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MYOB FirstEdge. FirstEdge a Carbonized basic accounting product that runs on Mac OS 8.6, 9.x, and Mac OS X, and is targeted to small or new Mac-based businesses.
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FirstEdge is positioned as a complete bookkeeping solution. For many businesses, this will be the right product throughout their entire business life, Tom Nash, MYOB director of product management, told MacCentral. If you outgrow it, the company offers a conversion path to the more powerful AccountEdge.
MYOB AccountEdge tackles such duties as job tracking, sales management, time billing, inventory, and payroll. It includes invoice and check registers that make it easy to find open invoices, credits, quotes, payments, and other transactions quickly. It also offers features for inventory and payroll, multiple currency accounting and professional time billing.
However, FirstEdge is designed to be simple to use and sized right for small businesses by bringing both business finances and management together in one place. FirstEdge also allows the opportunity for small business owners to choose the Mac as their platform of choice, especially those who want to take advantage of the wide range of digital media resources for which the Mac is famous, Nash said.
“MYOB developed FirstEdge to help small businesses beat the survival odds by keeping organized accounts,” he said. “The ideal customer is a very small business, perhaps only one person, who uses a Mac for business. FirstEdge is also suitable for one or two person offices, freelancers, organizations such as youth sports teams and booster clubs, and very small companies that run their core business on the Mac, such as graphic designers.”
MYOB actively pursues profitable niche markets in the US software market. The Mac market is an area not being actively pursued by any major small business developer, Nash said. It’s also a market in which MYOB US enjoys a good deal of brand awareness, particularly with the successful launch of MYOB AccountEdge in November 2000.
What’s more, the competitive landscape of entry-level small business software for the Mac has changed to MYOB’s advantage with the introduction of Mac OS X, the company feels.
“QuickBooks has continued to fail to update their product and there are no indications they will for the new operating system,” Nash said. “Oracle’s Web-based accounting offers a product that many are still uncomfortable with. The dearth of competition represents a key opportunity to enter an under-served market.”
FirstEdge inherits the command center and flowchart motif of its sister products, MYOB Plus and MYOB AccountEdge. Financial info and transaction specific windows are located within the command center flowcharts. This is where you go to enter transactions and to find consolidated info on your ledgers, bank accounts, and sales via registers, transaction journals, and transaction research features.
Information management access is located within the menus at the top of your screen. From under the Lists menu that you can enter new customer, vendor, employee, or personal cards. You can create new items, jobs and tax codes, and set up all your custom lists and field names from here. Plus, you can add shipping methods, invoice comments, and payment methods. The Setup menu at the top of the FirstEdge screen includes the Easy Setup Assistant, as well as its components, in case you want to add, change, or delete data.
A New Company File Assistant walks you through the product setup. You just provide information on your company, including its name, address, and fiscal year. FirstEdge lets you select your accounts list from a set of 83 templates. There are also several customization options.
The Sales Register gives you all the data regarding your sales and receivables in one place and organized in tab format for fast access. It also lets you make the next logical transaction from within the same window.
The Analyze Receivables window offers a quick look at the aging status of your receivables. It lets you see which of your customers are behind on payments and lets you zoom down to the specific transactions.
Invoices are available in three formats: service, item, and professional. However, you can customize ’em if you wish. You can also print and customize checks.
The Bank Register is the cash activity center that lets you do a plethora of tasks such as entering all your cash transactions and preparing a bank deposit. FirstEdge also offers a “Reconcile Accounts” feature that lets you reconcile statements, either from a downloaded file or from a printed copy of your statements.
FirstEdge comes with over 60 included reports, in such categories as Accounts, Banking, Sales, Lists, and Custom. A View Sample button brings up a sample of the report you wish to see. Reports can be e-mailed in PDF format or faxed in text file format.
FirstEdge costs US$99 and can be purchased at the MYOB online store. System requirements are a Power Mac with 32 MB of RAM (64 MB is recommended), 40 MB of available hard disk space, Mac OS 8.6-OS X 10.1.x, and a monitor with at least 800 x 600 screen resolution.