MYOB 7.5

Possibly the most ubiquitous book-keeping application on the Macintosh, MYOB, has reached version 7.5. Features include AppleScript support, the option to save reports to HTML, a data-verification feature, an auto-save facility and some improvements to report writing and customised forms. MYOB remains the best book-keeping program on the Mac. Despite its ability to carry out complex double-accounting capabilities in the background, its well-iconized methodology requires only single entry input to use – giving the best of both worlds. The cost of this ease is a complex set-up procedure, but this is simplified by a number of pre-written business templates and a nationwide network of MYOB-compliant consultants to help complete beginners with the initial set up. The tutorials are well thought out, and the intelligent online help system is extensive. The seamless integration of the inventory system and stock-building facilities with the bookkeeping elements is the best on any application on any platform. The Job Costing feature makes cost-centre accounting possible and a to-do list gives an up-to-the minute break down of current debtors, creditors, expiring discounts, shortages of stock, pending sales and purchases, and people to contact. There are also a number of letter templates in text and MS Word format ready for mail merges. Examining data entered into MYOB is very simple, and hundreds of reports can be produced to give a clear indication of a business’s position. For on-screen querying, the application allows companies to mine into the depths of the program, to find individual transactions and contact records. The 7.5 upgrade from MYOB UK (formerly Best!Ware) has a familiar ring to it and it looks and feels like every version before it – which is good or bad, depending on your viewpoint. The changes lie under the bonnet and are mainly concerned with the minutie of reports and forms production. The one major introduction in 7.5 is the ability to work with other applications through the introduction of AppleScript support. It is now possible to automate the import and export of customer, supplier and transaction information. For instance, the import routine for point-of-sale transactions can be automated to update MYOB’s nominal journal, which simplifies the process. AppleScripts can also transfer information from MYOB 7.5 to other applications, such as statistic and spreadsheet programs, for better management and marketing. Bank on it
In previous versions, users were unable to match the dates on the bank’s statement when trying to reconcile a bank account. This made it difficult to compare statements from the bank with MYOB-produced reports. This has been fixed now, so users can specify start and close dates to match the statement. This ability to specify both a beginning- and an ending- date range gives greater flexibility when printing reports and statements. Another failing corrected by version 7.5 was the inability to personalize more than one kind of form, such as an invoice, shipping label, or a purchase order. This was irritating when you needed a service invoice one moment and an itemized invoice the next. It is now possible to customize as many as you want. MYOB also introduces the ability to search by supplier invoice or customer-purchase order number, the ability to have multiple customized forms and new VAT reports. Many accountants use different accounting software, and so the introduction of a means of sending data to the company’s accountant is welcome. A new feature, AccountantLink, lets users export data to CaseWare, a popular program with many accountants. Reports can also now be viewed through browsers on the Web with the ability to save reports in HTML. On the security side, version 7.5 brings two new features: a handy AutoSave feature, that saves after a specified time has passed; and a data-verification feature, that can catch minor inconsistencies in your company’s data file, before they cause serious problems. As one of the two main accountancy programs on the Mac – Quicken being the other – AppleScript support is long overdue. The ability to exchange data with other applications brings extra power to the analysis of figures, and exporting MYOB data to a statistical application like DataDesk can produce a reliable picture of a company’s position. One of the main failings of MYOB is its inability to handle other currencies, since all foreign transactions must be converted to sterling before being entered. Also, the documentation is a little shabby; the manuals appear to be Windows oriented and haven’t been updated since version 6, although an addendum for version 7.5 is enclosed. Finally, MYOB still only offers a multi-user version for the Windows version.

OUR VERDICT

The program remains as rugged as a program gets – it’s the only application I’ve never had a crash with – and it remains as simple to use as ever. MYOB fits with small and medium size businesses very well and this upgrade will particularly suit businesses with a high level of transactions. Otherwise wait for the multi-currency version later this year.

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