Xero vs MYOB vs Parpera: Which One's Best for Sole Traders?

If you read many of the other articles comparing Xero vs MYOB, you'll see a comprehensive overview of both tools for businesses in general. But we haven't seen a comparison of both tools from the perspective of a sole trader, consultant or freelancer.

As a sole trader or freelancer, there are a few issues you've probably found with accounting tools:

  • They often require 2+ hours of learning how to use the tool -- which is often unnecessary for sole trader needs
  • They are overly complex and require having the right initial set up
  • Their fees are often too high for the needs of a freelancer
  • They do the accounting side of things, but they won't help you manage your money more effectively as a freelancer

Based on these issues sole traders face, we thought we would do a comparison of Xero, MYOB and Parpera from the perspective of a sole trader.

Here's what we'll be covering:

  1. Parpera features
  2. Parpera pros and cons
  3. Xero features
  4. Xero pros and cons
  5. MYOB features
  6. MYOB pros and cons

Note: looking to get started with an invoicing or accounting tool specifically made for freelancers? Parpera has partnered with Volt Bank* to offer you a bank account along with invoicing and accounting features.

Download our app and sign up to Parpera now.

As you’ll see in our comparison below, the main difference between the three platforms are that Xero and MYOB were primarily built for accountants, while Parpera has been built for sole traders, freelancers, and business owners.

Here’s a table comparing the most important features when comparing Xero vs MYOB vs Parpera:

xero vs myob vs parpera table

Xero and MYOB first started as a solution for accountants, and eventually added in features like invoicing. That makes the platform great for business owners and accountants, but many of the features may not be necessary for freelancers who have fewer needs.

Let’s dive into each tool a bit more one by one:

Parpera

Parpera is a money management platform for businesses that includes the provision of a bank account, invoicing, expense categorisation, business debit cards and more. It’s an app specifically built for freelancers and you can open an account in less than 10 minutes.

Start your free 30 day Parpera trial now.

Features

Professional invoices

With Parpera, you can send your clients professional invoices customised with your own logo. You won’t have to worry about Word templates and Excel spreadsheets: you can save your clients’ names and even your product or services details so you can save time and don’t have to worry about copying and pasting.

Your bank account details are automatically added to the invoice, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally adding the wrong bank account details and soon you’ll be able to add a “Pay Now” button so your clients can pay you directly by card.

Everything in the invoice is pre-populated, so you won’t have to worry about not meeting compliance requirements. Oh, and the invoices actually look professional and good!

parpera invoice template


parpera create invoice

Expense categories

Parpera is more than just invoicing software: you can track all of your expenses and view all of your transactions on a screen. Each transaction is assigned to a category, which makes it a lot easier to sift through income and expenses and set aside money for taxes and specific categories. You can also add notes, and calculate GST automatically.

parpera expense categories

Bank account, debit card, and invoicing

We’ve partnered with Volt Bank — who is the issuer of the bank accounts in our app — and Mastercard to provide business debit cards. We’ve integrated these seamlessly with our built in invoicing tools, so you can access them all in the one place. That means you’ll have everything in one place and will be able to manage your clients, invoicing, and business income and expenses from the same app.

Pros of using Parpera

Built for sole traders and freelancers

Many invoicing software platforms are incredibly powerful and have great features. So many, in fact, that it can be overwhelming if you’re just starting out. As a freelancer, you usually don’t need to deal with payroll, inventory management, and other complex features. You just want to send invoices that look professional and easily track all of your income and expenses.

Parpera is built specifically for sole traders and freelancers, which means you’ll only be using features that are genuinely useful to you. The app is easy to set up (it takes less than 10 minutes!), and you can immediately start sending invoices and taking payments from clients.

Read more: How to Open a Sole Trader Bank Account (In Under 10 Minutes!)

Everything for $15 per month (or $135 per year)

Since many other invoicing platforms are feature heavy, they usually cost a bit more — around the $25 per month mark. Parpera comes to $15 per month which includes a sole trader business bank account, invoicing features, and income and expense tracking all in one.

We’ll be launching international payments and the ability to receive payments by card soon, which will allow you to accept international bank transfers and card payments.

Everything is in one place

We’ve talked to hundreds of freelancers, and one of the main frustrations for them is dealing with admin that requires switching apps and platforms. With Parpera, you’ve got a business bank account and invoicing all in one, so you don’t have to keep switching platforms.

Another benefit is that since you’re invoicing directly from your bank account, reconciliation happens automatically and you won’t have to manually match invoices to payments. That means less time you need to spend on admin!

Download the App, register an account, and you’ll be up and running in under 10 minutes.

Cons

Your accountant won’t have direct access

If you already have an accountant, then it’s likely they recommend you use an accounting software like Xero or MYOB.

Your accountant won’t have access to your Parpera account — however, Parpera does sync with Xero, if you absolutely want to use Xero (currently being tested and available to the public soon).

We’ve also made it very easy to export all your information via Excel. Just click on “Export” within the app, and you’ll see all the information as well as enhanced information such as GST amounts and business categories amounts — on your spreadsheet.

No desktop

At the moment, Parpera is only available via mobile phone, both Apple and Android. As an app, it’s intuitive and easy to use, but there is currently no desktop version (although it is on the roadmap)!

Who is Parpera good for? Parpera is good for sole traders, freelancers, and business owners who want to get up and running quickly and be able to manage more of their admin on one platform.

We understand that Parpera isn’t for everyone, and that at times, other software solutions might be a better option. Here’s a comparison with Xero and MYOB, two other excellent accounting platforms in Australia.

Xero

Xero is a cloud based bookkeeping and invoicing platform designed for small and medium sized businesses.

Features

Bank feeds, payroll, invoice management

Xero was built for accountants, which means it has most of the features accountants use on  a daily basis. That includes bank feeds from all the big Australian banks (and Parpera), invoice management, payroll, multi-currency cloud accounting, expense tracking, and tax management.

Xero also has a large display of business activity graphs to help keep track of your business.

xero activity graph
Source: https://www.xero.com/blog/2014/12/xero-dashboard-business-glance/

Invoice management and Stripe integration

Xero lets you easily create and customize invoices through their dashboard. The text is easy to customize, but the design requires submitting a Word template.

They also have a “Pay Now” button which is integrated with Stripe and several other payment providers, making it easy to accept local and international payments.

xero pay now button
Source: https://www.xero.com/au/accounting-software/accept-payments/

A few other Xero features are:

Desktop and mobile app: Xero offers both a desktop version and mobile app, both cloud based

Foreign currency: you can invoice clients in several different currencies (although you will need to upgrade to a more expensive plan).

Pros

Desktop

If you’re someone who prefers managing all your admin on desktop, then Xero is for you. Their dashboard is customisable and syncs automatically with your app.

Graphs and good business analytics

Since Xero is built for accountants, it has many features that accountants and business owners use regularly, such as general ledgers, advanced accounting add-ons and bookkeeping functions. After a few transactions go through, you’ll be able to keep track of your business analytics through interactive graphs.

Cloud based

Xero is cloud based, which means you won’t have to keep updating the app and there’s a lower risk of losing your information. You can access your invoices and accounts from anywhere, laptop or app, which will all be automatically synced.

Cons

High time investment to learn how to use

Since Xero is built for accountants, it can be tricky to use if you’re not one. When you sign up, be prepared to watch a couple of tutorials to learn how to set it all up. Expect a relatively high time and energy investment into using it as an accounting tool.

It costs $27 per month, and you need to pay more for international invoices

Xero is not the cheapest invoice and accounting provider out there. Expect to pay $27 per month for the Starter plan, and $70 per month if you want to use multiple currencies. If you’re a sole trader or freelancer, that price can be a little steep.

Requires integration and manual reconciliation

Every time you need to send an invoice you’ll need to head to the Xero website and create an invoice through their dashboard. And every time you get paid, you’ll also need to head back to the dashboard to reconcile each payment.

Hard to customize invoices

Xero invoices are not the nicest looking invoices on the market. Unfortunately, customising them and making them look professional isn’t very easy either, since you essentially need to create a template in Word that works for each client. Not ideal if you want to send a nice-looking invoice.

xero tax invoice template
Source: https://www.xero.com/blog/2017/06/smarter-xero-subscription-invoices/

Who is Xero good for?: accountants, small business owners and sole traders who are doing a high amount of revenue and want better visibility into their business.

MYOB

MYOB is one of the first accounting software solutions that came onto the market back in 1991. It initially was built as the digital version of the accounting ledger, and essentially allowed accountants and business owners to record debits and credits on the desktop. It’s a software that is especially popular with accountants.

myob dashboard
Source: https://help.myob.com/wiki/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=28489830

Features

Sophisticated financial platform

MYOB is a more advanced platform of the three mentioned in this article. MYOB can do payroll, invoicing flow, business process mapping, purchase order management, supply chain management, job tracking, timesheets and rosters and a lot more.

It’s great for businesses that are growing and require all these capabilities.

Manage several business accounts

MYOB has a unique feature whereby you can manage several accounting business accounts from one username. That means you can easily manage and run multiple businesses, which are themselves separate on MYOB. This allows you to prepare business reports separately for each company without having to constantly switch software.

Desktop software

MYOB was first built as desktop software, which means that it works offline from your computer. This can be handy if you work offline a lot and don’t want to be online to do your accounts.

Pros

You’ll never outgrow it

MYOB was built for small businesses, so if you are a sole trader or freelancer planning to scale into a larger business, you can rest assured it has all the features you’ll ever need and you won’t need a more advanced program.

Large report selection

If specialist reports are your thing, MYOB will likely have the report you’re looking for. They have over 140 reports, which means you won’t have to rely on Excel to do your customised reporting.

Telephone customer support

If you’re someone who prefers talking to a person when someone goes wrong, MYOB is for you. It’s the only accounting platform that offers telephone support.

Cons

It takes time to learn how to use

Like Xero, MYOB’s various features and graphs means you need to spend some time learning how to use it.  That means there is considerable time and energy investment in order to learn MYOB. And if you don’t set it up right away, you’ll be paying the subscription without being able to use it.

It's a desktop app

MYOB has two plans: MYOB Essentials, and MYOB AccountRight. Essentials is online-only and browser based, while AccountRight is designed to run offline on desktop. Some features only exist on AccountRight (like multiple currencies), which means you’ll need to use their desktop app. The main disadvantage is you’ll have to constantly update the app and make sure it has the latest version (as well as make sure it’s synced with the app).

It costs $25 per month

The price is similar to Xero, which can be quite high for someone just getting started out with their business. If you want to use AccountRight, you’ll be paying $120 per month, and for MYOB Pro, $50 per month.

You’ll have to keep switching platforms

If you’re using MYOB to send invoices and manage your accounting, you’ll need to keep switching from your bank account to send invoices and complete bank reconciliation.

Who is MYOB good for? MYOB is especially good for small and larger established business owners who might have more complex financial needs.

We hope the information in this article will help you decide between Xero vs MYOB and Parpera. As we mentioned above, Xero and MYOB are great tools, but were designed with accountants in mind. If you’re a sole trader or freelancer who is just getting started and prefers something simple and quick, Parpera or Xero Starter could suit your needs!

Download Parpera

Please note that any information contained in this article is general information only, does not take into account your personal circumstances, is current at the time of publishing, and may be subject to change. Before you open any account please ensure that you obtain and read the account terms and conditions to see if the account is suitable for you.

*Parpera Australia Pty Ltd (Parpera) ABN 47 641 580 743 is an Authorised Representative (No. 1292372) of Railspay Pty Ltd (Railspay) ABN 17 646 031 558, which holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) (No. 530983).

Volt Bank Limited (Volt) ABN 67 622 375 722, which holds an AFSL (No. 504782) is the issuer of the bank accounts in Parpera's App and deposits of up to $250,000 per account holder are protected by the Financial Claims Scheme.

Sources:

  • https://www.xero.com/au/pricing-plans/
  • https://www.myob.com/au/pricing
  • https://www.g2.com/products/xero/features
  • https://www.g2.com/products/myob-essentials/reviews
  • https://www.techradar.com/au/reviews/myob-essentials
Published on the
December 14, 2021
Business

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