Which software for bookkeeping bureau work | AccountingWEB

Which software for bookkeeping bureau work

I have recently been getting more clients asking if we can keep their records. This is something I haven't particularly encouraged in the past as the clients tend to make life difficult (not sticking to agreed timetables, bank statements missing etc etc).

However needs must and also I have a client who is purchasing retail franchise outlets (two currently with a target of 6- 8 within 3 years) and he wants my firm to provide a bookkeeping service as it is getting too much for him.

In the past I have used Sage Quickbooks and our own spreadsheets.

However this seems to be an ideal opportunty to review what we use with a view to a) giving the immediate prospect a good service and b) from there offering the service more widely.

So - can I please have your recommendations for software to meet these needs?

Hopefully the products would not require a huge amount of training.

Thanks for any responses.

Comments
petersaxton's picture

QuickBooks

petersaxton | | Permalink

It's QuickBooks for me. Multicompany and easy to produce reports.

Software

nexventure | | Permalink

Try Vt Transaction , its cheap and very good.

ShirleyM's picture

Another vote for VTT+

ShirleyM | | Permalink

We use it for our own bookkeeping, and that of our clients.

VT

neutru | | Permalink

i have an interest in this as well - we have VT but we find that reports are not that great - especially if you need to show different periods side to side

super fantastic for final accounts but we miss the reporting features from quickbooks If that is not addressed we will have to reassess VT because of this

3569787's picture

ClearSEAs

3569787 | | Permalink

Clearseas accounting software is good for bureau work - multi-company and currency with excellent reporting features.  Easy to use as well. Free download available from web site to trial the software for 30 days - www.rcl-systems.co.uk/clearseas/index.htm

 

BigBadWolf's picture

VTT+ or Xero

BigBadWolf | | Permalink

VTT+ or Xero 

@neutru

Cleaver Accounting | | Permalink

I Use VT also, and agree that it is cheap and easy to use.

As for reports - If the particular one I need isn't shown as a specific, then I find it very easy to copy to excel and sort all the information exactly as I want it.  

This method is also very useful when doing bank recs too as I copy and paste the outstanding entries twice into spreadsheets and then sort one by description and the other lot by value.

It makes it much easier to track down single payments for multiple entries and entries which are shown on the bank statements with a different description to what is entered into VT

 

 

pushtheriver's picture

ClearSeas

pushtheriver | | Permalink

Thanks people.

I have looked at VT before and I just didn't like the feel of it.

Just been on the ClearSeas website! Presumably the website has been written by the same person who writes the software. Enough said!

Looks like Quickbooks as Sage multi company is very expensive.

jasonholden's picture

VT Transaction+

jasonholden | | Permalink

Another vote for VT Transaction+

pauljenkinsandco's picture

use VT+

pauljenkinsandco | | Permalink

Take my advice and use VT+.

 

I've been using it since 1997 and it does the job very well.

 

Whateveer you do, don't use SAGE!

Bookkeeping Bureau

RussellD | | Permalink

Online50 offer a Sage Bureau license which would allow you to add as many client data sets to it with no additional charge.

If the client wants access to Sage, they can see the same data as you in real time over an internet connection.

If they already run their accounts using a different version of Sage to you, with the Bureau you can open up their data in their version and work on it. Online50 has versions all the way back to Line 50 v8.

Good luck with making your decision

 

ShirleyM's picture

pushtheriver

ShirleyM | | Permalink

pushtheriver PM | Wed, 03/08/2011 - 12:31Thanks people.

I have looked at VT before and I just didn't like the feel of it.

----------- 

Give VTT+ a proper trial. You could miss out by judging on first impressions only. When you look at the number of supporters it has on AWeb, logic will tell you it's worth a proper trial. Do you see Sage getting the same number of recommendations?

 

 

VT+

tenbury1 | | Permalink

Hi,

I agree with your comment for ClearSeas. I had the same feeling.

I use VT+ (and before that VT) for some times now. It is true that the initial software was lacking something. But now the new version VT+ is quite good and certainly worth a new look at.

David

5ang10ves1's picture

VTTransaction+

5ang10ves1 | | Permalink

I agree with ShirleyM, the more I use VT the more I like it.

Me too

tltodman | | Permalink

Another vote for VTT+.  Use QB, Sage & VT regularly & VT wins hands down every time for a user who knows what they are doing.

Tracy

torbenhalvorsen's picture

Bookkeeping Bureau

torbenhalvorsen | | Permalink

If you are looking for an online solution then FreeAgent may be very useful for you and your clients, its easy to share data with your clients and complete bookkeeping for them and give your clients access to up to date reports.

PaperLess ClientAccess integrates with Sage Accounts 50 and means that your client can access both the source documents and the transactions securely online.

It is useful for companies with different branches and the client can send the documents to you online with your completing the record keeping.

Automatic invoice recognition is also a great way to reduce manual data input which makes the work more profitable for you.

Hope this helps you.

Phil

-- Accounting the PaperLess way™

VTT+ has been a revelation to me

Supersnipe | | Permalink

After years of using Sage, Tas Books, Quick Books, Excel, and even IRIS and Viztopia(!), for book-keeping I recently took on some sub-contract work for a firm of Chartered Accountants who have been using VT (old style) and the new improved VTT+ for many years.

I duly downloaded a free 60 day trial version and played around at home using dummy transactions - and found it delightfully simple to use.

Once I was let loose on it with some real client data my liking increased enormously.  I would say that anyone could pick up the rudiments of entering, amending or deleting transactions within 1 hour, and within a few more could be fully adept at using some of it's helpful built in features (such as `Write Back' and `Write Off'')

It's very good value indeed compared with the market leaders and from memory the licence restricted the number of users rather than the number of installed clients (this has all been so recent I haven't got to the end of my evaluation period yet, and I've forgotten what I read on their Website). 

But definitely worth considering.

ShirleyM's picture

@supersnipe

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I've been using VTT+ for over a year now, and I am still discovering really useful features.

A couple of months ago I noticed the 'shortcut' at the bottom of the screen for changing the period quickly. You can change bank payments to become supplier payments. One click and select 'Copy All' and you can paste your data into Excel. VAT Returns are so simple to check before saving.

Sage seems to produce the longest and most useless VAT reports! I cannot imagine ever going back to Sage. I would be tearing my hair out in frustration at the difficulty of completing the simplest of tasks, and annoyance at all the time I would waste compared to using VTT+.

ps. I am not on commission!

VTT+ : Thanks Shirley M

Supersnipe | | Permalink

Yes, you've reminded me of the tabs which enable you to switch periods so effortlessly.

And thanks for telling me about the ability to switch bank payments to supplier payments, and the copy and paste function.

Another good feature is the effortless matching of transactions with the little blue `contra' symbol, and the utterly straightforward Bank Reconciliation.

Can I confess that in 30+ years of using Sage (going back to its DOS days) I never ever understood it's bank reconciliation feature and what you had to fill in the various boxes on the screen!  Just a personal blockage I know, but I always had to do them manually first and then match items off on the screen and hope that one of the boxes would resemble the bank stmt balance, but the "logic" of it's presentation  always seemed bizarre, and you seemed to need to print several separate reports of uncleared items - but there was no overall all-embracing report.   I could go on and on about other laborious features (such as the need to do journals to change certain entries) - but I doubt I'll ever recommend it again now that I've discovered VTT+!

 

 

ShirleyM's picture

@supersnipe

ShirleyM | | Permalink

You've got me going now!

What I love about VT bank rec is that you can start the bank rec, then if you find anything missing you stay in bank rec, but you can enter the missing receipts/payments, or correct entries that are wrong, and the bank rec screen is still there but updated to reflect your changes, and the changes are a slightly different colour so you can spot them easier. Sage bank rec used to drive me crazy too! And clients rarely saved the reconciliation report in Sage, but VT does it automatically. Same with the VAT.

And the way you can go into suppliers or customers and just see the unmatched entries, or just click the tab for All entries, and see everything, and if you click on a payment for multiple invoices it highlights all the relevant invoices ........

Oh ... isn't it wonderful :)

... I am kicking myself for spending so much money on Sage in the past! The thing that REALLY bugged me with Sage was the incompatibility beyond 3 versions. I ended up with more L50 versions on my laptop than soft mick. We don't have any Sage clients now, they are all on VT :)

petersaxton's picture

Sage 2012

petersaxton | | Permalink

"The thing that REALLY bugged me with Sage was the incompatibility beyond 3 versions. I ended up with more L50 versions on my laptop than soft mick."

With Sage 2012 you can now deal with all versions and edit the data and send back to the client.

I have clients with TASBooks, MYOB, Sage, QuickBooks, and Irisopenbooks. If I do any bookkeeping I use QuickBooks but VT does seem interesting. If I have the time I will look at it properly.

ShirleyM's picture

Typical of my luck with Sage!

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I have every version of L50 ..... except 2012!

petersaxton's picture

Better now

petersaxton | | Permalink

I used to have installed about ten versions each of five different accounts packages until I came to my senses. Now I have one each of QuickBooks and Sage as well as MYOB which won't be for long.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

When?

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

Supersnipe wrote:

Can I confess that in 30+ years of using Sage (going back to its DOS days) I never ever understood it's bank reconciliation feature and what you had to fill in the various boxes on the screen!  Just a personal blockage I know, but I always had to do them manually first and then match items off on the screen and hope that one of the boxes would resemble the bank stmt balance, but the "logic" of it's presentation  always seemed bizarre, and you seemed to need to print several separate reports of uncleared items - but there was no overall all-embracing report.  

I wonder when you last used SAGE, admittedly up to version 11 the bank rec was strange, but you could always produce "Bank Statement - Reconciled and Unreconciled" - a wonderful report that tracks the b/f balance down to agree to the bank statement balance, and then details the unreconciled items to agree to the TB balance.

From Version 12 onwards the bank rec is superb, you double click on the item in the top window which shifts it to the bottom window with the running balance to agree to the bank statement. You can single click in the top window and highlight batches of entries then click "match" to move them down, the only bit that is not as I would like is that if you highlight blocks this way it doesn't give you a sub-total of highlighted items, which is a bit of a pain if you have a number of cheques on one paying in slip!

I haven't looked a v18 yet so can't comment.

petersaxton's picture

Sage v QuickBooks

petersaxton | | Permalink

"the only bit that is not as I would like is that if you highlight blocks this way it doesn't give you a sub-total of highlighted items, which is a bit of a pain if you have a number of cheques on one paying in slip!"

It should give you the opportunity to allocate the cheques/cash to a paying in slip like QuickBooks.

PS I notice the spell checker is set to US!

coolmanwithbeard's picture

Online?

coolmanwithbeard | | Permalink

I have just started using QuickBooks online with a client, as you are both accessing the data in real time tasks can be shared and the client can run their own reports  they retain ownership if the data and pay the fees for the software. You do need to be up todate though they can tell :)

This is real cloud computing with something proven andf familar and at £19 + VAT per month not too expensive if it suits.

 

For others and smaller jobs I use QuickBooks here in the office on the basis that I like it and if the client wants to do it in house again I can set them up with their own copy and datafile. I find offereing them that flexibility goes down well and when they start to do their own you become consultant too.

 

Mike

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I think ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... you can consolidate items in the bank, so if you have the same paying in slip number of each cheque it will just show the one figure - I just prefer mine expanded!

Not knowing Quickbooks I don't know how it handles things, we do have a copy - I really must load it up and have a play - God knows when though, that is the problem!

Talking about US, is QB still written in American, it always used to be, that is one of the biggest turnoffs for me!

petersaxton's picture

QuickBooks

petersaxton | | Permalink

"Talking about US, is QB still written in American, it always used to be, that is one of the biggest turnoffs for me!"

It is written in American.

Not only that but if you have used QuickBooks for a long time it exports to Excel in US date format - except because your settings are in UK Excel recognises it as text if it's not a valid UK date and as a date (but the day of the month is treated as the month and the month is treated as the day of the month) if it's a valid UK date. There's no way around it. If you phone Intuit they think you have your region settings wrong. Nobody at Intuit seems to realise the problem. I went to a seminar and every accountant who had used QuickBooks for a long time had this problem but all the Intuit staff were clueless about the problem.

Excel bookkeeping

iain.mcgregor | | Permalink

About 95% of our clients use Excel, and when used correctly can be faster than any other bookkeeping system. It is not suitable if VAT has to be kept on accruals basis or a big sales ledger has to be kept. Our clients download transactions from the bank, email it to us and we copy and paste into "lists" in Excel. Add the account code for transactions, split VAT and job done. agree final balance to download balance. Bank reconciled, bank summary by account for accounts prep by sort and subtotal and VAT at touch of the filter button. Easy to make multiple adjustments to account codes by filtering and series fill. A client also uses it for a retail franchise store.

Thanks ShirleyM, Old Greying & petersaxton et al

Supersnipe | | Permalink

ShirleyM........thanks for alerting me to yet more features of VTT+ that I've still to discover, especially the highlighting (or unhighlighting!) of matched entries in supplier/customer ledgers and the ability to amend the bank rec `on the fly'.

Old Greying and petersaxton...........obviously I'm out-of-date in view of  the long-overdue changes incorporated in Sage Line 50 V12.   I'd quite forgotten also that you had to remember which version you were supposed to be using  before uploading client data - another thing that used to drive me nuts too. 

Bookkeeping Bureau

RussellD | | Permalink

Supersnipe wrote:

I'd quite forgotten also that you had to remember which version you were supposed to be using  before uploading client data - another thing that used to drive me nuts too. 

Online50 offers the ability to see all your clients Sage 50 data sets and to open and work on them using the correct version automatically.

Hi 

sarah douglas | | Permalink

Hi 

Sage client manger 2012 will intergrate with other versions .  Shirley it is just an opinion but I would not like sage to automatically reconcile my bank.  

With a client who makes no mistakes maybe,  but I hope you could turn off that feature . Or at least have the option.

Its sage for me as my clients all use the other modules from converting Quotes , stock system , project system everything .

The Sage Line 50 2012 has made a lot of major changes.  Especially in the COA for management accounts 

 

petersaxton's picture

Advertising

petersaxton | | Permalink

RussellD wrote:

Supersnipe wrote:

I'd quite forgotten also that you had to remember which version you were supposed to be using  before uploading client data - another thing that used to drive me nuts too. 

Online50 offers the ability to see all your clients Sage 50 data sets and to open and work on them using the correct version automatically.

Stop advertising

ShirleyM's picture

Hi Sarah

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I think there has been a misunderstanding.

VT doesn't automatically reconcile the bank, but it does allow you to see the reconcilation (statement by statement), once reconciliation is completed. Or you can choose to see all reconciled transactions together.

Unless Sage has changed, you had to instruct it to save the reconciliation report, which clients never did unless requested to (and taught how!).

Old Greying Accountant's picture

SAGE ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... now prompts you to save when you hit the reconcile button. It makes it easy as it asks for date, bank statement balance and sheet number amongst other things.

VT Cashbook and VT +

csvcsvcsv | | Permalink

The new version of VT is really great.

My clients all use VT cashbook - which rolls into VT + and VT Accounts.

I love the flexibility of the product and my clients are very happy to use it.

I have not used the corporation tax software yet but will look at this asap.

The import facilities are fantastic, easy and quick.

Sage has definately shortened its functionality with earlier versions - fed up with all the different versions that I had to run. I now would not recommend sage to any clients because it just takes too long. Sage online acceptance time was just too slow to make it viable.

Quickbooks has some redeeming features with probably the best drill down I have come across but still takes too long to process.

Xero an online system is also a good system - but at the moment I am disappointed with the acceptance time.

Roll on VT cloud accounting.

 

 

 

Bank Reconcilation on VT

csvcsvcsv | | Permalink

Regarding earlier posts about bank reconcilations on VT

The pay/receive screen has a running total of the bank balance at the bottom of this input screen. So if you input your bank statements a page at a time the running total should agree to your bank statement.

So If you process 10 statements save the screen a statement at a timethen go to bank rec screen select mark all items and it will rec to your closing bank balance. This process takes minutes.

But even faster is to use the Journal import facility.

Download your statement as a CSV file and map the columns to the format shown in VT. - It is so easy to use it takes minutes.