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Financial Application Package In Australia

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Question:

Discuss about the Financial Application Package in Australia.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

MYOB or Mind Your Own Business is a multinational corporation in Australia. This company provides retail software, payroll, and accounting for medium and small business, and is well known in New Zealand and Australia. Its products are used by over 10,000 accounting practices and 1,000,000 business owners in both of these countries. There are two versions of MYOB accounting software – MYOB Basics for the desktop version and MYOB LiveAccounts for the cloud.

This literature review takes the Australian accounting company MYOB, and discusses its history from the company’s inception, development of its product, gradual evolution into cloud application, and focus on the user adoption. Current market size is evaluated globally, and prediction made according to a modern survey. There are existing competitive players in the market, and they are listed categorized according to desktop publications and cloud applications. Competitive advantages are discussed in the form of reducing cost by adopting cloud application, the accuracy of data, automation and collaboration. MYOB is not user-friendly, and it is detailed mentioning the necessity to train separately for using this application.

Literature Review

History

Team Teleware, Inc. and Christopher Lee developed an accounting software product in the United States in the 1980s and used the name MYOB. Equity was provided by Christopher Lee after Data-tech software; the Australian publisher purchased the intellectual property rights in 1996. On 9th July 1999, the company changed its name to MYOB, which was registered on ASX or Australian Stock Board Exchange. Following development in business, MYOB Limited merged with Solution 6 Holdings in 2004, which expanded the reach of MYOB with accounting practices in New Zealand and Australia, while expanding its range of services and products for the same (Myobecommerce.com.au, 2016). Domain registration, email hosting, and web hosting are some of the packages released as online services by MYOB in May of 2008. Tim Reed stepped in as the new CEO after replacing former CEO Craig Wrinkler in June 2008. To refocus the company’s business in New Zealand and Australia, MYOB shut down its operations from Asia, Ireland, UK and the USA in 2008 (Myob.com, 2016). A successful takeover bid for MYOB is completed in January 2009 by the equity consortium led by Archer Capital, which led back to the private ownership. MYOB was sold by Archer Capital on 21 August 2011 for an undisclosed amount.

Development and Adoption

The biggest improvement MYOB made in their software development cycle is by adopting the lean startup concept for stocking inventory to the proper levels to minimize waste. Lean startup concept puts emphasis on building products by taking continuous feedbacks from the user so to not reduce inventory with products nobody would use. One such concept called Andon cord is utilized by the Toyota’s production system (The Pulse Australia, 2014). Andon cord is a literal rope in the production line which the workers can pull anytime to halt the production system if it affects product quality and safety. Since the whole production line comes to an end, therefore everyone can prioritize the task until it is resolved (Yinglian, Boegh and Qi, 2012). Over the past three years, MYOB had invested in a major way to deliver cloud solution from providing desktop-only software. Company's flagship accounting solution AccountRight Live was launched in November 2012. After the launch of AccountRight Live, the company got feedback that the software’s speed was not up to the expectation (Myob.com, 2016). After the company had planned many exciting features internally, it changed its roadmap to focus only on performance and speed, as the company prioritized the needs of the user first. MYOB decided to focus on power users who can memorize keyboard shortcuts and work with less number of steps. As of 2014 the company did welcome feedback reports from users involved in any user tests or feedbacks in forums or blogs.

Current Market Size

The application market for global financial services has been forecasted to grow from $ 66.92 billion in 2014 to $ 103.66 billion by 2019, at 9.1% CAGR. Applications market of global financial services is divided into following regions – Latin America, Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North-America. Software classified according to the regions are – Customer Experience and Enterprise IT, Business Transaction Processing, BI and Analytics Applications, Risk and Compliance Management, and Audit (Mayer, Melitz and Ottaviano, 2014).

Present leaders in the market

Other Accounting software present in Australia is which are considered to be the best are mentioned below. Competitive desktop accounting software is MoneyWorks Express, Reckon Accounts EasyStart. Competitive cloud accounting software is Intuit QuickBooks Online Simple Start, Saasu, and Xero (Odhiambo and Nyasha, 2015).

Competitive advantage

After MYOB had moved towards cloud accounting by popular demand, it gave the users a lot of freedom in accessing their files from anywhere and from any device, be it onsite, at home or client's place. It helps in collaboration between the partners, suppliers, and customers. It also happens to increase the productivity of the workforce by reducing the stress of the client and strengthening the organization (Technologies, 2016).

MYOB automates most of the input process saving a lot of time compared to manual accounting systems. Many times multiple entries are necessary for the same information, and MYOB automates this very task by syncing information and minimizes process that is time-consuming by automating payroll, purchase orders and credit notes and more (Symons, 2014). Business Analysis becomes much simpler and automatic as the application can generate reports of profit and loss statements, cash flow statements and more instead of different teams working on the same and then delivering reports after a limited time. It aids in controlling, monitoring and managing the business in just a few clicks of the mouse (Freeth, 2012).

Human error can creep in when the workload becomes excessive or stressful. MYOB automates these tasks reducing burden and can even remove duplicate entries and redundancy errors. MYOB updates the records instantly, so the users are seeing the updates in real time. Account records are updated instantly in customers’ accounts, which help in having financial stability of the company in the long-term (Angelovski, Angelovski and Le Nguyen, 2014).

According to Hossack, (2015), operating systems, hardware including its maintenance and accounting fees can take a large part of the organization’s money. The cloud application from MYOB saves from all these hassles and requires only a subscription fee every month. This also eliminates the need for backups, updates, and maintenance.

 

Current challenges encountered and literature gap

There is a major concern with data security when it comes to cloud accounting systems like MYOB, and 46% respondents who took part in the Software Advice’s survey expressed this concern. Online content is always susceptible to frauds, hackers, and other risks. MYOB is not easy, to begin with, and therefore an organization's workforce intending to deal with this cloud application has to be trained separately (Venkatraman and Fahd, 2016).  

The company is trying to benefit from the Solution 6 acquisition as a strategic target, which will help MYOB in its growth and both the companies had been having discussions and talks. Merging both companies will help common branding, a stronger presence in the market, and the ability to resolve accountancy and business users and closing the gap between them. However, the CEO of Solution 6 Craig Winkler believes that MYOB would not be recognized globally (Idm.net.au, 2016).

Conclusion 

The company MYOB adopted the lean manufacturing concept which helped it cutting costs on those products which are not necessary, and by creating Andon Cord, which is a literal cord the staffs can pull, to halt the production in case of manufacturing defect. The company then moved its desktop-only software to a cloud application by taking user feedbacks into account. There are currently existing accounting products for both desktop version, and cloud -like Competitive desktop accounting software is MoneyWorks Express, Reckon Accounts EasyStart. Competitive cloud accounting software is Intuit QuickBooks Online Simple Start, Saasu, and Xero.MYOB is also ahead of the competition regarding the accuracy of its entries, removing duplicate entries; cloud application makes investment quite cheap and much less hassle and automates most of the tasks and generate reports in real-time. However, the threats to online data security persist coupled with the non-novice friendly of the software makes it difficult for organizations to adapt to.

Recommendations 

MYOB is not novice-friendly and the fact that a striking user-interface is the first thing that appeals to most users, MYOB loses out in that aspect. Instead of providing training sessions to those who are adopting it, it should try to make its interface simpler and easier to understand when every other product and application design are opting for clean and bold looks. Besides studying user feedback, MYOB also has to research and analyze the market. If it has to step ahead of the game among its competitors, it will also have to focus on releasing new features which are innovative and original, so that it creates a trend in the financial market.

 

References

Angelovski, S., Angelovski, V. and Le Nguyen, Y.H., Mace Engineering Group Pty Ltd., 2014. Sales Order Data Collection And Management System. U.S. Patent Application 14/483,178.

Curtis, V., 2015. MYOB Software for Dummies-Australia. John Wiley & Sons.

Freeth, S., 2012. Tools: A switched on business. Connected Home Australia, (Mar 2012), p.52.

Hossack, S., 2015. Cloud-based accounting and productivity tools for practitioners and taxpayers. Taxation in Australia, 50(5), p.265.

Mayer, T., Melitz, M.J. and Ottaviano, G.I., 2014. Market size, competition, and the product mix of exporters. The American Economic Review, 104(2), pp.495-536.

Myob.com. (2016). Accounting Software with Payroll & Job Costing | AccountRight | MYOB. [online] Available at: https://www.myob.com/au/accounting-software/accountright [Accessed 24 Aug. 2016].

Myob.com. (2016). The MYOB Story. [online] Available at: https://www.myob.com/nz/about/group/story [Accessed 24 Aug. 2016].

Myobecommerce.com.au. (2016). History & General Information. [online] Available at: https://www.myobecommerce.com.au/history [Accessed 24 Aug. 2016].

Odhiambo, N.M. and Nyasha, S., 2015. Financial systems and economic growth: empirical evidence from Australia (No. 18927).

Symons, M.J., Single Funnel Pty Ltd, 2014. Customer relationship management (crm) systems. U.S. Patent Application 14/192,692.

Technologies, R. (2016). MYOB: Benefits and Challenges for your Organisation. [online] Blog.rgtechnologies.com.au. Available at: https://blog.rgtechnologies.com.au/myob [Accessed 24 Aug. 2016].

The Pulse Australia. (2014). Lean startup: Behind the scenes at MYOB - The Pulse Australia. [online] Available at: https://myob.com.au/blog/lean-startup-behind-the-scenes-at-myob/ [Accessed 24 Aug. 2016].

Venkatraman, S. and Fahd, K., 2016. Challenges and Success Factors of ERP Systems in Australian SMEs. Systems, 4(2), p.20.

Yinglian, L., Bøegh, J. and Qi, S., 2012, May. Who Can Haul the ANDON-CORD in the Software Development Process. In International Conference on Trustworthy Computing and Services (pp. 714-720). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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