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?


Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on March 11, 2009 - 19:32 Permalink

I never used it in its first incarnation, but worthy of note: it says here “We are proud to announce that AccountEdge will to return to Canada on July 1, 2009.”

Paul L's picture
Paul L on May 2, 2009 - 00:06 Permalink

Although I am happy to have found you here, I am not happy to discover that I am not alone using MYOB in Classic on my Mac. We are talking about software that runs on an OS that ended about 9 years ago…

MYOB is great. I was never able to make a nice looking Invoice with Quebec and Canada sales taxes on any of the newer programs.

Eventually my laptop will give out. I sure hope the MYOB new version will be able to open my old files… That would be too good.

Me Me's picture
Me Me on May 29, 2009 - 00:48 Permalink

I have a small eBay based company and I use Moneyworks Gold and LOVE it…support is fantastic, it’s easy to use and fun too!

Gupta's picture
Gupta on June 13, 2009 - 14:20 Permalink

Wow! I have been a Mac user for more years than I can to admit. I can honestly say, I share ALL your pain. I used to use Simply Accounting and it was a piece of CRAP. It had a tendancy to crash and wipe out all your data. I loved it, because it was SIMPLE but it was a piece of crap. Then, they discontinued it. In all these years, I have been unable to find an APPLE BASED accounting package that was half decent.

Mac Users have been suffering from DAY ONE with this nonsense. If anyone out there thinks a solution is to run Windows on a MAC and then run a PC based software, you can join the line up of people blowing smoke up Steve Jobs’ butt. This is NOT a solution. A solution is for Apple to get someone to write the proper code.

Why am I hear you ask?? LOL. I have a need for a Mac Based accounting package again and I am ready to throw my MAC into the Lake after reading the posts here. Apple has come a long way since the iPOD and all the little geeks that have gravitated to Macs but they continue to do NOTHING for business, other than Graphics.


Anonymous's picture
Anonymous on July 17, 2009 - 16:37 Permalink

Any news? I’ve yet to find anything.. Most people I know are still running Parallels to have Win XP on their mac…

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous on July 23, 2009 - 02:58 Permalink

Have you tried NetSuite?

There’s a reseller we used to work with in Toronto, Kuspide.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous on July 23, 2009 - 15:23 Permalink

Hey Peter, I always liked MYOB and the account didn’t seem to complain….they currently offer a Canadian version for the Mac.

Paul G's picture
Paul G on August 9, 2009 - 00:47 Permalink

Depending on your business needs you might want to take a look a Books by HansaWorld or HansaWorld Enterprise at I have been very happy with the software functionality and the support I have received has been first rate.

Scott's picture
Scott on November 14, 2009 - 06:23 Permalink

I have a small business with two partners and we are currently using Accountedge. However, none of us knows the first thing about accounting or properly using the software. We are based in Vancouver, and need someone who knows the software to come to our office for an afternoon for some in-house training. So far, we haven’t been able to find anyone who can help us. We are victims of our Mac geekness. We are contemplating running Windows on our Mac. Please, somebody, don’t let this happen.

You can contact us directly at if you know somebody who knows somebody …

Anonymouse's picture
Anonymouse on November 17, 2009 - 01:51 Permalink

Accountedge for Mac would work okay for you if you replaced all the red furniture in your lounge.

Andriy Semenyuk's picture
Andriy Semenyuk on November 25, 2009 - 11:28 Permalink

I’ll recomend to use HansaWorld like best accounting ERP and CRM solution for MAC
For more information please feel free to contact me on skype: samtn1, or linkedIn…

Andriy Semenyuk's picture
Andriy Semenyuk on November 25, 2009 - 11:30 Permalink

I’ll recomend to use HansaWorld like best accounting, ERP and CRM solution for MAC
For more information please feel free to contact me on skype: samtn1, or linkedIn…

JMarchand's picture
JMarchand on December 17, 2009 - 01:13 Permalink

All of these posts are exactly the pain I am feeling, and it’s sad to see that a thread that begins early in 2006 ends without a whole lot of progress, at exactly the same place, in 2010. Looks like it’s a tossup between the Moneyworks and Accountedge products, with accountedge handling payroll where Moneyworks does not, yet Moneyworks has better support.

I had both in my hand today at the Apple Store in Montreal, and Moneyworks express was $279 while Accountedge was $459. A considerable difference.

I guess I need to really investigate the payroll benefit.

Thanks to all

vik's picture
vik on December 17, 2009 - 10:26 Permalink

It is a very good software to maintain proper records of accounts and book keeping. Construction Accounting Software always helps to maintain proper books of accounts.

Maz's picture
Maz on January 1, 2010 - 07:14 Permalink


Maybe this is not the right place to ask but I am wondering what is some of the best personal finance management systems out there for Mac? I am a PC convert using MS Money for long years. iBank was not up to the task.

Suggestions from your experiences?

Thanks …

sloop's picture
sloop on January 11, 2010 - 15:24 Permalink

I have been using AccountEdge forever and was worried that it would die on me eventually. It is now back on the market for Canada as of 2009.

Jim's picture
Jim on January 19, 2010 - 06:17 Permalink

Moneyworks support folk (and they ARE fast and helpful) told me that they cannot support any effort to blend personal with business. That is, if I buy something for the business plus something for personal use on the same credit card transaction, and try to split it out, part with separated GST and the personal part without — it won’t work. They said, “you shouldn’t be recording the personal stuff at all.”

Further, it will not support splitting tax amounts. If I bought a similar expense code item in Ontario (8+5) one day and in BC (7+5) another, “sorry, don’t understand why you would want to do that.” But we do do that because we live in both provinces.

So, Moneyworks won’t work.

I may just do my own Excel spreadsheet. I have one almost mastered. Maybe I can sell it!

Steve H.'s picture
Steve H. on January 29, 2010 - 16:16 Permalink

I’ve been using AccountEdge, the Canadian version, for a while now and I highly recommend it. I’m not entirely clear on the back story, but it seems that MYOB was purchased by it’s US franchise (or some other US company), and is essentially putting out the Canadian version as well. It’s the best solution I’ve come across — and their support is excellent.

Dora's picture
Dora on February 1, 2010 - 22:47 Permalink

Moneyworks for Mac is not very intuitive, the terminology is different i.e. debtor’s invoice, creditor invoice rather than bill, invoice, payable and receivable. If you make a repeat payment and want to delete later? you have to find the original entry to delete it, which is fine, if it is easy to find where it is. We use Moneyworks only because we have no other options. MYOB and Simply accounting are the best, easy to use. easy to get any report, easy on the eye forms, but it no longer support Mac, don’t know why.

dee's picture
dee on March 24, 2010 - 22:26 Permalink

i’m with you — Mac being such a big company and they only have Money works available in Canada — anyone that has a business i will make sure they know what they are doing before they purchase a mac- i wish i never would have — was using MYOB and still using on my old Mac i have to do my business accounting- this computor stuff is just getting to be a money racket

Marilyn's picture
Marilyn on April 21, 2010 - 16:21 Permalink

I am in deep pain over this — put parallels + windows XP with MS Money onto a mac —- ran into so many problems with it, finally gave up…Since I moved to Mac to get rid of Windows problems — using a virtual pc still is a pain.
Intuit are very annoying — touted their Quicken for Mac could be easily used for Canadian info —- no it cannot… it is not nearly as good as the Quickbooks or the Quicken versions I was using on PC. I feel ripped off — and more confused than ever as what to use. I will not recommend Intuit to anyone.

Jason Hendriks's picture
Jason Hendriks on April 25, 2010 - 20:43 Permalink

1. Isn’t that completely normal? When you start the software you set up a *business* account and start tracking related transactions. You don’t set up a business slash personal account. And if you have both types on one bill, just sort out which items are for the business yourself and enter those in.

2. Maybe support didn’t understand you. Just create a new Tax Rate for the BC, and enter the items bought in BC with the new tax rate. I don’t see how that setup is any different that buying ‘similar expense code items’ in Ontario in 2005 (8+7), 2007 (8+6) or 2009 (8+5).

Anonym's picture
Anonym on May 25, 2010 - 05:40 Permalink

I see no references here to the open source options. I am intrigued by the GnuCash program. Anyone with experience or thoughts on this one? I am a PC user, who has returned to MAC after many years on the PC and have been using QuickBooks. From many comments here and elsewhere, it doesn’t look like I’ll be switching to the MAC version anytime soon. Hence the search for a decent accounting program that can handle small business needs.

rRen's picture
rRen on June 23, 2010 - 01:07 Permalink

Now that we are in 2010 I cannot imagine that we ( Mac Users) still have no other option then to revert to a windows app. I am using Quicken for my personal banking, in fact that is the only thing I still do on my PC. I tried I-Bank but it is not made for Canadian Financial institutions.

Quicken worked well but you do not want to deal with the after sale service….. I am not a business so I do not want to buy a 300$ business version…..

Any options , please tell me that someone found something.

Lawrence Boxall's picture
Lawrence Boxall on July 10, 2010 - 02:36 Permalink

I do graphic design as a freelancer on the most current software and I replace my Mac every three years. I’ve been using MYOB on a Mac since 1995. The program works perfectly for me, Except it doesn’t run on Mac OS X so I’m still running an old computer using OS 9 for nothing else but my few measly entries per month to keep the taxman happy.

What’s with the capitalist system that I can’t find up-to-date software that is as good as the old MYOB on my current computer. Why do I have to keep an extra computer around because our great economic system doesn’t provide what people in business need?

Andrew N's picture
Andrew N on July 29, 2010 - 00:55 Permalink

I am have recently found a program called YNAB (You Need A Budget), though I am a bit of a newbie at personal financial accounting software, it seems to be relatively user friendly. It accepts quicken file formats and is able to synch to the iPhone! Again I don’t have experience with accounting software so if someone more experienced than me can test it out please let me know if it was worth it for you.

PM's picture
PM on August 6, 2010 - 17:51 Permalink

you could always segment the drive with boot camp and run windows on the partioned drive! Haha! They win!

Jeanne Ann Mervyn's picture
Jeanne Ann Mervyn on September 13, 2010 - 13:01 Permalink

I am a newcomer to iMac and love it, BUT I would like to find an accounting system for my small business which includes 1 0r 2 employees, so need a payroll feature. I now use Quickbooks Pro 2010 on my old PC. Can anyone help?

Renee Lutwick's picture
Renee Lutwick on September 14, 2010 - 14:11 Permalink

I also cannot believe there is no Mac, Canadian accounting software. I have a small business- all Macs- My bookkeeper uses Simply. I have run in to all sorts of trouble viewing my financial info. Initially I ran parallels and simply 2009- then she upgraded and I could no longer view the data with the 2009 software- I finally bought a pc laptop and installed Simply Accounting 2010. Well, that doesn’t work either!!
I looked here to see if there was something new re mac accounting……This is ridiculous.
any solutions yet?

anton's picture
anton on September 15, 2010 - 10:10 Permalink

@Renee Lutwick:

Have a look at accountz!

In tools you can choose the VAT regime in which you want to operate the software with VAT/General Sales Tax codes available for all European countries, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.”…

Acowymous Nonherd's picture
Acowymous Nonherd on November 3, 2010 - 17:00 Permalink

I just used GNUCash for this for the first time. Alas, it does me no good with the accountant — there doesn’t appear to be a useful way to get data out of it and into the accountant’s system.

GNUCash seems to work, and it’s real double-entry, for those so obsessed. Also, it does tax splits reasonably well (but not perfectly) and the multiple currency support is not bad once you get used to its quirks (I bill mostly in the US, so this was important for me).

But having to print out a PDF of the general ledger to send to the accountant just sucks.

Conrad E. Murphy's picture
Conrad E. Murphy on November 28, 2010 - 06:47 Permalink

I’m LOVING Cognito’s MoneyWorks so far, The Program is simple, It’s taking care of everything I need, It seems to be designed for Accountants, It’s not the “Prettiest Program” I’ve ever found but so far it’s doing everything, Now I’m Checking in with Quickbooks to find out how compatible the Quickbooks for Mac is with Quickbooks Premiere for PC. Has anyone here checked out if The Quickbooks Enterprise Edition is working on Mac in Canada Yet? I’m working towards being a Quickbooks Pro Advisor, and it’s my Intention to REALLY PUSH THEM to get Mac Support Back in Canada, They had it for a while, and now with the new demand to be Mac Compatible They REALLY NEED, to build in the support!!!

Have you guys heard what Apple is doing in their Newest OS X Release?

They are taking the design from the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, and moving the same design to the Mac OS, You know the App Store on the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad? That’s coming to the Mac Operating System FINALLY!!!

So Hopefully we can get Intuit and Sage to FINALLY MOVE BACK and Redesign their systems to be compatible with the Mac Again in Canada!!!

Although the greatest thing I’ve noticed about Intuit Currently is if there are any Programers in the mix here, Intuit Mentions that if we design the front end interface, we can attach out Front End to their new Enterprise Edition very easily. That’s why they designed it, is to make it easier to connect and upload your files directly into the system. The only difficultly, is you have to have a PC to load the Enterprise Edition Server onto Currently… So consider that for the next little while guys…

Susan Tees's picture
Susan Tees on November 29, 2010 - 23:18 Permalink

Why has Quickbooks no mac version after all this time? This debate has been going on for years. Seriously, if they want any more (and I’ve spent plenty with them) money from me, they have to have a mac version.

Al's picture
Al on January 2, 2011 - 04:57 Permalink

I’ve been using BigBusiness3.1 for MAC, since yr. 2000. It has served me well. BigBusiness is written with 4th Dimension (4D) software, which in turn is a robust software, that uses relational data based files.

Now that my hardware is aging and failing (dead G5, logic board defect, 4yr old), I am evaluating whether to continue with a MAC, or go with PC Windows and a compatible BigBusiness?

Kitty's picture
Kitty on January 18, 2011 - 16:29 Permalink

I’ve been researching this issue (Mac platform + Canada-friendly) for a friend/client of mine and what I have found — for *small business only*, mind you. In this case, it’s a sole prop with no employees, but carrying inventory.

Best online option: Neatly handles everything, $9.95/month, exportable data in CSV or Excel format to easy import into your accountant’s system at year-end

Best locally-run option (so far):… Does everything for our needs. Not the prettiest face out there, but it gets the job done. Data also exportable in Excel/CSV for import into other systems. Really set up as a periodic-entry system for very small businesses, but works great at that.

Mike Guilbault's picture
Mike Guilbault on February 18, 2011 - 01:46 Permalink

Haven’t been through here in while so thought I’d pop in for an update. MoneyWorks has just released Version 6. check here for what’s new.

If anyone has any questions, just let me know. Best to email me through the website.

Aly's picture
Aly on March 2, 2011 - 22:37 Permalink

So it’s 2011 and I still can’t find a good accounting software for Canadians for my MacBook. I am assuming since this thread dropped off a while ago that someone found a solution? Can anyone fill me in? Thank you!

R's picture
R on March 24, 2011 - 22:34 Permalink

Hey…I’m having the same problem with trying to find a good solution. I think, since I’m a very, very small business, I’m going to go with Liquid Ledger. But for those folks who are willing to go with an online option, I found Wave Accounting: They’re free and Canadian. Hope this helps!

Sean's picture
Sean on March 26, 2011 - 21:32 Permalink

If you’re doing small business payroll in Canada, I run an online service called It works on a Mac for sure, because it’s mostly developed on one :)

It’s free to try out, just to make sure it’s the right thing for you. I’m also looking at integrating with desktop and online accounting packages.

Gillian's picture
Gillian on March 29, 2011 - 14:16 Permalink

I just trashed (last night) my ten year old laptop PC that I only kept because I could use
Quicken for my small business invoices and receipts, my investments downloading from my brokerage, and personal finances. My real computer is of course an iMac with OSX.6.7 . So after reading these posts, do I STILL have to go out today and buy another PC because there is no accounting program for an iMac in Canada that actually works??? Unbelievable. What about open source? Nothing????
Hey you guys, theres a market here.

Paul's picture
Paul on April 4, 2011 - 01:32 Permalink

Nope, as far as I know there is no standalone mac software that will do Canadian payroll, download bank statements, create invoices and allow ease of use for your accountant. I run a small business in Canada and still have to use a VM with Quickbooks running on Windows. Quickbooks has just added their credit card system which is very slick to use, so for the hassle of running two operating systems, it will take one heck of a program to catch up to the ease functionality of the Quickbooks programs. If in the future anyone does come up with a Mac solution that will do all of the above, I would switch in an instant!

Terry's picture
Terry on May 2, 2011 - 22:23 Permalink

This IS extremely frustrating. Does Canada not have a big enough customer base? It sounds like so many people have moved to the superior Mac but are forced to toss a crappy windows program into it in order to run a decent accounting package. Is no one listening after all these years?!!!

Go4Goal's picture
Go4Goal on August 11, 2011 - 21:05 Permalink

After giving up on MYOB back in 2007 I began searching for an accounting solution for the Mac. Discovered MoneyWorks and have been using it since then. Bar none this product is truly an accounting beast. I recently upgraded to their new version which was released this year, and it’s even better. They finally changed the terminology, in fact it’s a complete overhaul. Since I now have two Windows machines (don’t ask) the ease of use between platforms has been breath-taking. Support is just the best in the industry, and believe me I’ve used Quickbooks, MYOB (Accountedge), Simply … the works. None can compare to MoneyWorks when it comes to support. I currently have a 150,000+ sku’s and import into MoneyWorks was about 20 seconds. We are 6 users in total using this product and the speed on the network again is bar none. In fact I can access my MoneyWorks data faster from home that I used to accessing my MYOB data while in the office. Kudos to the MoneyWorks people and keep up the good work.

Rob at Wave's picture
Rob at Wave on August 22, 2011 - 15:30 Permalink

I believe someone already mentioned Wave in this thread (thanks!) but I wanted to officially confirm: is a free, Mac-friendly, online accounting app made for small businesses and freelancers. And when we say free, we mean free — not just a free trial. Wave is made in Canada, too, so we definitely work with Canadian taxes. And Wave can connect with most major Canadian banks to import your transactions and save you the grief of manual entry.
Rob from Wave

Summer Coley-Ward's picture
Summer Coley-Ward on September 13, 2011 - 16:05 Permalink

What about Kashoo or Xero? You will need to confirm these, but I have heard really good things about both. Kashoo is a Canadian product and it syncs with Freshbooks. I can’t say enough good things about Freshbooks or Harvest for Invoicing and Estimates. It keeps me out of my accounting Software (which is a good thing). I’m on a PC at the moment, ad I use Quickbooks. I totally agree with some of your comments about Intuit — I feel duped by them with their pay-to-ask technical questions and their slick, but dirty sales methods. I really don’t like the expensive surprises. Try Kashoo and Xero!

Jim's picture
Jim on October 24, 2011 - 17:41 Permalink

I used Quicken for Mac for years until they gave it up. Looking around i found iBank for Mac at and have been using it since 2008 and it has worked as well as Quicken did, or better.

Cory's picture
Cory on November 5, 2011 - 18:42 Permalink

Hi Everyone, if you want to use Simply Acounting or Quickbooks on your mac in Canada check out they have a hosted version avaialbe on your Mac and iPad.