrolling through multiple page reports, reduce default font size and space, and use several other time-saving features without having to leave the report to change the default setting. You have the option of saving the display settings for future use.
Some other new features include W-3 and 1096 payroll forms; changing from cash to accrual based accounting in the Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet statements; creating and printing a bank deposit report from the same window; and new backup levels for times when the user is working in one specific area of the program.
These new features in MYOB AccountEdge v.3 are much welcomed time savers. Because my job includes several aspects of business management, these features will get me away from the daily accounting and on to other equally important tasks.
I make it a habit to visit the MYOB website on a regular basis to check for updates and new product information. Recently I found the switcher ads that are featured there. Like the Apple switcher ads, you can view real people who have switched from other accounting systems to MYOB, and why. MYOB is currently running a promotion where purchase of the full version of AccountEdge entitles the buyer to a copy of Jaguar, for free. (This is a limited time offer.)
Besides accounting software, MYOB offers MYOB SurePayroll, an online payroll processing service. Once you are enrolled, you can process your entire payroll in less than five minutes, from anywhere at anytime. Also available for purchase are training manuals, printed reference guides, and a recommended reading guide of books for people who are just starting out ‘minding their own businesses’. They also provide a free .pdf download primer called Accounting 101 that explains the basics of accounting in layman’s terms. A soft-cover copy of Accounting 101 is included, along with a 200 page UserÃ•s Guide, and a list of certified consultants when the software is purchased. Customized forms and checks can be purchased to use with the software. Support plans can be purchased as well.
I have used MYOB’s online help guide several times over the past few years. In my most recent experience I was unable to find the answer to the question I had asked, so I filled out a feedback form requesting more information. Within 24 hours I received an email response that addressed the issue.
I want to thank Tom Nash again for his time, and Ed Sherry of MYOB who provided me with some background information on the company. Over the years I’ve come to trust MYOB as a company who works hard to make sure the users of their products have the most up to date, ease of use features available. I highly recommend this product to anyone who is just starting to manage accounts, and especially to those who are interested in moving from accounting software that may be out of date or not upgrading quickly enough for the Macintosh platform.
MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5