Using MYOB in Dropbox

This blog entry is a very quick overview of Dropbox and how it can be used to share MYOB data files.

18 months ago when I started with a new client he showed me how he had set up a program called Dropbox and was using his MYOB file in it. At the time I had never heard of it. When he showed me what it was and what it could do I was very impressed. Why so?

Dropbox works by adding a Dropbox folder under your My Documents folder. It is from here that you can work on your files locally. Once a file has been updated this will send a copy of the file to your online (Cloud) Dropbox account which will then in turn send it to all other computers that have access to that file. Within your Dropbox folder you can create whatever folders you like just as you would normally on your local PC. These will automatically be added to your Cloud Dropbox account.

Dropbox allows files to be shared across multiple computers across multiple locations. As each user updates a file the changes are automatically synced across all other computers who have access to the file. The catch here is that the other computers need to be on for it to sync. And this is where many people get caught out. Once you start your computer and Dropbox starts you need to wait a few minutes for it to sync all the changes across all your shared files. If you start working on a file before it has had a chance to update then it will cause a “Conflicted Copy”. The same situation will arise if you shut down your computer before the file has updated. You will have 2 different files with different sets of data. A critical point to remember is that Dropbox does not allow multiple logins of the same file at the same time. This is how a Conflicted Copy occurs.

So how does this all work with a MYOB file? Well its very simple really. The data file (.MYO) (and BOX file if you are using M Powered Services) need to be moved into a folder under your Dropbox folder in My Documents. Then invite all other users of the MYOB file to that folder. I strongly recommend that each user has their own Dropbox account and logs in with that account. I have seen lots of problems where more than 1 user is using the same Dropbox account to log in across multiple computers and the result being a Conflicted Copy due to someone not closing the file elsewhere and hence not updating the other computers. If you require simultaneous multi user access then Dropbox is not the right system to use. It simply will not achieve what you want it to do. A word of warning. Once you have moved your MYOB file into a particular folder do NOT move it to another folder. Why? Because by doing so you have just unlinked the file for all the other users of that file and hence now will have multiple versions of the file (unless you also invite all the users to the new folder and delete the old folder).

This is a very quick overview of how Dropbox works and how its capabilities can be used to share a MYOB data file across multiple users and locations. I work with ALL my MYOB files this way and don’t have any issues.

If you want to set your’s up the same and require assistance please get in touch.

  • Alison

    I too am an avid Drop box fan. I store all my documents and client data files on Drop box and have had no problems.
    Alison

  • http://www.dardee.com.au Darren McMahon

    MYOB are about to release their new product and with it taking any option to use Dropbox. The file needs to be located in a specific folder for it to work. The data file cannot be put anywhere else.

    This could be the single point that drives a lot of people away from MYOB. Thoughts?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashsface Ash Caire

    Hi Darren, if the plan is to still use a flat based file you can use the same solution I currently do:

    http://www.paraesthesia.com/archive/2010/01/05/sync-any-folder-with-dropbox-via-symbolic-links.aspx

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the tip. I am new to MYOB and getting some help from an accountant to do the local football team’s accounts so sharing the file would be really useful.

    I am just using the basic account right 2011 version and the main file is an MYOX file can i share this? Do i need to do anything with BAS files etc

  • http://www.dardee.com.au Darren McMahon

    I understand that MYOB have changed their original configuration so you can now put the data file wherever you want. So in theory Dropbox can still be used. I am not sure about the latest versions as I have not upgraded any of my clients to the latest versions.

    If you are looking for a simpler online solution that will enable sharing of files look at our preferred option of http://www.xero.com.au. It is a much better system and easier to use for someone like yourself doing local sporting club books etc.

    Get in touch with me if you’d like to discuss either option in more detail.

  • Gina

    Thanks for the great info I just installed dropbox on my computer and my clients. I did set up separate accounts as I did not like the idea of giving someone access to my account or accessing someone else’s. Thanks for the heads up on conflicting files is you open them simultaneously. The only problem I have is how do you know some one else is currently using the file. Unfortunately I am not getting the blue icon on my dropbox folder when my clients has his MYOB file open. Have I done something wrong? Would so much appreciate you comments. Thanks Gina

  • Darren McMahon

    Gina. If you give me a call I can run through a few things with you to make sure it is set up correctly.

  • Amymachell

    Is this why I can no longer use dropbox with v20

  • Frank Castle

    The Dropbox folder under my documents is only the default folder to sync, you can go into Dropbox config and tell it to sync any folders/files on your PC, so it is irrelevant where the data file is located.

  • SJ

    Hello,

    Is there a way to bring a conflicted file and the current open file together?
    The majority of the work over the last two weeks has occurred on the conflicted file but there is also two weeks worth of invoicing done on the open file that needs to be added.

    Any suggestions?

    Ta
    SJ

  • Susie16

    Hi there, I have just upgraded to account edge v12 on my Mac and added the partner addition to my windows laptop. I have installed Dropbox on the laptop under a different email and shared the myob files. It lets me work on the good pn the laptop but they are not syncing. Any suggestions. Should I perhaps try the account right software for windows??. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have multiple company files, could working on a different file on each be stopping the sync

  • Kerry

    Hi Dumb question but I’m
    new to all this. How do I know which is the data file to save to my drop box?
    Kerry

  • http://www.dardee.com.au Darren McMahon

    Hi Kerry.

    The data file is the {companyname}.MYO file. There will be a {companyname}.BOX file as well but this file is not needed as a new BOX file will be created the next time you open the file.

  • http://www.dardee.com.au Darren McMahon

    Hi Susie.

    Did you sort this out?