MYOB | Essentials Accounting

MYOB as an accounting application traces its roots to TeleWare Corporation founded by Christopher Lee in the United States in 1982. The initial product was called MYOB for Apple’s Macintosh personal computer. And yes – it stood for Mind Your Own Business.

myob essentials MYOB Essentials entry-level cloud accounting software

The company MYOB started with Craig Winkler and Brad Shofer in Melbourne Australia in 1987 but not under the MYOB name. The marquee moment for MYOB occurred in 1991 when Winkler and Shofer purchased the rights to MYOB from Teleware to adapt MYOB for the Australian and New Zealand markets. They incorporated initially in 1991 as Data-Tech Software which became MYOB Australia in 1995.

Interestingly, TeleWare rebranded as BestWare when it was acquired by Best Software in Reston, VA in 1993. Best was  acquired by the Sage Group in 2000 and merged Best’s Abra human resources and payroll and FAS fixed assets accounting software into it’s extensive ERP and business applications portfolio. BestWare didn’t make it to the Sage acquisition, however, as Best sold it to MYOB Australia in 1995 and BestWare became MYOB’s go-to product for the US market under the MYOB brand.

The company changed it’s name to MYOB Limited and went public on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1999. MYOB acquired Solution 6 Holdings in 2004. Solution 6 Holdings offered professional services and ERP software for larger businesses and accounting firms throughout the region and into other global markets. Major product brands included CMS.Net, Novient, and CABS.

It’s been a long strange trip for MYOB as the US operations were sold off in 2008 to former MYOB management forming Acclivity AccountEdge – a product that derives from the MYOB code base but is now a separate product unto itself.

MYOB was acquired by private equity company Archer Capital in 2011 and delisted as a publicly traded company only to be sold to Bain Capital in 2011 and reslisted on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2015 as MYO.

Last piece of interesting history here – MYOB founders Winkler and Shofer are serious investors in rival Xero which was founded in 2006 in New Zealand and is gaining significant market share against MYOB in Australia, Sage in the UK, and Intuit in the US market place. That shouldn’t detract anything from MYOB as a viable entry-level accounting option for smaller companies as it has always been a tremendous value for the price and a steady and stable option for companies across a variety of industries – especially in the Asia Pacific region.

MYOB continued to grow including expansion into Asia with the 2000 acquisition of SeaSoft Computer Services pushing into Sri Lanka, the Phillipines, Singapore, and Hong Kong paving the way for a later entry into China and Malaysia.

MYOB sold MYOB Canada to Intuit Canada (QuickBooks) in 2001. Then Intuit Canada President and CEO Bruce Johnson stated at the time that, “MYOB differs from Intuit’s products in several ways…MYOB is available on the Macintosh and also has an entry-level package called Startup Accounting, and MYOB is stronger in inventory-keeping.” An article by Jack Kapica of the Globe and Mail in 2001 noted that, “The deal is expected to push Intuit to the top of the financial-services software business in Canada. Until now, Intuit has led other financial-services software in revenue, but trailed its main competitor, Simply Accounting from Computer Associates, in the number of units sold.”

In 2007 MYOB acquired the remaining 25% of Exonet which it did not own at the time. Exonet’s Exo product  is today marketed as MYOB Exo for larger businesses that have typically outgrown MYOB or other entry-level accounting applications.

In 2008, Winkler stepped down and CEO Tim Reed was appointed to guide MYOB into the future and he has truly transformed the company and the product which is to this day a very viable accounting option for smaller businesses – especially for companies in other parts of the world outside the USA and Canada (those companies are better served with the Acclivity AccountEdge products).

MYOB offers several accounting and ERP products serving more than 1 million customers and accounting practices with more than 40,000 accounting firm partners.

It’s leading entry-level accounting products are MYOB Essentials starting at $35 monthly and MYOB AccountRight starting at $85 monthly. MYOB Essentials is available exclusively as an online application with relatively limited functionality but much stronger than many of the newer entry-level applications available today from less established competitors. MYOB AccountRight can optionally work offline on a PC with job management functionality and expanded inventory management capabilities.

MYOB AccountEdge is the Macintosh version of the popular accounting software sold as a traditional desktop application license in one of three editions ranging from $450 for AccountEdge Basic, to $1,400 for AccountEdge Pro, or $3,000 for AccountEdge Network.

An invoicing mobile app called MYOB OnTheGo is available for mobile access to invoices for users of MYOB Essentials and MYOB AccountRight.

MYOB Exo is not an entry-level accounting application as it has more complex financials and inter-company reporting as well as more operational features and modules for job management and job costing, service management, retail point of sale, fixed assets, and CRM. MYOB Exo is an SMB small and midsized business ERP application due to it’s price and increased complexity. It offers a basic bill of material and work order system but is relatively weak in respect to material planning, engineering, quality, and other areas typically required for more complex and larger manufacturing businesses. It is, however, a potential option for light distributors who require kitting and small job-based manufacturers who may also be able to use the manufacturing or job costing and job management features within the product. There is a very small list of third party add-ons available for MYOB Exo to extend it’s core functionality.

The company also offers MYOB Advanced Cloud ERP which is a hosted ERP system available in three editions. Pricing is not publicly listed. This product appears to be their strategic platform for traditional distributors and manufacturers in the SMB market segment to compliment MYOB Essentials as their hosted, cloud offering in the entry-level market.

Additional products are available from MYOB including MYOB PayGlobal payroll and human resource management software, payment solutions, and more.


MYOB Australia Pty Ltd

Level 3, 235 Springvale Rd

Glen Waverley VIC 3150 Australia

Phone: 1300 793 130


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