Accounting & Accounts production software

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GinnyBee
GinnyBee Registered, Tutor Posts: 131 Dedicated contributor 🦉
Please don't groan when I mention accountancy software, I know we've been here before haven't we! I'm reviewing my options as a new MIP and am trying to make sure I don't miss any programmes I should be aware of. I've listed some packages I know of, can everyone add to this list what I'm missing please, I'm sure I've missed lots!!! :)

Accounts production software:
Iris Accounts Production
Sage Accounts Production
Digita
VT Final Accounts
CCH

Taxation software:
Iris Taxation
Sage Taxation
Digita
CCH
TaxCalc
FTax

Accounting software:
Sage
Quickbooks
VT Transaction +
Solar
TAS

Online accounting software:
Xero
Kashflow
Liquid
Freeagent
Clear Books

Payroll Software:
12Pay
Money Soft
Sage Payroll

Any strong feelings for or against any?

Thank you

Comments

  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Accounts Production:

    IRIS and DIGITA - EXPENSIVE!
    SAGE - dont touch with a bargepole (no reason, I'm just prejudiced)
    CCH - have heard a lot of problems reported
    VT - AMAZING!!!!! BUY IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Tax Software:
    I use FTax and I think it's the cheapest. Excellent value for money.
    number 2 on my list is TaxCalc - never used, but gets good reveiws.
    See above for my feelings on the others.

    I have used Digita and found it very confusing. It's excellent software but I just couldn't get on with it and its bloomin' expensive! It also took far longer than I thought it would and my VT/FTac combo is much quicker even without integration.

    I don't think there is as much advantage with "integrated" accounts and tax software as you might think. The key with integration is between bookkeeping and accounts production i.e. importing a TB direct, which is where VT wins hands down.

    Bookkeeping software:

    Desktop:
    VT Transaction+ (comes with VT Accounts)
    Solar Accounts - very good, contact me for 20% discount

    Sage - overpriced and unnecessary, I wouldn't bother (see above: I am prejudiced!)
    Quickbooks - I don't rate the new versions or their new pricing structure. I wouldn't bother

    Online:

    Kashflow: Can't stand it! Designed for non-bookkeepers/accountants meaning I find it confusing as hell. Dislike some of the ways it does things too.
    Xero - gets good reveiws but it expensive
    AccountsPortal - I have signed up to this, well priced, feels like Solar Accounts to use. I've not used it much but am looking forward to it, it's my favourite.
    ClearBooks - have a client who uses it, seems ok but bank rec very weak.
    FreeAgent - very good but hate the single entry journal function, and it's quite expensive. It does deliver on functions and reports though.
  • wildgoose1uk
    wildgoose1uk Registered Posts: 200 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Jenni is right in that Digita is expensive and is expensive every year! It does however get very good reviews. VT is at the other end of the spectrum in terms of cost and also gets very good reviews. I have not used either yet but have researched thoroughly and believe it is really a matter of 'you pays yer money you makes yer choices'. Both will do a very competent job.

    I think I prefer Taxcalc over FTax. I think Ftax is just really a form filler wheras Taxcalc helps you along the way with some guidance. I am sure Jenni will be along in a minute to correct me if I am wrong...... :) Again I have not used either as I am a new MIP myself and have had more success getting consultancy work than accounting work per se.

    Other than that I agree with all Jenni's other comments. The one flyer I put on that is if you are thinking of an online system make sure you have a good enough internet connection to cope with it as much of the country outside of towns and cities are plodding along on 0.5mb or 1mb connections which slows things down incredibly.
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    My main gripe with Digita is how long it takes to do everything. There is no doubt it's an excellent bit of software. If you are used to large installations like IRIS then Digita will make sense. If you're used to stuff like VT, then it's a whole nother ball game and VT is so simple to use in comparison.

    Yes, there are a gazillion more functions in Digita which helps to explain the extra price, but they aren't functions I need and VT more that does the job. I rate the tax modules of Digita over the AP - if I had to have some digita, I'd have VT accounts with Digita tax, not the other way round, it was the AP that was my biggest gripe, probably because VT is so easy and quick to use!

    I'm not totally slating Digita - I know for those who do like it, it's excellent. Hell, if it didn't wind me up and frustrate me, I would love it, I love the concept! It just isn't for me, same as everyone has their likes and dislikes.

    WG is right over the tax ones. FTax, you basically fill in the tax form. There are some helping bits along the way, but you just fill out the form. But then, it's half the price of Tax Calc! TC, I have never used, but I think it is like Digita in that it gets you to input the required information and then it magically populates the tax forms for you.

    Neither is better - the latter is helpful in some ways, but I like being able to input direct onto the tax return because I feel more in control that way.

    The Digita tax modules do come with helpful stuff (not sure if TC does it too) like it will say "J Smith has made a loss - consider carrying back to prior year" which is quite nice.
  • GinnyBee
    GinnyBee Registered, Tutor Posts: 131 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Thank you. I'm thinking free trial time....

    Am I missing any good (or bad!) accounting software which clients might use in place of Sage etc?
  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
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    Must say I agree with everything put so far.

    I wouldn't say I find Digita expensive as I am more than happy with what I pay (c£1.5k per year).

    I used VT initially when I started out in combo with PTP for tax. However as I had been brought up on Iris I found VT very clumsy, awkward and time consuming so I moved to using all PTP.

    Jenni assures me some of my grumbles about VT have been sorted namely the way notes are produced. My problem however is a tax package to go with VT. I have recently used Tax Calc and found it really hard to get my way around. PTP was slow as it was form filling the same as Ftax. I really like Digita's tax products but then Accounts production for Digita links well, I find it easy to use and it costs are small compared to the tax options.

    I am not anti VT as I do like Transaction plus and use it for bookkeeping through choice. I am not necessarily anti VT Accounts Production but more the lack of decent tax software to link with it without the cost becoming close to Digita, in which case I may as well stay with my preferred choice.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I think Ian sums it up well. I think the key is what you are used to. VT is very different to the Digita/IRIS type software, hence why some of us get on with some, and not others! I don't for a moment regret buying Digita despite it being an expensive learning experience, otherwise I think I'd always have a hankering after 'integrated' software, thinking I was missing out.

    Now I've tried it, I don't think I'm missing out at all. Even though FTax can import accounts data from VT, I don't use it as manually copying the figures takes minutes, and once a client is set up in the tax software, you can carry their details forwards year on year.

    I think had I been brought up on Digita style software, it would make sense. Partially I think I just didn't have time to learn something that seemed so alien compared to what I was used to!

    For the record, I pay VT about £175 per year and FTax £200ish. I'm VAT registered so those are the net prices, if you aren't VAT reg there is 20% on top.

    Digita would have cost me about £800-ish this year (it's about double in the first year due to set up charges) so going back to my old software was a no-brainer on every level :)
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 Registered Posts: 1,438 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    We also offer Solar to clients for accounting/bookkeeping.

    There's TAS as well - I've used this quite a while ago and thought it was a nice little program but remember being shocked at the price of it for how basic it was. Maybe it's changed now though.
  • anniem
    anniem Registered Posts: 1,326 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I've set up as an MIP within the last 8 months and am getting on very well with VTT+ and FTax.

    My husband (totally non accounting and a bit deficient when it comes to record keeping) loves Solar which I installed on his computer to trial. I'd like to transfer him onto VTT+ but just to see him running his own accounts is a real triumph - remember for clients that the package must suit the person or it'll all go horribly wrong anyway!

    You seem to have missed out Payroll software; I like 12pay - simple, economical, and pay lines/items are very easily added which is great. I have just transferred from Earnie to 12Pay as Earnie was so complicated for setting up payscales and linking to employees. For the Farm, 12Pay is 1/5th of the price of the annual renewal invoice for Earnie.

    Anna
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • GinnyBee
    GinnyBee Registered, Tutor Posts: 131 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    anniem wrote: »
    You seem to have missed out Payroll software; I like 12pay - simple, economical, and pay lines/items are very easily added which is great. I have just transferred from Earnie to 12Pay as Earnie was so complicated for setting up payscales and linking to employees. For the Farm, 12Pay is 1/5th of the price of the annual renewal invoice for Earnie.

    Payroll software - how could I forget!!! (how embarrassing!)

    Okay I've heard of these, any others?:
    12Pay
    Money Soft
    Sage Payroll
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Moneysoft and 12Pay, dont even consider Sage, so many people who have switched say that Moneysoft is so much easier.

    I use 12Pay which is excellent. Everyone else raves about Moneysoft. They should be your only 2 choices!! :D
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