Top critical review
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Basic by name, and a little basic in nature. The alternative, more expensive, Accountz versions might prove more tempting
on 28 October 2009
The Britsh based Accountz company was established way back in 1985. This is their latest accounting software offering: Business Accountz Basic, the bottom of the Accountz Business range. There are 3 different versions in the Business Accountz Range. The look and feel is the same in all versions. The difference between versions is in the level and range of features. For example, Business Accountz Basic includes most of the table views, whereas Professional and Enterprise also include the Designer module for invoices and other document production. So if you want to produce invoices and need customer tracking, statements and quotations, then you will need Business Accountz Professional that costs £150 more retail. This Basic version offers: Simple & fast bookkeeping - it's fully editable, it has instant VAT returns, it can export data to spreadsheets, produce accountant ready reports, and it offers 'Free lifetime forum support'. It's Designed to keep the books for all types of business, whether sole-trader, partnership, limited company, VAT or non-VAT registered. Business Accountz Basic aims to 'make bookkeeping enjoyable and simple'. You can see and edit everything you enter, and using Accountz Rapid Data Entry system, you will apparently 'do it far more quickly than anything else currently available'. Business Accountz Basic is pure bookkeeping. That is, it is 100% transaction based, rather than form based which most other software is. The advantage is that you can take all your source documents (eg. invoices, receipts, bank statements etc) and enter them in one after another in any order directly into a table.
The disadvantage of this cheapest Basic version is although being simpler and easy to use, this is because it is short on features, and compares perhaps a little unfavourably with Microsoft's Office Accounting Professional 2009 that costs only a little more money, offers far more and has full integration into Microsoft Office 2003/2007. That said many small businesses stick to paper and Excel, so in this respect Accountz Basic offers more than Excel in terms of accounting features. Plus it's ease of use is it's top selling point, although I can't imaging many not hankering for that basic feature that Accountz Basic lacks, the ability to issue those quotes and invoices. But if you are happy to carry on doing that manually Accountz Basic might well be for you - and it's probably a lot easier than trying to get to grips with the likes of market leader Sage-50, so favoured by professional accountants. Plus, unlike Office Accounting 2009, Accountz Basic's box includes a very useful thick paper manual, not just a pdf version on the CD.
However with the more expensive Accounts Business Professional you can Manage customers, Design and print invoices, Send quotations and estimates, Track unpaid invoices, and do 'Pure, fast bookeeping'. This is more likely to be what small businesses want, and even many who are self employed. However the upgrade price from Basic to Professional is a little steep, so make sure you get the package that meets your needs. There's also Accountz Business Enterprise, retail £400, that adds in: managing suppliers, Designing and printing purchase orders, Tracking bills, an Organiser and event tracker, and the ability to Automate transactions. Trouble is this is similar in price to market leader 'Sage 50', also designed for the small business - although I'm pretty sure Accountz Enterprise will be easier to use by non-accountants. Plus Accountz also offer reasonably priced training courses for their software in Cambridgeshire or London.
So this Basic Accountz Business software is fairly cheap, but quite limited [actually not offering that much more than Excel]. Sadly Accountz don't offer a try before you buy, unlike Microsoft with their Accounting 2009, so you have to buy this product to see if it meets your needs [although Accountz direct offer a 14 day trial period during which you can claim a refund]. Chances are you'll find that you are tempted to buy the Professional or Enterprise version though, or simply try Microsoft Office Accounting 2009's free download - so overall 3* for features, 5* for ease of use. However Accountz software usefully runs on just about anything PC wise: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows Vista or XP, and Microsoft have just announced that Office Accounting 2009 will no longer be supported by them after November 2009. Also check out Sage's Instant Accounts v16, thats similar in price to Accountz Basic, is highly rated and has an invoicing tool included.