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Digita iXBRL

After the problems people have been having on getting the iXBRL version of Accounts Production it is great news that Digita have sent their customers seven webinars on the new version.

I hope it means that we have a lot better overhaul understanding of the product and it should cut down considerably on our need to phone technical support.

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By chatman
28th Apr 2011 01:17

Is this an advert?

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28th Apr 2011 03:30

No. I'm a user.

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By DMGbus
28th Apr 2011 08:54

Sage - webinar also

Sage with their iXBRL products have held a webinar too.

From that Webinar it was gleaned that in "October" (2011? or 2012?) an improved (as in properly functioning to users satisfaction) iXBRL product will then be made available to Sage customers.  Existing "solution" seems to be a cobbled together job with lots of trouble for users.   The experiences of my colleagues with the present Sage iXBRL product has been very time consuming to date.  I myself pretty easily produced an iXBRL set of accounts out of Sage Accounts Production yesterday which cosmetically were rubbish, but as these accounts only go to HMRC I don't consider this to be an issue, as it's just a matter of letting HMRC have what they require.  More of an issue is the inconvenience of the detailed Trading account not being tagged and we now have to decide to either (my preference:) attach a .pdf of this vital page or (others with lots of time on their hands advocate:) manually typing the detailed Trading account onto an extra sheet in Sage Corporation Tax software.

There was a functionality problem with Sage Corporation Tax yesterday but a 'phone call to Sage support was 13th in a queue for being answered so, no go on Sage CT at present (probably not much different to other suppliers?).

Regarding support calls I note that one other software supplier offers 10 "free" (no, not really free, paid for by £199 software fee) support calls then extra support calls beyonfd these 10 are charged at £10+ VAT - however they claim hardly anyone needs more than 10 support calls.

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By chatman
28th Apr 2011 13:37

What is so difficult?

I have submitted iXBRL accounts with VT and TaxCalc without the need for any webinar.  Why is it so hard with Sage and Digita? 

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By Flash Gordon
28th Apr 2011 14:03

Agree with Chatman

I use VT & Taxcalc and its a piece of cake. You wonder why 2 big software companies can't do something that 2 smaller ones can without any fuss or bother. Sooooooooo glad I went with VT, I lurve it. I could sing their & Moneysoft's praises for hours.....

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28th Apr 2011 14:12

Excellent news re the webinars. Now if they could actually get round to sending me my update then they might be useful.

I have three CT600s due by the end of the month. Not able to file as I have no update and so have to compose a begging letter to the Revenue pleading with them not to fine my clients. Not impressed.

 

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28th Apr 2011 14:16

Chalk and cheese

Digita has made a lot more changes to their software than just iXBRL.

There's been a lot of other major improvements. 

I think if you compare what VT try to do and what Digita does you will see that Digita's Accounts Production is a lot more flexible.

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28th Apr 2011 14:44

Jack

I had to nag Digita to get mine quickly.

If the deadline is with Companies House why don't you bring the ARD forward by one day?

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28th Apr 2011 15:16

Re Peter

The deadline is for the CT600s. A few clients signed off their abbreviated accounts in January but failed to return their full accounts until early April.

Since then I have hung onto the signed returns waiting for the update and no joy.

A fortnight ago I telephoned and emailed Digita and left messages as it was impossible to get through their technical helpline. I had a message last week apologising for the delay but that they were sticking me top of the pile and I would receive the update this week.

Not received by today's post and tomorrow is a bank holiday. The Revenue advise to put in paper copies with an explanation to the inspector and hope for the best.

 

 

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28th Apr 2011 15:32

HMRCs website?

I nagged my account manager.

Why don't you try using HMRCs website to submit?

I would not have let the clients mess about for so long given the extra work that is required after March.

I send pdf's to clients and ask them to email their ok. I then submit everything online.

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28th Apr 2011 15:49

I think that the webinars are the least that they can do

Peter, like you i have always been a Digiat fan but this time they have let theirselves down badly, I am in the same position as Jack, although I have my upgrade whcih i canr make head nor tail of...I think the webinars are in direct response to the fact that no one can get through to the helpdesk..........also why not send these out at the start of the month bit difficult wrestling with all this with one day to go....

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28th Apr 2011 15:50

@ DMGbus Trading P&L

"More of an issue is the inconvenience of the detailed Trading account not being tagged"

Uh? I didn't know we had to tag that. Are you sure we have to? I've submitted about half a dozen CT600s + a/cs to HMRC now using IRIS iXBRL and not had any rejections. I'm just hoping that an email from HMRC saying successful submission is sufficient proof that I've complied and therefore no fine or other comeback.

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28th Apr 2011 16:24

Not tagged

I understand the detailed profit and loss account doesn't need to be tagged.

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28th Apr 2011 16:31

Two Sheds

You are right.

Management at Digita should have been aware that they were leaving it too late.

All customers should have had Accounts Production 5 last year so there was three months to sort out any problems. I've been telling them for a long time that they don't have sufficient support staff but they are not taking it seriously enough.

The webinar files were a panic measure after the failure of the live webinar.

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By stiga
28th Apr 2011 21:48

Software distribution issue

Once I received Accts Pro V5 (received on 2nd April after some chasing) and got to grips with the changes and updated my bepsoke reports, the software worked fine. I've filed xbrl accounts with Digita's Corp Tax with no problems. The videos would have been useful a couple of weeks ago as would the updated instructions. 

Its not the software functionality that has been the issue for me, its been the time Digita has taken to distribute the software. Digita must have a general software production and distribution problem as I've not received the 2011 Tax software yet, knowing that it has been been released and is available. I cannot see why the software is always distributed via CD and is not available for download. Other software providers can do it, even HMRC have given up on sending out CDs for its payroll solution. 

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By chatman
28th Apr 2011 21:56

CDs

 Yes, CDs were one of my gripes about Digita before I stopped using it.

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28th Apr 2011 23:00

CDs

I think that Digita stick to CDs so that their support staff are not even more overwhelmed by calls.

I hope that the iXBRL fiasco teaches them that they need to invest in developers and support staff. So far, I'm not convinced by their claim that they have the reseources of Thomson Reuters behind them.

I agree that it looks like version 5 is a good product but it is such an improvement that they need to allow people time to get to grips with it properly not when a set of accounts is needed the next day. With version 4.1 I was used to being able to knock a set of accounts out very quickly but since I have got my hands on the version 5 CD I had two problems:

1 Not being able to delete an accounting period that was opened before upgrading to iXBRL, and

2 Getting comparatives when trying to prepare accounts for a company's first accounting period.

These were simple to resolve if it wasn't for the fact that they related to a new client who came to me just before their deadline and it has been difficult to contact technical support.

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By chatman
28th Apr 2011 23:09

"not convinced by their claim that they have the reseources of T

Sounds like they have Thomson Reuters cost control behind them. 

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By chatman
28th Apr 2011 23:13

"it is such an improvement that they need to allow people time t

Surely usability is an element of how good a programme is. 

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28th Apr 2011 23:58

Don't let hate cloud your judgement

I don't think it is reasonable to expect software or any other useful tool to not require time to learn.

If little time to learn it is required there is a case to say that it can't be much of an improvement.

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By chatman
29th Apr 2011 00:29

"Don't let hate cloud your judgement"

Yes, that is a very good point Peter; I do hate Digita for the inordinate amounts of time and money it has cost me (yeah yeah my fault, I know), and it probably would blind me to any good points Digita had, although I do remember posting once that their helpdesk staff are very knowledgeable and charming, so I am not completely blinded.

I think one might also wonder why a user would start to hate a piece of software. I am bitter and twisted and emotionally unbalanced but even so...

In addition, I do try to justify my criticisms of Digita on AWeb and no-one has contradicted any of them as far as I remember.

I once posted a criticism (well, more of an insult really) of QuickBooks without supplying supporting facts or arguments and I got censored. Mind you, I think that was for swearing more than making unsupported allegations; the latter seems to be tolerated on AWeb.

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By chatman
29th Apr 2011 00:34

@Peter

Surely there could be a good improvement that is so well implemented there is little or no learning time. For example, in VT Final Accounts there is a big button that says "Produce iXBRL accounts". If you click that button it walks you through a very quick and simple process to produce iXBRL accounts. I regard that as a good improvement with no learning time.

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29th Apr 2011 00:43

Backups

"In addition, I do try to justify my criticisms of Digita on AWeb and no-one has contradicted any of them as far as I remember."

I remember you complaining about backups and I contradicted what you said.

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29th Apr 2011 01:02

Sometimes simple is not best

"Surely there could be a good improvement that is so well implemented there is little or no learning time. For example, in VT Final Accounts there is a big button that says "Produce iXBRL accounts". If you click that button it walks you through a very quick and simple process to produce iXBRL accounts. I regard that as a good improvement with no learning time."

If only life was that simple. Digita also has a radio button to produce iXBRL accounts.

One of the problems I had was that Digita Accounts Production 5 doesn't convert accounts periods from previous versions into iXBRL. There's various ways to work around this. I don't accept that because there's a simple way to convert non-iXBRL to iXBRL it means the program must be better. If you consider what Digita Accounts Production version 5 is capable of doing you may find that it can do a lot more a lot better than VT.

They have certainly used very clever ways of speeding up the generation of reports. They have also worked on making the whole Accounts Production process more logical. One of the problems with accounts production software is when you need to a major overhaul after a few years of piecemeal improvements.

I think the major criticism of what Digita has produced is not the quality of the software but the timing of it's release. I accept that presently the response times for technical support are not good enough. I would contend that the technical support people are very good quality people who are well trained and don't bullshit. I asked about response times and they told me what they were and admitted they weren't good enough. I've used the Companies House trick of changing the ARD by a day to give me three more months for a new client. I don't usually wish to take advantage of this and I will try to finalise the accounts over the bank holiday.

In the next few weeks I should be able to judge the software more effectively.

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By chatman
29th Apr 2011 02:40

"I remember you complaining about backups and I contradicted wha

Fair point, Peter, I remember you did. 

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29th Apr 2011 06:38

Digita speed

Another of your complaints was that Digita Accounts Production takes too long to generate reports after every change.

Now you can work on part of reports and reports are only regenerated when you decide to either regenerate a particular paragraph, section .... right up to the full accounts.

The disclosure work has been simplified. I used to use a checklist to ensure that I hadn't missed anything but it doesn't seem to be needed now given the new disclosure tab.

I'm sure you are happy with VT but Digita's offering can be used with sole practitioners like me - biggest client under £2m turnover and majority under £50k turnover - and top four accountants. I'd be interested to know what the biggest accountants use. When I started out they didn't even use computers!

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By chatman
29th Apr 2011 06:45

Digita Speed

Yes, that was a complaint of mine. Good they have addressed it, although too late for me. 

Incidentally, regarding the backups, you contradicted my claim that it was a massive pain, but did not contradict my claim that the backup process was much more involved than for a normal programme, or that some people had failed to implement the process properly, so we disagreed on opinion rather than the facts.

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29th Apr 2011 06:55

Digita backups

Digita have a separate backup program and you can schedule backups with that so I don't see why you have a problem.

Your complaint seems to be that you can't use your usual backup methods but as an accountant your accounting software is so fundamental to you I thought you could accept that it's not the same as saving a letter.

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By chatman
29th Apr 2011 15:27

Digita Backup Problems

Peter, we seem to be having the same discussion we had before. At no time did I say that my only complaint was that the backup procedure was different for Digita, so I think it is dishonest of you to claim that that was the case.

I exlained at the time that the Digita backup procedure was much more complicated and produced enormous backup files. Even if you do not think that it is more complicated, you must accept (and did not deny at the time) that Digita had to send out an email saying that they had belatedly realised that some customers were not operating the backup procedure properly, and that their data was not being backed up. I think your response was along the lines that this was the customers' fault. It may have been their fault, Peter, and you may consider them stupid, but the fact remains that the Digita backup procedure was too complicated for these people.

I also seem to remember that Digita lost the ability to automate the backups, although there might have been an option of writing a script in Windows to automate it. Not even you can claim this is simple for your average accountant. I seem to remember I spent a long time doing it, and then lost the script when I reinstalld my OS.

I believe all the above makes the Digita backup procedure more complicated than other programmes where you have to do absolutely nothing to produce a file suitable for backup. Lots of work v absolutely no work: seems like a no-brainer to me.

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By chatman
29th Apr 2011 15:57

"I thought you could accept that it's not the same as saving a l

With all my other data, it is just as easy as saving a letter. Why should I accept that it is more complicated? My client data is far too important to be entrusted to the Digita backup procedure.

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29th Apr 2011 17:20

Please withdraw your false accusation.

“At no time did I say that my only complaint was that the backup procedure was different for Digita, so I think it is dishonest of you to claim that that was the case.”

I object to you accusing me of being dishonest.

Above I even said: “Another of your complaints was that Digita Accounts Production takes too long to generate reports after every change.”

Therefore, I have no idea how you can accuse me of being dishonest by claiming that backups were your only complaint.

Please withdraw your false accusation.

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29th Apr 2011 17:23

What about Sage?

"With all my other data, it is just as easy as saving a letter. Why should I accept that it is more complicated?"

Do you use Sage? Sage has it's own backup routine.

I wonder if you'll talk rationally about Sage or spew hatred in their direction also.

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By chatman
29th Apr 2011 17:47

False accusation

Sorry Peter, I should have been clearer. I was referring to your comment that "Your complaint seems to be that you can't use your usual backup methods", which is obviously incorrect for the reasons I went on to explain. However, I withdraw the "dishonest" comment as I accept you may have just been mistaken.

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By chatman
29th Apr 2011 17:52

"Spew[ing] hatred"

I can't comment on Sage as I know nothing about it except what I read on AWeb.

By the way, do you not think it a little harsh to describe my observations as "spew[ing] hatred"? I went along with your original "hate" comment just to enter into the spirit of your discussion, but I think my comments have all been backed up with fact and argument, and no-one has refuted them. I regard my comments as reasonably made. What is it about them that makes you regard them as spewed? And why do you use such emotional language instead of addressing (or ignoring) the arguments put forward?

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By chatman
29th Apr 2011 17:58

"I wonder if you'll talk rationally about Sage"

Peter, are you suggesting I have not talked rationally?  Can you point me to something irrational I have said? I would be grateful for the opportunity to correct it. 

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29th Apr 2011 19:01

Apologies

Thanks for the withdrawal.

Digita sent out the backup tool to all their customers and explained that they needed to use the backup tool and not other backup tools. I fail to see what more Digita could do to explain that to their customers.

I accept I may have been harsh regarding Sage but I feel you have developed a hatred for Digita that I don’t think is fair. Many people have a hatred for Sage but I still use it even if it’s only to support my clients who use Sage Accounts. I use Sage Payroll and I’m happy with that although I can accept what people say about Moneysoft.

The comment about talking rationally about Sage wasn’t really aimed at you specifically but a lot of people seem to have an irrational hatred of Sage. I apologise if I wrongly included you in that category.

Why don’t you use Sage? It’s not my favourite but I need it because my clients use it. How do you get by without Sage? Do you use QuickBooks? All the other desktop accounts packages seem unnecessary now.

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By chatman
29th Apr 2011 19:33

Why I don't use Sage

I have been extraordinarily lucky (so I understand from AWeb posters) not to have any clients who already used Sage. I am quite surprised because Sage is ubiquitous. I use QuickBooks, which in some ways is very good but in others is infuriating, in particular, the difficulty of importing journals.  I find it amazing that in 2011 there are bookkeeping programmes that do not have their own simple import routine. Wherever possible, I put clients on VT Transaction+ which works really nicely with none of the problems QB gives me.

I accept that I might well have to use Sage one day because clients often use it, but with final accounts and tax software, I have a choice so I go for the one that makes my life the easiest.

I think one thing that annoys me about software suppliers is when they do not admit there is any problem with their software or if their pricing is misleading. There is one supplier that seems to charge on top for everything and when you ask why you don't have access to some functionality they won't say "you have to pay extra", they say "that is controlled through licensing".

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By stiga
29th Apr 2011 21:01

Disaster recovery strategy

I  maybe stating the obvious, but all of us should have a disaster recovery strategy for data and business premises. Data should be backed up by what ever routine the supplier provides and saved on site and off site. The important routine for me is to reguarly test the back ups by using the software reinstall process  and test reinstalling the software onto back up hardware. When  disaster strikes there is a set and proven routine to recovering a working environment quickly. Now a qualfied accountant in practice, in a previous life I was IT opertaions manager at a large national organsation  and established best prataice routines for data back up and recovery. Happy to discuss further with fellow acct web members.

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