What are the most popular accounting software for SMEs?

What are the most popular accounting software packages for small businesses?

Top voted answer
Nicky Hanshaw

Nicky Hanshaw, Owner at Simply Numbers

there are a number of key accounting software products that small businesses tend to use and i find that one product will be more prominent in one area than another, mainly through word of mouth referrals.  naturally a recommendation from a peer is well respected and isn't overlooked, in particular an accounting software solution shouldn't just be taken on because it is the 'trendy' one at the moment.  the ones that tend to be popular are the ones that the users find simple to use, provide good access to support at a local level, are affordable and ones that have stood the test of time.

being a chartered accountant in a smaller and slightly rural town means i see all types of accounting software being used but the software i see the most of is myob in its varying forms from accountedge for mac's to the browser based liveaccounts.  however the most popular is myob's accountright standard or plus by far.  these products tick all the boxes and their continued developement means that their popularity will continue for the foreseeable future.

Charmaine Day

Charmaine Day, Director at Aspire Solutions

With the release of AccountRight live, I can imagine that your clients will now also get the added benefit of the 27/7 support, which I don't believe any other accounting software provider is able to provide, and the automatic bank feeds - not just with the standard banks, but all the other financial institutions such as The Cooperative Bank, TSB and PGG Wrightson. I agree with you that this softwre certainly ticks all the boxes, and I can imagine with this move to this new platform, that we'll see a resurgance of MYOB in the marketplace again, and a greater uptake.

Maria Mullane

Maria Mullane, Director at Aspire Solutions

myob is by far the most commonly used and with the new cloud/desktop hybrid technology that they have just released (myob accountright live) myob now has a product for every scenario, and it truly does cover all the bases in terms of accessibility, functionality, ease of use and cost.

xero has a very different strategy to myob, in that is has been designed primarily to make the accountant's life easier and enabling them to supposedly "add value" by incorporating the monthly subscription into a monthly accounting fee structure; assuming that the business owner does not want or need to spend any significant time on their business financials on a day to day basis.  there is definitely a market for this type of product, just as there is with banklink and other cashbook type products, but most business owners are taking more interest in the inner workings of their business these days, especially since the gfc, and browser based saas products at this stage simply do not provide the functionality and reporting that is available within myob.

myob however, is designed primarily with the end user in mind.  i have owned my accounting software support business for 7 years and we have over 1000 businesses on our database.  from what we can see, myob is hugely dominant in the market as the leading provider of sme accounting software solutions, and in my opinion there are several very good reasons for this. 

Timothy Lakeman

Timothy Lakeman, Business Success Partner at

Over the years I have used MYOB and Quickbooks and still do with some legacy SMBs, however you cannot go past SAASU it is simple to use; you pay as you go (based on transactions per month); and can be accessed from any device or location via the internet. Overall, great flexibility.

Paul Zisson

Paul Zisson, Founder & CFO at

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Yes, I agree Saasu and Xero are the 2 leaders in the cloud-based accounting software market. MYOB was not built for cloud and was very successful prior with SME's but more expensive for software, support maintenance costs. It has released a cloud version which is not on par with the 2 above. MYOB live is very simple in structure & reporting whereas S & X are interactive with other mobile app tools & software. MYOB's legacy has to dismantle its PC building blocks which has made it difficult to compete with S & X which were developed specifically for the cloud. S is Sydney based company and X is NZ based but both very popular and similar 

Phil Khor

Phil Khor, Founder at

Thanks guys, what about Quickbooks - is it built for cloud and if so, does it have the same limitations as MYOB? We attended one of their functions recently where they talked a lot about the cloud, but I haven't seen it in action. Interestingly, they announced a new partnership with Web Payroll on the day too - following in the footsteps of Xero perhaps?

Charmaine Day

Charmaine Day, Director at Aspire Solutions

Just a comment regarding statement that "MYOB Live is very simply in structure and reporting". Perhaps you might be referring to LiveAccounts, which is browser-based accounting software, and doesn't integrate with other software, because it doesn't need to. It is able to process Payroll and all the basic business accounting requirements extremely well. However, if you are referring to AccountRight Live, then you are VERY mistaken, as this has all the amazing reporting features of the legacy myob system, (all 200+ reports), inventory (so no add-ons are required), multi-currency, with the added functionality of being able to multi-user (up to 5 at the same time) access online, offline...or both!! In addition, what this software has, which XERO does not, is the ability to take a back up at any time, and to be able to restore from that backup. Nothing more frustrating, than having to Un-do something you've done in Xero and not be able to restore back to a point in time.

Will Li

Will Li, Director at SF Capital

We have a strong preference for Xero which is cloud based and very easy to use and integrate additional features.

Yee Trinh

Yee Trinh, Cofounder at

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The most popular accounting software for small businesses are ones from MYOB, Xero, Quickbooks, Reckon, Saasu and Sage. There are some smaller names like Cashbook and Zoho for Australia. Which one is the best for you depends on your business, its complexities and whether you hire people and use payroll.
However, unless your business is small that you hardly need to pay any taxes (first $18200 is tax-free), you should hire an accountant and bookkeeper to manage your finances and accounts because it simplifies things, keeps you away from problems with ATO and the law, and saves you money. It’s just not worth doing it on your own unless your venture is small, bordering on a hobby.