Easy-to-use software - any recommendations?

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Chinless Wonder
Chinless Wonder Registered Posts: 61 Regular contributor ⭐
Hi everyone

I'm looking for recommendations for bookkeeping software to suggest to my new employers (a charity/social enterprise who do a lot of creative project work centred around circus skills training.)

They have an external accountant for year end/ accounts prep - the package would be used internally to record transactions (cash, invoices and payments) only.

Specifications are:

*must be intuitive and easy for NON accountants to use
*must have supplier and customer ledger
*must offer project and/or department costing

I am already familiar with Solar Accounts (currently top of my hitlist) and SAGE (too expensive/not user friendly). What would be ideal would be something akin to MYOB (which is no longer available due to being taken over by Mamut).

I've just had a quick look at VT Transaction+ which ticks all the boxes but I don't think looks user-friendly enough (the screenshot on their website looks horridly technical).

Any suggestions welcome!

Chinless

Comments

  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Accounts Portal?
  • T.C.
    T.C. Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Have you looked at Quickbooks? That is user friendly.
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Hahaha!!


    Oh.. you weren't joking?..


    ;)
  • paulstafford
    paulstafford Registered Posts: 126 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    At the charity I work at we are about to move from Sage to Xero.

    Xero can handle both project and department reporting, plus your other requirements.
  • Roro1303
    Roro1303 Registered Posts: 38 Epic contributor 🐘
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    i was going to suggest Xero too
  • anniem
    anniem Registered Posts: 1,326 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Hi Chinless

    Not necessarily the answer you want, but I use VT Transaction + and think it's great. You can download VT Cashbook for free and last week I taught a complete 'never ever done book-keeping' person how to do most of the things he needs in under 3 hours. If he gets a problem he can email it to me and we can discuss it on the phone together and I can help resolve any problems he has. I can also prepare his accounts from his VT cashbook information on VT Transaction +.

    I know you've looked at the screen-shots, but I would certainly recommend that you at least download it and look at it properly!

    Anna
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • PAMDILL
    PAMDILL Registered Posts: 721 Epic contributor 🐘
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    I downloaded the free trial of VT Transaction + as an accountant who might be giving me some outsource work recommended it, it is suprisingly easy to use compared to the way it looked on their website.
  • stefanboro
    stefanboro Registered Posts: 187 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    The only thing I don't like about VT Transaction + is that the layout is not intuitive for me.

    Sage is massively overpriced but I think it's spot on.

    Solar is incredibly cheap and very intuitive and does most things I need it to do but lacks some of the more complex data tracking / departmental analysis and reports. The guys behind it update it all the time though and I imagine it will only get better.
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    *must be intuitive and easy for NON accountants to use
    That rules out Sage, for sure.
  • stefanboro
    stefanboro Registered Posts: 187 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Monsoon wrote: »
    That rules out Sage, for sure.

    Haha you and your anti-sage agenda! It's completely fine - the major downfall is its price. Beyond that, I challenge anyone to find someone who has never used an accounting programme before to try sage and then try VT Transaction +.

    It has its faults but overall I can't see what other accountants struggle with.

    As I said though - in this case I would say Solar is spot on for non-accountants.
  • Chinless Wonder
    Chinless Wonder Registered Posts: 61 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

    I would agree about SAGE. When I started my first accounts job in 2005 - with no previous accounting training - I found Sage hard to get to grips with. After going on my first double-entry course it made a lot more sense. Now, after using it for seven years, I find it easy, intuitive and can't imagine why anyone would find difficult! But I'm more than aware that's just my POV.

    And the cost is the other thing. To get the bells and whistles we would need for it to be really useful, we'd need to go for something more than the basic version. That would definitely get dinghied by the purse holders.

    Whatever I go for, it has to be absolutely lovely and simple for my colleagues to use. My job is only temporary - I have to ensure that whatever changes (improvements!) I make are easy enough for the permanent staff (only 2 of them) to cope with - and they are both creative non-accountants. They are not resistant to change; but they are very wary of changing the current system ("just a spreadsheet") to something they'd find incomprehensible and too accountanty.

    I love Solar. There's things it does well and things it doesn't (I hate the bank rec for example!) but the fact that they seem to constantly be improving and building on it is wonderful. Especially in adding in project costing!

    So I suppose my original post could have been reworded as "Does anyone know of any other software that does what Solar does?"
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    What does Solar not do?

    That might help us suggest an alternative.

    Two things solar isn't are: Online and Free.

    Wave Accounting is both of these. Might be worth checking out to see if it meets your criteria.
  • stefanboro
    stefanboro Registered Posts: 187 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    What does Solar not do?

    That might help us suggest an alternative.

    Two things solar isn't are: Online and Free.

    Wave Accounting is both of these. Might be worth checking out to see if it meets your criteria.

    To my recollection it doesn't offer departmental analysis - it's been a while since I've used it though so I could be wrong.
  • LynWest
    LynWest Registered Posts: 122 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I use Quickbooks and find it really easy to use (and i'm not joking Dean :lol:) Does anyone know how much VT transaction plus cost? I have a potential new client and had heard great things about VT and thought since there were only a few transactions, that i would use her work to try out VT.
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I thought VT was best with the amount of recommendations.

    I'm using Sage 200. Pretty damn expensive!
  • PAMDILL
    PAMDILL Registered Posts: 721 Epic contributor 🐘
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    I am just about to buy VT Transaction + as my free trial is about to finish, if I remember right it is about £128 and comes with free VT Cashbook.
  • LynWest
    LynWest Registered Posts: 122 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Thanks £128 isn't too bad. I use sage at one clients, but for me to use it at home for my clients its really expensive. :001_rolleyes:
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