MYOB AccountRight Networking Problems Troubleshooting MYOB Remote Desktop

We’ve been Hosting the MYOB AccountRight ‘classic’ suite of applications for nearly eight years now and I can honestly say, we have installed the software maybe 500 – 600 times over that period in a wide range of circumstances. We have also fielded a couple of hundred complaints from potential clients about how poorly MYOB performs on their own network before joining us and having their application and company file hosted.

I thought I’d highlight some of the knowledge from our experience over the years that MIGHT just help someone understand why these problems exist.

1. MYOB Premier is not supported by MYOB when installed in a Remote Desktop environment

Technically this is correct from the point of view that MYOB support is not responsible for your local networking issues but they still must support your application if you are within your first year or have paid support. Calling the MYOB support desk and complaining about speed is going to get a swift response of “no support” especially if your version is Premier.

Enterprise is their Remote Desktop version so if you are on Premier and you need access to your company file from remote locations, you’s better call ozBeanz and talk about getting your company file Hosted. Premier is only to be installed in a peer-to-peer environment where the company file will reside on one PC in a shared folder, and the other workstations connect using MYOB Premier installed on their own computers. Let me give you a heads-up… for a single user this works but after that, the performance is terrible. You’re not alone, this is commonplace and well recorded by thousands of users on forums around the internet. The fix is…. get it Hosted

2. MYOB Enterprise in a Remote Desktop environment

This is the MYOB version for Remote Desktop but with a few caveats. You’re going to need a Windows Server, Remote Desktop Services installed and configured, Terminal Services licensing, perhaps even a Volume Licensing Agreement with Microsoft for MS Office if you want to export to Excel or use Outlook to dispatch email and some ‘better than average’ Internet if you have remote offices that need to connect and run MYOB from your servers.

The biggest ‘killer’ for this setup will be poor performing branch offices where second rate Internet causes latency and dropped packets. The result of this is disconnections from your server, lockouts, ring-a-rounds to get everyone logged in to save and log-out while sessions are reset and work resumes. The frustration of this lost time is a clear reason why so many businesses with 5 or more MYOB users choose to get their company file Hosted and save the cost and headaches with self-hosting. MYOB AccountRight Enterprise is supported by MYOB support if you are paid-up on a plan but more often than not you are going to be referred back to your own IT support to solve networking issues if your complaint is about performance or annoying error messages.

3. Some handy advice that just might help

The following points SHOULD be addressed to help you with a better experience:

  • Change Power Settings on a server or workstation running MYOB in a multi-user environment so that they don’t power down or go into standby. Make sure all of the ‘Turn off” settings are set to ‘Never’
  • Turn off screen savers – these have been known to disconnect users and generate errors
  • Store the company file right alongside the myobp.exe application file on the server – same folder!
  • Verify and Optimise the company file regularly especially if the file has grown to more than 100 MB
  • Avoid wireless connections between workstations and the server running the MYOB application and company file
  • Get first class Internet from one of the major ISP’s – an extra $20 per month for Business Grade Internet will pay massive dividends
  • Make sure local networking (cables, switching etc.) is fairly recent and up to date
  • Spend some time updating the firmware on your router – packet loss is a ‘killer’ for the remote connections and can often be caused by incompatible firmware on a cheap old router when for $150 you replace the router

As you can see, there are some problems ‘hidden’ away that without the experience of supporting the application over many years, you just wouldn’t expect to cause your networking issues. If you are connecting remote offices to a Head Office to run MYOB from a Remote Desktop server, you’ll have 2 x Internet problems to troubleshoot, one at home base end and the other at the remote so you need to address both to have any chance of success.

The lock-file issue in MYOB has been around for a long time. It’s a ‘protection’ mechanism designed to protect the integrity of the data. However, it frustrates users of the software connecting via Remote Desktop because as soon as one user gets disconnected from the server, all users must log-out to release the lock-file and start again. We currently support many hundreds of users around the country and we deliver a self-help tool to deal with resetting user sessions in a graceful manner. What is interesting is that we see the same users applying the Reset Tool to release the lock-file on a regular basis. On investigation, and when applying the troubleshooting tools above, we always find that their Internet is poor, company file has never been verified or optimised, they have substandard networking infrastructure or a combination of three or four.

There is a lot you can do to reduce the problems associated with MYOB in a Remote Desktop environment but I doubt you can eliminate them entirely. I suspect that anyone reading this is at the point where they just want to ‘ditch’ the software when in reality, perform some of the troubleshooting I have mentioned above and you’ll be in a lot better place.

Give us a call and ask us about getting MYOB Hosted if this all sounds like too much work!

 

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