Tips for Working with MYOB Rules and Bank Feeds

One of the great things about MYOB AccountRight is that you can set up bank rules to allocate transactions automatically. Here are some tips for how to create rules that work correctly, every time.

  • Keep the rule conditions as simple as possible. For example, maybe a recent payment to your mechanic comes up as ‘EFTPOS BAY AUTOMOTIVE AU’. Sure, you could create a rule that tells MYOB to allocate any transaction with these exact words to Motor Vehicle Expense, but instead, take a moment to simplify the rule conditions. For example, create a rule that tells MYOB to allocate any transaction with the words ‘BAY AUTOMOTIVE’ to Motor Vehicle Expense. This way, if you pay by credit card rather than EFTPOS next time, or the mechanic changes their merchant facility so that the bank statement text shows differently, the rule is more likely to remain correct.

  • Keep rule names informative and easy to identify. MYOB defaults to using the whole description from the text on your bank statement as the rule name. Using the above example, the rule name becomes ‘EFTPOS BAY AUTOMOTIVE AU’. Don’t accept this default, but instead always edit rule names to make your rules easier to find in the future. For example, a good rule name for this transaction is probably ‘Bay Automotive Vehicle Repairs’, as this name includes both the relevant bank statement text, as well as the type of expense.

  • When creating a rule, always go to Advanced Options and enter the supplier or customer name in the bottom-right corner. Although selecting a card isn’t mandatory, remember that unless you select a card, you won’t be able to look up all transactions for this customer or supplier in the future. This absence of detailed transaction history can be a real pain, so take the extra moment to add this information every time you create a new rule.

    When using Internet banking to make electronic payments to suppliers, think carefully about how the description is going to appear on your bank statement. Ask yourself, are you going to be able to create a rule based on this description? The answer to this question depends both on your bank and on whether the name of the Payee always appears on your statement. One tip is to save supplier details and payment descriptions in your Internet banking so that exactly the same text appears each time. This way, you can create a rule based on that specific text.

  • Keep an eye out for duplicate rules. Go through your list of rules from time to time and double-check how you’ve set your conditions. If you can see two rules that have the same conditions, either delete one of the rules or vary the rule conditions.

  • Get MYOB to split personal percentages automatically. For expenses you regularly split between business and personal (for example, maybe you always allocate 75 per cent of petrol to business and 25 per cent to personal), use the advanced options to create a rule that does this split automatically.

  • When in the Bank Feeds window, always rest your mouse on the Rule Applied icon before clicking Approve. This way, MYOB displays what account the transaction is going to be allocated to, and you can check that the rule is working correctly.

  • Don’t create a rule with the condition that any transaction containing the word ‘BP’ gets allocated to petrol. Why not? Because if you do so, every BPAY transaction, no matter whether it’s for electricity, telephone or tax, will get allocated to petrol, simply because ‘BPAY’ contains the letters ‘BP’.

  • If you have a high volume of transactions, consider specifying the rule name in the Memo field when creating a rule. For example, if you create a rule with the condition that every transaction containing the words ‘Katoomba Au’ is allocated to Motor Vehicle Repairs (because Katoomba Au in this case stands for Katoomba Automotive’), one trick is to go to Advanced Options and as the Memo for this rule, type ‘Transaction Created Using Katoomba Automotive Rule’. This way, if you’re reviewing transactions at the end of the quarter or the end of the year and you find that transactions have been allocated wrongly, you know which rule has caused things to go wrong.

Used correctly, bank rules can save up to 90 per cent of data entry time, and virtually eliminate the need for time-consuming bank reconciliations.