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Accounting Plus 11.0 review: Accounting Plus 11.0

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The Good Outstanding interface; easy to use; thorough help system; clean, accurate forms; detailed record systems.

The Bad No online bill paying; no e-commerce links; lacks an upgrade path; no online version.

The Bottom Line MYOB is a powerful and customizable desktop accounting app for small businesses that don't need to make financial data accessible online. Version 11.0 has few new features, so those with a recent version don't need to upgrade.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall

Review Sections

Most desktop-based small-business accounting software is accelerating its inevitable move to the Web, making financial data available on the Internet and facilitating e-commerce. MYOB is not. Still, the latest version ranks as the most powerful and customizable desktop accounting program available for small businesses. The most significant enhancements include bank-statement downloads, an interface cleanup, a QuickBooks conversion utility, and retooled help. None of these features break new ground, however, so users of very recent versions may not need to upgrade.Most desktop-based small-business accounting software is accelerating its inevitable move to the Web, making financial data available on the Internet and facilitating e-commerce. MYOB is not. Still, the latest version ranks as the most powerful and customizable desktop accounting program available for small businesses. The most significant enhancements include bank-statement downloads, an interface cleanup, a QuickBooks conversion utility, and retooled help. None of these features break new ground, however, so users of very recent versions may not need to upgrade.

Tools and a wizard
The program comprises General Ledger and Accounts Payable and Receivable, Payroll, Inventory, Time Billing, and Contact Management sections. Simplicity has always been an MYOB attribute. It excels right off the bat, with a step-by-step setup wizard. Well-organized and complete, it prepares your data file for immediate use with little setup backtracking. The company simplified the main screen a bit for this version, although it was hardly necessary. Click any icon representing a major program area (such as Sales and Payroll), and a flowchart displays the available processes. Drop-down lists open critical organizational and analytical tools such as a to-do list and management reports.

MYOB already had a very solid reporting function, so this version's new report-access layout doesn't add much. But reports are critical to an accounting program's value, and the ability to customize both data selection and layout, combined with the sheer variety of boilerplate reports, represent key elements of MYOB's success. Distribution options are quite generous and include Excel export, e-mail, and HTML.

Top-notch forms
You could say the same of MYOB's record formats and transaction forms. These building blocks of daily accounting activity leave little room for improvement. Besides incorporating plenty of prefab and custom fields, you get quick access to related data and processes. Sales invoices, for example, contain links to related journals, layout and design, and registers. You can quickly dispatch transaction forms via e-mail and fax. And MYOB, unlike its competitors, supports multiple currencies.

Nothing much new
But the latest release is surprisingly slim on new features, especially in terms of Web integration. Nonetheless, it's as powerful as Peachtree Complete, and it surpasses QuickBooks for features and overall interface design. And MYOB simply feels more solid than its competitors. Despite its dearth of Web-connectivity tools, MYOB is the best choice for both service- and product-based small businesses that still prefer desktop accounting over more difficult Web-based accounting.

MYOB divides item records into several content areas, making it easy to find your data.

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