Xero vs MYOB: Which Will Work Better For Your Business?

25 August 2015

Fast growing industry disrupter, Xero, and the old standard bearer for computer-based accounting software, MYOB, have both been generating more headlines for accounting than normal lately.

The reason for MYOB’s prominence was the return to being a publicly traded company on the Australian stock exchange, though some of that excitement has since faded as the share price has fallen in early trading.

Meanwhile, over at Xero, the company was able to announce that it had passed the 500,000 subscriber mark worldwide, which is a huge feat for a company that was founded less than a decade ago.

So, how do the two accounting software providers compare, and which would be better suited to your small business or medium sized enterprise?


Apples With Apples

MYOB began life as a desktop based software package that was installed to your personal computer via a CD-ROM. In comparison, Xero is a pure play “cloud” accounting software provider. This means that there is no CD, and all files are stored securely in servers, meaning your data is always backed up.

If you have ever had an Microsoft Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo email account, you have used cloud technology. Your emails are not saved on your computer, but on a remote server located somewhere else.

MYOB has recently seen the benefit of the cloud model for deploying software, and has its own cloud based offering called AccountRight. To compare apples with apples, this comparison will only compare the MYOB, AccountRight service with the Xero package.

First Mover Advantage

In technology, first mover advantage is huge. It is the reason that Microsoft is still the dominant software provider in the world, while Apple leads smartphones. Likewise, Xero has a head start of several years over its larger rival in developing cloud based accounting software.

That means that it has more experience in designing, deploying and tailoring software updates to be delivered via the cloud. This experience shows with regular updates to their software for their clients.

MYOB is attempting to get the same level of precision and responsiveness to their clients demands, but it will take some time for the company culture to mirror that of Xero.


Xero uses a browser based approach to give you access your account. That means you can log in via any internet browser, including Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Safari. The benefit is that you don’t have to download, install, and continually update custom software to your computer. In addition, this approach makes it just as easy to log into your account from your phone or tablet as it is on your desktop computer.

In comparison, MYOB requires the installation of an application to serve as the “portal” to the files stored in the cloud.


Xero gets a big tick in the time it takes for pages and summaries to load, with performance that is fast and comparable to loading any other web page.

In comparison, AccountRight can seem a little clunky at times, though it has improved markedly on the performance levels that saw simple things like GST summaries take up to 45 seconds to load.

Repeat Bills

Xero and AccountRight both come with a neat feature that allows recurring invoices to be sent to clients and customers at regular intervals, much like a newspaper subscription. However, AccountRight will only do this if each client file is “logged into” while Xero will do it regardless of client activity.

This is only a short summary of the benefits of Xero and MYOB. To find out which package would be better for your small business or medium sized enterprise, please give us a call to find a suitable time for an appointment. We can also help take the stress of managing your finances off your hands so you can focus on your business, and look forward to showing you how.


Wanting to find out more about Xero vs MYOB? Here’s a replay of the webinar held the last 18th August 2016. Click on the link to watch it for free!