The new AccountEdge from
MYOB is a good, if not great, entry into the Mac software arena.
Any product that is Mac only has piqued my interest right off the bat. And this tool — which offers accounting with business, inventory and contact management capabilities — is just that. 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.
MYOB AccountEdge also inherits the signature features of other MYOB products, including inventory and payroll, multiple currency accounting and professional time billing. But it also adds some new tricks and has been redesigned to complement the Aqua interface of Mac OS X.
A revamped Card File not only holds lots of info on customers and vendors, but also integrates with Checkbook, Sales, and Purchases, automatically filling in the customer or vendor specific information including: printed and onscreen sales and purchases layouts, item prices, account numbers, payment terms, tax code and shipping method. (You can have up to five different ship to addresses.)
AccountEdge remembers a customer’s e-mail and Web addresses and lets you just click on the Send To button to e-mail an invoice, a bill or a report. You can also create e-mail right from the card file to quickly send a note to customers, using common e-mail programs, such as, in my case, Entourage. Plus, you can create a log of the e-mail, or any other communication, with a re-contact date that will appear as a reminder in the To Do List.
AccountEdge includes Quotes and Orders as well as Invoices and Bills. It also includes a Sales Register and Purchases register, which house all the status information on sales and purchases in one location. This lets you make changes on the spot. You can e-mail or mail a Quote to a customer, send it as an Order to the warehouse, and change it to an Invoice when the sale is complete by clicking the “change to order” or “change to invoice” button in the register window.
The app makes it easy to accept and track customer payments from credit cards, cash or checks. It lets you decide how to group customer payments on deposits. AccountEdge users can fill in the source of a sale in the Referral Source field on a sales invoice, quote or order and generate a report of the results.
What’s more, it automatically interfaces with Microsoft Office for the Mac, a software suite that I use on a daily basis. There’s one-click integration with Microsoft Word and Excel (from Office 98, as well as Office 2001). And it offers a data upgrade from QuickBooks, something I find particularly appealing. (Intuit, maker of Quicken and QuickBooks, is developing new versions of Quicken for the Mac, but not QuickBooks.)
AccountEdge retails for US$249. A trial version will be available for download at the MYOB US Web site. The current version is targeted to the US audience; other global markets will follow. The OS 9.0 version is OS X compatible, and a full-fledged X version is promised “soon.”
Minimum requirements for full installation are a Power Mac with 32MB of RAM, 40MB of available hard disk space, an average of 35MB additional HD space for each data file maintained, 800 x 600 screen resolution, and Mac OS 8.6 or higher. For Online Help and other e-features, you must have Internet access, version 4 or higher of either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, and QuickTime 4.0 or higher. (Microsoft IE 5 and QuickTime 4.12 are included with AccountEdge. Installation requires an additional 16MB of free RAM with Virtual Memory plus 30MB available HD space.) Recommended for better performance are an iMac, G3, or G4 with 64MB of RAM. For “acceptable network performance,” MYOB also says you’ll need 100BaseT or faster Ethernet network with AppleShare IP 6.2 or later.
However, despite all these niceties, the big flaw in AccountEdge is its lack of electronic banking support. That’s going to be a big drawback for some users, especially the ones who want to leave QuickBooks behind.
There are also some other areas that could use improvements. There’s no register or checkbook-like view. And it’s a bit awkward handling accounts that aren’t “real” physical accounts like a bank or credit card account. Quicken and QuickBooks calls these categories. MYOB makes you set up a chart of accounts. Finally, there’s no memo for each split for a transaction. This makes it difficult when you need to put a description for the split.
Overall, though, this is a simply, stable, very Mac-like product. Through my own experiments with AccountEdge, talking with other users, and listening to the feedback of MacCentral readers I am convinced that it would serve my needs should I ever need to start my sideline biz.