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MYOB or Quickbooks – Which is better?

January 28th, 2008 · 5 Comments · Bookeepers

It’s a question that we are often asked. “Should I get MYOB or would I be better to purchase Quickbooks?”

You could be sitting on the mountain at Bathurst listening to a Ford fan and a Holden fan having a debate about which car is better. It seems you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. The debate will continue forever

There’s advantages to MYOB as an accounting package, and then there’s functions that Quickbooks perform in a simpler matter. Perhaps MYOB have undertaken a more effective marketing campaign in Australia, and are more widely recognised.

Here’s some comments from independant users (taken from – the Australian broadband discussion forums website):
“For people with a bit of a technical / computer background I would suggest QuickBooks because it is more customizable and its reporting functions are much more powerful.

For those with less computer competency I would recommend MYOB Accounting Plus because it is easier to set up and entry of transactions is pretty straight forward. Probably harder to make mistakes than in QuickBooks. Premier is exactly the same except it allows more than one person to be in the data file at once. – I’m a full time accountant so I work with both of these programs daily”

OK, so MYOB is an Australian product and has good local support as well as uptake by accounting firms, etc. I think MYOB would be easier for the IT novice and Quickbooks seems more complex but I think that suits me. Quickbooks is also compatible with the time tracking tool I use on my PocketPC so that’s another tick in it’s favour. My accountant thinks both are fine

People hate doing their own books

“QB just seems to make more sense to me coming from a technical background with some accounting understanding, whereas I run MYOB and fumble around a fair bit.

We started out using MYOB for an IT Shop I used to work at. We quickly moved over to Quickbooks because it was alot easier and there POS system was excellent with the barcode scanner and cash till. After that I still played around with MYOB and always found Quickbooks to be alot simplier to use. Although it looks hard QB is the better option for me.

“I think that accountants, book keepers and admin staff must like it for it’s workflow as a lot of my clients use it and most of the accountants I interviewed recently preferred it.”

Quickbooks is more friendly out of the box, but less logical from an accounting perspective. It has less reports. Its feature set is a little less.

MYOB lacks Quickbookss help as you go feature – but I find that distracting anyway. With MYOB you really have to have an understanding of what you are doing. It is very easy to navigate MYOB. I find it harder with Quickbooks, but it is what you are used to.”

I use MYOB Premier and find it excellent and full featured, if a little clumsy to navigate around sometimes. It gives me the impression that the interface was never designed to have the expansive feature set behind it that it does, it’s a bit like walking down lots of narrow alleyways to get where you are going sometimes but it does work well.

“I’d give MYOB Premier an 8/10. Give me Attache or Syspro anyday though”

MYOB is useless if you want to run it over a network, especially with multiple users. We run a lot of weekly reports. Some of these can take up to 40mins to do.

Realistically, most of the problems with MYOB, Quickbooks – you name it is this: “People hate doing their books”, (So they shoot the messenger – so to speak) Programs like Quickbooks and MYOB are a blank slate that people use to mangle their books. And it is NOT the fault of the software, sometimes its the operator.

(These comments were taken from – the Australian broadband discussion forums website – thanks to all that contributed inclduing BeanerSA, Dabloodymess, Peter Farrar, Dave, EarEyeKnees, LifeLess Ordinary, and Damian Guppy, to mention a few.


5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 john // Mar 14, 2008 at 8:28 am

    they are both good

  • 2 dene // Apr 29, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Question: When is an upgrade an upgrade?

    Answer (according to Quicken): One new button.

    Watch out! the last time I bought an “upgrade” quickbooks for around $800, the first upgrade for three years, the only real change was a single button allowing you to put your icon onto a staff paycheck. $800 for an icon? In three years? They didn’t even bother to change the color scheme!

    When I approached the company about this it was obvious that whilst the staff are good, the management just doesn’t care. They obviously think that the Australian market is not really worth much effort. I have seen a few comments from others that were burned this way last time. and they were equally unhappy.

    I would not mind quite so much if the expenditure didn’t represent a weekly wage, or if the software did not have some obvious weaknesses, including very poor inventory, and a “cash” based report that is not really “cash” based., an inability to change some reports into alphabetical order, instability, especially when running vista, a CRM addon package that is just not worth the memory, inability to import or export transactions and several hundred other deficiencies that has spawned an addon industry. Quicken have done good work on this package when they first introduced it, but have been riding that work for several years.

    The reviews I have seen of this new product has definitely not changed the above.

  • 3 Paul // Jul 2, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    I would not recommend MYOB to anyone it is poorly set out.
    Despite many years of of being so called Australian so still don’t know how to manage end of year support. How arrogant their tech support is too busy to take a call. SO much for paid technical support.
    I think and Excel spreadsheet would be a better option

  • 4 Phil // Jul 7, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Both MYOB and Quickbooks appear to have a high staff turn-over in technical support. This seems to be the reason that they will not offer any help with versions of their software that is out-of-date.

    Quite simply their staff have no knowledge of any of the earlier versions of the software.

    Therefore both MYOB and Quickbooks encourage you to always purchase the latest version of the software – that way the staff, who are trained on the latest version, can help you. Of course, it also creates a nice revenue earner for both Quickbooks and MYOB.

    We’ve been running version 8.1 Quickbooks for around 8 years now, and how many “upgrades” have there been since then?

  • 5 Nigel // Dec 19, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    I have to say, that as a business owner and developer of software products (CAD) we use MYOB and find it and the support pathetic!
    There… i feel a little better now! MYOB is illogical to use and does not even comply with simple Windows style functions. Reports are confusing and they have tried to combine both an accruel system and a cash accounting sysytem in the one product, but of course both are quite different and the needs are different.
    A classic example of the the frustration we have with the software is that once you have rolled over the accounts for the year you can’t easily bring up and inspect the transactions (in particulat invoices) that you have issued to a client in a previous year!!!! Unbeliveable, then when you try to contact them to ask if it can be done, and perhaps where we should look in the manuals we are robot responded to as if we never existed.
    We are pro actively looking for a better solution