XERO vs MYOB vs QuickBooks vs Excel

One of the most common questions we get: what is the BEST bookkeeping system for my business? We've put together a roundup of the 4 most commonly used systems for small businesses.

by Trend Partners

19 February 2019 | 2 min 57 sec reading time

Bookkeeping Software Systems Small Business Start Ups

If you're even semi serious about your business, you should have SOME sort of system for bookkeeping.

The whole "all my receipts in a shoebox and that's it" thing is kinda done (and ends up costing you quite a bit). These days, it's all about the tools and systems and automation (at the very least, it should bring in your bank statements automatically). The better your system, the more it saves you in accounting fees.

With that being said, we've put together this roundup of the most commonly used solutions and how they stack up against each other.


Let's start with the heavy hitter, XERO. XERO are probably one of the strongest and most popular cloud bookkeeping solutions right now, and with good reason.

The capabilities are huge, you can have unlimited users, and it connects with almost any service you can think of.

Of course, this level of product costs. Their cheapest plan (with limited data able to be entered) is $25 per month, but the one most people would use starts at $50 per month. From our side, it's a pretty good investment considering how much you get for it but of course you need to weigh up for yourself.

Best for: businesses wanting a strong all round solution that integrates with other services.


MYOB is the former champ of bookkeeping software. Still a pretty strong solution, it has a lot of capabilities similar to XERO. One of the differentiators is the ability to get a desktop version of the software - so if the idea of the cloud scares you, this could be a winner.

If you're comparing cloud solutions, MYOB Essentials is pretty similar to XERO. One of the key differences are their top essentials product is $55 per month, but lets you pay unlimited staff (XERO gets more costly when you have payroll).

Best for: businesses with lots of employees.


QuickBooks has never really had the same level of market share as they do in the states, but it's still a pretty solid solution. It also offers what seems like the best value for money. At the time of writing, their most capable plan (with payroll for 10 employees) is about $40 less per month than the equivalent from XERO.

We've always found QuickBooks okay to use, so if you're on a budget this could be a good one.

Best for: businesses on a budget.


The grandaddy of them all, we still encounter many sets of books maintained in good old Excel.

While this can sometimes seem to be the easiest place to put your data (and cheapest), it does have some pretty serious negatives:

  • Easiest human error
  • No reporting
  • No collaboration
  • No automation capabilities

Great place to keep your initial records when you first start your business, but definitely not the right solution when you start to grow.

Best for: businesses starting out.


Based on todays market, we have to say - our personal favourite solution is XERO. It has such a rock solid foundation, can integrate with heaps of other solutions.

Looking to get yourself set up in a solid accounting system? Get in touch and we'll be glad to help.

Share this article

  • Trend Partners have been my accountant for several years and the advice I receive from Kylie has been really helpful. She is always happy to take my questions and her staff make it really easy to comply with the ATO. They are also very quick in meeting my deadlines.

    Ian Renton Rentons Printing

  • I moved my accounting to Kylie because I had some investments that I needed help with with Kylie was very giving of her time and knowledge. She gained my trust in her commitment to wanting to help me, and I felt sure she would act as my accountant in the same honest and understanding way.

    Lyn Hughes Designing Inside Out

  • When we started our business Trend Partners were always available to advise and guide us through the setup and structure of our companies. We now have many mutual clients and all of us continue to be highly complimentary on the service ethic and professionalism of Kylie and her practice.

    Russell Farrington Collegial Insurance

      Send a Message