Xero V’s Myob – A Software Review

Cloud-based accounting software really is where it’s all at right now doesn’t matter where you live, so Gold Coast business definitely benefit from this kind of software these days. In the current financial climate, the bottom line means a lot and many small business owners are wanting to be as self-sufficient in the area of bookkeeping as possible. Being able to minimise the time spent on data entry and using a fail-safe system is one way that small business owners are able to reduce the bottom line while still ensuring that they are compliant with regards to their reporting requirements with the Australian Tax Office. MYOB has always been a big player in the bookkeeping and accounting industry and to keep themselves in the market they have developed a cloud-based version of their biggest seller in the form of MYOB LiveAccounts. So in keeping with our series on these accounting systems let’s look at a MYOB LiveAccounts vs. Xero Bookkeeping Gold Coast Review.

Xero                  VS               MYOB LiveAccounts

Here’s An Outline Of How The Softwares Will Benefit Gold Coast Business Owners

The whole premise of being cloud based with live bank feeds is the foundation of what makes both systems so efficient in regards to data entry & bank reconciliation. The benefits of being cloud based are major drawcards to both programs (ie payroll functions, invoicing, multi-user access and compatibility with both Mac & PC.

While the basic concept of being cloud based is common to both programs, the differences between MYOB LiveAccounts and Xero are fairly vast across a number of areas. Some differences are only slight, but some are decision-making in the implications for business and functionality. The areas with the greatest difference between the two systems include:
–    Support
–    Pricing
–    Payroll
–    Purchases & Payables
–    Invoicing
–    Reporting
–    Navigation
So let’s take a closer look.

One of the major differences between MYOB LiveAccounts and Xero is the Support available to customers. While Xero offers only online support in the form of email, making for lengthy delays when troubleshooting issues, MYOB LiveAccounts offers extensive support options including telephone, email, live chat, twitter and facebook, making troubleshooting much quicker and reducing frustration levels for clients.

While the pricing structure of Xero is tiered according to the number of transactionsWeigh Up The Options recorded per month and the number of staff employed by the business, MYOB LiveAccounts has one price per month for everyone.  The Xero starting price is lower than the MYOB LiveAccounts price, so Xero still has the potential to be cheaper for some clients, but for others MYOB LiveAccounts will be the more cost-effective option.
Both systems offer a free trial package, however the trial packages differ in their limitations. The trial package for Xero is limited by the number of transactions recorded, whereas the MYOB LiveAccounts trial package is a full 30 day trial complete with support and unlimited access to all features offered, giving in our mind, a more comprehensive overview of the compatibility of the software with the customer’s business and system requirements.

One of the benefits of MYOB LiveAccounts over static versions of MYOB is that the tax tables are automatically updated and current, reducing the need to purchase additional updated tax tables. Both MYOB LiveAccounts and Xero have very similar capabilities with regards to setting up payroll with both programs able to automatically calculate tax, superannuation and other employee entitlements.
Both also have the capabilities to produce simple reports, pay slips and payment summaries, and both are able to save payment summaries to disk or USB for submission to the Tax Office at the end of financial year.

Purchases & Payables
Managing your purchases in both MYOB LiveAccounts and Xero is easy, with bank feeds meaning that the data entry side of things is taken care of. For Xero customers, invoices sent from another Xero user will automatically be entered and will then sit awaiting payment approval, reducing data entry time, whereas MYOB LiveAccounts is yet to implement a similar system.
MYOB LiveAccounts has a purchase order function which can be employed for businesses which use them, Xero does not have this feature. However you can change the name of the draft bill to a purchase order which will suffice for this requirement in Xero to get around this.

Invoicing in both systems is fairly simple, with invoices sent straight out from the program via email, however Xero has the upper hand in this arena as Xero with their import feature discussed above. Xero also will allow a system administrator to restrict the authority of other users by if specified to only create a draft copy of an invoice which will await approval of a supervisor with before going live in Xero.
MYOB LiveAccounts has a unique feature which will automatically match incoming monies with outstanding invoices and reconciles the transaction without any manual input. This same feature also applies to bills, which makes for very speedy bank reconciliations.

Reports produced in Xero are fairly basic and very simple. They are the bareCalculator necessities really, with regards to the information provided, although data may be exported to Excel and manipulated to produce almost any report required. This often requires a little more accounting knowledge than most small business operators have or care to learn, meaning that either a bookkeeper or accountant is often required if more complex reporting is required at all. MYOB LiveAccounts has the capability to produce some of the more comprehensive reports at the click of a mouse, reducing the need for bookkeeping or accounting specialist involvement.

In our experience, the Xero dashboard is much easier to navigate, due to the layout of the program and the structure of the menus etc. MYOB LiveAccounts, in our limited experience with the program, has also been extremely slow in processing commands, meaning that a bank reconciliation in Xero would have taken much less time than in MYOB LiveAccounts. This, unfortunately, equated to greater man hours required and a greater monetary cost to the business owner if using MYOB LiveAccounts, and for this reason we have historically recommended Xero over MYOB LiveAccounts. MYOB have, however, recently fixed this issue, meaning that this is no longer a reason for us to recommend Xero over MYOB LiveAccounts.

Summary of Comparisons
–    Lower starting price
–    Imports invoices to/from other Xero users, reducing data entry time
–    Dashboard provides key imformation and is easier to navigate
–    Records history of changes made to transactions by users
–    Able to create draft copies of sales and purchases to await approval
MYOB LiveAccounts:
–    Various modes of support offered
–    Same price for all customers
–    Free trial of complete package for 30 days
–    Slightly more comprehensive reporting capabilities
–    Auto matching bank feed

In the opinion of us here at Darcy Bookkeeping and Business Services, Xero has historically been our recommendation to those clients of ours who have asked whether to go with Xero or MYOB LiveAccounts. In all fairness, the biggest factor for us in reaching this decision has been the lag time when using the program as MYOB LiveAccounts was very slow processing transactions that we felt our time was not being maximised when using the program. However, in MYOB LiveAccounts latest update the speed issue has been addressed making the program a genuine alternative to Xero.

Besides this, we feel MYOB LiveAccounts offers at least the same level of functionality if not more than Xero across the board, with a more stable pricing structure as well. If MYOB are able to maintain the speed of processing, then we would have no hesitations in recommending MYOB LiveAccounts to clients who’s needs exceed the entry-level Xero requirements, however there are some businesses who would find little to no benefit from MYOB LiveAccounts over Xero. We would always recommend that a business owner looking at accounting software contact their bookkeeper or accountant to discuss their unique requirements in order to make the most informed decision.