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Accounting is Just the Beginning


Cloud Accounting – MYOB v Xero

Boxing GlovesNow that MYOB have released a new and much quicker version of their AccountRight Live which is much cheaper than Xero the battle between MYOB and Xero is hotting up!

I asked A + BAC’s Samantha, an experienced Xero user, to review the new MYOB cloud software and compare the two. The views expressed are Samantha’s alone and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the Accountancy + Business Advice Centre


Xero has a cleaner, less cluttered screen than MYOB which appears blurry, dated and is difficult on the eyes after a period of time – particularly when working on a laptop.

The Xero desktop can easily be customised to promote greater ease of use and to suit the client’s needs.

Ease of Use

Navigation within Xero for users new to accounting software is much easier as all core functions are easily identified on the desktop.  Navigation in Xero is consistent with Google and internet navigation.  For instance, by selecting the “back” option to return to previous screens and the ability to open multiple “tabs”.  Overall, this makes navigation much easier, particularly where the user is familiar with the internet.

However, if a user is already familiar with the MYOB layout, they are both straight forward to navigate, though the “internet” type of navigation is not available with MYOB.

For simple daily transactions, for instance bank statement coding, entering and emailing invoices/ purchase orders and sending statements Xero is much quicker, entry is more straightforward and overall easier to use.

For more complex tasks such as applying bank rules (coding rules) receipting payments to existing accounts and matching invoices, MYOB is easier to set up and use, however Xero has greater functionality and flexibility and works more effectively.

Under payments, prepayments and overpayments are a little more hassle to complete in Xero than in MYOB.


MYOB has far superior reporting options, flexibility and ease of use.  Transferring to Excel is simple and well formatted. With Excel transfers, complex analysis reporting is accessible, with some limitations.

Xero reports are satisfactory for all basic and common reporting requirements.  It is, however, difficult to gain more complex analysis reporting.


MYOB has a consistent, across the board pricing which is affordable and probably better value with the basic software at $21 per month. Xero’s pricing is dependent on number of transactions.  The starter package has similar pricing to MYOB live at $25 per month; however at this level is only be relevant to a small number of businesses.  The Standard and Premium packages are $50 & $65 per month.


Essentially, MYOB is a more basic version of Xero with one distinct advantage in being able to work offline as well as online and more in-depth reporting options are available.  Another core advantage with MYOB is the ability to complete desktop back up’s of your data files, which means data can be retained by the owner and if necessary, can allow the user to restore from a previous backup if data is corrupted or totally screwed up, by say, an inexperienced user.

Xero’s has enhanced features, greater flexibility and can be more fully customised to suit the user’s needs. Xero is probably more “modern” with iPhone and iPad apps and a number of add on’s available to purchase.  If set up correctly by and experienced Xero user, with a number of well written bank rules Xero is probably easier to use with greater accuracy for small to mid-sized businesses in which accounts are managed by a user with limited accounting software experience.


MYOB and Xero both offer reliable accounting software solutions which can be matched to different users according to needs.

MYOB is an effective solution for a business with very basic accounting needs, where the volume of transactions exceeds Xero’s starter package criteria.

For a larger organisation, with an experienced office administrator MYOB Premier or Xero’s Premium package will be equally suitable.  In this instance, MYOB Premier may be a more cost effective solution, particularly if you have inventory (which Xero doesn’t do) unless of course, you’re wed to the Cloud as MYOB Premier is not up there yet!

For a small to mid-sized organisation, that can utilise the enhanced features of Xero, Xero is probably a better match, particularly if an office administrator is not completing the processing.  To gain maximum benefit from Xero it is important that set up of the accounts, general ledger, comparatives and bank rules is completed by an experienced Xero user.

What to do Next

Don’t get carried away by fashion or public relations hype. Seek expert advice from an experienced accountant who can advise you on what’s going to suit you and be best for your business. At the Accountancy + Business Advice Centre we are experts on accounting software so contact us on nick@abac.co.nz.