Article – Should I Change Accounting Software?
By Serena Irving
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Are you using the most suitable Accounting Software for your business? If you are using a Desktop product, do you have the most recent version?
These are valid questions, considering:
· Payday filing will be mandatory from April 2019
· MYOB is ceasing support for its Desktop products from September 2019
· Banklink and Xero have both put up their fees recently
Mandatory Payday Filing
From 1 April 2019 employers will be required to provide details of employees' incomes and details of new or departing employee within two working days of the payday. For employers with payday filing capable software, this will be either an extra push of the button through the software's gateway service (API) or a file download which can be uploaded using your MyIR login. This is very similar to how GST is lodged through the accounting software.
We suggest that you opt in early for payday filing as soon as your payroll software provider is ready. If you have any implementation and training issues around the software, the IRD and software provider helplines will be extremely busy in April 2019. By early adopting, you will be ahead of the rush.
MYOB Ending Desktop Support
From 30 September 2019 MYOB will no longer be providing compliance updates, feature patches or product support for its Desktop version of AccountRight v19. If you are happy to continue using the Desktop version you can still do so, but you may be missing out on additional functionality that the Online version has available. This may be the best time to move to a cloud-based solution because MYOB and Xero are offering free migration to their products.
Banklink and Xero Fees Increased
MYOB increased its Banklink subscription fees in January 2019. An insider has suggested that MYOB is gradually phasing out Banklink in favour of its MYOB Essentials Connected Ledger option, which is in the cloud, has more functionality and daily bank feeds. Other alternatives to Banklink are Xero Cashbook available only through Xero Partners such as us, and Reckon One Basics with Bank Reconciliation.
We will contact our Banklink clients before 1 April 2019 to discuss options.
Xero increased its Standard and Premium plans in late September 2018, soon after adding Xero Expenses to its Standard and Premium plans. We recently achieved Xero Gold Partner status, so our 25% discount which we pass onto our clients, will absorb most of the price increase.
Why Accountants Prefer Cloud-Based Online Software
We prefer online software to desktop options, because we are accessing the same data that you are working on, from wherever we are. No need to send us backup files, post year end journals. We can sign in any time of the year, so we can help you with issues and see how your business is tracking on a regular basis.
You get a high-quality product with dashboards to show your business health, real-time tracking of your customer balances and cashflow. No need to install new versions of software. Access your accounts from most devices, anywhere, as long as you have internet. Xero is introducing automation and machine-learning capabilities which will speed up your processing time.
Our preferred cloud-based accounting providers are Xero, MYOB and Reckon One. Their software is written for the NZ tax system, easy to learn, and rich in functionality. For micro-businesses there are some good free options, like Wave.
How Do I Move Accounting Systems?
Consult us first to help you choose the right accounting system and to ensure the transition is smooth. We have several years' experience and can help you to avoid the pitfalls.
Before switching accounting systems, make sure that the old system is as tidy as possible. Delete old contact and inventory records, tidy up the chart of accounts. Make sure that your bank, debtors, inventory and creditors balances are correct as at conversion date. Ideally choose a year end for your conversion date, otherwise a GST period end would be the next best option.
If you are moving from Banklink to MYOB Essentials Connected Ledger, or from MYOB (Desktop) AccountRight to MYOB (Online) AccountRight, MYOB will do the transition for you, for free.
If you are moving from MYOB (Desktop) AccountRight to Xero Standard or Premium, Xero's Jet Convert will do the transition for free, if you sign up before 31 March 2019. There are extra charges if you use tracked inventory, multiple currencies and/or need data beyond the previous two years.
For other types of migrations, we have skilled staff and contractors who can do this for you and train you in the new system. Contact us for a quote.
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Serena Irving is a director in JDW Chartered Accountants Limited, Ellerslie, Auckland. JDW is a professional team of qualified accountants, auditors, business consultants, tax advisors, trust and business valuation specialists.