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Penny H.
Penny H.
Dandenong, VIC

We operate a transport business and have been using ABM accounting software for many years. Finding it very manually reliant and our accountant had said their moving all their clients across to Xero but we would like to get some opinions on how they find Xero , MYOB, Quickbooks or others – thank you

last year


Hi Penny,
I use Xero myself. I enter everything on a monthly basis and at the end of the year, my accountant logs in, checks the main reports and completes the annual adjustments.
A streamlined system will definitely save you a significant amount of time and probably money as well


Thanks for taking the time Scott. sounds like you like Xero a lot

I just find it quite easy. It takes me about 4 hours per quarter and I can generate reports anytime

Hi Penny,

we have experience with a wide variety of online accounting packages......and to be honest they all pretty much do the same thing:
- online access from anywhere
- bank transactions automatically loaded into software (BIIIG time saver!!)
- can automatically allocate transactions based on amount, payee, narration (HUUUUGE time saver!!!)
- payroll functions
- super streaming
- track subbie payments (this will eventually become a mandatory reporting chore for everyone)
real time reporting for banks.
GST reporting
budgeting (VERY USEFUL TOOL)

the time you can potentially save with the online packages will BLOW YOUR MIND!!! AFTER you learn how to use it!!! This is the issue that people get stuck on.....the potential benefits you can get from having up to date and accurate figures 24/7 without the need to beg your accountant to punch out a quick set of figures are huuuuge......but you really and truly need to factor in the time it will take you to get proficient with the software.....so the software providers in house (FREE) support services become VERY important in this decision.....

MYOB has traditionally been the market leader with online stuff.....and their support services have traditionally been better than some of the others.....but they will try to steer you towards their FAQ's and "how to" videos......which in reality are pretty decent

XERO looks funkier, and lots of people love it, and its a bit cheaper than MYOB......but you wont want to hold your breath waiting for them to call you back......support is pretty much email and "how to" video streaming.....but still a good package

QUICKBOOKS has not been a big player in AUsitralia, despite being one of the largest software providers in the US (intuit owns Quickbooks I think).....and they are pushing really hard to get a foot in the door in Oz......their prices are ridiculously cheap ATM, and I have found support services recently to be very fast and effective.....and they do still have the traditional FAQ's and "how tos".......

the thing is you probably want to talk to your bean counter about what they prefer......because if your accountant likes XERO, and you use Quickbooks, you protentially have a headache.....especially if your accountant really HATES Quickbooks......

but it all boils down to deciding which one is going to be the best for YOU.....because you are the one doing the data processing late at night when the kids are asleep......so have a look at them all......they all have free trial periods, but that is just a velvet noose.....because once you start with one of them you are unlikely to dump one to try another.....

good luck



Hi Brendan, this is very helpful. If our accountant wants us to use Xero we will trial it and see what happens ... thanks

Hi Penny,

After years of using/promoting MYOB to clients we got onto Xero about 4 years ago. Haven't looked back!

MYOB and Quickbooks, like most, are still good systems. MYOB probably with the greatest market share. however I have found they haven't updated/improved their software with the advancing of the Cloud. While MYOB gives you the capacity to store your data file in the cloud (so no need to back-up anymore) you still need the software on your computer - three versions per year.
With clients using MYOB, struggle to see any using the bank feeds well/at all.
Xero is purely cloud based, works through a decent app for invoicing, bank transactions, entering receipts (including photos). As long as you have internet access, you can access your file from any device.

If your accountant is using Xero internally, can find it actually reduced the fees, as they are completing financials from your data file, and can make adjustments in there directly.

last year

Thanks Todd - that makes us feel better about making the move

By the way, if you search around the world wide web you CAN find FREE software........FOR GODS SAKE DONT USE IT!!! Free = Garbage.
It might let you do online quotes and invoicing, and might give you some pretty graphs, but my experience is that there is not a single free accounting package that is worth using. The ones I have been exposed to provide virtually none of the benefits of the packages I mentioned earlier, and when we get a job on one of the free platforms, we inevitably end up referring back to bank statements and receipts to get the work done, which costs the client (ie YOU) a BOMB!!!.
Save money up front.....and cop it in the neck from your accountant when he/she has to sort out the info into something sensible.

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