Accounting for your small business has never been smoother thanks to the advent of cloud-integrated software. Deciding which brand to choose though, can be the hardest part.
In Australia, Xero and MYOB are the most popular and efficient choices, and almost all accountants will work with one or the other. While both have obvious merits, as a small business owner it’s important to choose the very best software accounting solu-tion to streamline your financial tasks.
Here is a direct comparison of Xero vs. MYOB to help you understand which cloud accounting software is best for your business.
Whether you’re a start-up or well established small business, the cost of enlisting services will always be a vital consideration for you.
Xero offers one package with three pricing options:
Starter: $25 per month
Standard: $50 per month
Premium: $60+ per month (depending on number of people on your payroll)
MYOB offers two packages with multiple pricing options. The first being the MYOB Essentials package:
Starter: $25 per month
Plus: $40 per month
Premier: $50 per month (enables you to have unlimited people on the payroll)
The second is the MYOB Account Right package:
Starter: $61 per month
Plus: $92 per month
Premier: $121 per month
While the pricing seems fair for both MYOB and Xero, for a small business eager to grow; the simplicity of Xero’s single package allows for upgrades if you increase your business, rather than the need to consider moving from one product to another.
2. User experience: Installation, ease of use, app accessibility and support
Simple user experiences and easy access to support when things get tricky is a vital aspect of any good software, especially when your business’ financials depend on it.
Installation and sign up is easy
The look and feel of Xero is modern and sleek, making the sign up and installation process exceptionally simple. Each click-through prompt is easy to follow so installa-tion is quick.
Very easy to use long term
Once you have signed up to Xero, it’s very easy to use. Each menu has simple drop down options, and as with installation, click-through options are clear and succinct.
Full app accessibility
The Xero accounting app is available on iOS and Android, and is clear and easy to use.
No phone support
Support is where Xero and MYOB differ the most, as Xero offers no phone support. In the event you or your book keeper has made an error that requires urgent attention, not having phone support can be exceptionally stressful.
Impressive videos, user-generated support threads and next-day email support
For those accustomed to finding support online though, Xero continues to impress. Xero’s huge popularity among both millennials and older business owners has created huge user-generated support forums and social media posts and threads. Xe-ro itself has addressed almost all the common support questions with simple cartoon videos with easy-to-follow instructions, as well as simple online help documents.
Further, Xero’s email support team is fantastic. They will almost always reply with a next-day solution, and are always eager to help you explore their different package options if your budget or needs change.
Installation and sign up is easy if you have Windows
MYOB’s interface is sleek in design, although slightly more outdated in colour scheme and appearance than Xero. The sign up process is easy once you select your package if you are merely looking for the simple MYOB Essentials package.
If you need more advanced features in MYOB Essentials or MYOB AccountRight though, installation is harder. If you’re a Mac user, you won’t be able to use MYOB AccountRight at all.
Long term ease of use is OK
The user experience and web design team behind MYOB aren’t as passionate about minimalism as the Xero team. Click-through options aren’t as clear as Xero, and it is easier to get lost looking for specific functionality.
Full app integration
MYOB’s app is available on iOS and Android, but the same user experience issues apply. The app isn’t as clear to follow, nor is the click-through process.
Full phone support
MYOB’s phone support is brilliant for those who prefer to speak to a ‘real person’ when technology appears to fail you. Their support is available seven days a week, and their support team will wait patiently on the phone with you as you troubleshoot your software with their real-time suggestions.
Online support and videos
MYOB offers numerous troubleshooting videos and online support documents which are clear to follow, although they’re not quite as minimalistic and sleek as Xero.
Creating, tracking and consolidating invoices is a vital part of accounting for your small business, so your software needs to allow the fastest, smoothest way to com-plete these tasks.
Xero allows you to customise your invoice templates and track when recipients open invoices. Most recipients will also be able to pay invoices immediately by clicking on the ‘Pay now’ button at the bottom of the invoice you send, helping encourage clients to pay quickly which boosts your cash flow.
MYOB offer the same functions as Xero, however customisability is only available with MYOB AccountRight and the options are more limited. MYOB’s classic invoice templates are sleek in design, although the colour scheme isn’t quite as modern as Xero.
4. Number of company accounts
Xero allows you to have one company account per subscription. Within this account you can have multiple administrators, and your employees can have individual log-ins to add their own time sheets if needed. If you have any employees at all, you’ll need to purchase the Premium package as Starter and Standard only offer payroll for one person.
MYOB allows you to have two company accounts if you subscribe to a MYOB Ac-countRight Premier package. You can also have multiple administrators and em-ployee log ins. MYOB also allows unlimited employees on your payroll if you choose any package above Starter level.
Winner: MYOB as payroll is included in almost all their packages
Which is better overall? Xero vs. MYOB
Xero is easier to use, is compatible with more devices, and is an overall more modern option that stays up-to-date with technological advances such as integration with other applications and software.
Owning and operating a small business can be exceptionally stressful and lonely, and Xero has narrowed in on meaningful ways to keep you motivated such as the Xero Gravity podcast and the Xero blog. MYOB offers a podcast and blog too, but as with the product in general, it’s not quite as modern and motivating as Xero’s offerings.
An important consideration when choosing Xero vs. MYOB
Sure Xero is the winner, but if your accountant is proficient with MYOB, it is advisable to stick with their chosen software. It will ensure your accounting is simpler and any issues are noticed by your accounting professional sooner.
Many great accounting firms will be partnered with one of these software brands, and exceptional firms will have attained Silver or Gold status to signify their level of expe-rience in helping small businesses work with the software.
Once you find a great accountant, they can help steer you toward the best accounting software offerings if you’re still unsure.