Bookkeeping, Industry News, Technology

7 Reasons why I dumped MYOB Essentials

Across 3 businesses I’m involved with, out of interest of staying up to date with each system, I have been running the 3 “leading”, browser-based cloud accounting platforms in Australia:

  • Xero;
  • QBo;
  • MYOB Essentials;

Recently I became so frustrated with MYOB Essentials I had to end the experiment. Here’s why:

1. Reports don’t have totals

I don’t understand it, but most reports in MYOB Essentials don’t offer a total at the bottom. Afterall, who wants a total at the bottom of a sales report, seriously?

2. Most reports are PDF only

No nice tabular interface. No outputting to MS Excel. Most Essentials reports go to PDF and from there you can’t do much with them as the table formats aren’t great. So, there’s no easy work around for the lack of totals on reports.

3. A lack of integrations

We use LivePlan to build and monitor our business plan. LivePlan (admittedly a US product) has integrations with QBo and Xero… not MYOB Essentials…

4. No recurring transactions

We issue recurring invoices to customers. We have accrued income that needs to be moved from the Balance Sheet to the P&L each month. MYOB Essentials has no recurring transactions capability to automate these transactions. Xero and QBo do.

5. The Payroll is VERY light on

There’s no employee self-service. There’s not even any where to enter leave dates. The MYOB Essentials Payroll is basic, basic. Compared to KeyPay that you get with QBo and Xero Payroll, using a transport analogy, Essentials Payroll is a kids Razor Scooter compared to the comfy, practical motor vehicles offered by the other two.

6. Mobile… similarly light

MYOB offer a number of different apps based on the purpose. Invoicing & Quotes. Capture for Essentials. MYOB Pay Direct. Compared to the functionality of QBo (particularly) and Xero apps, again MYOB is racing go-carts, whilst Intuit and Xero are in the super-cars race… I’m too used to coding my bank feeds and checking my reports on the QBo and Xero apps… I can’t live without these features any more!

7. Price

With a name like Essentials and a feature-set comprised of the aforementioned competitive weaknesses, $60/month for MYOB Essentials is completely out-of-whack with the competition and the practical product positioning.

Compare this to the others and its ridiculous the value MYOB are placing on their brand… Just have a look at the other two:

$40/month ($20/month less) gets me QBo with 10 employees on KeyPay and a bucket-load more functionality.

$65/month ($5 more) gets me Xero Premium with 5 employees and a bucket-load more functionality.

It makes me wonder how KKR plan to get an ROI on their acquisition. Pricing out-of-whack with the market erodes brand. And at the end of the day, only brand and product truly sustain enterprise value. The new owners and execs have a challenge to stop the continued erosion of both relative to the big two competitors.

So, so long MYOB Essentials. I did like your automated invoice reminders, simple invoicing, practical bank feeds, but you just don’t compete with the “big boys” when it comes to running my businesses. I enjoyed being able to compare the 3 systems, but I’m not holding one of my businesses back for the “fun of it” any more… Goodbye!


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Matt Paff (BBus GAICD) is founder of Value Adders and a veteran of the Accounting, Payroll and broader B2B Technology industry. Matt’s resume includes time as GM at Attaché Software, one of the world’s longest surviving accounting software companies, as well as starting, growing and exiting a successful accounting technology & business process consulting firm. Matt has held advisory board positions with accounting firm Imagine Accounting as well as Governance technology start-up GovernRight. In his spare time, Matt also runs a RegTech start-up vSure. Matt is passionate about a practical, plain English perspective. He is known for being a straight-shooter and appreciated for his forthright, researched opinions.

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