Best Accounting software

Which cloud accounting software and mobile app should you buy?

These days you don't buy a single accounting program, you subscribe to one.

These days you don't buy a single accounting program, you subscribe to one.

MYOB Essentials
Free trial: Yes – 30 days
Price: from $35 per month

MYOB Essentials desktop
MYOB Essentials desktop

Back before cloud software was a thing, it’s a fair bet that if you’d asked your accountant for advice about which accounting software you should buy for your business, the answer would start with some version of MYOB or another. As an Australian product, it has always been popular locally but it was quite slow to offer a cloud solution.

Essentials has gone through a few name changes from MYOB’s first forays into cloud software. But the current product is quite robust and easy to use. It has moved away from MYOB’s old “accountants first” mode of operation and is quite user friendly.

MYOB Essentials’ dashboard provides all the data you’d expect but presents it using plain English terms like “Money in” and “Money out”, “Invoices owed to me” and “Sales targets”. For those running a business who aren’t accountants – like me – that kind of language is very helpful.

Creating invoices, paying bills and other common actions are rarely more than a click or two away on the top menu. One feature I really did like is Essentials’ ability to store scanned documents. If I receive a paper bill from a supplier, I can scan and store the paper inside Essentials and link it to a payment so the entire transaction trail is in one place.

MYOB Essentials mobile app
MYOB Essentials mobile app

There are plenty of reports in the application, ready to go including the essential GST report for completing your BAS as well as Profit and Loss (with a graphical version in beta testing), Balance Sheet and Trial Balance so you can keep your accountant happy.

With so many accountants still preferring their clients to use MYOB, there’s an easy export function so you can grab all the data your accountant wants and send it off in a single file.

Unlike the other SaaS products I tested Essentials doesn’t provide you with sample company data to play with. The only way to use the free trial is to enter your own data into the application – a time consuming task if you’re in the process of simply shortlisting your options.

There’s a mobile app as well. MYOB on the Go lets you send invoices and receive payments while you’re out and about. It works with the MYOB PayDirect Reader so you can receive credit card payments. And through MYOB’s investment in point of sale system Kounta, you can also integrate a cash register solution.

It’s taken a while but MYOB has put together a nice service that will tick most of the boxes for business users and accountants: 4/5

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Anthony Caruana

PC World
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