The term small business can be applied to anything from one-man bands to companies with 30 or so employees. As such, any accounting package that purports to be suitable for small companies has to offer features suitable for both ends of the spectrum. With this in mind, MYOB – the book-keeping application against which any other Mac equivalent is inevitably compared – has been split into two variants: MYOB Accounting and MYOB Accounting Plus.
Both products offer fully-integrated double-entry accounting with nominal ledger, sales, purchases, stock control and a card-file system. Both also share certain new and upgraded features, including being multi-user ready at a cost of £120 per additional user.
MYOB now takes the drudgery out of managing payrolls. It calculates wages, deductions and taxes automatically, handles recurring salaries, allows manual intervention for periodic changes, and prints out payslips and cheques.
Pay periods are flexible and can even differ from employee to employee – for instance, sales staff can be handled weekly on an hourly rate with commission, overtime and bonuses, while the rest of the company are paid monthly. Even the setting-up process is simplified courtesy of the built-in Setup Wizard.
Feedback has led to improvements in the stock-control side. Item-history data can now go back five years and includes more information – such as the quantity sold, how much for, and quantities purchased. Also, item numbers now support 30 characters for enhanced product information, and back-ordering is improved.
Having a clear picture of your debtors and creditors is crucial in the running of a business. Previously, MYOB handled the typical 30/60/90 day periods – the current version allows for any credit term periods. It also offers user-defined ageing so that you can see a company’s true financial situation at the press of a button.
For those whose needs include professional time-billing, enhanced stock control and foreign currency handling, MYOB Accounting Plus fits the bill.
MYOB’s user interface has been redesigned, though this isn’t necessarily a good thing – it’s a little too Windows-like for my taste, with pull-down rather than drop-down menus. Still, most of its predecessor’s good points remain, including minimal memory needs (5MB useable RAM). A number of small additions will be welcomed, such as printing VAT-only cheques – useful when buying from the US – importing high-resolution logos and graphics, and various expandable fields.
Extra features, enhanced facilities, same price – a worthwhile upgrade and certainly worthy of consideration over that £10,000 bespoke system you were considering.