Importing MYOB data into Xero – opportunity?

I’m trying to convince my mother to switch to Xero from MYOB. The unfortunate problem is that all of her history is stored in MYOB, and so switching requires re-keying of invoices and the like.

The solution to this is to commence using Xero at the start of a financial year, which leads to a spike in Xero sales at the end of each year, but means a discontinuity in systems. Moreover the end/start of the year is a particularly busy time for bean counting, and is therefore the worst time to try to change your modus operendi.

To me this is a pretty simple “just do it” for Xero, and there are three powerful reasons for doing so:

  1. Encourage switching throughout the year, increasing speed of adoption and word of mouth sales through the year
  2. Increases sales by letting customers have test drives using live data – customers can upload their MYOB data to Xero and just start playing. It’s pretty hard not to notice the difference in usability when your own numbers are displayed.
  3. Provide a better product to customers by importing history and thus being able to report comparative results versus previous financial periods

How about it Xero? Sure this is a non-trivial task, but surely it is possible?

If not, then let us know, as there is a market gap here and a new company (let’s call it NewXco) could help.

NewXco would simply provide a (semi-)automatic MYOB upload to Xero service, charging a fee or taking a commission on Xero sales. The repetitious work could be done out of a cheaper location, such as India or rural New Zealand, and the cunning code provided by some smart locals. Anyone in?

About Lance Wiggs

@lancewiggs
This entry was posted in Australia Business, Internet Business, NZ Business and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Importing MYOB data into Xero – opportunity?

  1. Ben Kepes says:

    Lance – it’s not quite that simple – there’s a bunch of complexities in there. That said I agree totally and have been pushing vendors for this sort of stuff for awhile. FWIW some do offer transactional level importantion – Pearl is one example I’ve reviewed.

    Flick me an e and we can discuss some more…

  2. Scott says:

    This is something I want right now. Switching everything over to the cloud (email, source control, backups) after the disolution of an office, don’t need a machine “running” myob. This is all aside from the fact that I can’t stand M-“I feel like a bad Access add-on”-YOB either.

  3. Stuart Bale says:

    Hi Lance,

    Just thought I’d explain the key conversions available to businesses and accountants today.

    We offer a specialised conversion service for our accounting partners to convert the Chart of Accounts and Historical balances for previous years from an MYOB Accountants Office file to Xero http://blog.xero.com/2009/01/myobao_export/

    For businesses, we have a standard chart of accounts import
    (http://help.xero.com/nz/#Settings_ChartofAccountsCSV, a contacts import http://help.xero.com/#Contacts_Import and invoice import http://help.xero.com/#Accounts_InvoiceImport

    A list of all imports and exports are available in our excellent Help Centre here: http://help.xero.com/#ImportExport

    Switching at the end of a GST period is straight forward if your books are up to date so there is no need to wait until a new financial year. We’d recommend you talk to one of our certified accounting partners http://www.xero.com/advisors/ who know this process well.

    We’re continually looking for ways to make switching to Xero even easier and plan to offer further improvements to our conversion tools in the coming months. Stay tuned.

    Regards,

    Stuart Bale
    General Manager – Accounting Partners
    Xero Limited

  4. David Preece says:

    “I’m trying to convince my mother to switch to Xero from MYOB”

    Why?

    Like, seriously. She has all her “stuff” already in MYOB, she already knows how to use MYOB, and she doesn’t pay $50/month ($1800 over three years for those keeping count) to use it.

    As for “NewXCo”, would I really want to do market research for Xero? After all, if the product were successful, what incentive would Xero have for not rolling their own – particularly since I can imagine a /huge/ amount of NIH being present round their boardroom table. (yeah, I’ve done this before – http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/soundtrackpro/process.html)

  5. lance says:

    Actually David – this is the kicker – my mum DOES pay $50 per month to MYOB, for a support service that she essentially never uses. It does include free upgrades though – just like Xero.

    Meanwhile there are issues with DRM/security – she was locked out of MYOB on her own computer and had to wait until working hours to call MYOB – that $50 doesn’t get 24/7 service.

    At the end of the day it’s like the Mac versus PC thing – at one point I just said “no more” and refused to support my parent’s computing unless they moved to Apple. They eventually did (it didn’t take long) and now there is no support required.

    While my mother knows how to suffer with MYOB that is no reason not to switch to another product where she won’t suffer, and may even enjoy the monthly accounting process.

  6. David Preece says:

    OMG, really? Then, yes, this is an industry ripe for picking. Here’s hoping MYOB goes the way of Wordstar.

  7. Rollo says:

    wow – MYOB really is poor value – if any of us Jo users could demonstrate:
    > Xero subscription costs vs MYOB license and support as favorable
    > Ease of migration from MYOB
    > AND then all the great stuff Xero has to offer
    why wouldn’t it go viral?

    I’m sure they will achieve the 80% or so annual growth over the next 5 years they will need to justify the 90c share offer – I’m in!
    (assumes flat burn ~$7M yr, starting revenues of $1M, 5 year window before MYOB/Intuit respond properly and a 20% discount rate)

  8. Hey – here’s an offering that helps (yeah, I’m part of it, full disclosure and all..)

    http://livemigrate.herokuapp.com/

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