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MS Accounting

What does everyone think of MS Accounting?

Simple really. Good and bad points please.
N Robinson

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MS Accounting
I've been using this software for a client. All my others are on SAGE.

It runs incredibly slow when you batch post items.

Its also nowhere near as flexible as SAGE on the reports that can be produced.

It doesn't cope well with the flat rate scheme. Obviously I need to invoice as normal with 17.5% VAT but my client only pays over the 6%. While SAGE doesn't deal with the flat rate schem the report produced can be manipulated and the correct journal entered. Gets very confusing when you are also accounting for the VAT on purchases, so that you can assure your client it is still a good move.

Unfortunately my client set up his year end wrong, and worked on it for 4 months before engaging me. As transactions span the year end, the year end cannot be changed to fall in the middle. I now have an 8 month period followed by a 16 month period.

It's also forever throwing up error messages, because it picks up the transaction number from the last dated item, if you then enter an earlier transaction, the journal numbering goes wrong and it keeps telling you. you can't repeat a journal number. Know idea how to find out what the last number is, so I just guess untill you find one that works.

Also doesn't remember details, so I have to enter the desciption in, in full every time. SAGE not only remembers details, but you can F6 to copy line above.

There's lots of other small problems, too many to mention.

On the plus side however it does interact well with Excel. The reports look perfect in Excel, unlike SAGE where you need to play around a bit to get them in an easy to use format. I still tend to use csv format rather than Excel format on SAGE as EXCEL format is far too complicated.

Also the correction of errors is incredibly easy. Which is a big plus for clients. Although it can be too big a plus, as they can just change things to suit themselves, without thinking through the consequences properly.

On the whole I would rather pay my money and get a decent product than go with MS Accounts.

However I think with MS offering their product free at the moment I think we need to learn to use it and get used to the fact that more and more clients are going to use it.

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No support
It may be free, but bear in mind that Microsoft no longer give any support.

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hmmmm
I guess they should get traction from their name, but there is nothing in this yet to get the masses moving. Perhaps if they were able to position it within their emerging BI portfolio they might do better, but personally I think the Vista shambles and the ribbon will put paid to that in the short term.

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The view from across the Atlantic
I think Microsoft Office Accounting has a big, green-coloured barrier to overcome in this country. Giving away an application is a good way to grab market share, but Sage has embedded itself within the profession through its close links to accountants and infiltration of the education market. It will be many, many years before the Microsoft user base can match it.

The US market is a little more open and we hear from across the water that the program is catching on - with a reported 1m downloads since it was launched last year.

Since you mention it, our US sister site recently launched a Microsoft Office Accounting Zone. You can pay a visit to find practical tips and what other users think in a collection of Office Accounting-focused blogs.

Hope these resources prove useful.

John Stokdyk
Technology editor
AccountingWEB.co.uk

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I'm not alone
I have been running one of my client's on it and quite like it but I thought I was the only one that it ran very slowly for, glad I'm not.

I am having some problems with the payroll part. It's probably because I don't use it to calculate the payroll but I still have to work out how it all works properly!

I have found the knowledge base articles really good and the support has been good but the slowness of it lets it down.

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I agree
it took ages and ages to download. and once it did it takes ages and ages to load. I have it on my pc and laptop, both super duper dell thingys that are fast on everything else.

I took it to a new client to demo it, and same on his pc.. takes to long to load etc..

when finally in it, it looks very like quickbooks but not as agood so I think Ill just stick with quickbooks..

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MS Accounting
I think it is good but you need a good PC to run it and don't try to run anything else in the background.

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still can't see the point
I think they have given up on it

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I got fed up
It looks good but I got fed up it took too long to download/look at so I didnt bother going any further!

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