UPDATED 12/2/14: Corrections to release dates, pricing and product roadmap. Prices in the image above are for New Zealand users.
MYOB has dumped the LiveAccounts brand for its browser-based accounting program and will relaunch it as two discrete products in an unexpected expansion of its online roadmap. The MYOB Essentials range, comprising MYOB Essentials Accounting and MYOB Essentials Cashbook, would be released in early April, the company announced at its New Zealand roadshow.
The Essentials Accounting program will have more features and more add-on programs than LiveAccounts, and will eventually be more closely integrated with MYOB’s practice management suites Accountants Office and Accountants Enterprise, MYOB said.
MYOB Essentials Cashbook would be available only through MYOB accountant and bookkeeper partners. Accountants could view all clients in one screen and import a new chart of accounts through a drop-down menu divided by industry. Cashbook will be used mainly to manage transactions.
MYOB also planned to remove payroll as part of the core MYOB Essentials Accounting program in Q3 and sell it separately as one of a range of optional in-product features. Until then, users would retain access to payroll in MYOB Essentials Accounting/LiveAccounts.
Australian users of MYOB Essentials Accounting would pay the same as LiveAccounts at $29 per month, while Essentials Accounting plus Payroll (available in Q3) would cost $40 per month. (New Zealand users pay NZ$23 per month and NZ$35 per month respectively.) Bank feeds through MYOB’s BankLink service were included for Essentials Accounting but charged separately for Essentials Cashbook ($16 per month); MYOB claimed the average price per account for bank feeds was $5.53 per month.
“It’s an evolution of LiveAccounts that’s easy to choose and easy to differentiate. MYOB Essentials is a range of Cashbook, Accounting and Accounting with Payroll,” said James Scollay, MYOB’s general manager of the business division.
The pricing would be significantly cheaper than comparable plans from rival Xero (at $50 per month for up to five employees and $60-$80 per month for larger payrolls).
The rest of the roadmap was weighted heavily towards mobile technology.
Windows 8.1 Companion App for AccountRight Live: A free mobile app that let accountants and clients view a dashboard of their business, a profit and loss chart and balance sheet, and lists such as “Who Owes Me Money” and “Who I Owe Money To”.
The touch-focused app provided read-only access to the data – it wasn’t possible to edit information. The app was in beta and available from the Windows app store.
“It’s productivity improvements for clients and ideal for mobile trades, professional services and personal services,” said Ben Ross, MYOB general manager of user experience and design.
MYOB PayDirect (due in Q1 as a limited release, with general release planned for Q2): The mobile payments app for tablets and smartphones was a similar concept to the US-based Square and Reckon’s solution Reckon Pay (due to be launched this year).
The app turned an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet into a mobile merchant terminal which could process credit card payments using a card reader that plugged into the mobile device.
The app has two modes: payments only, for accepting customer payments on the go; and integrated with AccountRight Live for raising invoices (create, edit and send), managing debtors and contacts (create, edit and view maps and driving directions), as well as taking payments.
PayDirect would be compatible with EFTPOS later in the year.
OnTheGo (due Q1): MYOB will release two free browser portals for users of MYOB Accountants Office and Accountants Enterprise. These portals give access to practice management data from a web browser on a desktop or mobile device.
AccountRight Premier: MYOB will also launch its cloud version in May. It will allow 50 concurrent users with multi-currency, multi-location and negative stock. It will also connect with third party partners such as Meridian Retail, Kounta, Web Ninja and Fathom.
Disclosure: Aimy Chen travelled to New Zealand as a guest of MYOB.