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What are the key differences between Xero, MYOB, Saasu and Quickbooks accounting software ?

Asked by Phil Khor Owner at SavvySME Digital on 6/11/12
 

3 Answers viewed 4.1K times with 3 subscribers

 
Pam PittPartner at Bookkeepers 4 u on 14/11/12
Voted by: Phil Joel

My cloud experiences are with MYOB AccountRight Live – released November 2012 and Xero.  Both are excellent products.

Xero is suitable for smaller businesses – it doesn’t have the same functionality as MYOB AR Live but does the core financials easily and well. It has a basic payroll built within it.  Users love the look of the product  and the ease of use. Xero does require user-training, but the company provides a number of free webinars as well as fee-based webinars. The online support is also very good. However, for more complex businesses, Xero relies on a number of 3rd party products which can boost the monthly charge (eg there is no inventory tracking in Xero).

MYOB AccountRight Live looks and acts like the non-cloud product but also provides for live bank feeds.  It has inventory, more advanced payroll and time billing, as well as the same functionality as Xero.  One key strength is that MYOB AR Live can be brought down onto the desktop as well as being hosted in the cloud. Another benefit is that users do not need to retrain in order to use the product if they have previously used MYOB Accounting. There is 24/7 phone and online support available. MYOB AR Live is a more suitable solution for businesses with more complex requirements.   

Thanks Pam, for your very helpful observations. I find this a pertinent question for most businesses starting up. Let's see what other members of our community have to say too.

As with any software, and probably wider purchasing, the key is first of all to know what you need, both now and in the not too far distant future. For example there are many larger businesses that do not sell products, purely services, so lack of inventory management is not a problem, while it may be for a small business.

There are few features that link directly to smaller or larger businesses.

I've been looking at Xero for a while as we currently use Pro Work Flow (NZ web based project management program online) which intergrates with Xero for invoices, etc. The only concern I would have is (a) the cost coming from MYOB First Edge (Mac) to this, and (b) if our accountant is able to use Xero (we've yet to ask that question). Quickbooks seems to be behind the 8 ball on and offline in Australia and have been for ages.

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Rhys RobertsDirector at Viridity on 20/11/12
Voted by: Phil Joel

I have a slightly different perspective on this from the previous reply. 

I agree that Xero is a core accounting solution, and that in areas such as inventory the user would normally implement an add on solution (eg Unleashed).  But the aggregate effect of this and other add on solutions makes Xero a suitable solution for most businesses (small through medium) that would also be considering MYOB.  I have a number of clients turning over more than $2M, one close to $10M, all running very happily on Xero (with various add ons as required).  Deciding which solution / combination of solutions is most appropriate for any given business though really has to be case by case.

AccountRight Live is a slightly different type of solution - part local / part cloud - software installed locally, data optionally held in the cloud.  With Xero, Saasu, etc you do not need to have any software installed locally, just a web browser and internet access.  With AR Live you to have the software installed on your local machine, which means you lose the "access anywhere" feature of cloud.  It also means the solution is not "cross platform compatible" - that is if you use a Mac & your accountant uses a PC you cannot both work on the same file.  I am not convinced that being able to work locally

I am hoping that AR Live delivers a competitive product for MYOB fans - over the past 2 years I have been installing new Xero's 10:1 over MYOB.  It would be great for all users if AR Live delivers.

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MYOB Official on 21/11/12
Voted by: Phil Joel Kylie Finkle Michael Prior

Hi, Aishah from MYOB. Excellent question here. We just launched our AccountRight Live solution and the volume of interest has been awesome!

AR Live is a desktop+cloud solution that’s different to others out there, and our solution was driven by research and clients’ demands. You can work/collaborate online or offline. You simply install it on your computer as you would any other app and you are good to go. Plus, AR Live is a fully-featured accounting solution that doesn’t require add-ons to do basic functions, such as payroll and inventory.

Some may argue it is not “access anywhere, anytime” because of this install. But think of your daily routine. How often do you trust a computer other than your own with your business’s financial information? With laptops as cheap, as light and as powerful as they are today, the majority of people work from their own machine, even when on the road. 

Our research shows that clients love having a local copy, and if your business does not use the cloud yet, AR Live lets you move online at your own pace. This is a big mission of ours: getting businesses to use accounting software – online or offline.

If you are an accountant, you can now attend to an even wider range of clients through the one product, AR Live – those after an online solution and those preferring to stay on the desktop.

As for cross platform compatibility, we are working on an elegant solution for Mac-based users to access AR Live, and we will definitely have more to announce in the future!

Meanwhile, our solution LiveAccounts, which has been around for more than 2 years, is browser based and accessible from any device that has Internet. It’s very well suited to Mac users.” 

Typical response from MYOB trying to justify a less superior solution.

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