MYOBIf you’re like most of us in the art and design world you’ll enjoy doing your accounts like a claustrophobic would enjoy working down a mine. The last time you bought accounts software was probably after the government grant for small business back in mid 2000 when GST was introduced, or maybe you’re finally taking the plunge and managing it all yourself for the first time.

AccountsEdge is the big brother to FirstEdge, MYOB’s solution to single user or small studio accounts. It has all the same features and a widely expanded base of operations with everything from payroll management to time billing.

If you’re upgrading from a previous version it’s a snap to update your old company file to the new software and you’re ready to continue within minutes. Otherwise, how much you want to get out of AccountsEdge will depend on how much you put into it. It’s scalable to any size and can be used for a one-man studio with no problem — you’ll just be paying for functionality you won’t really use.

If you lease premises or equipment, pay regular staff or contractors and other payments, deductions and more, you begin by very easily creating a company file that builds a complete financial picture of your assets, liabilities, profit and loss.

If it’s only yourself or you’ve been designated the lucky accounts keeper by your handful of colleagues, you can get by with a bare minimum of information. Dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ‘t’ can produce up to the minute reports of your financial position at the click of a button.

As easy as it is to use, delving right into the financial intricacies of every aspect of the business isn’t easy. Thankfully, you can run AccountsEdge very leanly. The introduction of GST was the revolution that turned most of us into fledgling accountants, and meeting your obligations using AccountsEdge is easy.

If you’re a large studio writing dozens or hundreds of invoices a month, you’ll want to do your invoicing to clients from within the program to save double handling. It’s not ideal for designers because we — like no other profession — want control over the look of our forms and stationery, but you might have to bite the bullet and just use one of the in-built templates — it’s at least easy to attach your logo.

If you’re a sole operator however, it’ll only take you a few hours every month to input your data. All the purchases you can deduct GST from go under Spend Money. It behaves like a chequebook, but all you really need is the date, amount of purchase and the account to file it under, which you’ll create as you go along for different areas such as stationery, printing, travel, software, etc.

Likewise, you input your invoices and payments under the Sales tab, under Enter Sales and Receive Payments respectively. At the end of every quarter, click on reports, select the GST system you’re on (accrual or cash), input your date parameters and you’ll get a report of your sales, purchases, GST paid and GST received ready to transpose straight onto your BAS form.

MYOB advises moving up to one of their heavier duty packages for employees of 200 or more, but you can still input every conceivable incoming and outgoing dollar from your company into AccountsEdge and generate a dizzying array of endlessly tweakable reports on it.

So unless you’re one of the few creative types who’s also good at taxation and figures, MYOB’s Mac-only AccountsEdge should be an essential part of your application suite.

RRP $595