Accounting Softwares in Australia
Accounting software comes under Accounting Information Systems (AIS), and refers to computer programs that enables accountants to do their operations in a more efficient and effective way (Turner & Weickgenannt, 2013). They are a fruit of technological advancements and come with various functions that help in processing transactions such as trial balance and payroll. Presently, there are many accounting softwares coming with different capabilities. Some softwares helps at managerial levels in decision making and other related analytical functions. In Australia, most accountants and specialists in the accounting field have benefited a lot from the merits that comes with the softwares. Most widely used accounting softwares in Australia are the MYOB, QuickBooks, Reckon, Saasu and the Xero (Qu & Yang, 2012). Choice of the softwares to use is often a challenge. However, analyzing the flexibility and functionality friendliness of each softwares helps in making decision which software to use. The present paper discusses various accounting softwares used in Australia covering their history, development, adoption, market size, leaders in the market and challenges faced by their users among other relevant information about these softwares. The discussion is based on research from various materials such as journals, magazines, newspapers, books and trusted websites. Therefore the information is reliable and accurate.
The QuickBooks is the most common and highly used accounting software in Australia. The software was developed by Intuit, an American based software enterprise. The initial version of QuickBooks was the DOS version, which was later on developed to accommodate more functions and to be more users friendly. By the end of 2000, the programs had advanced to a pro version and 3 years later specific versions were available as required in the market (Mohd, 2005). Since then, the software has been developed so much and in 2015 the QuickBooks 2016 which has more functions than other versions was introduced. The software is used by about 45% of small to medium businesses in Australia.
QuickBooks is the most popular because of its fair price which is $12/month for the most basic and $21/month for a premier version which has added functions. Another factor that gives the software a competitive advantage is the number of features it has. The features that enable the Australians track their businesses performance at the comfort of their homes make the software very competitive. More so, the software is secure and very flexible giving it competitive advantage. However, first time users face the challenge on how the software operates and may not be able to use the many features of the software. Integration of a detailed user manual is recommended to help the first time users.
MYOB (Mind Your Own Business) is an Australian based corporation that developed accounting software called MYOB in 1980s (Mohd, 2005). However, its vast usage in accounting began in 2010 when browser based accounting product was released with many features. Since then, the software has been developed to meet specific market requirements and is the second most popular accounting software in Australia, with about 500,000 worldwide. Its most competitive advantage is the automatic bank feed, where by bank transactions are automatically recorded. With MYOB Kounta interface, one is able to view all business operations (Pulakanam & Suraweera, 2010). More so, the software has a sophisticated error detection system that guarantees accuracy of the highest level.
The main challenge is that it is relatively expensive charging between $50 to $99/month depending on the version that the user needs. More so, the software is a bit complicated to use by the first time users. Mastering its many features is quite a challenge that requires guidance. Therefore, making the software more users friendly is highly recommended. The functionality of the software is however awesome to those who have learned how it works. It is quite fast, accurate and reliable. Also, if the charges could be made a little lower, then the software will get more members subscribe to it.
Xero is yet popular accounting software in Australia. The software company by the name Xero has its origin in New Zealand. The multinational company developed the Xero accounting software in 2006, but adopted in Australia in 2008 to (Qu & Yang 2012). Since then, the software has been developed to compete with other softwares in the market. Xero has very superior cloud computing accounting solutions giving it a market competitive advantage. The software has the best customer care services and also has the best user friendly interface. It is the most popular accounting software in New Zealand and the third most popular in Australia according to Qu & Yang (2012).
Xero software is awesome though some challenges are reported. Most users complain of the mobile application of the software lacks most features of the software. More so, the software lacks the time tracking for contractors and also has some minor errors (Katherine, 2016). The speed of the software is relatively low and needs improvement. However, these challenges can be overcome if the developer integrates the lacking features in the mobile apps and also in the main software. Hereby I recommend integration of the lacking features and this way the software will compete favorable with the domination MYOB and the QuickBooks.
Recon accounting software is ranked 4th in popularity in Australia. Recon is an Australian based software company founded in 1987 by Greg Wilkinson. Since 2012, the software has gained popularity in cloud computing and is of much help to accountants and bookkeepers. The software is common in new Zealand, Uk , US and Australia. With its cloud computing ability and low price, it is able to compete with Xero in a favorable manner. More so, the software has excellent Recon Pay interface that enables payments via phones. It is the most affordable cloud accounting software in Australia making it one of the most favorable by small businesses.
The Recon software has a number of challenges that can be rectified to make it very competitive. Some of the challenges according to Lim & Perrin (2014), include, lack of some essential features such as real time tracking of business operations, slow systems and minor errors. However, the above challenge can be overcome and once they are overcome, the software will have the dominance ability in Australian small businesses because of its affordability. Apparently, the aim of the developer is to offer the best accounting software in Australian market, and has that potential if the changes suggested will be incorporated.
The last common accounting software in Australia is the Saasu accounting software of the future. The Saasu Company was founded in 2000 by Marc and Grant. The originally simple project was developed to a business of developing softwares in 2007, and in 2014, partnered with Australian Foreign Exchange to help in automation of businesses (Lim & Perrin, 2014). The software is the earliest cloud-based accounting solutions in Australia. In 2013 it was declared the top bookkeeping solution in Australian market. Saasu focuses on Australian market making it concentrate on the specifics in the Australian market and therefore gaining fame each day. The software enables the users to create customized invoices, and enables the user to set interface to automatically prompt customers for payments and other customer-based activities. Such merits enable the software to compete favorably. However, the software has fewer features as compared to other softwares in the market limiting its users. The challenge can be overcome by incorporating the unavailable features and also improving the speed of the systems. The software has the potential of becoming the future as its name extension suggests.
There are many other accounting softwares that are used in Australia in small scales and also by a few users. Such software includes the Peachtree Complete Accounting, Small Business Manager, Businessvision 32, Mas 90 & 200 among others (Chua, et al., 2012). Such softwares are used by business owners for various reasons and their choices are preferential depending on the user. Moreover, with the vast technological advancements, any software can top the list of popularity in the near future. All the softwares have saved time, improved accuracy and made accounting more manageable.
In conclusion, accounting softwares have evolved over the years to meet the market specifications. They have automated businesses and made work easier for managers, accountants and bookkeepers. In Australia, QuickBooks and the MYOB are the most used accounting softwares. Xero is also used vastly in Australia followed by Recon and then Saasu. All these softwares have merited the world of business. More so, some of these softwares have superior features than others, different pricing and capabilities affecting their choice by users. The challenges faced by the users as well as the recommended changes for the betterment of the softwares are discussed for each.
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