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MYOB vs QuickBooks: Which Should I Choose? The clash of the bookkeeping titans continues

by Mia Cusack

posted in Business : Accounting

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It's the age-old debate, almost as well known and as polarising as Coke vs Pepsi or Ford vs Holden! MYOB and QuickBooks are each very different accounting packages, although you'll find many dual MYOB bookkeepers/QuickBooks bookkeepers. Each program has its own strengths and weaknesses, and is suitable for different types of businesses and sometimes different industries. We explore those industries here.

Basic Functions of a MYOB Bookkeeper and QuickBooks Bookkeeper

Both of these major bookkeeping packages have the same core functions, including:

Integrated payroll Time billing Inventory tracking GST accounting / BAS preparation Business management

Both packages also integrate with Microsoft Word and Excel, so that you can import and export data and reports as necessary.

The Traditional Viewpoint

Some bookkeepers still see MYOB as the pioneer software - and for those who believe "it is better to be first than it is to be better", there's no reason to convince them that MYOB bookkeeping should be left behind! MYOB is also Australian-developed and owned.

The major reason that many companies choose to go with QuickBooks is the multi-user licensing system; QuickBooks bookkeepers have no restriction on the number of companies you can use the software with, five separate licenses and the choice of buying either a 12-month subscription or purchasing the full version.

However, the subtleties of using the programs for MYOB bookkeepers compared to QuickBooks bookkeepers mean that one program may be slightly better suited to a particular company.

The Face Off!

Ease of Use for Beginners

The field is fairly equally divided as to ease of use for beginners. An easy way to remove any worry over spending time trying to figure out your bookkeeping software rather than doing work, can be quite simply removed by getting some expert, in-house training from your MYOB bookkeeper or QuickBooks bookkeeper.


Both programs are well established and equally stable.

Time Tracking Tools

MYOB has time billing, and is compatible with a fairly wide set of time tracking tools; for some companies this will save time on data entry (and therefore fees for your MYOB bookkeeper).

Operating system

If you work on a Mac, it makes more sense to engage a MYOB bookkeeper. QuickBooks offers only a windows-based product in Australia. It is possible to use a virtual machine on a Mac to run QuickBooks, but the operation is less stable. There's nothing worse than a system hang halfway through payroll!


Do you have inventory for your company at multiple locations? A MYOB bookkeeper will be your better bet - QuickBooks can't handle this. Additionally, QuickBooks will only allow you to have one company file open at any point in time ... yet MYOB only allows you a maximum of 9 windows, whereas in QuickBooks it is unlimited.

Ease of Entry

With MYOB, Small business transactions entered straight from bank statement can be streamlined more efficiently by setting up linked accounts to supplier cards and entering in 4 quick keystrokes. Quickbooks is able to recall last transaction, however you spend more time tabbing through the various fields to get the same end result (ie. the benefits would be the same if entering bills into software to be paid at a later date)


Quickbooks allows advanced customisation of reports – you are able to filter by class, account etc. to generate almost any report you like – great for any rapidly evolving or medium businesses that require customised reporting. MYOB is currently very rigid in its reporting abilities, however, it does suit most small business needs. The ‘Find' feature in Quickbooks is also much more efficient and accurate than the MYOB ‘find transactions' function.

For learners

There are several points in consideration of learner bookkeepers that need to be taken into account when choosing a software package. Remember, all of these can be overcome if you choose to get specific training from your MYOB bookkeeper or QuickBooks bookkeeper. However, if you're planning to wing it, consider that:

MYOB requires a 'hard close' at year end, and the rollover procedures can be quite difficult to implement. There are perhaps slightly more MYOB bookkeepers in Australia than Quickbooks bookkeepers. That said, any bookkeeping service worth its salt will have extensive experience in both! QuickBooks reports can be easier to customise without special training

To sum up, there really is little practical difference between the two programs; it will depend largely on your particular company's quirks, habits and necessities whether you choose a MYOB bookkeeper or QuickBooks bookkeeper.

A note should also be made about online bookkeeping software; The top four software programs are MYOB, Quickbooks, Xero and Saasu – these programs can help reduce your data entry time in half if you choose the right one! For a comparison of all four online bookkeeping software brands and to choose the best one for your needs, visit the Top Class Accounts blog  where you can find valuable updates and info about the industry.

About the Author:

Top Class Accounts have sound expertise and many years of experience in accredited bookkeeping for small to medium businesses. For advice and tutorial in MYOB bookkeeping or for a qualified Quickbooks Bookkeeper contact Top Class Accounts


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