I have been using ABC accounts programmes through different versions for more years than I care to remember. The accounts are for a design typesetting company. ABC is very easy to use. My accountant has very little work to do at the end of the year to complete the annual accounts having been given the ABC printouts, and this keeps costs down. I am able to send the required payroll end of year accounts to HMRC through a simple programme which ABC uses and have never had any problems. ABC customised my invoices and statements for me. For a small yearly payment I receive excellent support from Chris Hicks, the designer of the programme. The small number of problems I have had over the years have been resolved with patience and consideration over the phone. At present I am using ABC 5 and am preparing to go over to ABC 6 this year. I have no hesitation in recommending ABC accounts programme. David
First thing you'll notice when installing ABC are some slightly oddball photos of a beardy guy in a rumpled T-shirt sat at a keyboard. Where's the suit and pretentious corporate gloss? It's your first hint that ABC is not like other accounts software.
There are dozens of small business accounting packages on the market, and many bad reviews for most of them. The more well-known the software (=big marketing budget), the worse they are. Don't take my word for it, go and look. The same issues come up again and again : "incomprehensible", "useless without expensive training" and so on. Unless you're a career accountant who understands this stuff, accounts software is largely a teaser for selling training, consultancy, support contracts, books, upgrades, Anadin.
ABC6 is the latest in a 25 year development of a different approach (by a beardy bloke in a T-shirt). It is aimed at sole traders and SME's who know the business they're in, not accountancy, and need a big magic cardboard box that will bring order out of chaos. It produces proper accounts that will keep an accountant and VAT inspectors happy, but you don't need to be an accountant to drive it or understand the reports it produces. If you understand basic business tasks like keeping a cashbook, writing invoices, paying bills, ABC is common sense plus a fairly easy learning curve aided by a proper printed manual, preloaded demo files to play with, and online help. Where discipline is necessary to protect the integrity of your accounts ABC does its best to stop you getting in a mess.
Moreover ABC is NOT just accounts, it is a complete run-your-business suite of programs that work together. It isn't cheap, but it is powerfully flexible. The integrated word processor, spreadsheet, filing and custom report design ensure it is genuinely all the software many people will need for running a business. It can become multi-user, multi-company, PAYE etc. If your horizons expand, or you're a demon with Excel it cooperates nicely with MS Office or Open Office. It is unlikely to be a cul-de-sac, although I don't think it does multi-currency, not yet anyway.
Weirdly for software as dreary as accounts, ABC users become quite passionate about it, and tend to stick with it forever. I am no different. I began using ABC in 1987 after buying v1 at a computer show (from a beardy guy in a T-shirt), to run on my dual floppy Amstrad with DOS 3.1 and a monochrome screen. A dozen computers and successive versions of Windows later I have considered other products from time to time but I am still a photographer not an accountant and I've not found anything that comes close to ABC. The clincher for this peculiar loyalty is that the same straightforward philosophy carries over into support. No phone queues, scripted evasions or unanswered emails here; in all this time I don't think I've had a single problem that wasn't answered within 24hrs. Bugs usually get fixed the same day they are reported, and the evolution of the package continues to be guided by user feedback and suggestions. I still don't exactly enjoy doing accounts much, but after 23 years of this, it's hard not to be a fan.
As a computer consultant/programmer, I either write a programme for a client or find one already written which will meet the client's requirements. When ABC first appeared way back in 1987, I evaluated the application and was immediately amazed at how much it could do, and even more amazed that I understood how to use the many functions within a couple of hours of loading it up on my PC. I had no hesitation in recommending this product to clients who were looking for an accounting package that could be understood and used by end users, and have never looked back (certainly, there was no point in me writing accounting software). ABC has met the demands of small to medium businesses (although it can handle bigger organisations with no problems), from dental practices to book shops to building contracters. This is a truly intuitive and versatile piece of software. Now that ABC6 (the Windows version) has arrived, I am delighted to see the intuitive userface is still there, and furthermore, the quality of support you get from ABC is unrivalled in my opinion. The only down side is that I am now retired, so I will no longer see the pleasure and satisfaction clients experience when they start using ABC as their accounting software. My congratulations to ABC for launching ABC6.
I have been using ABC Accounts since ABC1 when they were based in Surrey over 21 years ago (makes me feel old). I am a Heating Engineer, so accounting did not come easy to me and I did not want to employ an accountant or book keeper to do the Paper work, after all, I would have to write it down, work out my costs and hand it to somebody else to do the easy part. I have never looked back since using ABC and I am now on ABC6. If I have any problems I telephone the help line and it has always been resolved. ABC talks in easy language like Invoices and Purchases etc. I know at the click of a button any aged debtors, a day book of recent Invoices raised, find an Invoice number to trace who it was assigned to. I bought the Sage Accounts package for much cheaper, but it was not the right economical decision, because I went back to ABC after a few months of Sage. I found it too complicated. My Accountant convinced me it would be a good move, that is why he is an Accountant and I am a Heating Engineer. I would certainly recommend ABC, as the package can be adapted to any type of business, as I learnt when they started up the Forum and saw the varied types of businesses using ABC.
I have designed and programmed a number of Accounts programs over the last 40 years,including the original design for Pegasus. I have also been Managing Director of 3 companies specializing in providing installation of accounts software and its support for many small to medium businesses. By far the best piece of software that I have encountered has been ABC6. It is very easy and intuitive to use and does everything that most business require. It covers everything from full double entry accounting to a Spread Sheet,Filing and Reporting system,Word Processing,Stock System,Alarms & Diary.There is also an optional Payroll System. With the Reporting system there are in addition to the many standard reports the options to design your own or for really complicated requirements ABC (who are based in England) will design and write them for you at an incredibly low cost. You can import and export data in a large array of formats. More than enough to satisfy the demands of a Bank,Head Office,Customers or Suppliers requirements. The ABC6 program is the latest in a long line of programs dating back over 25 years,and has constantly been improved by implementing customers suggestions. Its versatility is such that you can produce virtually anything from a full blown audit to a single label on a dot matrix printer. Over the years I have been involved on customers behalfs with Bank Managers,VAT Inspectors and Inland Revenue Inspectors and I have never been asked by any of them to produce anything that ABC could not handle. Out of all the Accounting Systems on the market this is the one I use myself.
When I first came across ABC about 12 years ago I was amazed that people were still using old DOS software, not a `Windows' program. But the people using it were devotees, and OK it must be doing the job. My occupation was `temping' for agencies as a secretary/administrator. But in the evenings I was studying IT at the local college, and so I have gradually moved up to more advanced IT work in large organisations. I spend my working day producing complex documents, creating databases and usually working with large amounts of information. I'm fussy about using the most efficient tools for the job. Generally I aim to use the latest version of Microsoft Office, and the Adobe CS4 suite, and a few other precious utilities. I knew of people still using ABC (now a Windows version), and was still mystified why they did not use MS Office as that can do `anything'.
In due course, I started my own business as a virtual assistant. So then, for the first time, I had to think about bookkeeping. What a shock. On the one hand, there was SAGE - as used by full-time ledger clerks in all big businesses. But what about the other end of the market. What was suitable for someone running a small business who knows little about accounting? Naturally I sought advice, and again the name of ABC came up. I downloaded a free trial version. When I started it up the screen looked reassuringly like Microsoft Office, though the menu options like `Bank Reconciliation' were alien to me. Five minutes playing about saw me produce my first invoice. Of course it looked a bit plain so I then spent several days designing my own company logo to go at the top of reports and invoices, and was chuffed that I could reprint the invoices with my logo on. I did get frustrated when I found I could not go back and change old entries, eg if I spotted a mistake. As a database enthusiast I knew this was an easy thing for software to allow. Looking at various internet forums I found discussions about this and gleaned that some accounts software does allow this. However, the ABC telephone support chap explained the reason ABC only allows me to edit current or future items is to keep the audit trails intact and prevent confusion. It's obvious when you think about it - if you send someone an invoice and then go into your accounts and change things, the VAT and tax inspectors are going to regard you with suspicion. So ABC keeps me legal. In order to fix any mistakes, I've had to learn to enter a correction as a new transaction.
I have not used any other accounts software, but I have a friend who is a retired accountant who used SAGE. Even after she tried to explain things to me I didn't understand much of it. So I am now convinced - it's horses for courses. If you are into accounting and doing it full time for a large business, you might want a program that both speaks your jargon, and provides accountancy features. But if you run a small business you want a program without the jargon, and which guides you, and stops you getting things wrong. I'm happy with ABC. The after sales support has been excellent. They've always patiently answered my questions, though they tell me they are going to start charging extra for telephone support in future. There is also a User Forum. There's not much activity there. Presumably, people don't have much to complain about. And when I've thought up the occasional suggestion for a new feature, I was actually able to discuss this with a programmer who either explained why it wouldn't work, or said it would be added to the list of changes for the next update. ABC says this process of feedback has been going on for the twenty something years since it was born, and has shaped its development. I can now see why people tend to stick with ABC once they have discovered it.
You might have a different background and requirements from me, so I can't know if you would like ABC. But I certainly recommend it. I can't imagine finding a program that is better suited to a small business like mine.
When I enquired about prices on behalf of a friend, they mentioned special promotions, eg if you are a new business you can get a voucher code to buy on Amazon at a discounted price. So tell them you are a new business!
I have used ABC Accounts for over 20 years in its various editions and thoroughly recommend it. Our business (we retired last year) was designing gift stationery, taking the bulk print into stock, packaging it, then selling, mainly to retail outlets in the UK and overseas. I found it easy to use, flexible, and packed with useful features.
EASY TO USE. We found this a real bonus as did our office staff and this meant minimal time training and staff enjoyed using ABC and quickly became proficient. eg daily/weekly tasks like checking customer accounts, invoicing, debt chasing, sending out statements, petty cash and receiving payments are all very intuitive.
FLEXIBLE. It was easy to get ABC to accommodate the specific requirements of our business. eg. not only do you get a large number of standard reports covering all aspects of running a business, but also the ability to create your own reports. This is very easy to do and came in really useful when I wanted to create reports to manage sales agents.
PACKED WITH USEFUL FEATURES. I particulary like the month-end reports and the simple clear VAT reports, which meant that we were always easily able to provide our accountant with all the information needed to draw up the annual accounts. Also, we regularly mailed our customers with new product information, trade show details and special offers. Because ABC seamlessly integrates the customer database with the ability to produce address labels and custom letters, we were able to use it used it for all this, and produce reports which helped to identify how successful the mailing had been.
Probably the best recommendation I can give is to say that if I were starting up in business again, I would have no hesitation in buying the latest version of ABC.
I've used ABC accounts packages for nearly 20 years. I used to glaze over when my accountant used specialist terms and heaven knows where he derived some of the figures from! I can understand the straightforward language of ABC and my accountant can use what I produce from the package. I have only just changed from the DOS based ABC5 to ABC6 version 2 which is windows based - why didn't I change when it was introduced a few years ago? I keep asking myself that now! I'm very pleased with the latest version, it's much more versatile, with even more features. I'm a dentist, a small business. We don't need the VAT facility, but I do use the very good typing and spreadsheet functions for out of work activities as well as the business. We've had the add on payroll pcckage for years without any problems from HMRC. The support from ABC is excellent, usually by return Email, and they readily take on board suggestions for modifications. I can recommend ABC6 to anybody.
Excellent product. I have used ABC5 (MSDOS Version) for many years and was a little apprenhensive about the new ABC6 windows version, but it is very easy to use and very user friendly. I really like the way it looks like an Excel layout without the need for a degree to use it! I have looked at other Accounts Packages (and even tried one or two), but have found nothing to compare to it for ease of use. I have used the free ABC Forum to help me and have been very pleased with the quick response and helpful advise. Thank you.
I have used ABC6 since it was introduced. It is well supported almost 24/7/365! A lot of us seem to do our accounts during the evening or at week ends. But ABC6 still answers the phone! There is a lot behind the basic screens, which will do most work in the office. I have run a flying club as treasurer and secretary for years.I have produced year end accounts, Newsletters and the addresses for the postage without problems. For the company we use the accounts, typing, filing and spread sheets, which as they are integrated saves a lot of time and re-entry. We are on Monthly VAT and it has worked well. Just told HMRC we were using ABC6 and got the go ahead without problems. For some of our export invoices we have to put in clauses in Spanish (I did not use the spell checker just asked the Customer if it was ok! The money arrived so no 'known' problem!) In ABC6 the accounts figures are normally positive (only negative if a credit note). Rather than Accountant's debits and credits. So we (the users can understand what is happening. Our Auditor/Accountant was just given the Manual to read. He has had no problems since. I remember the big leather ledgers, then the single write system and then various computer account packages. Since using ABC6 things are much easier. Updating is easy from within the program, while on the web. Just have a look at the website:  for a taster.ABC6 Accounts Software