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Which accounting package?

Which accounting package?

I currently use sage line 50 client manager for one of my clients to do his bookkeeping and management accounts, and then I use Iris to produce the year end accounts. My client is now looking to take a more active role in the day to day accounting and to do all the inputting of data in house and has asked me to recommend and evaluate the various options that are available. Taking into account the fact that none of the staff that will be using the software have any bookkeeping experience my initial recommendation was for him to purchase his own licence of sage and for me to have remote access via Logmein or vnc and then go to his premises once or twice a month to hand hold and prepare the management accounts etc. The client, however thinks that sage is too much for his needs and does not see it important that by changing he will be losing 8 years of historical data and has decided he wants to go for one of the online options. I wondered which ones other accountants would recommend based on first hand experience. I have had demo's and set up a trial for my client of Iris Openbooks and Sage one, even though both of these packages have some very useful features, especially the uploading of the bank statement within Iris, the lack of batch entry of purchase invoices is a real drawback and neither is going to be very easy to correct mistakes without doing journals and regardless of how much training I give in the early months, so I could end up having to spend a lot of time putting right the mistakes. Each month there are about 100 purchase invoices, 20 sales invoices and 3 pages of bank statements.

Any suggestions/recommendations would really be appreciated.


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03rd Feb 2012 20:38


Have a trial of Kashflow.  There is an offline input module available for accountants (Orbit users) automatic import of historic Sage data and you can retain the Sage Chart of Accounts.  Their support people are really nice (and seem to work out of hours on occasion, too).

There is a slight difference if you set up their demo or they do it themselves (from a "control" point of you, it's slightly better if you do it)

(Not got a vested interest, by the way, as I work with a number of software packages)


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03rd Feb 2012 21:12

Thank you so much for that I will get a trial organised, I like the idea of importing the sage data.

I'll set this demo up, it is much safer and makes my life a lot easier in the long run if I spend the time now and point them in the right direction. 


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05th Feb 2012 01:02

Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen

"Taking into account the fact that none of the staff that will be using the software have any bookkeeping experience"

It's my view that a lot of clients think there's nothing to bookkeeping. I would suggest that you get them to trial a month's data and see how they get on. The last thing you want to do is to go down a route which assumes the client's staff know what they are doing and then be presented with a total mess.

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to Techstartup
06th Feb 2012 19:15

My sentiments entirely! I have suggested running with both systems for one month so we can compare data but he is adamant that everything can change over to the new system instantly and eveything will run smoothly. Like you say they think they can learn in a few hours the knowledge and experience I have gained in over 20 years. And when you warn the client that by jumping in without proper planning and training it could cost more to correct their mistakes I'm sure they think we are just trying to make excuse for charging them more.

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By chatman
to Techstartup
06th Feb 2012 20:43

Kashflow/Agree with Peter

petersaxton wrote:
"Taking into account the fact that none of the staff that will be using the software have any bookkeeping experience"

It's my view that a lot of clients think there's nothing to bookkeeping. I would suggest that you get them to trial a month's data and see how they get on. The last thing you want to do is to go down a route which assumes the client's staff know what they are doing and then be presented with a total mess.

I agree 100% with Peter. It is very common to believe that anyone can do bookkeeping.  If you go ahead with this, you need to put it in writing to the client that bookkeeping cannot be done by someone with no experience; that you recommend a period of parallel running, and that you will charge £x/hour for remedial bookkeeping work.

If you do go ahead with it, I think Kashflow sounds like your best bet, especially as you can keep your old chart of accounts.

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06th Feb 2012 09:59

Sage Instant Online linked an online Sage 50 Bureau

If you feel Sage Instant would be easier for them to get their head around, and you would prefer to remain on Sage 50, Online50 offer a solution where you and the client could share a dataset in real time. 

You would access it using Sage 50 and they would access it through Sage Instant - both hosted online (which is how they get to be shared from different locations). 

This would allow the 8 years of data to be retained and available.

There is the option to view the client's screen very easily so you can provide staff with the support they are going to need.



PS Interest declared: I work for Online50



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to jmck123
06th Feb 2012 20:15

Thank you so much that could be really helpful, I'll follow up your suggestion

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06th Feb 2012 10:34

IRIS Openbooks (FreeAgent) has worked very well for me over four years - certainly worth keeping it on the table for non-bookkeepers.

I've never had particular issues dealing with corrections, and the purchase invoice entry is pretty straightforward.   You can delete or alter incorrectly entered items without resorting to journals (up to the point when the next VAT return gets submitted - and then it's locked down)

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to petersaxton
07th Feb 2012 15:45

FreeAgent now more flexible

cverrier wrote:

IRIS Openbooks (FreeAgent) has worked very well for me over four years... You can delete or alter incorrectly entered items without resorting to journals (up to the point when the next VAT return gets submitted - and then it's locked down)

Thanks Charles!

Just to add that FreeAgent has introduced additional flexibility.  You can now delete or modify cost entries (not customer invoices), even if they're in a locked VAT return.  FreeAgent will keep the filed VAT return sacrosanct but make the change on the next unfiled VAT return - as Sage does when you "Reconcile" transactions each quarter.

Disclosure: I work for FreeAgent.


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By chatman
to Tosie
07th Feb 2012 15:59

VAT Treatment in Bookkeeping Packages.

homebusinessaccountant wrote:
FreeAgent will keep the filed VAT return sacrosanct but make the change on the next unfiled VAT return - as Sage does when you "Reconcile" transactions each quarter.

I think all bookkeeping packages do that don't they?

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07th Feb 2012 09:09

Sage 50, Accountants and their clients


I have certainly had good experiences with Iris Openbooks(FreeAgent), however I echo the concerns expressed by Peter about ""Taking into account the fact that none of the staff that will be using the software have any bookkeeping experience"

We find that accountants can help their clients keep compliant and accurate records by supplying both the infrastructure and the services to support them.

Clients are happy as they are paying you for what they need and the services that you provide are the profitable ones.


Could the following be a useful scenario?:

Client scans documents and prepares transactions in PaperLess using approval workflows if that proves usefulWhen client ready - one click transfer to Accountant via secure ClientAccess via the InternetAccountant verifies transactions and posts to Sage 50 advises client as requiredAccountant could provide management reports if requiredClient views transactions, document images and reports in PaperLess using secure ClientAccess via the Internet

Or Alternatively:

Client scans documents and prepares transactions in PaperLess using approval workflows if that proves usefulAccountant uses Secure RemoteAccess to verify transactionsClient posts transactions to Sage 50Client views transactions and document images in PaperLessAccountant views transactions and document images in PaperLess using secure RemoteAccess via the Internet and advises client as requiredAccountant could provide management reports if required


Accounting the PaperLess way™

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By chatman
07th Feb 2012 14:13


I agree with Phil about paperless options, although I  know nothing about PaperLess. With Keebo, you can get all your purchase invoices scanned and imported to Xero or Kashflow and they can then be viewed remotely by accountant and client.

Just another option.

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07th Feb 2012 18:13

Online solutions


Thank you everyone for these comments .

Until last week I had never even looked at or thought of online accounting packages as an alternative service that I could provide to my clients. This was mainly due to my lack of knowledge and first hand experience, but with your comments and the demo's I have had I can now quite happily give my client details of the options I could comfortably recommend along with the pros and cons for each one.

Kashflow is a very nice package, I especially like the Orbit module, it's a pity the multi user option won't be available until later in the year, Iris Openbooks has some very useful features and the way it links with Accounts Production is a definite plus.


I really like the idea of your alternative scenario and I could see this working well, I will take a look at Paperless to see exactly how it works.



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By chatman
07th Feb 2012 18:29

Judy - Please let us know what you decide on in the end.

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08th Feb 2012 11:24

Good training whatever system is used


For me, there is no point in installing or using a software system unless the users know exactly how to get the best out of it. So, whichever system you suggest to your client, please, please, please try and encourge them to have some good comprehensive training so that the know what they can do with the system, how to use it properly, how to make sure they don't make mistakes and how it can help their business be more efficient.

I wouldn't suggest to any company that change their accounting system without first doing a full analysis of their business needs. It could be that they need much more than just accounting that the client can be involved with. There are so many accounts users who just do things because they've been told to, without really knowing what they're doing, why they're doing it or how important it is.

I came across a company recently where the accounts office were printing and filing quite a lot of reports as part of their "month end routines".  When I went through their list of month end tasks I asked "what do you do with this report"?  They said "we print it and file it on the shelf over there", "and then what do you do with it"? was my next question. "Nothing" was the answer. After further investigation, including a phone call to their accountant, I deleted that part of the routine. As a result, they no longer waste 2 hours printing and filing the report and they save almost a whole ream of paper and a huge amount of shelf space.

There were many more things that I got them to change, although I met with quite a lot of resistance on some.

My advice is to use the clients apparant need to "modernise" to do a whole business re-appraisal.

While you're still looking at options, take a look at Diamond Discovery Software. They have a hosted on-line system that allows the accountant to control exactly what areas of the system the client has access to and allows for individual user control.
Take a look at http://online.diamond-discovery.com/index.html for more information.

Roger Neale
Business Systems Consultant
Perkeo Computer Systems Ltd
07714 670789

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By chatman
08th Feb 2012 12:30

Diamond Discovery

Does anyone have any experience of Diamond Discovery? You don't hear much about it on AWeb. Does it do anything the more well-known programmes don't?

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08th Feb 2012 13:24

I would suggest an online package

If only because you can have a discrete look at what is going on and plan the time to sort it out as necessary.  Additionally the business can continue whilst you the accountant can do you bit.

As well as others mentioned look at Liberty, more accountant focused.

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08th Feb 2012 13:38


I would also recommend you check out Xero, we have found it to be ideal.  Especially for people with little to no bookkeeping experience as it is so much easier to use than Sage (assuming no sage training).

As suggested above, the ability to login yourself and see how they are doing will give them a much better chance of doing it well themselves and save you huge amounts of time at the year end.

It might also be a great opportunity for you to familiarise yourself with one of these packages that you can then suggest to other clients. Every time I demo/suggest Xero people think it looks and sounds great and more often than not go for it.  


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08th Feb 2012 13:41

Which accounting package?

A common question with a loaded answer.  You have to parallel run otherwise you are heading for disaster.  As to what package, your client must be made aware that his records will only be as good as the data input.  Based on my experience, Free agent and Kashflow are good provided they are used correcctly.  If not, the information you have will be useless.  My only other suggestion is to go on a course entitled "The Art of Persuasion"!  Good luck.

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By chatman
08th Feb 2012 13:44


I love the fact that clients can download their bank transactions directly into the software, and the fact that it will automatically email recurring invoices, but find Xero difficult to use for other reasons, the absence of a running balance shown on ledger accounts being an example.

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to Duncan Cameron
08th Feb 2012 14:12

No software is foolproof

chatman wrote:

I love the fact that clients can download their bank transactions directly into the software, and the fact that it will automatically email recurring invoices, but find Xero difficult to use for other reasons, the absence of a running balance shown on ledger accounts being an example.

All the online packages I have investigated have good points plus glaring problems. For these reasons I am having difficulty recommending any online software. For all the faults I think Excel takes some beating. Having said that I am dealing with accounts data from spreadsheet and my client has excelled himself at messing it up!

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08th Feb 2012 14:10

Can't resist fighting Xero's corner!

I haven't found that to be a problem, its just a case of looking for the information in a new place or using it differently. 

The key is really how the client uses it and what is easy for them.  We (accountants) will always find what we need because we know what we are looking for, whereas the client can just stick to the basic tasks and save a lot of time doing it.

That said Xero doesn't batch process purchase invoices.....yet.


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By chatman
08th Feb 2012 14:21

Fighting Xero's Corner

Yes, I too can find the information I want in Xero but it sometimes takes time to find it.  Time is money and the longer it takes to find the information you want the worse value for money the software is. Good software gives you all the information right there in front of you.

So far, the only clients I have on Xero are the ones that are too lazy or disorganised to give me their bank transactions, but are capable (just) of clicking the Xero "Refresh bank feed" button.

@Peter - Nice pun.

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08th Feb 2012 14:24

I think your client is approaching this from the wrong direction

and, as hinted above, should be concentrating on employing a qualified bookkeeper, and then the question of which software will probably be answered.


I have seen several clients take the "bookkeeping" in-house over the years on the assumption that anyone can use a software package and they will save some of our fees. Although I am perfectively happy for the client to produce their own sales invoices (where the system can default to a single sales nominal account), purchases, expenses, wages, etc. are a different matter.


If they do not employ a trained bookkeeper I find our fees go up because of the additional time spent identifying errors and correcting the data!


Another way of looking at it is that the majority of clients came to us, or were referred by their accountant, because they had mistakenly thought that using a software package would solve their bookkeeping problems. Clients are grateful afterwards but unfortunately sometimes they take a lot of convincing in the first place.

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08th Feb 2012 15:29


I really like Xero, but it still doesn't produce very good final accounts, and not in an iXBRL format, is that right?

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09th Feb 2012 18:49

Xero Final Accounts

That's correct - Xero does not produce final accounts, but it is easy to export the financial data for accounts production in various output formats, e.g. Sage, Iris and generic, and it does have an extensive set of operational and management reports that are easily customised.

We plan to launch final accounts for UK based Xero accountants later this year and this will encompass iXBRL, although as yet no date has been locked for it's release.

Gary Turner
Managing Director, Xero

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09th Feb 2012 19:59

Disappointing to lose job but.........

I was a little surprised by the question @thisistibi as I didn't think that was really an expected feature in a bookkeeping system but an impressive response @garyturner :-)

I certainly find that the positives outweigh the negatives and Xero is so time-saving once you are used to it (I'm not an employee by the way, just an accountant partner)

At the end of the day, It would be great if you could keep the bookkeeping and you would certainly do it better than your client but if they insist, they stand a good chance with a system they can use while you "hold their hand" aka "log in and spy on them" :-)

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By chatman
10th Feb 2012 17:34

Problems with Xero

To give a further example of one of the problems with Xero, if I want to check the balance on the bank account, I can run a report as at the relevant date. However, if this balance does not agree to the bank statement, I have to find where it went wrong, which means finding where the two balances diverged. Without a running balance on screen, I have to download the transactions to Excel, add a column for a running balance and then find where it differs from the bank statement. Having done that, I need to correct the Xero ledger and then download the transactions to Excel again and start all over again to check it or to find any further differences. I have to continue doing this until I  have corrected all the errors.

Is that not ridiculous for a modern bookkeeping programme?

This means that when your client makes errors, it is a pain in the neck correcting them.  If you consider it to be sufficient simply to be able to "find what you need" eventually, I wonder whether you really have much involvement in using Xero for bookkeeping, which is what the OP asked for advice on.

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10th Feb 2012 19:34

Quickbooks 2012

I would definately recommend Quickbooks 2012 for your client and Quickbooks Premier Accountant for yourself.

It is designed to be user friendly with simple icons for primary entry such as "Enter Bills" , "Receive payment" etc.

You are able to set-up several users on the company file with restrictions to certain ledgers eg - Nominal Ledgers, deleting transactions etc. For month ends set closing date restrictions & passwords and import client data into your Premier Accountant.  You can then work on the client's books whislt they retain the main working copy then export your changes into their files.

If you join the Proadvisor scheme you will automatically get the Premier Accountant and a copy of Pro2012 that you can sell to your client, plus free upgrades & support if you renew annually.  It is around £400 pa, but much cheaper than Sage.

I am a Proadvisor and use Quickbooks for many of my clients and my own accounts.  The reporting is excellant and you can export to excel and there is now an excel intergrated update feature that refreshes data on your spreadsheet should your primary data change.

I also have Sage clients but find smaller clients find it hard to use and adapt to thier particular needs.

I also train on both packages and would concur that any package is only as good as the user and their training.  I don't know if you have seen the QuickBooks Pro2012 demo.  It is available FOC from Intuit or I have a couple of free copies if you e-mail me I will send in post (quite light so no problem).

There is no demo of the Accountant edition, but if you e-mail me I will send you some screen shots of pertinent features that I find useful.

Really worth a close look.

Ros Hodgson

BCAMS Ltd - [email protected]


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10th Feb 2012 19:44

I agree with chatman

There's all these online packages out there which seem to be designed for the non-accountant yet I would suggest none are suitable.

A lot of my clients give me data via Excel yet an online program that takes information from online bank statements and expects a user to say what the expense is and takes account of VAT, includes expenses paid by the owner and prepares VAT returns, manages the sales ledger and produces a simple profit and loss account and balance sheet along with a trial balance is all that most small businesses need. Unfortunately, most packages can't seem to do this right without introducing flaws of some kind.

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10th Feb 2012 19:47



QuickBooks is my favourite too but I am not impressed by the accountants copy function. Unless it's changed I don't think you can alter invoices or is that only Sage!?

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to pacta
10th Feb 2012 21:44


Hi Peter,

Sales Invoices can be altered in the accountants function.  What's your problem with the accountants copy?  I would like to be able to allocate credits and post payroll items, though I realise that some clients I act as Accountant and other's I act a Finance Manager and need more functionality.  I have  realised with some clients using the remote access option at key times is more appropriate.  Would be interested in hearing what issues you have encountered?


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to kevinringer
11th Feb 2012 09:28

Accountants function

Invoices was my problem. I didn't know that you could alter invoices.

What about the problems with downloading dates to Excel? I have used QuickBooks since version 5 and it has always been a problem for me. The dates are downloaded as text in US format.

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By chatman
10th Feb 2012 20:04

Not QuickBooks

I would never, ever recommend QuickBooks. It is very expensive, and ridden with problems. Sometimes they fix the problems in one version and they come back in another. And don't think you can just stick with the first version you buy because they make this very difficult. If you get a client with a later version of QB, you will not be able to work on it with your old version, because they make them incompatible.

Every time I prepare a VAT return on QuickBooks  I remember why I hate it.

Problems I have come across in QB are:

Unable to drill down on figures in VAT return.

Unable to export dates in usable format to Excel

Extremely difficult to import anything, even with a third party programme  to make it easier. I have given up trying.

Virtually impossible to create new VAT codes

I understand people have had terrible VAT problems when moving from one version to another.

Cannot be used with Dropbox

Worst help line I have ever come across. Can take up to an hour to work out they are not going to help you. Can be quite difficult to understand too if they have a strong Indian accent.  Used to be premium-rate number. They might have changed this due to bad publicity but I am not sure.

Large files (twice as big in v2008 as the v2006 files)

QB Simple Start (or whatever they call it now) could not handle receipts without putting them into an unbanked cash account. The client never realised this was happening, and tried all sorts of things to correct it which made it worse.  By the time I got the books they were  a nightmare.

I only ever use QB now for clients that have already got it and do their own bookkeeping. There is no way I would do a client's bookkeeping on it.

If you are going to go desktop, consider VT.

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to pacta
10th Feb 2012 21:32

Quickbooks Solutions

HI Chatman


Sounds like you had a bad experiance.  I have been using both many packages over the years QuickBooks and Sage most commonly for my bookkeeping clients.  I find QuickBooks by far the most user freindly for clients doing their own bookeeping.  I have clients still on older version but as a proadvisor I get the latest accountants version with my subscription. This is not uncommon though I use  to work for an accounting firm that held many versions of Sage to interface with all client's data. 

For the comparable functionality of Sage - stock control, sales order processng etc, their is no comparison on price with Sage which cost much more and from a user point of view is not as easy to use.

Many of the problems that you list have been resolved for some time now.

VAT Reports are fully drillable - by box on VAT100, then every item on each report, back to prime entry.Dates now export in correct format - dependant on the settings on your spreadsheet - just adjust to UK format.I have imported lists & chart of accounts easily - though I do have an issue with data, I haven't tried third party data and would be interested to hear from anyone who has as I recently had request for this from MYOB.VAT Codes - Can be set up quite easily now VAT>VAT CODE LIST>VAT CODE>NEW -  From that point it is fairly straight forward - the usual care needs to be taken at this point.Dropbox - Literally set-up a client with this today for the first time and worked fine.  I had to wait a while for the verification tick, but otherwise fine.

I have heard others have had problems with VAT but not sure what and as I have not I can't comment, but I would say it is worth having a look again at the latest version it has moved on considerably.



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By chatman
to jamesville
11th Feb 2012 00:35

That is a very rosy view of QuickBooks Ros

roshodgson wrote:
Sounds like you had a bad experiance. 

My bad experienced with QB has lasted for seven years.

You say that the problems I mention have now been fixed, but ignore my point that Intuit reintroduces problems in subsequent versions, which they force you to buy every couple of years. I do not like the idea of paying Intuit to fix bugs in their programme. If you buy a faulty product you should get a free replacement.

The Professional Advisor Programme to which you refer costs £345+VAT per year. I got VT Transaction+ with my final accounts programme, which itself cost only £199. Importing transactions is easy and my balances get transferred to the final accounts programme at the touch of a button.QB is extremely expensive in comparison. Clients can get VT cashbook for free, whereas QB starts at £108 PER YEAR for the most basic (useless) version and £348 per year for the full version. That is incredibly expensive compared to VT, Xero or Kashflow.

You say you have had no problem importing lists but do not mention journals, which are what an accountant would be most concerned about, as infinitely more time is taken with transactions than lists. Lists are an irrelevance as far as import goes.

The VAT return used to be drillable, but this functionality disappeared in v2008. You appear to be saying it is back, but who knows when it will disappear again?

Maybe you can use QuickBooks in Dropbox but a review of the Dropbox forums shows that many people can't open their QB files in Dropbox. Given your glowing testimonial of QB, I would guess that none of the problems affecting most QB users affect you.

Have you ever compared QB with VT or any of the on-line programmes? Your only comparison seems to be to Sage, which is a very unpopular and outdated programme. It is difficult to make a sensible comparison if you have nothing to compare to.

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10th Feb 2012 20:08


I prepare VAT returns using the VAT detail report. It's not ideal because you have to be aware of late entries from previous quarters.

<<<Unable to export dates in usable format to Excel>>>

This is only a problem with users who previously used very old versions of QuickBooks. I think it's something to do with the underlying database having dates in US format. Unfortunately, nobody at Intuit is aware of the problem!

The helpline is variable but sometimes you get somebody who doesn't seem to have a clue and sometimes they will deny anything is wrong with QuickBooks. There are some very good people though so it can be best to just phone again!




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11th Feb 2012 02:51



Ok - Let's call it quits - clearly you don't like QuickBooks.  But I have used QB for 10 years  & currenty have clients on versions back to 2005. I have had gliches but genuinly, honestly have not had the headaches you have.  (Except once when I managed to wipe 6 months of my own company accounts through moving from multiple versions - experimenting!)

Most of my clients are on QB or Sage - still by far the most popular for small/medium businesses.  I haven't used the other software mentioned as none of my clients have them installed. I'm sure they are great, but you are correct I can only compare what I know, which was what I thought I did. I think I did mention I could not navigate through  import data on QB which was an issue - so not total 'rose tinted glasses' 

I would say though that the recommendation requested was for a bookeeping package for a client & their staff to use - & not an accountant's preferance.  In our practice we give a lot of bookeeping assistance and have found that what accountant wants from a package and what a client needs on a day to day basis are sometimes at odds.

Anyway as you said you don't like QB & but I & would continue to recommend where appropriate as it has a lot of functionality for small businesses when set-up correctly & interfaces for accountants..... here I believe is where we agree to disagree and I retire.


PS -(Much later) Have just downloaded free trial of Xero  & VT (was curious) though just to sneak a peek.  They really are not comparable with QB Pro or Premier in functionality & features from a company/bookeeping perspective - sales order processing, stock control, payroll, time & expenses etc., all missing or add-ons, hence the cost I supposed. For my small business clients these would not be an option.


Anyway a  debate for another day.... or morning.





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11th Feb 2012 06:47

Re: Problems with Xero


There's no need to build something in excel.

To work out where the two balances diverge while you're doing a bank reconciliation in Xero you should click 'Reconciliation Report' from the top of Xero's bank rec screen and you'll see 'Bank Reconciliation Summary' showing the running balance which ought to help you determine where the problem was.

Here's the link to Xero Help on this topic.

Hope this helps.

Gary Turner

Managing Director, Xero

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By chatman
11th Feb 2012 15:21

QB Date Format

Peter - Before exporting any dates from QB,  I set the Windows regional settings to US. I then run the export and then change the regional settings back to UK. The dates come out as mm/dd/yy, but Excel knows they are dates and lets you convert them back to dd/mm/yy.

If you don't change the regional settings before the export then Excel doesn't even recognise some of them as dates, as you know.

Alternatively, you can add a column to the right of the date column and paste in =IF(ISTEXT(A2),DATEVALUE(MID(A2,1,10)),DATEVALUE(TEXT(A2,"mm/dd/yyyy"))) assuming your dates are in column A.

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to Paul Scholes
11th Feb 2012 17:11

Thanks, Chatman

I think it's easier to copy the formula than mess about with the settings.

I think if instead of using export to Excel you go for print to csv it works. It's a long time since I've done it though.


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By chatman
11th Feb 2012 15:18

Xero problems

@Gary Turner

Thank you for your response. Using the bank rec should help resolve some problems on bank ledger accounts.

However, firstly, the bank rec solution only applies to bank accounts, not other ledger accounts that need correcting.

Secondly, I am not sure the bank rec would pick up all the differences. For example, my client has managed to import the same item twice from the bank statement. Not sure how this happened; maybe by reconciling it, then marking it as unreconciled and then reconciling it again. I assume such items would not appear on the rec (can't check as I have already corrected the ones I have found so far).  In addition, the same client has been deleting items that would go through the DLA, as he considers them not relevant. This stops them appearing on either the bank account or the bank rec. Obviously he is not going to do it again, but this is the type of problem for which an accountant would typically identify by looking at the balance at different dates.

It would be helpful if the bank statements screen showed the bank statement balance somewhere. The one could see immediately if it agreed to the paper statements. If it did not, then one would immediately know some transactions were missing.

I understand the bank rec can be used to make up for the fact that Xero cannot display running balances, but I always think it is better to have the basic functionality than use work-arounds.

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By chatman
11th Feb 2012 18:24

Export to csv solves the problem

Just checked that Peter, and you are absolutely right. I think I will do it that way in future.

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13th Feb 2012 14:52

My own valid opinion...

@Chatman it seems we do not agree on Xero - but for the benefit of the OP I do have fairly extensive experience of using Xero for bookkeeping.  We have used it for our practice's own accounts for two years and also in assisting with and bookkeeping for, numerous clients who also use it.  I believe it is fit for the purpose we are discussing and would select it if I was in the OP's position. But that is just my humble opinion ;-)

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15th Feb 2012 10:31

Our experience

Just to add the benefit of our experience, as a company that was in your client's situation many years ago.  Our accountant at the time was very wise, and would not allow us to go into any kind of computerised accounting system until we had run a manual system for 6 months, and understood what we were basically doing, finding and correcting mistakes with pencil and rubber, reconciling the control acounts, reconciling bank accounts with the cash book, and completing the VAT returns.

We actually did this for a year before we really got the hang of it, and then went on to TAS Books, which we are still using today after many upgrades and changes.  TAS Books has the advantage that you can edit many simple errors without having to journal them out, but is owned by Sage and incorporates many Sage features nowadays.

However it is not a cloud based system, and I do believe the cloud is where we are all heading in the near future.

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