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Why Do You Want Xero and MYOB for Free?

If money is an issue there are alternatives when it comes to accounting software programs

WaveApps Transaction journal in the free accounting software competitors to Xero, QuickBooks Online and MYOB with receipt scanning built inWE’RE OFTEN ASKED whether Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks software is provided free with our training courses.

Unfortunately, we’re not given free access to accounting software, so we can’t pass free software access onto our students either. However, we do let you know where you can access trial or student versions while you complete our courses.

It made me wonder: Who’s driving the demand for these programs? It turns out, it’s usually someone’s bookkeeper or accountant recommending them. And this is usually because they’ve done a training course and learnt how to use one or more of the major accounting packages.

Does your bookkeeper or accountant disclose whether they’re earning a commission?

Some bookkeepers take a 15 percent cut of the monthly subscription fee because they’re a certified MYOB / Xero / QuickBooks consultant — and that’s why they recommend a particular package. I personally think that bookkeepers or BAS agents who do this should disclose that they are earning an ongoing commission — just as real estate agents need to make these declarations in their agency agreements.

Businesses don’t know any alternatives  

It also happens that a lot of business owners don’t know about alternative accounting packages. Therefore they simply choose the brand name they’ve heard about the most. I discovered this with real estate agents when it comes to who they choose for their social media marketing services — most of them ask what software or which person Joe Blow uses and then assume it’s good enough for them.

Selecting an accounting package to use is often one of the first things a new business owner does. At this stage, however, they may not even be aware of what they require from an accounting package; never mind what sorts of alternatives they should be looking at. When first starting out, they’re just anxious to be able to invoice and get paid by their first client.

Freshbooks, Zoho, WaveApps alternatives to Xero & QuickBooks Online

Three low cost alternatives to the “three brand names”

Zoho, Freshbooks and Wave are three other accounting packages that are either free or very inexpensive.

These three also include many of the same features you’ll find in the three big name accounting packages — MYOB, Xero and QuickBooks.

Zoho: Free invoicing software allows one user, invoice up to five customers; paid subscriptions from $7 U.S. per month; add extra features (expenses, subscription management, inventory management) as required. Pricing for Zoho Books, the complete accounting package, start at $9 U.S. per month for 2 users, 50 contacts, 5 automated workflows.

Freshbooks: Complete accounting software includes unlimited invoices, accept online and credit card payments, multiple devices, reports, payment reminders, notifications when clients have received, viewed, paid invoices; pricing starts at $15 U.S. per month for 5 active contacts (customers).

Wave: Forever free invoicing and accounting software includes unlimited estimates and invoices, generate reports, scan receipts, bank feeds (accounting package), and more; accept credit card and online payments for a fee (1.75 percent for ever 30 cents AUD); payroll $36 AUD per month.

Consider your business needs first

We recommend either Wave or Zoho for small but growing businesses, looking for a cheap or free accounting solution. Wave, in particular, provides a fairly robust accounting package that’s entirely free, and remains so if you don’t intend to take credit card or online payments (lots of businesses do, but many more don’t). In fact, they even have their own smartphone apps to capture receipts and create invoices while you’re at a clients!

If you anticipate you might want to add other productivity apps, like a CRM, inventory management, IT helpdesk, recruitment tools, or collaborate in a team project, Zoho is a good place to start, as these features can be turned on and off as required.

Of course, these accounting packages are rarely used or recommended by accountants or bookkeepers, who prefer to work with Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks because they provide the functionality needed to complete and lodge activity statements. If you’ll be working with a bookkeeper or accountant, it’s best to stick with one of the brand name three.


If you need training in MYOB, Xero and QuickBooks, our online training courses will show you how to set up and use various aspects of the software. More importantly, they will take you through detailed case studies where you can enter all the transactions performed by various different business types eg. professional services, trades and even the sale of inventory products. Visit our website for more information or to enrol.


Ref: #715

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Major bank wants to NAB uber small businesses

NAB partners with large accounting firm to bypass bookkeepers

Is Airtax competing with the accountants version of Xero and MYOB for cashbook accounting
NAB group executive Antony Cahill with Sammy Kumar of PwC Picture Stuart McEvoy with Airtax credit card from The Australian website

As an ex NAB small business client I confess a biased against the bank and their archaic computer systems and you could probably tell that from blog post where they asked their NAB Dee Why branch clients to temporarily change their BSB number while there is some property development in the Dee Why square (where I had my first computer training centre)!

While I’m putting down the NAB bank for small business I should point out that these were amongst the other reasons that I moved from NAB to CBA:

  1. I was told I needed to have a separate bank account altogether from my business account to have a debit card – they’re all combined in one account with CBA, save time and complexity come bank reconciliation time.
  2. If I needed a statement that was older than about 60 days I would have to order one – very painful when doing bank recs or BAS’s and asked for source statements! – CBA enable you to go back 2 years and even up to 7 easily and for no extra charge.
  3. I needed to complete a deposit slip and enter all of the bank account details on the rare occasion I banked a cheque – CBA you give them your card and the cheque and they bank it for you and give you a printed receipt of the deposit

Breaking News! New credit card for PwC Airtax

So when I read the announcement that a high tech innovation incubator put out a press release that used almost every single keyword you’d want to use to show off exactly how tech savvy you were and how invested you are in innovation in our great country, I was quite interested to learn more. These are the words used in the email I received:

In collaboration with PwC, NAB’s innovation hub, NAB Labs, has developed a Visa Debit card for customers using the Airtax platform. The service is part of both NAB and PwC’s ongoing commitment to supporting Australian business innovation.

Now, I don’t know about you but aren’t we just talking about a credit card that keeps track of expenses? or are we talking about a partnership between accounting software (ie Airtax) and a banking system? Is this cashbook software? Can someone please tell me why this is newsworthy? Oh, and while we’re at it, is this really a platform or is it bookkeeping software?

Is PwC now competing with ALL accounting firms AND Xero and MYOB?

We earlier wrote about whether Xero is the easiest accounting software to use and how Xero is growing their users massively with the aid of accountants who use the software to essentially offer cashbook accounting for their small clients who don’t need to buy accounting software. This recent announcement really just seems like a soft launch for accounting software (with VERY basic capabilities) that is trying to catch everyones attention because they are focussing on Uber drivers.

As far as NAB, come on, aren’t you just outsourcing your own investment in decent banking systems to try to catch up to the market leader?

Most interesting is the ATO’s GST ruling for Uber drivers

The most interesting thing about this conversation is what caused these two massive companies to start catering to such a micro business market and it points to a ruling that requires Uber drivers to start charging and paying GST from the first dollar they earn.

If you are interested in free accounting software from PwC this is their URL (, but you should also check out these companies who provide more functionality and have been doing so for years already:

  • Freshbooks
  • Zoho Accounts
  • Wave Apps

Are you a bookkeeper or accountant for an Uber driver? We’d love to hear from you. Where does this leave bookkeepers and accountants?