Posted on

MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks Beat Reach and What About Your Data?

Be Wary of Small Accounting Software Companies

MYOB Training Courses Online
MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks Beat Reach

Reach Accounting ceased operating in April 2015 [RIP Reach], after only four short years operating in the cloud-accounting space. When it launched, and Net Registry bought a 50 percent stake in the company, it was billed as the Gmail of accounting software for Australian small businesses.

Net Registry actively sought out small business owners, sole traders particularly, and if they were existing Net Registry customers, offered the Reach Software to the for free for the first two years; for any non-Net Registry customers, the software cost just $14.95.

But Reach Accounting is one of many online accounting programs which now compete with each other globally for small business clients.

I wrote earlier about an accounting program called Wave Accounting which is free for most bookkeeping features until you get into the more advanced features like merchant services and payroll.

We’ve always maintained a commitment to MYOB and our MYOB Training Courses because as a large company they have a wide client base and the money to invest in their software when industries go through change like we’ve seen in cloud accounting.

Reach was the cheap option for sole traders

Its small price tag made it a highly attractive option for small business owners who really only needed the invoicing, estimates, and expenses side of an accounting package, but with Reach could have the whole dog and pony show for very little.

In 2011 when it launched this was a huge drawcard. At the time, there were few other offerings available for less than the cost of Xero, which started at $25 a month, for a very limited offering. Now, however, there are at least three other players all vying for the same sole trader demographic.

If you were using Reach, then hopefully you made the switch to another accounting program before the April 30 expiry date, after which point, you data would have been lost forever. Sucked in to the cyber vacuum of nothingness, along with your Kazaa playlists and MSN Messenger account.

Any data in Reach needed to be retrieved by April 30

This is probably one of the biggest downsides to using cloud-accounting software – if the company shuts up shop, then you have a limited amount of time to export your files before your data is lost forever. If you’re a n00b or a bit illiterate when it comes to accounting software – which, let’s face it, most small business owners are – this can be tricky as some data may not transfer across or may need to be manually re-entered, which could spell an accounting disaster when it comes tax time. In fact, any time you cancel a service with one cloud-accounting provider you run the risk of not being able to access your data once your account is suspended or cancelled.

That’s why MYOB continues to remain as popular as it is with accountants and bookkeepers – because even if MYOB decides tomorrow that it’s going to cease producing its software and exit the accounting software space altogether, you can still go back to the software installed on your computer to retrieve certain data any time you need, even after you’ve found an alternative accounting package.

MYOB and similar software the safer choice

You obviously wouldn’t be able to use the cloud or smartphone and tablet-based applications, but the software installed on your computer would continue to work offline, just as any old piece of software would continue to work. There are plenty of organisations that continue to use MS Office 2003, even though it’s about a decade out of date. In fact, I’m still using MS Entourage for Mac 2008, even though that particular product was discontinued in favour of a Mac version of the email client Outlook.

While cloud-accounting software is great and can be produced cheaply, MYOB and similar software that needs to be installed on computer remain a safe choice, and it’s why it continues to be popular with accountants and, in turn, our most popular training course. If you’re a new bookkeeper and you’ve been wondering what software you should become skilled in, it’s most definitely MYOB.

There are plenty of Xero bookkeepers, and while it’s important to know your way around Xero too, MYOB is by far the preferred choice by accountants because it’s well established, so it’s unlikely to be going anywhere soon, but even if it does, a client’s data and information doesn’t disappear until you’re ready for it to disappear.

If you’re a new bookkeeper or a bookkeeper looking to brush up on your skills, make sure MYOB is one skill you master. We offer an online training course in MYOB that takes you through each step in the bookkeeping process, including payroll, reconciliation and BAS.

Posted on 3 Comments

An Aussie Dies In Accounting Wars

R.I.P. Reach Accounting

Reach Accounting Service Shut DownA member of our team was recently asked to recommend a few low-cost, cloud-based invoicing programs to a friend. He’d recently started his own business and for the last few months had been using Excel to create and send invoices to his clients.

[quote]Surprisingly, Microsoft Excel is still a very popular way to create and send invoices for many small business owners,[/quote]

but since Xero and other cloud-accounting programs appeared on the scene, I didn’t think many people still used Excel for invoicing.

Microsoft Excel 2007 Beginners training courses and certificateThis person was using Microsoft Excel because, while he found Xero impressive, the majority of its functions would go unused, so he couldn’t justify the price tag. He was just after something that would allow him to create invoices, estimates and input his expenses. We’ve mentioned three low-cost options in this blog: Quickbooks, Zoho, and Reach Accounting, the latter of which I championed due to it being Australian-owned. EzyLearn developed a course for Reach Accounting and we were the official training provider but sadly they recently shut down their services.

Reach Accounting was officially shut down at the end of April of this year as it’s parent company Net Registry pushes further into the online marketing space to position itself as a one-stop small business start-up shop.

Google reveals Reach Accounting is shutting down

Google Reveals Reach Accounting is shutting down

With Net Registry, you can register a domain name, build a website, and market your business; cloud-accounting seemed, like a logical extension of their offering, and they marketed it heavily to small business owners – sole traders, in particular.

Then, in March, Reach Accounting notified users by email that, effective April 30 of this year (2015), Reach Accounting was closing. And without any fanfare, it did just that and quietly disappeared. There’s no longer any trace of it at the Reach Accounting domain name, and no reason given for its departure from the online accounting space that it so actively pursued not so long ago, but there is still a hint of life on the NetRegistry website – at the time of writing they were still showing the service at their main website: http://www.netregistry.com.au/resources/reach-accounting/

Reach Accounting’s life was a short one. Net Registry acquired a 50 percent stake in the Aussie start-up in 2011, and immediately began offering the software to its existing customers for free. Anyone else looking for a cheap accounting package would pay $14.95 a month.

Can you be too cheap to survive or is there more to it?

In 2011 $14.95 per month was cheap for accounting software – it’s nearest serious competitor at the time was Xero at around $50 a month, and Zoho, which was, and still, is an American-based company with no local operations. Then came the Aussie offerings, Saasu and Reckon, as well as the re-entry of the US-based Quickbooks. The marketplace was suddenly very crowded.

In 2014 Melbourne IT acquired Net Registry for a cool $50M. The acquisition came off the back of some upheaval at Melbourne IT, whose long-time CEO had left the previous December while it struggled to compete in the cloud-computing space; in March the previous year, Melbourne IT had sold off it’s highly lucrative digital marketing unit to a US-based company for $152m, which was nearly equal to the company’s entire market capitalisation at the time.

Perhaps, then, when faced with stiff competition from other local and overseas cloud-accounting services, under the direction of Melbourne IT, the newly realigned Net Registry saw no commercial value in continue its accounting service. If we hear any news for Reach Accounting users we’ll pass it on.

Does this teach you a lesson in your own business?

The skills taught in the Small Business Startup and Admin course have a foundation in researching the:

  • Need for your services,
  • Product and service offering, and
  • Pricing structures

Once you master these skills you should be honing them all the time to understand what you need to do to remain relevant in the market place for your services.

[quote]If you operate a bookkeeping business for example it is a very good idea to learn how to use Xero Accounting software now because more and more small businesses are using it and want someone to do their books for them.[/quote]

We offer all of our Xero Training Courses for one low price (and 12 months access).

Is MYOB the future of cloud accounting?

Intuit Quickbooks is the elephant-in-the-room for MYOB and Xero Cloud AccountingI’ve written before about how MYOB could get SMASHED by it’s VERY large US Competitor, but MYOB could still be the future of cloud accounting. New players could spell the end of the long-established MYOB or possibly even Xero, but maybe the biggest thing MYOB has up its sleeve is its long, rich history. As far as market share goes, MYOB still occupies the majority of it and, while it may appear slow at adopting new features, you can at least count on it being around in the near future.

That’s why our MYOB training courses have always been, and remain to be, the most popular out of our entire suite of training courses because, despite the grumblings of many small business owners, MYOB is still a major player in the accounting software space. As for our friend, he ended up choosing Zoho for his invoicing needs. He was sold on its ease-of-use, powerful smartphone and tablet app, and its easy-to-decipher pricing plan.

Long live Reach, the Aussie accounting software that could(‘nt)!

Posted on 1 Comment

CASE STUDY: Is Reach Reaching the Mark? Hear the Honest Opinion of a Business Owner…

We test drive Reach to see if it reaches the mark for one small business owner.
We test drive Reach to see if it reaches the mark for one small business owner.

We’ve recently added a Reach Accounting course to our suite of online training courses. In a previous post, we gave you the low down on how the Reach Accounting package stacks up against MYOB, but we thought we’d find out what a real, present-day business owner had to say about Reach. So, we asked Angela, a freelance journalist, to test drive Reach for 30 days and then provide us with her honest feedback. Here’s what she had to say:

“As a freelancer, my business is pretty straightforward: I write words for a living and charge people to use them. As a creativity merchant, I’m not paid by the hour; I’m paid for each word that survives the ‘delete’ button, which is fortunate since the left side of my brain is a bit lazy.

Getting new commissions (or business) is a process that involves a bit of back-and-forth with editors over email — outlining story ideas, deadlines and finally agreeing on a price. As such, I never have the need to create estimates and I don’t need to log the time I spend working on my stories.

I’ve been using Zoho Invoice ever since I started freelancing, mainly because I didn’t have a spare five hours to create an invoice template in Excel when I first set up shop. To me, Zoho looked like the easy way out — and to date, it has been.

But how does it compare to the latest bit of accounting software, Reach Accounting? I’ve spent a bit of time using Reach, and for its price point and target market, it’s a pretty handy piece of software for sole traders and small businesses — I can see that it would be particularly valuable for virtual assistants and teleworkers.

As soon as you sign up for your Reach account, you’re asked to enter in your basic, yet important, business information — like your ABN and bank account details — so, without doing anything else, you can send an invoice to one of your customers right away. With Zoho, there was some setting up of invoice templates, adding customers and setting up email gateways, which was a bit tedious.

Then there’s the matter of cost. While Zoho allows you to invoice your customers in Australian dollars, it’s still an American company so your $15 monthly fee is subject to change with the exchange rate; you’re also charged a currency conversion fee from your bank, which is something to be wary of.

Reach, on the other hand, is an Australian company so you don’t need to worry about exchange rates and conversion fees; something I find quite appealing. Plus, included in Reach’s $14.95 monthly fee is the actual accounting software, whereas a full suite of accounting software with Zoho costs a little more.

With Reach, you’re effectively getting more bang for buck and even if I don’t use the accounting side of Reach’s offering, it’s good to know it’s there. I feel the same way about the bread maker I have at home, even though I don’t actually eat bread. Which raises the question: how many businesses would end up using the full accounting side of Reach?

As an accounting novice, I still have an accountant who weaves their magic, presumably in MYOB. I just export and email my earnings for that year, along with my business expenses — which is basically my entire life since I’m a freelancer, so the lack of an ‘export’ function in Reach is a major drawback for me.

I imagine most sole traders and small businesses would do something similar with their accountants and I don’t know how many accountants would be eager to use Reach.

But Reach excels precisely because it isn’t MYOB — or even Xero, for that matter. And it doesn’t need to be. Reach caters to a section of the market that was previously alienated by the likes of MYOB; and now those business owners have a low-cost, easy-to-use solution to their Excel spreadsheet and shoebox-full of receipts. It’s also Australian; and supporting Australian businesses, as an Australian business, myself, just makes sense.

So, at the end of the day, for my money, it’s worth it.”

***

If you’re a sole trader or small business owner looking for a low-cost way to manage the accounting side of your business, Reach could be the solution. EzyLearn has partnered with Reach Accounting so that you can access a free student account when you enrol in our Reach training course.

Posted on

Reach Accounting vs MYOB: What’s the Right Accounting Software for You?

which-one
We help you figure out whether Reach is better than MYOB for your small business.

We’re thrilled to announce the addition of our new online training course for cloud-based accounting software — Reach Accounting. It’s a great, low-cost option for small business owners. But there are some businesses that will still be suited to MYOB, so let’s take a closer look at how Reach compares to MYOB to help you select the best accounting software for your business.

Bank Feeds and Payment Gateways

The first thing you’ll probably use in Reach is the invoicing software, which is not entirely different to MYOB — or Zoho or Xero, either. (On that note, we’ve also introduced a new Xero course to our suite of online courses.) In Reach you can enter all of your company details, set up customers, enter your bank account details, create an invoice (or use the pre-defined template), and so on.

Where Reach differs from MYOB, however, is that it doesn’t offer a bank feeds service, which means that you still need to manually record each payment your customer makes. This can be a time-consuming process, particularly if you don’t stay on top of it — which can be embarrassing if you set up the automatic late-payment reminder service, and then forget to record your customers’ payments.

The other points of difference between Reach and MYOB is that Reach does not allow you to set-up payment gateways to connect your PayPal account, nor can you connect your Reach account directly to an online web store; functions that are handy for online businesses.

While those functions aren’t currently available, Reach does have plans to make them available in the future. But if you’re not going to miss those functions, or aren’t likely to use them, anyway, then the Reach Accounting software will work for your business.

What Reach Will Enable You to Do

Reach allows you to create invoices and estimates, manage your payroll, expenses and complete your BAS return, among many of the other traditional accounting functions you find in MYOB.

Students who enrol in our online Reach training course will be able to access a trial version of Reach for 30 days while you complete the course — so enrol today! You can also find out what a small business owner thought of Reach as a solution for them after test-driving it for 30 days.

 

Posted on

Introducing Our Reach Accounting Course – The Low Cost Alternative to MYOB

Reach Accounting is giving small business owners a cheap accounting software solution.
Reach Accounting is giving small business owners a cheap accounting software solution.

Ever since we started offering online MYOB courses, we have been encouraging our students to start their own home-based bookkeeping businesses. We’ve also introduced new courses along the way, like our small business management course to encourage our students to become virtual assistants. Now we’re pleased to introduce our latest Reach Accounting Course to provide small businesses with a low-cost alternative to MYOB.

Finally! A Cheap Small Business Accounting Solution

For many small business owners operating fairly simple businesses (say, virtual assistants or teleworkers)  the need to invest in rather expensive accounting software like MYOB has probably never existed.

It’s not uncommon to find a sole trader who still uses Excel to create their invoices, and still keeps a shoebox-full of receipts that they then enter into another Excel spreadsheet, or else endure the wrath of their accountant if they don’t.

This is generally because there’s never been any low-cost accounting software available to them — that was until Reach Accounting, a division of Net Registry, entered the fray a little while back.

Because we’re constantly looking to help small business owners, we’ve partnered with Reach Accounting to offer small business owners a low-cost Reach training course, which includes a free trial of Reach to use while you’re taking the course.

In our new Reach Accounting course, we cover the following subjects:

  • DIY Accounting
  • Set up
  • Daily Transactions
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll

So if you’re a small business owner and you’re looking for some low-cost accounting software, Reach Accounting could be the solution. 

***

You can take a closer look at how Reach compares to MYOB. Want to know the honest opinion of a small business owner? We asked a freelancer to test-drive Reach for 30 days; see how it works for them.