BusinessEssentials Pro from MYOB is a small business software suite available
in PC and Mac versions that includes the company’s Premier Accounting
program, fully integrated accounting modules for GL, AP and AR, along with applications
for business process and management functions such as sales, banking, purchasing,
time and billing, payroll, inventory, customer/vendor management, scheduling,
human resources, forecasting and analysis tools. MYOB also offers a basic version
of the program, as well as a variety of services that enable small businesses
to accept credit cards, provide direct deposit of payroll, EFT payments to vendors,
and other options. MYOB also offers online outsourced payroll. BusinessEssentials
costs $299 for a single-user license, with additional user licenses available
for $149 or $499 for a five-user add-on. MYOB offers a free fully functional
license of the program for CPAs and other public accountants.
Ease of Use/Basic Functionality — 5 Stars
The actual accounting system within BusinessEssentials Pro is Premier Accounting.
The program organizes primary functions and tasks into groups that are accessible
from several Command Center screens that provide a business flow chart for that
activity with text-based links to transactions and data entry. Command Centers
are available for Accounts, Banking, Sales, Time Billing, Purchases, Payroll,
Inventory and a Rolodex-like contact list called the Card File. Pull-down menus
across the top of the screen also provide navigation options to the system’s
Initial company setup is guided, and setup of accounts is aided by the availability
of more than 80 template chart lists based on company industry and other factors.
Existing charts of accounts can also be imported. Various setup wizards also
help with client, vendor, inventory and banking data entry. As noted above,
the Command Center screens include links to activities in that category that
are organized in business process format, from sales order, through contact
and account management, to receipt of payment. The Command Center screens also
offer access to the user’s To Do List, Reports, Analysis and a Find Transactions
query tool. Data-entry screens are intuitively designed, offering field lookup
lists for many items. Overall, the program offers intuitive navigation and workflow
design that should be simple for most users.
Modules/Customization/Expandability — 4.5 Stars
The program’s extensive template of standard charts of accounts is a strong
benefit to users without much accounting background, and useful to their accountants
who provide write-up or other consulting services since the program maintains
true double-entry accounting. The primary modules included with the system were
listed earlier in this review, but the most noteworthy of these include the
scheduling, forecasting and human resources functions. The Customer Appointment
Manager centralizes scheduling for multiple professionals and provides a variety
of calendar views. The financial forecasting and analysis applications enable
expense projections, business planning, and cash flow analysis, while the HR
function allows tracking of employee performance and integrates with the payroll
functions of the program.
BusinessEssentials Pro supports multiple currencies and supports EFT payment
of vendors and direct deposit for employees, with unlimited deductions and the
ability to print W-2s, W-3s and 1099s. Also included with the package is a logo
creation program for developing letterhead and business cards, and linkage to
the Virtual Small Business Workshop, an IRS-developed resource. MYOB includes
a copy of “Where Did the Money Go?” by Ellen Rohr, with each copy
of the program. The book provides accounting basics for business owners who
don’t like the thought of accounting.
Several customization options are available with the system, allowing users
to set many features to their preferences, as well as functions like the To
Do List that are specifically geared to personalize the user experience. MYOB
offers a lower tier accounting program but not a higher one.
Reporting & Management Functions — 4 Stars
BusinessEssentials Pro includes a large selection of customizable reports that
provide drilldown access to the transaction level, with reports grouped and
available in each of the various Command Centers. All reports can be saved to
a variety of formats including *.PDF, Excel, Word and HTML. The program also
integrates with e-mail and fax applications to allow reports to be sent via
either method from within the system. Report sets can be customized per user
into Favorite Reports lists. Reporting output can include graphs and other visual
BusinessEssentials Pro’s financial forecasting and analysis tools, HR
capabilities and payroll functions are outstanding additions for a small business
package, as is the system’s inclusion of time-based billing features,
which enable users to track and bill using automated timesheets and the program’s
invoicing system. Closed periods and years can be locked. Another management
feature is the ability to set customer credit limits and holds that require
a manager password for override.
Audit Trail, Integrity & Accountant Control Tools — 4 Stars
The system’s audit trail maintains full-time accountability and is further
supported by the Company Data Auditor function, which offers several reporting
and analysis tools to help maintain valid and consistent data. An inventory
audit trail is also available, showing sales, purchases, adjustments and product
Import/Export/Integration — 4 Stars
All data is shared by all of the modules in the system, enabling simplified
drilldown and lookup capabilities. The system can export to several file formats
including Excel and Word for editing and analysis, in addition to *.PDF and
HTML. The system also includes a link to CaseWare’s write-up program.
Help & Support Options — 4.5 Stars
Internal assistance features include a strong Help utility with right-click,
page-specific and content-sensitive guidance, as well as a natural language
search tool, the Tell Me How feature that shows Help topics related to the module
or task that the user is doing, and a list of FAQs. The program comes with a
printed user manual (as well as the basic accounting book), and MYOB offers
online lessons and training guides. Initial installation support is free, after
which, optional support packages are available.
Relative Value — 5 Stars
With pricing under that of comparable systems, BusinessEssentials Pro offers
an impressive suite of small business accounting and business management tools.
The program’s core accounting capabilities are strong, while its inventory
functions should be capable of handling most non-complex entities. The inclusion
of forecasting, scheduling, human resources and time-based billing functions
is a notable asset. The program is well suited to small retail and services
businesses as well as manufacturers and wholesalers.
2006 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars