Dyce & Sons Ltd.

Helping IT since 1993

Myob Accounting Plus

Tuesday 5th April, 2005

MYOB has released updates to its eponymous accounting packages - Business Basics, Accounting, and Accounting Plus. ICAEW certified, they provide the essentials for any accounting package: cashbooks, job costing and invoicing, and debtor ageing.

Accounting adds a to-do list, stock control, MS Office integration, and payroll handling, while the Accounting Plus package, which we looked at, offers multi-user cross-platform access, client-based time billing, and multi-currency accounting.

Initially, you’re led, step-by-step, through the set-up of your company file, capturing basic info (such as Company and VAT numbers), on to accounting info (financial year dates, and if you use a 13th adjustment period), through to the creation of a set of accounts, tailored to your particular business, chosen from a list of 100 starter ‘charts’. You can choose to go it alone, or add or remove your own accounts later.

Set-up completed, you’re taken to the Command Centre (a window-based menu to you and I), which groups functions into accounts (transactions, balance sheets, P&L etc.), banking, sales and purchase ledgers, time-billing, payroll, stock control, and the card file (for handling employee, supplier, and customer details.) From here, each sub-screen displays its various options in terms of a flow-chart, making it easier to figure out how to do what it is you want, and what it might be called. Pop-up menus provide access to your to-do list, a transaction search, reports, and business analysis tools.

First time, non-accountant users may find Accounts Plus quite daunting; the accountancy learning curve, on top of an un-Mac-like interface. Having every function window open at once can be a boon, but a plethora of open windows can also be confusing.

The local HTML-based help system is a disappointment; despite running on Mac OS X 10.3, it insisted on using OS 9’s Explorer. There’s the option of using an Internet-based help system, but at the time of review, in places this hadn’t yet heard of a version 14, and kept going on about its US AccountEdge product.

Seasoned MYOB users might not bother with the new Payroll wizard, but the ability to file Year End Payroll returns online, saving £825 via the Inland Revenue’s e-filing initiative (admittedly over the next five years, before it’s mandatory) makes the upgrade worthwhile.

Transferring money between accounts is simplified, using just a single form, and recurring transactions have been improved (made useable) so that you can schedule them almost like you would an appointment in iCal, with a list of upcoming transactions. For the security conscious, there’s a system-wide audit trail, and the Company Data Auditor for keeping tabs on your company file’s integrity.

Buying Advice

Die-hard MYOB users will want to upgrade. If you’re new to doing accounts on the Mac, try out the 30-day demo download, just to make sure it’s compatible - with your human accountant.

Get Further Info
Manufacturer MYOB
Pros Inter-account transfers simpler; e-filing capable; batch emailing/printing; audit trail; platform agnostic.
Cons Help-system is problematic.
Price £299 excluding VAT.
Originally Published MacWorld, Tue, 5th Apr 2005