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taxcalc - accounts production

taxcalc - accounts production

anyone using the accounts production software from taxcalc?

is it any good?

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12th Dec 2011 11:03

14 day trial

I believe they are offering a 14 day trial on that one.

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14th Dec 2011 21:42

Taxcalc accounts production

Tried the trial version last month.

 

Good Points

Relatively straight forward to create a client and start posting up figuresSearch function within coding list so you can work from names until you get familiar with the codesEasy to amend notes to the financial statements (however trial version did not have facility to generate iXBRL so can't comment on if it actually works properly)

 

Bad Points

Wouldn't accept a postcode in the format X# #XX, had to be X## #XXOnly editable thing on accounts template is font. This is a big problem as the margins are far too small and you will punch holes through data in your file copy, also the format is ugly just like the CCH oneLack of integration with their own bread & butter tax module which was massively disappointing. It apparently has the facility to import client's from taxcalc but this is still two separate client databases which are prone to human error such as an address being changed in one but not the other.Can't do LLPs and this appears to be something which will cost more as an add-on at some point in the future on a package which for its limited funtionality is already rather overpriced.

 

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By chatman
15th Dec 2011 00:06

Can it import transactions from Excel?

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Zebedee Zibidad
15th Dec 2011 14:29

Not a clue

chatman wrote:

Can it import transactions from Excel?

 

I'd already decided it's overpriced tat before getting to looking at that and i've uninstalled it now. As the trial is free your best bet is to download & try it and see if it would meet your needs.

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Zebedee Zibidad
15th Dec 2011 14:51

excel import

chatman wrote:

Can it import transactions from Excel?

I had a look at the trial myself as well and decided it didn't meet my requirements. I am almost certain you can't import any transactions from Excel spreadsheet.

Like scottwright94, I wasn't very impressed by the formatting of the accounts and so I uninstalled the software.

However, I am sure Acorah software will sort this out in the near future.

It would be helpful for potential customers if they provided a breakdown of improvements and developments etc on their website.

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By chatman
johngroganjga
15th Dec 2011 15:06

No use as an accounting programme

Tonykelly wrote:

chatman wrote:

Can it import transactions from Excel?

I am almost certain you can't import any transactions from Excel spreadsheet.

This being 2011, it doesn't appear to be of any use as an accounting programme then.

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TaxCalc Accounts Production

Dear All,

Thank you for your comments regarding our Accounts Production software.

I will respond to each point individually, starting with the points raised by scottwright94:

 

1. “Easy to amend notes to the financial statements (however trial version did not have facility to generate iXBRL so can't comment on if it actually works properly)”

The demo version does have restrictions, for obvious reasons. We are currently looking into ways of watermarking documents in order to allow the user to produce PDF and iXBRL documents using a demo version of the software. The financial statements produced on-screen by the demo version are actually the iXBRL documents. With regards to the finished documents it is a ‘what you see is what you get’ view.

 

2. “Wouldn't accept a postcode in the format X# #XX, had to be X## #XX”

There was an issue with the validation of some postcode fields in the application, which would not allow some formats. This has been resolved and will be released in an update shortly.

 

3. “Only editable thing on accounts template is font. This is a big problem as the margins are far too small and you will punch holes through data in your file copy, also the format is ugly just like the CCH one”

Currently the system does allow minor changes to the font and size within the reports. Next year we are aiming to give users the ability to tailor the layout of reports, including adding additional headers and footers, colours, changing margins and so on.

 

4. “Lack of integration with their own bread & butter tax module which was massively disappointing. It apparently has the facility to import client's from TaxCalc but this is still two separate client databases which are prone to human error such as an address being changed in one but not the other.”

There is the ability to import information from TaxCalc but the application also includes the TaxCalc bridge which creates a link to the return files. The link continually monitors the information within both programs, so that if you change the information within the hub it can be synced straight to the TaxCalc file and vice-versa. When TaxCalc is fully integrated within the hub system the need for this bridge will disappear, but in the meantime the bridge stops you having to change information in two places.

 

5. “Can't do LLPs and this appears to be something which will cost more as an add-on at some point in the future on a package which for its limited functionality is already rather overpriced.”

We are constantly evaluating new features and functionality for future versions of Accounts Production. LLP accounts are one of many new features under consideration. If you would like to request further features which you would find useful for your practice, please contact us directly on 0845 5190 883 or email [email protected].

@Chatman asked

6. “Can it import transactions from Excel?”

This is also an area being looked into presently and we do plan to have an Excel-based import facility into the Accounts Production application.

 

Our team here at TaxCalc work very hard to provide you with the best software. We may not get it right first time, but we do listen to what our customers say and do our very best to implement your ideas. Should anyone have any further comments on how we could improve our Accounts Production software, simply email your wish list to [email protected].

Should anyone have any further queries regarding the above posts please do not hesitate to contact our Client and Product Support team on 0845 5190 883.

Best wishes

Kate Ebdon-Poole
Client Marketing

TaxCalc

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johngroganjga
19th Dec 2011 16:12

Scrap it, forget it and get back to tax!

kateep wrote:
Our team here at TaxCalc work very hard to provide you with the best software. We may not get it right first time, but we do listen to what our customers say and do our very best to implement your ideas. Should anyone have any further comments on how we could improve our Accounts Production software, simply email your wish list to [email protected].

My advice would be to forget it and concentrate on the tax software AND THE HUB!

You don't have a market for accounts preparation - your core customer base is the smaller practitioner most of whom will already have accounts software in place which they're happy with, such as VT.  Larger firms will already be using Sage or Digita or IRIS or their ilk and you're going to have a hard job getting them to change.

Why did you think you could re-invent the wheel for accounts prep in just a few months.  The popular accounts prep firms have years of experience and most have several major upgrades.  You're too far behind the curve.

To paraphrase Dragon's Den, don't waste your life with accounts prep - concentrate on tax software.  If you're not careful you're going to alienate your existing happy client base and end up with no-one.

Small practitioners have been crying out for practice management software for years.  18 months ago, you were promising a suitable system called The Hub, the idea of which was well received.  But for some unfathomable reason, you changed your plans and brought out accounts prep which no-one seemed to want.  You went quiet on the hub and promised release dates came and went without any announcements from you.  You've lost a lot of goodwill and will now have a harder job to get back your reputation!

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By chatman
16th Dec 2011 16:23

Looking into it.

We are currently looking into debits and credits and hope to implement them into our accounting software soon. However, we already have some marvellous other features.

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17th Dec 2011 08:23

"we always listen"

No you don't! Key question about Hub (when will TaxCalc meet its promise?) was not answered. You always promote but no longer listen.My email (about 3 months ago) despite TaxCalc saying we will respond in due course remains unanswered.

 

 

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By DMGbus
17th Dec 2011 10:46

Hub / integrated software in general

Personally I wouldn't be enthusiastic about "the hub" or indeed any integrated software.

This is said having just seen this week a colleague's Sage iXBRL accounts rejected by the client as it had the company secretary shown as a director - the finalised full accounts were fine (after a fashion of the usual manual editing from sub-standard default version produced by Sage Accounts Production).

Experience here with partnerships having individual partners capital accounts balances transposed (ditto. Directors loan account balances), directors names in full in accounts (not initials for Christian names) random "Mr" included or not all plus a director described as female when male all  tends to suggest that integrated packages are, to put it bluntly, more trouble than they are worth.  I currently have a case of a client's surname spelt differently in two different places in SPS (Sage Practice Solution) and as a result now have to waste time on getting put it right. 

SPS is so complicated that only one or two people in the practice understand it and (in a fashion) can put it's errors right.  Things then grind to a halt when these one or two people are not in the office if one of the many conflicts / inconsistencies / just plain SPS errors come to light - and cxan't be put right there and then when spotted.

Then there's a confusing / horrible graphic / diagram that comes up on screen that quite literally makes my mind go blank when a synchronisation error is allegedly spotted by SPS.  Basically from my viewpoint it's a case of "the SPS nightmare continues" and do wonder if any competitor's product will be any better unless truly well tested before launching into the market place - as opposed foisted on "guineau pig" users as might be the danger if potential users pressure the supplier to launch a new product too soon.

I suppose a lot of it is down to the implementation and internal office procedures and may well be more practical from a clean-sheet / green-field starting point for a new practice than for an existing practice having to migrate to a new allegedly "all singing and all dancing" system.

The certain fact from my viewpoint is that more extensive proof checking of accounts and tax returns is required if something like SPS is let loose on a practice.  In fact I rather do wonder if any practice implementing SPS or any other integrated software ought to hold a monthly  staff / partner competition for who can find the most errors in any given month.

 

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By chatman
17th Dec 2011 13:43

Integration

Like cloud software, integration can be good, but is not automatically good. 

For example, VTT+ integrates marvellously with VT Final Accounts, and with Excel (great for importing TBs from other packages) and to some extent with some tax packages (including TaxCalc).

Digita's integration, on the other hand, I would not consider worth paying for, even at normal, sub-Digita, prices.

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18th Dec 2011 13:02

We just wanted your money!!

"Should anyone have any further comments on how we could improve our Accounts Production software"

 

Finish making it before releasing it?

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18th Dec 2011 14:43

WAS considering a trial........

I was considering a trial as I use taxcalc's tax software and find it very useful and the helplines good when I have an issue.

However reading this I don't think I will for a good 6 months until it actually works.

I use VT and will continue to do so as a) it works and b) it is a third of the price of taxcalc.

If in 6/12 months time the offering has been amended and readers here state it is worth a second look I will.

Also I too was disappointed about the long over promised and under delivered hub software. Was keen to look at that just in case it was worth using.

To Kate/Tax calc

I would consider a) ensuring it works before releasing in future as mud sticks or b) stick to what you are VERY good at which is producing good quality/value tax products.

Just my humble opinions............

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19th Dec 2011 15:31

Accounts Production

I was looking to try the demo version of this product as I am in the process of setting up my own practice and always used Taxcalc in my last position, but reading these comments I think it may be wise to wait until the product has been on the market for a few good months.

Taxcalc used to have a good reputation, and in my old Company we used the product religiously and never had any problems, but Taxcalc seem to stepping away from their loyal customers and trying to focus on the bigger,highly lucrative Companies.   The 'Hub' has turned into a non-existent product and at my old Company we were really interested in the product but the constant open-ended promises and disappearance of staff (Anne Porter was my contact and then Paul Whitehouse who have both since left the Company) suggest to me that the Company is not interested in the 'Hub' anymore and this will never be delivered.  Taxcalc, are you able to confirm this?

I will look at this product again when it can import from Excel and has the ability to do LLP's

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19th Dec 2011 16:06

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Kate

I would like to see you develop this properly, but its got to knock the socks off VT and Digita and integrate well with Taxcalc to get me to move.

By offering what is a half finished beta version for sale at such a high price you are only going to damage your reputation which to date on tax software is very good. (LLP not in the first release? What are we supposed to do, sack those clients???)

Knock it out for £25 or something and you might get a take up from the PT mob, sufficient that you can develop it properly into something a real practice can seriously consider.

As it stands you are just getting laughed at for what amounts to a botched launch on something without any real business case.

People like taxcalc as its (a) cheap (b) good

This is (a) expensive (b) underdeveloped

Its a shame to see you get it so wrong.

Please listen and learn, something I thought you were pretty good at in the past.

 

 

 

 

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19th Dec 2011 16:59

disagree with some of the postings above

Firstly, I have 20 years experience of using accounts software packages, and at one time or another have used most of them.

Acorah did beta-test the product, so the failure is not entirely down to them. They relied on people who probably didn't have a clue. Nevertheless, people will say the buck stops with Acorah, so would reluctantly have to agree, I suppose.

I personally think the mistake was the hub machine. This idea should have been shelved and full resources should have been put on the accounts production software.

To my mind, there are 2 critical areas the software should get right.

Firstly, data input and secondly the finished product ie the final accounts.

Data entry: this should be accomplished with as few keystrokes as possible.

Data codes: why use 4 digits when 3 digits are adequate and more easily remembered.

You should be able to move from line to line using the "Enter" key. not the "Tab" key.

Unnecessary columns in the data entry section should be done away with. You don't need WP column - directors column - all too time-consuming.

Secondly: turning to output. You should be able to preview accounts with a touch of one button. Similarly, for trial balance, nominal ledger reports etc.

Final accounts should be in a presentable format so you can email directly to client.

As you can see, the above is not rocket-science. So I think they should do away with the hub machine and make the above corrections to the accounts production software. They then will have a product they can sell.

 

 

 

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19th Dec 2011 17:24

Disappointed

I agree with Ken Howard, and wonder if TaxCalc want the small sole practitioners anymore!

First, we don't get the Hub, as promised.

Second, we get Accounts Production instead, supposedly because their customers wanted it. Someone I know was asked to beta test it about 3 weeks before it was launched, which seems a bit late in the day!

Third, I know I wasn't asked what I wanted, so why are TaxCalc saying their customers want AP in preference to the Hub???  I know lots of TaxCalc customers and nobody I know has been asked. A lot of trust was lost over the Hub, so this false claim just makes it worse.

Fourth, Accounts Production is 3 times the cost of VT Accounts, but is it 3 times better? It doesn't sound like it. I keep getting told that TaxCalcs AP allows 2 users ... but does this mean that the sole practitioners are paying over the odds and are not really important anymore?

TaxCalc .....  I thought I would be a loyal customer of yours for years to come ... but the last couple of years makes me question your loyalty to your customers.

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By chatman
19th Dec 2011 17:37

What is all the fuss about?

I don't see what al the fuss is about; a new product has come out; it's no good;  we're in the same position we were before.

And as John Stokdyk pointed out, Acorah didn't lie about the Hub; they just promised it free to all TaxCalc users and then changed their minds.

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