Mac OS X Accounting Software for Canada?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been running the Reinvented bookkeeping through Quicken for Home and Business. This is a enhanced version of Quicken with some basic small business features — invoices, accounts receivable, etc. — added on. It’s easy to use, and although I get no respect from my accountant, it served my purposes well.

When I made the switch from PC to Mac several years ago, I was in mid-financial-year, so I bought a copy of Virtual PC for my Mac; this lets me continue to run Quicken for Home and Business, albeit in a somewhat glacial fashion, as Virtual PC has to constantly pretend to be a PC, which makes it quite slow.

In recent years my aforementioned accountant has been pressing me to move to a more adult bookkeeping solution, mostly because when I hand over the Quicken data dump at the end of each year they have to expend considerable manual efforts slurping the data into their Big Accounting System. There is also some apparent discomfort with the lack of “double entry” features, which I believe is related more to addiction than to real practicality, but I’ll play along.

And so, yet again, I’m looking for some basic accounting software for Mac OS X. That works in Canada. And imports digital data from my credit union. And that I can save files from that my account can import.

And those four features seem not to exist in any software I’ve been able to find.

QuickBooks was an early favourite. There’s no specific Canadian version, but they claim that the U.S. version supports unique Canadian features like the GST. But then I read the reviews. And made a couple of calls to Intuit (the company that makes QuickBooks) and found (a) that the U.S. version for the Mac I would be forced to use won’t output data that can be imported into the Canadian PC version my accountant would be using and (b) that the U.S. version doesn’t support import of Canadian financial institution data and (c) that “support” for GST isn’t exactly elegant.

So now I’m trawling for recommendations from others: are you keeping your accounts on a Mac in Canada? Are you happy? If so, what software are you using?


Brian Dickinson's picture
Brian Dickinson on February 22, 2006 - 19:00 Permalink

I used TaxTron tax software last year and it seemed to work fine, no problems. They only made an OS 9 version last year, but this year they only make the OS X version, so hope it works as well as last years.

TaxTron Canada.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on February 22, 2006 - 19:42 Permalink

TaxTron appears to be tax preparation software, not general-purpose accounting software, alas.

Clark's picture
Clark on February 23, 2006 - 02:52 Permalink

This software may not be robust enough for your needs but we have been using Liquid Ledger for the past few years with some success. It’s support for multiple currencies was the hook for us. They are a Canadian company based in Toronto and the software is Mac only.

Olle Jonsson's picture
Olle Jonsson on February 23, 2006 - 18:35 Permalink

Oh, that Liquid stuff looked neat. (“I want one”, my belly said. “Shut up”, I croaked.)

Ned Bosnak's picture
Ned Bosnak on March 1, 2006 - 06:52 Permalink

What has happened to QUICKBOOKS ACCOUNTS FOR MAC…. This is the original MYOB that was purchased by Intuit. Intuits motto is “if you can’t beat them, buy them!”

Deft's picture
Deft on March 4, 2006 - 18:52 Permalink

any more luck on this one, i have the same needs but am currently servicing them by using us version.

M. Michael's picture
M. Michael on March 7, 2006 - 22:23 Permalink

if you can’t beat them, buy them!”

Yes, I’d like to beat them. Intuit has dropped their support for Macs in Canada, after we all dropped big dollars for their software. An Apple rep said that it just wasn’t profitable “enough”.

Quickbook Accounts for Mac is really an excellent program. However, it’s not multi-user as they claim it is—or if it is, you have to pay them $60 a phone call to find out how. Nice. Not sure they’ll answer that anymore now that it’s not supported, at least in development.

MultiLedger has been recommended by an Apple dealer:… It’s buck-ugly though, and likely not as straightforward as QuickBooks. And so, we keep looking…. there appears to be very little (though I’ll check out Liquid Ledger).

M. Michael's picture
M. Michael on March 7, 2006 - 22:29 Permalink

Liquid Ledger is a personal accounting software program, not for small business needs it seems…

Bruno's picture
Bruno on March 24, 2006 - 16:48 Permalink

It looks like Quickbooks 2006 for Mac will support what Peter (and I) need. It can export data for Windows, supports Canadian taxation and is compatible with Canadian banks. Are these not the sore points from the original post?

I don’t have it yet and I haven’t found exact instructions for the tax setup, but there’s a clear list of Canadian banks supporting Quickbooks (including Mac support) as well as a pictorial and video demonstration of the Export for Windows feature.

My biggest concern prior to reading the original post, was the possibility of surpassing Quickbooks’ database limitations.

Bruno's picture
Bruno on March 24, 2006 - 16:57 Permalink

Ok, scratch my comments… Those features are “supposed” to work but I see either through poor implementation or outright bugs, they don’t (for a lot of people).

I think the solution may very well be to run the Windows version — either through dual-booting a new Intel Macbook Pro or through an emulator or virtualization (it’s not going to be the slug it was when running VPC on a PPC Mac).

There are online solutions for accounting as well, but the only ones I’ve ever looked at were ones a friend was investigating. They ended up with a contract of $7000+ per year for the service. Not my cup of tea.

Rebecca's picture
Rebecca on April 5, 2006 - 04:00 Permalink

March 31, 2006 (just before my 60-day return-it expires) I receive a letter from quickbooks: Dear “valued” …customer (emphasis mine): We are discontinuing QuickBooks Accounts for Mac in Canada.

I just bought this program, discovered that the payroll doesn’t work unless you pay $150/year for it, and it doesn’t account for GST properly at all. In other words, it was a shoddy workaround in the first place, which they are now discontinuing.

I’m searching too: a not too large, but complicated company with multi-warehouses and payroll. I refuse to bow to IBM, but oh boy is this frustrating!

Brandon's picture
Brandon on April 7, 2006 - 16:04 Permalink

I’m the same boat as yo guys. I’ve been using QuickBooks Canada on Windows and last year, moved to a mac. After searching and searching, I finally just relented and installed VirtualPC to use QuickBooks again. It’s a shame :(

Bill Lewington's picture
Bill Lewington on May 2, 2006 - 17:58 Permalink

The problem is not the Quickbooks, MYOB or Quicken packages in Canada, it is Intuit. I am not sure why someone has not sued them for all their false promises and lack of support. I personally refuse to ever buy an Intuit supplied product ever again. They buy up exclusive rights to market the products in Canada only to pull the product 6 months later for Mac users sighting “too few sales”. It is pretty obvious they buy the rights, knowing they will continue with the Windows versions and shelf the Mac versions and illuminate another competitor in the process.

I have tried to use the US versions and “Canadianize” them with their instructions and my accountant’s help, but the solution is very clunky and the GST remittance reporting is nonexistent.

I hope Apple follows Microsoft’s lead with the Great Plains product and buys up a developer so it can release a proper accounting package for the Canadian market. I only wish I knew where to send my comments to Apple Canada.

CAMILO's picture
CAMILO on May 8, 2006 - 20:13 Permalink

we are using MYOB 9 on the mac but are looking at multiledger, the graphics are not important but the software is, does anyone know wheter this package woks well? from an accounting point of view

Amy's picture
Amy on June 7, 2006 - 15:16 Permalink

I feel all of your pain. I am running a Canadian Mac user and I feel all alone — until now. I am still running our company on MYOB AccountEdge Canadian Version 2. I love MYOB. Hate Intuit. I manually enter all the payroll — getting all the tables from the Canada Revenue site. I was considering buying the US Version of MYOB and trying to work around the US tax stuff and enter in my own Canadian rates and manipulate the system to work, but I downloaded the trial version and I’m not sure it will be easy to do. The MYOB I’m using now is still running very well on Mac OSX, but the problem is what will happen one day it doesn’t. In the meantime I am crossing my fingers as to something being available in the future for Macs!! Intuit screwed us Royally. And then, by discontinuing Quickbooks for Canada, screwed many again. Screw them. Someone at Apple needs to help us Canadians!!!

Steve's picture
Steve on June 12, 2006 - 05:39 Permalink

Not sure if you’re still looking, but in case this helps anyone else, my company switched from MYOB to Moneyworks ( some time ago. The maker, Cognito, is a New Zealand company but their software automatically customizes itself to a number of different countries, including Canada. It’s a little on the pricey side, I think about C$600 though there are no annual subscriptions and the don’t seem to ding you for every silly upgrade.

Support is free, but mostly email or forum-based for Canadians (we did call once, and it only cost the long distance fees), but we’ve had relatively little need of it anyway.

Probably the biggest bonus for us was that Cognito gave our Accountant a free version of the software so that he could work on our files — with his Windows workstation!

moni's picture
moni on July 27, 2006 - 01:09 Permalink

definately check out cognito….
thank you so much for the tip.

Serge's picture
Serge on September 5, 2006 - 22:12 Permalink

Still using MYOB Accountedge 2. Works fine except for entering tax tables manually.

Does Cognito support payroll?

michel's picture
michel on September 14, 2006 - 19:49 Permalink

I use MYOB Accountedge 2, but printing multiple invoices under OSX 10.4 crashes the machine. Total pain.

Francois's picture
Francois on September 30, 2006 - 20:40 Permalink

Still using old version of MYOB Canadaian version but with up to date Payroll Tax tables . Available here for $99 :

rick's picture
rick on October 5, 2006 - 04:03 Permalink

Surprisingly, Quicken 2002 Deluxe for Mac was serving my needs until today when I opened a new box of checks (yes, from Intuit) and found that Quicken for Mac doesn’t support Image Ready Cheques. Minor adjustments to field positioning can be acheived easily enough, but changing the field order, e.g. “Text amount” and “Pay to the order of” is not supported. I’m not about to go back to writing checks by hand, so I’m looking elsewhere.

Justine's picture
Justine on October 22, 2006 - 05:02 Permalink

I run a small design business in Canada — use a Mac and am looking for simple accounting software — this is my second time looking this year. Can I assume that if I am not doing any payroll but just wanting to track my business income and expense, and manage quotes and invoices easier that MYOB First Edge would be ok? It doesn’t seem to come in a Candian version — would I need to customize anything?

Dave Clark's picture
Dave Clark on November 5, 2006 - 07:22 Permalink

I found this program but couldnt get it to load . maybe you could check it out and have success. Best of all its free, and let me know if you get it to work. I am not a real computer guy so you may find it easy. I too am a mac user wanting a better program for point of sale and accounting.

Violet's picture
Violet on November 20, 2006 - 23:01 Permalink

After reading the first page I have to agree. I have been running Multi Ledger and giving my accountant hard copy. We have a Power mac G-3 and have just purchased a new 20 ” I Mac. My multi ledger will run on the old computer and do what I need and then some, but will not work on my new computer. Thanks Sreve I am going to look into good luck to all and thanks.
I think someone is missing the mark. I think that there is real need for software that will run of our computers and the accountant can read on there’s.

Aaron's picture
Aaron on November 28, 2006 - 02:53 Permalink

Hard to imagine that a professional Canadian accounting software does not seem to exist for Macs.

Very frustrating.


Mike Guilbault's picture
Mike Guilbault on November 29, 2006 - 03:01 Permalink

I’m reviewing the MoneyWorks Express package (it’s around $350CDN) which is much cheaper than the Gold package and basically lacks network ability so for the single user small business owner, it should be sufficient. It looks pretty straight forward and appears to handle the GST & PST ok. The GUI looked a little overwhelming at first with all their arrows (workflow) and such… but once you play with it a little, it’s starting to make sense. Apparently there’s an easier way to use it rather than this ‘Navigator’. Haven’t got that far yet.

One question for anyone already using it. My GST is filed monthly and PST quarterly. I saw the preference to use both taxes and to set the tax cycle for the GST, but nothing to set the tax cycle for the PST. Is this possible?

Alan Jean-Joyce's picture
Alan Jean-Joyce on January 3, 2007 - 10:41 Permalink

I am still using MYOB 8 in Classic mode on my OSX based G5 and have been looking into MYOB First Edge out of the USA but can not seem to find a downloadable trial version for testing purposes. Anyone know where to download it as a trial?

Nice to find the multiledger software but as someone mentioned above — what an ugly interface. If it works though, that is what counts (little pun there).

Visiting the Moneyworks site and am impressed! They even have a download trial version and a Canadian specific link. They have my vote already. Let’s hope the software works.…

Bill Gordon's picture
Bill Gordon on January 8, 2007 - 23:13 Permalink

For a fully-featured Cdn Mac OS X accounting program take a look at Connected from Accountek Solutions in Concord, ON. Available in single and multi-user versions. It is also available for Windows.

The only downside appears to be cost $600 (GL, AR and AP). Inventory Control and Job Costing modules are extra at about $600 each.

Phone 905-761-3307

Mike Guilbault's picture
Mike Guilbault on January 19, 2007 - 04:57 Permalink

I ended up with Moneyworks Express from Cognito. I’ve been converting my MYOB over to it as of January 1st since that seemed like the best time. I haven’t tried exporting accounts or anything and have been setting it up from scratch. (I find I can learn more about the program this way). So far, it’s going quite smoothly. It’s a little different and some of the terminology is different as well, but easy enough to learn. I’m enjoying it and there are some nice features, like cash flow projection, that I’m really finding useful. I think once I get the hang of it, it will be even easier to use than ‘the other one’.

Rahim's picture
Rahim on February 8, 2007 - 03:58 Permalink

Its been such a pain to find accounting software thats just easy to use. Being a student and business owner, it’s even tougher….i’ll check out everyone’s suggestion, but someone really needs to come up with a solid acct software. Not sure if anyone out there uses a CRM but i recommend Daylite by Marketcircle….its something else, definately a time saver.

Bill Braisher's picture
Bill Braisher on February 27, 2007 - 19:13 Permalink

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it I guess. I’ve had the same version of MYOB for years now. I tried to upgrade to the OS X quickbooks but like someone else said it wouldn’t do payroll so I sent it back. It was a huge fight and I can’t remember if I ever go my money back.
My new book keeper is great, she suggested trying an OS X version of accounting software again, because I designed a payroll calculator with Filemaker Pro that works well. And she can do the T4’s by hand once a year.
I googled and came up with this forum. Looks like my best bet is to stick with what I have, even though it’s the only program I have that has to open classic to run.

Mike Guilbault's picture
Mike Guilbault on March 8, 2007 - 20:18 Permalink

RAHIM… I use Daylite extensively. It’s a great package especially when combined with DMI to integrate Mail with the Daylite.

Regarding MoneyWorks… I like it so much that I bought the company!! Just kidding… but I am now an official Reseller. So if anyone wants more info or to make a purchase, just let me know.

Bill.. MoneyWorks won’t do payroll, but version 5 is coming out in the next week or two with many upgrades, especially for Canada. The reason I switched from MYOB was exactly because it ran only in Classic. When my G5 needed a new power supply and was in the shop for almost 2 weeks (the supplies were on backorder), I couldn’t run MYOB on my Intel iMac since Classic is no longer an option. So, if you ever upgrade to one of the new Intel Macs, MYOB won’t do you any good. Something to consider especially if you only have the one system.

Gary Gourilk's picture
Gary Gourilk on March 10, 2007 - 09:56 Permalink

I am still using Simply Accounting for Mac (which has not beeen supported for many years). I have a translator which converts it to windows simply accounting V7.0 for my accountant.

I have been sticking to Classic supporting macs, so I could continue to run it forever. Unfortunately, this year new cheques require a different format for printing dates on cheques.

Is there a patch for this, or am I required to run windows on a new mac and “simply” for windows?

I tried running Simply 7.0 for windows under virtual PC 8 years ago, but couldn’t stomach windows.

Any help?

Mike Guilbault's picture
Mike Guilbault on March 24, 2007 - 04:00 Permalink

Well guys.. I’m an official reseller of MoneyWorks now and have just uploaded the new website: I’ll answer your questions as best I can, or will try to find you the answer if I don’t know. Let me know what you think of the website!!

Fay's picture
Fay on April 3, 2007 - 20:58 Permalink

I too have spend a lot of time researching simple bookkeeping software for the Mac. I read here somewhere about Virtual PC. Is it possible to buy Simply Accounting for Windows and run it on a Mac with Virtual PC? You can tell I’m pretty new to the Mac. That would help me, though, because 1. I love Simply, and 2. it’s under Can$ 100.

Ivan Zubot's picture
Ivan Zubot on April 3, 2007 - 22:04 Permalink

I was a Quickbooks V5.0 for Windows user and have recently purchased a Mac. I did not know that Quickbooks for Mac Can. Version did not exist. I am now using Parallels to run the same Quickbooks on Windows on my Mac. This works OK but would prefer to rid myself of Windows completely.
I will definately be checking out Moneyworks. Their gain and Intuit’s loss.

Mike Guilbault's picture
Mike Guilbault on April 4, 2007 - 20:54 Permalink

Fay… the last time I ran Virtual PC it was so slow to load and the software barely ran. I think you’ll be quite discouraged with it. Your much better off getting a Mac version like MoneyWorks. I just upgraded my Express package to version 5.0 and it’s much better than 4.0. You can download a trial copy through my website.

Fay's picture
Fay on April 5, 2007 - 00:26 Permalink

Thanks for the info on the Virtual PC. Should VPC work ok on my Mac, I will definitely go with Simply Accounting because it’s made in Canada, has all the GST, PST, payroll and other features, is cheap and is truly an accounting software. Quicken, my accountant says, is a nightmare. I have tought myself to use Simply and it works very well. I will need to cough up the money for the VPC software and then I’ll be set, I guess.

Fay's picture
Fay on April 5, 2007 - 00:44 Permalink

Hi Mike
Thanks for the tip. If VPC is as slow as you say, that wouldn’t be much fun.
I guess my last post to you disappeared. I will check out your site. I’m definitely interested in software that can do GST etc.

Mike Guilbault's picture
Mike Guilbault on April 10, 2007 - 17:45 Permalink

The only thing MoneyWorks doesn’t do is payroll calculations. But check on the Contact page of my website — I’ve got a link there for a company that does online payroll processing. Apparently they keep much better tabs on updates to payroll than most of the software companies, so you’re always current. Maybe that, matched with MoneyWorks to do your actual accounting will be a good fit. And it definately handles GST & PST. You can even setup extra tax codes for PST exempt, HST, or even Zero rated to cover all the possible tax configurations you may need.

FRANCOIS's picture
FRANCOIS on April 19, 2007 - 03:59 Permalink

Cheque Printing Updates for MYOB, AccountEdge & QuickBooks Accounts for Mac :

The Canadian Payments Association has mandated changes to the way in which computer generated cheques are designed and printed. This will require changes to both MYOB and your Computer Operating System.

Patch : $ 39,95 CAN

These changes are provided free to Tax Table Subscribers. Available to

FRANCOIS's picture
FRANCOIS on April 19, 2007 - 19:58 Permalink

Sorry, but the solution above is actually working only on MacOS 10.3.4 and prior versions.

Dave's picture
Dave on May 7, 2007 - 16:27 Permalink

The forms provided by Freshinsight appear to work, but the Date formatting trick for OS X did not work in Quickbooks Accounts for Mac that we are using. We are using 10.4.9 on a PPC iMac.

Looks like my choices are Moneyworks Gold, Moneyworks Express, or Paralells/VMWare and Windows.

Mike Guilbault's picture
Mike Guilbault on May 10, 2007 - 12:41 Permalink

There’s a comparison of Gold and Express on the website and you can download a trial of each to see which one suits you best. But, you can also upgrade from one package to the other. If you’re using Express and upgrade to Gold, Gold will import everything and you’re off to the races.

Patricia's picture
Patricia on May 14, 2007 - 14:19 Permalink

I am about ready to give up.. The new date format required for June seems to be forcing me into(I)ts(B)lack(M)ail. I have been running MYOB on my 10.4.9 by doing my payroll calculations manually for the last couple of years. Has anyone found a way to over right the date field so checks can be printed with the four digit year?

Lis's picture
Lis on May 19, 2007 - 19:20 Permalink

I’ve just downloaded the Moneyworks Express demo, and am so far very impressed. WAY more functionality than Quicken, which I was using before. My business needs don’t require all the features that MoneyWorks Gold has, so Express will be just dandy for me. As a Mac user in Canada, I am so relieved to see that this software just does what it says it does, including keeping track of taxes (already set up for Canadian users, including provincial differences for GST, PST, and HST, plus it’s configurable to your own particular needs). Getting the most out of this software will take a little time to learn, since it is so feature rich, but it’s actually fun to use, so I look forward to it. (BTW, I’m using a MacBook Pro/Intel Core Duo/OSX 10.4.8.)

Mike Guilbault's picture
Mike Guilbault on May 23, 2007 - 04:14 Permalink

PATRICIA… you can download a trial of MoneyWorks at and there’s a comparison of the three ‘models’ and Canadian pricing. If you’ve been doing payroll calculations manually, then you’ll feel comfortable with MoneyWorks too. And you can create recurring transactions so you don’t have to re-key everything each time period. Only change the hours/deductions etc. that change from period to period.

LIS… I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. I’ve been using Express since Jan 1 and still finding new ways to gather and display information. It’s very flexible in that regard and at times can be overwhelming… but the basic functionality of what’s important (getting your bookkeeping DONE!) is very easy and even enjoyable.

Patrick's picture
Patrick on May 24, 2007 - 19:56 Permalink

I like NetSuite. Accounting software that supports Canadian payroll, taxes etc. for Mac OSX

Megan's picture
Megan on May 29, 2007 - 20:08 Permalink

Hi all,
If you are still using MYOB AccountEdge v.2 for the Mac, payroll tax table updates are available from my site: . I have been supplying them since Inutit bought out MYOB. I charge 119.00 plus tax for a calander year subscription and I have a free fix for your computer printed cheques. I know it works with all OS up to and including OS X 10.4.8 because that is what I have on my Mac

Thanks and bye for now