2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Accounting and Book keeping made simple, 12 Feb 2012
I run a small IT systems and solutions business. We have a limited number of `sales' transactions per annum, but they are typically high value.
Along the way, though, we make a significant number of purchase transactions for the components we use to create the `over all' solution for our customers.
We also have an ever growing number of receipts for office, travel and ancillaries.
From day 1, I was put off by the idea of using an Accounting Package.
My initial thinking was:
1) Accounting packages are complex
2) I can do everything I need in Excel
I still stand by Point 2 - but only for the first 3-6 months of starting your business.
Excel gives you an easy means to see all your numbers quickly, and adding columns as needed to represent whatever `data' you like - something accounting packages may not always allow.
But once your business is in full flow, you start to drown in numbers.
Errors are introduced into Excel, and you are forever sorting columns and building new macro's and formulas.
Rather than doing your accounts, you're `doing excel'.
Having first heard of Sage, I investigated this further, but realised that Sage might end up being more complex than continuing with Excel.
A few other PC packages were considered, that in themselves had good reviews, but there were horrendous tales of support or the lack of it.
Web Hosted accounting packages we also considered briefly - but 12 months of their monthly fees was approaching what I would pay for a Desktop PC based system.
There are other pros and cons to Web based systems - and initially the access your accounts anywhere concept had appeal - but in all seriousness, when I am away from the office, accounts are not something I am going to sit and do over the web in a coffee shop)
AccountZ was something I had read about in Computer Shopper- and it had good reviews on the Web and the following points stood out:
*It's a British Company - so I knew changes, VAT, and interfacing to HMRC etc. would always be done correctly
*The Software avoided the Debtors and Creditors jargon of accounting - And used a simple `To' and `From' methodology
And here's the most important point:
Free lifetime Forum Support - along with a very active forum, with input from users and AccountZ staff
* the forums focussed 1/3rd on the software itself and 2/3rds on booking keeping aspects of using the package.
* eg how do I reclaim VAT that I might have forgotten
* How do I allocate x or y for PAYE
* What's the best way to manage `this transaction flow?'
These are topics that are not specific to the AccountZ package - any other company could rightly say - "We support our software, how you use it is up to you".
But Accountz don't do that - You can post almost any question on their forum, and someone will respond within 24 hours of so - usually same day.
That forum and lifetime help is key to why I purchased Accountz.
It formed a key part of the 'entire Accountz' consideration.
Here are the 3 elements I can now see have been essential in my use of AccountZ
o Its simplicity
o Its avoidance of Accountancy Jargon
o And the reasonable price
The free initial 1 month of telephone support:
o It's been a lifesaver - and has helped during the initial import and conversion of a number of years of excel data into Accountz
And the moderated forums
o UK small business owners - asking and discussing accounting and book keeping issues
o Plus the input, moderation and responses from Accountz staff.
How's the software? - Simple and Easy to use, though with a lot of power under the covers (e.g. multi-currency, Supplier Management, Product Management and optional Project management)
VAT returns are simplicity - and the online submission to HMRC is worth the purchase price of the software alone)
Searching for and finding transactions is easy, and there are useful filtering functions that help you quickly glance at important elements such as `Who hasn't paid' and "who do I need to pay".
I wish I had of purchased AccountZ 12 months ago - The price is insignificant in comparison to the time saved.
It is very (very) simple to use and my concerns about operating a double entry accounting/book keeping system have come to nothing knowing I have the support of the AccountZ user forum.