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  • Writer's pictureCarol Kok

ABSS / MYOB vs Xero - Which Accounting Software is Best for Your Business?

Updated: Jun 16, 2020


Looking for a suitable accounting software for your business?

If you're reading this post, you're probably heard of MYOB (now also known as ABSS) or Xero and want to know more about the difference between these two popular choice of accounting software in Singapore. But which one to choose? And that's why I created this list so you can know which accounting software is best for your business based on 8 points.

Now before we get started, MYOB / ABSS is a desktop-based software, but also able to turn into a cloud-based software with remote access add-on for MYOB / ABSS. Xero, on the other hand is a cloud-based software.

Both packed with accounting features like Account Receivable, Account Payable and General Ledgers, but I'll uncover more points that are within both MYOB / ABSS and Xero, and you probably just don't know about them.

#1: Number of Companies

MYOB / ABSS allows you to create up to 5 companies in your initial purchase of the license, this is very cost effective especially for SMEs in Singapore when you have more than 1 company set up.

Xero allows only 1 company per subscription. So if you have 3 companies this means each company will require a brand new subscription in Xero too.

#2: Pricing

It's obvious MYOB / ABSS and Xero both have different pricing model.

MYOB / ABSS as you already know is a desktop-based accounting software. You can purchase the license at one-time payment instead of paying monthly subscription. Remember about the number of companies that I mentioned earlier? You can even create up to 5 companies under the purchased license too. Huge savings here.

Here's a glance of the pricing for MYOB / ABSS products:

MYOB / ABSS Accounting $848

MYOB / ABSS Premier 1 User $1,399

MYOB / ABSS Premier 3 Users $2,299

Xero, on the other hand charges monthly subscription due to its nature as a cloud-based accounting software or Saas model. In the long term you need to take note of the monthly commitment to use Xero, if you have more companies means more subscription fees too.

Here's the pricing for Xero subscription:

Xero Standard USD30/month

Xero Premium USD40/month

#3: Inventory Tracking

Although both MYOB / ABSS and Xero offers inventory tracking, a few know exactly what is the difference between the both.

MYOB / ABSS offers powerful built-in inventory tracking tools to track your inventory movement, quantity balances, warehouse and price level so you are able to tell how many committed orders and incoming stock in MYOB / ABSS. You can also do backorders if you do not have any stock on hand without losing any potential customers. You can also generate inventory reports to analyse inventory so you can check at a glance the 'real' available stock on hand right in MYOB / ABSS.

Xero has a basic inventory control where you can buy and sell your inventory but with one condition - you must have available stock to sell or send the invoice to your customer. So if you have run out of stocks, you will not be able to send invoice to your customer while waiting for your incoming stock. Inventory reports are basic in Xero too, you can still generate reports including quantity sold and purchase for individual items and stock movement report.

#4: Multi-Currencies

If you are dealing with international sales and purchases or you need to send invoices to your customers or receive invoices from your suppliers in different currencies, then you will most likely want your accounting software to have multi-currencies feature.

Good news is that both MYOB / ABSS (Premier version) and Xero (Premium edition) have multi-currencies feature, you can also deal with realised and unrealised exchange gain / loss in both accounting software. So both are pretty on par here.

#5: Project Costing

When your business is dealing with projects or jobs, then having the ability to track your project costing is a bonus because this features allows you to track your income and expenses of a specific project or job and ultimately tells whether your project or job is making money or loss.

MYOB / ABSS allows you to track unlimited projects or jobs, but surprisingly Xero limits to only 100 projects or jobs. So what if you need to track more projects or jobs, I guess this is something Xero missed out and have to improve.

#6: User Interface

Both MYOB / ABSS and Xero speaks for themselves, the user interface are intuitive and specifically designed for accountants and business owners making both of them equally easy to navigate and manage. Both MYOB / ABSS and Xero user interfaces gives good impression and understanding compared to other accounting software in the market, most users get used to their interface very quickly from our experiences.

#7: Ownership

One advantage MYOB / ABSS has over Xero is perpetual license ownership, this means when you purchase MYOB / ABSS, not only you own the given serial number, you have the fulls rights to decide where you want to install it and where to store your backup files for your business. Renewing is optional and not mandatory, the software will continue to work so this is a plus point however you will not receive any new software update. But you can always upgrade whenever there is a later releases to keep your software updated with new exciting features too.

Xero has a seemingly lower initial subscription cost. However, if you stop renewing the subscription, you won't be able to access to Xero because you are only 'renting' the accounting software rather than owning it. But good thing about subscription-based in my point of view is your software gets updated automatically so you'll get new releases and updates along the way. But if you prefer your accounting data stored at your private cloud server, then Xero may not be your choice as it can only be stored in Xero's own server.

#8: Offline Access

Able to access your accounting software without any internet connection is only available in MYOB / ABSS. So no internet? No problem! You can still have access to all the accounting features.

But is a bad news for Xero, you must have internet connection in order to use Xero because it's a cloud-based accounting software.

Conclusion: MYOB / ABSS vs Xero

There’s a good reason why MYOB / ABSS is a popular choice of accounting software for SMEs. It’s still a very solid accounting solution that’s hard to beat when it comes to features, usability, and value for money. If you prefer desktop-based accounting software and one-time payment, I'd recommend MYOB / ABSS without hesitation.

But if you prefer cloud-based accounting software, then Xero will be a better choice for your business.

I’d definitely recommend you to try both accounting software.

If you're an SMEs in Singapore, I like to share a good news to you! MYOB / ABSS is a pre-approved accounting solution under IMDA Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG), you may claim at least 80% subsidy on ABSS / MYOB pre-approved packages including software, support, implementation / customisation and user training. Find out more about ABSS / MYOB PSG Grant Pre-Approved Packages and if your company is eligible for PSG.

We also running monthly Xero promotion so you can get your Xero up and running in no time.

Good Luck and Happy Accounting!

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