Mac Accounting Software – All Change
I’m having a bit of a dilemma here. I’ve been using MYOB Business Basics for many years as my accounting package of choice on my Mac. I wrote a blog post about it back in April 2006 (Mac Accounting Software) and started using the software soon afterwards.
Since then it has been working well and all of my business accounts are stored in it. It isn’t the prettiest of applications or the most exciting, but I guess business accounts are really supposed to be pretty or exciting. It works, it does what I need it to and produces the reports I need for my tax returns etc.
The Price of Progress
Trouble is, I now want to upgrade my Operating System to Lion, the latest of the big cats from Apple. MYOB Business Basics however is an old PowerPC application and it won’t run under Lion. Every other application that I have on my computer has been upgraded and will work, but not this one.
I’ve contacted the developers and in order to get my accounts working under Lion I have to update to their latest version (now called FirstEdge). The upgrade will cost me £149 + VAT which is quite a bit, but the worst of it is that I also have to pay £108 + VAT every year for a mandatory ‘service agreement’. That’s just a rip off, £130 a year to use some software that I’ve already bought (twice)? No thanks!
There are plenty of other options out there, many of them web-based that all look nicer but most of these cost around £15 per month so that soon adds up too. I’m also a little reluctant to rely on a cloud based system as I still like to keep local copies of such information. The other problem with these options is that I will still need access to my old accounts which are currently only stored within MYOB Business Basics and it seems as though the only way to open these is within the FirstEdge package itself.
So, do I just pay the money and annual fee for Business Basics and accept it as a price I have to pay to keep my accounts in order, or spend some time exporting all of my old accounts to excel spreadsheets and then change to a new package next year? The latter seems like the option at the moment. Not only for the longer term cost savings, but also for the principal as I don’t like being tied into paying for things against my better judgment.
I did come up with another plan, and that was to upgrade to Lion and then also buy a virtualisation application such as Parallels or VMWare Fusion. My plan was to then run a virtual machine that boots into Snow Leopard within Lion so that I could keep running the version of Business Basics that I currently have.
This seemed like the perfect solution to me, I’d be able to upgrade to the latest version of Apple’s OS but also keep an old version running so that I could still keep my accounts in MYOB Business Basics so wouldn’t need to upgrade the accounting software . I’d probably change over to something else in the meantime but would at least still be able to access historial accounts. On top of this I’d be able to run a Windows virtual machine on my Mac as well, which would be useful for other things and maybe even a Linux virtual machine as well.
The perfect plan? No, not quite as apparently Apple doesn’t license Snow Leopard to run under virtualisation and getting it to do so is a little tricky. Oh well, back to the drawing board.