For the last several years, Acclivity’s MYOB AccountEdge has been the most comprehensive accounting application available for Mac-using small and mid-size businesses, offering an extensive set of accounting tools, as well as payroll options, time-billing, and credit card processing features. The latest update, AccountEdge 2007, includes Universal support for running natively on Intel Macs and offers a few new features, as well as updates to existing tools.
The biggest update to AccountEdge is important, but it’s not likely to garner raves from the Mac accounting crowd. While Universal support marks a significant change to the application—the update required major changes not only to the application but also to data files in order to maintain file-sharing capabilities between Macs and Windows PCs—it’s not the kind of change that you’re likely to notice as you work with the application from day to day.
Also new to AccountEdge is the ability to sync contacts between Apple’s Address Book and AccountEdge, but this feature is currently a bit cumbersome. If you’re new to the program, there’s no easy way to import contacts from Address Book into AccountEdge. AccountEdge only syncs one way, from contacts you’ve created in AccountEdge to Address Book. Furthermore, after you’ve accomplished syncing your initial contacts, when you create new contacts in Address Book, AccountEdge creates four different Address Book groups, depending on whether your AccountEdge contact is a Vendor, Employee, Customer, or Personal contact. For me, this proved to be an unwelcome addition to my Address Book contact list. Unfortunately, there is no way to add the contacts to Address Book without these groups. The program should be more flexible in the way it syncs contacts between your Mac and the accounting application.
Among the program’s other new features are the ability to more easily undo bank reconciliations—a Sisyphean chore in prior versions of the program—and the inclusion of many more OfficeLink documents, Microsoft Office templates that can be personalized with data taken from your AccountEdge contact information. Included in this collection are forms for credit applications, collection and discount letters, “Special Offer” letters, and mailing labels. You access these templates from within AccountEdge and then edit them from within, for example, Microsoft Word. But a shortcoming to this feature is that if you don’t already have Office open and you use Office’s Project Gallery, the automation feature doesn’t work. This problem can be resolved by either making sure that Office is already open or by turning off the Project Gallery feature in Office’s preferences.
Macworld’s buying advice
MYOB AccountEdge 2007 is a great accounting application for small and mid-size businesses, and this Universal version is a significant upgrade to last year’s offering. But, if you’re not currently using or plan on purchasing an Intel Mac for your business accounting needs, AccountEdge 2007 may be a capital investment you will want to spend your bucks on next year.
[ Jeffery Battersby is a writer, publisher, and network manager. You can read his blog at jeffbattersby.com. ]MYOB AccountEdge now offers the option to sync your AccountEdge contacts with Apple’s Address Book.