The generally quite staid accountancy software market has been looking pretty shaky recently, with Intuit announcing it is to concentrate on its QuickBooks software at the expense of Quicken. This leaves Microsoft Money on its own as the mainstream application for managing personal finances - just at the moment online banking is making computerised accounting a reality for many people.

The market on which Intuit is concentrating is the same one being chased by MYOB BusinessBasics: easy bookkeeping for small businesses. MYOB has always been a decent, reasonably priced alternative to applications from competitors such as Sage, TAS (see page 75) and Intuit, partly because it's clearly focused on small businesses and sole traders.

The new line-up of products ranges from a tool to track sales, VAT and so on, to more advanced options such as payroll functions and multi-user entry.

The interface will be quite daunting for novices. There are very few wizards to get you started, and the home page assumes you have a basic knowledge of bookkeeping.

BusinessBasics excels when converting quotes into invoices for sales. As it is important for any business to have a complete understanding of costs, MYOB also tracks job-specific expenses, as well as helping to prepare VAT returns.

BusinessBasics: Specs

  • 200MHz Pentium processor
  • Windows 98/NT4 SP6/Me/2000/XP
  • 35MB RAM (64MB recommended)
  • 50MB hard disk space (100MB recommended)
  • 200MHz Pentium processor
  • Windows 98/NT4 SP6/Me/2000/XP
  • 35MB RAM (64MB recommended)
  • 50MB hard disk space (100MB recommended)

OUR VERDICT

The options in MYOB BusinessBasics are laid out logically and, as is to be expected, it takes advantage of online banking to reconcile business accounts as straightforwardly as possible. While it is well priced, however, the streamlined product on offer here may leave users wishing for more features as their businesses grow.

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