Welcome back to work and 2015. I get this question so often, and this year is no exception, that I have decided to blog about this. The question I get, We are reviewing our accounting and have heard about, what you think about this?
In the Market place there are many Accounting Packages and they all target different style businesses. What I will focus on here is the Small to Midrange business size packages that are most popular in the market.
Here they are… Accounting packages for your Business
Xero This is a relatively newer product to the market place. Xero I have found to offer a wonderful cloud based solution for small to mid range businesses. If you have fair to reasonable internet, then this product is one that is definitely worth investigating. I have found that their speed to do jobs, e.g. invoice, remit, pay, reconcile is excellent for a cloud based product. They have a good backup option and data can be easily exported. Disadvantages, if a business wants more or the business needs change, then you will probably end up having to change product suppliers. This product was specifically created for the small to mid cloud based accounting market. It is very good in this area in terms of performance and usage. Xero created a developers area and this is dynamically growing. Xero is definitely the leading kid on the block. This product is now being taught at most Major Tafe colleges and WEA, but as yet, this is not big in the schools area.
MYOB MYOB was a little slow in getting a good cloud based solution for the small to mid business range, but it has that now. The reason it was a little slow, is due to a massive advantage that Xero does not offer. That being that MYOB has a lot of other products in its range. For example if you have MYOB Account Right Premier and are supported, you automatically get the cloud version included in your support free. You can upgrade to MYOB Enterprise if your business grows. They purchased the accountants version of Sol6, a document manager (not so good for accountants), and a range of other accountant tools that automatically integrate with MYOB Account right, Essential or Enterprise. So in truth, MYOB has the range and accountant support. MYOB also has a great developer range. This is a set of products that developers have created that plug into MYOB to make MYOB do so many other things e.g. Subscriptions, Onsite Technician and auto billing, Pricing there are many options with MYOB and if you want flexibility and expect growth MYOB would be the tool to look at. This product also handles all the Australian Payroll rules.
MYOB is also the product most taught with WEA, Tafe, Schools so getting qualified users or temps is really easy.
Quicken This is not as popular in Australia as Xero or MYOB, but World Wide, this is a top seller for small to mid range accounting. One of the best features of Quicken is its ease of use and terminology for Non Accountant Managers. Quicken just makes sense to Managers and Business owners. Quicken is one of the oldest accounting products and really started as a cashbook based product so it came from the perspective of managing a business not the Accountants perspective. Quicken Cloud is fast and stream lined, but not so nice to develop applications with. This area is still a limited in flexibility. I have also found that this is not as Australianised in respect to reports, payroll and changes in legislation. This is rarely taught in Tafe, WEA or schools, so generally you are seeking people that already have experience or you have book keepers that are able to learn this product via on line courses.
So Cloud or Not?
In short this is a money question. Today if you have a non cloud based system, your only cost is support. If you wish to go to cloud, you will have a monthly fee. Cloud however is the way to go if you are new to an accounting product and yes there is a fee so be prepared to pay, but you will have no purchase fee and that is the benefit of cloud based. In the end you will find the pricing is pretty similar.
Cloud is the way to go. However for some total cloud is not an option as yet due to speed, product performance, etc. However if a business is not using cloud for backup, storage and other base functions they really need to review their IT and the costs of their IT.
So how do you decide?
Start by asking your accountant what they use and they suggest. Accounting costs are huge and if using the same product as them will save you money do it. Look at your business plan, model, developed products, costs. See what your competitors use and what they think of their tools. Finally read the above I have no affiliation with any product. I have customers using all of these products and I therefore see these products from quite a different perspective. In short they will all do book keeping. But which is the best product for you, well in the end you need to decide this, but don’t be surprised if with experience you change products.
Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.