Would you be interested in joining Discussion Groups devoted to specific applications?

For some time, we have talked about the possibility of running independent software user groups on AccountingWEB.co.uk. With the implementation of our new content management system, this is now possible.

The way we are currently thinking, these groups could be managed and moderated by AccountingWEB members themselves. Would you be willing to participate in such a group, and if so, which applications would you want to be able to discuss with other users?

One point that has already been raised is that we don’t want to detract from the conversations that already take place in Any Answers. Other users coming on to the site

Let us know your initial interest here, and we can provide more details about how we plan to go about it. This thread is just a trailer to test the waters - if there is enthuiasm for the idea, we’ll start setting up specific product groups in their own right. We look forward to hearing what you think.
__________________________
John Stokdyk, Technology editor

Comments
Witch-Queen's picture

Would you be interested in joining Discussion Groups devoted to

Witch-Queen | | Permalink

Yes I would be interested in this idea.

I check Any Answers most days to see if anyone needs help with Sage and a specific thread would save time

-- Witch-Queen

ShirleyM's picture

Discussion group

ShirleyM | | Permalink

It would probably benefit lots of people, and not just those already using particular products, but also for those accountants considering a change of software.

For me, all or any, CRM, Accounts, Tax & Bookkeeping software would be of interest. I currently use Sage integrated products.

Definitely

vdeepan3 | | Permalink
NeilSeekings's picture

User Groups

NeilSeekings | | Permalink

John,

I would be happy to take part although we are a supplier, not sure where we fit into this.

Neil Seekings

Sales Director

MyPAYE online payroll solution

 

Yes ...

kfosborne | | Permalink

 ... I'd be interested in joining this group.

We currently use Pegasus Opera II for accounts and payroll and find it pretty poor, although it seems to keep winning awards. Perhaps this thread will throw up some actual users who like it and maybe I'll find out what I'm doing wrong.

Also I'm seriously thinking about changing software so hearing other users opinions of what else is out there would be very useful.

Kenneth

RogerNeale's picture

Definitely interested John

RogerNeale | | Permalink

Having been involved with Pegasus, as a reseller, for 27 years, I would be interested in joining in.

I've also got plenty of experience with Datafile and Diamond Discovery, so I'd be interested in joining groups for those too.

I'm curious to know what Kenneth finds poor about Pegasus Opera II?
Perhaps you would care to contact me directly?

Regards

Roger Neale
Business Systems Consultant
Perkeo Computer Systems Ltd

Tel       01623 857 972
Mobile
07714 670 789

Discussion Group

douglastubbs | | Permalink

Hi,

I'd like to join.  Background formerly installing group reporting software at PLCs, assessing software selection and now using SAGE but looking to migrate to online solution within the next few months.

Douglas Tubbs

 

Probelms with Pegasus

kfosborne | | Permalink

Well Roger, you asked. Here are a few:

1. You can't import transactions, or other data.

2. You can only export transactions via an Excel add in, XRL, which is quite good, but uses so much resource Excel's normal automatic calculation mode doesn't work. Also having to open Excel, log onto XRL, then build the report isn't a patch only clicking on a single button from within a report and it magically transferring itself to Excel.

3. There's only extremely limited drill down functionality, i.e. no drill down through reports.

4. Not only can you not drill down through reports, but you can't have multiple reports open simultaneously to compare data, you have to close a report down before you open another report.

5. We have been advised by our support company not to fully integrate the sales, purchase, and cash ledgers with the nominal ledger as this will cause problems with locked accounts apparently. We therefore have to batch post transactions from these ledgers to the nominal. There should be a law against accounting packages that aren't fully integrated!

6. Reconciling the ledgers to the nominal ledger is cumbersome. Shortly after I joined and had recovered from the shock that the ledgers didn't automatically post to each other I got in touch with our support company. It took someone from them around 1/2 a day to get the purchase ledger to reconcile to the nominal ledger control account!! What a waste of everyone's time and energy.

7. The standard reports are ugly and difficult to read. I've been looking at the aged debtors report at least weekly for 2 years now and I still get occasionally get confused it's so complicated (or I'm so simple).

8. Period posting is cumbersome.

I could go on.

I admit that some of our issues are to do with how it was set up and how we're using it, but some, importing and exporting of info for example, are more fundamental.

Kenneth

RogerNeale's picture

I'm pleased that I asked

RogerNeale | | Permalink

Hi Kenneth,

It sounds like you have been either poorly trained or been given some bad information on a few of your points.
I've copied your list and put comments in bold under each item.

1. You can't import transactions, or other data.
The import wizard, in Administration, can be used to import transactions and other data from correctly formatted .csv files.  There is documentation available to assist with the correct formatting of data for import files.

2. You can only export transactions via an Excel add in, XRL, which is quite good, but uses so much resource Excel's normal automatic calculation mode doesn't work. Also having to open Excel, log onto XRL, then build the report isn't a patch only clicking on a single button from within a report and it magically transferring itself to Excel.
If you have the "Reporter" module, you can export data into .csv and a number of other file formats.  Alternatively, you can create an ODBC connection from Excel to the relevant OperaII database and export data from there.

3. There's only extremely limited drill down functionality, i.e. no drill down through reports.
I would agree with this one, the drill-down only lets you get as far as the transaction detail.
Having said that, my personal experience is that when drill-down is too deep you can end up getting lost inside it.

4. Not only can you not drill down through reports, but you can't have multiple reports open simultaneously to compare data, you have to close a report down before you open another report.
You are correct on the drill-down but you have XRL, so you should be able to do this here.

5. We have been advised by our support company not to fully integrate the sales, purchase, and cash ledgers with the nominal ledger as this will cause problems with locked accounts apparently. We therefore have to batch post transactions from these ledgers to the nominal. There should be a law against accounting packages that aren't fully integrated!
I'm surprised that they have said this, it's rare for it to be a problem.
Though I do agree that there are exceptions but this depends how you are using the system.
Perhaps you should invetigate this further.

6. Reconciling the ledgers to the nominal ledger is cumbersome. Shortly after I joined and had recovered from the shock that the ledgers didn't automatically post to each other I got in touch with our support company. It took someone from them around 1/2 a day to get the purchase ledger to reconcile to the nominal ledger control account!! What a waste of everyone's time and energy.
When the system is running properly, without any crashes which could have currupted the data, you shouldn't have problems with reconcilliating the ledgers.
However, if they're not fully updated, you will have to reconcile manually with the unposted figures in the other ledgers.
If you would prefer it, real-time update of Nominal is an option under Company Profiles.
You have to follow certain steps before this can be enabled, but it does work properly. Some people use it, some don't. Personally I don't like it but that's only my opinion.  I also use Datafile, whioch has manual update to nominal and Diamond Discovery, which  has real-time update to nominal and I understand the usefulness of both methods.

7. The standard reports are ugly and difficult to read. I've been looking at the aged debtors report at least weekly for 2 years now and I still get occasionally get confused it's so complicated (or I'm so simple).
All of the in-built reports can be modified.
Alternatively, you can use the XRL module to create some very easy to view reports.
A second alternative is the Reporter module. This can re-produce many of them in different formats and output into .csv or Excel or other formats. 
A third alternative is to purchase an external reporting tool like Crystal Reports. Extra cost involved but there are some good packages available.

8. Period posting is cumbersome.
It shouldn't be. I usually create a simple set of instructions for users to follow, with reports etc as part of the squence.
--------------------------

Your reseller should be able to help you with all this, even creating bespoke reports and data imports/exports for you if you need them.
Clearly, if they can't, I should consider changing your reseller for a better one.

I hope this helps.

If not, feel free to contact me directly.

Roger Neale
Business Systems Consultant
Perkeo Computer Systems Ltd

Mobile 07714 670 789

 

John Stokdyk's picture

Thanks for feedback!

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

Thank you Roger, Kenneth, Shirley and all who have responded so far. I took my eye off this thread, but it's great to see that it has stirred into life - and that there may be a very productive use for this kind of forum. It looks to me like there's enough interest to support a Pegasus Opera II discussion group - and perhaps Roger might be interested in managing it? - plus I think a Sage Practice Solutions group (I'm sure Sage 50 Accounts users will come through before too long). I'll do a bit more canvassing for these two groups and do all the backstage arrangements to get them up and running.

Looking forward to seeing how this activity develops!
__________________________
John Stokdyk, Technology editor

Witch-Queen's picture

Sage Line 50 Descussion Group

Witch-Queen | | Permalink

John,

Just take a look at the Any Answers page.

I've only been a member here a couple of weeks but have already answered half a dozen or more questions from people asking how to do something in Line 50.

I think that a thread where anyone can ask 'how to' from people who actually use the software daily and have many years experience of it would help a members a lot.

-- Witch-Queen

RogerNeale's picture

Pegasus Opera group

RogerNeale | | Permalink

Hi John,

I might be able find time to do that.

I only have one problem, at the moment, I'm not currently signed up with a reseller and that means I am a little behind on the very latest version of the product. It also prevents me from getting support directly from Pegasus. 
I am currently looking at options to get myself signed up with a reseller.

However, that doesn't stop me getting involved here.

Roger.

NeilSeekings's picture

Perhaps we could assist you?

NeilSeekings | | Permalink

Hi Roger,

We might be able to find some common ground on this with you. We are a long established Pegasus Reseller with a large client base in the Doncaster Nottingham Manchester area and have in house support and development. Please feel free to contact me. there might be other ideas we can explore too.

Neil Seekings

Sales Director

Lerryn Data Technology Ltd

07826 461121

IRIS

clareelsby | | Permalink

I would be interestred in joining the group to discuss IRIS practice managment software, including accounts production, tax and company secretarial software.

We have used the software for the past 8 years and are currently having problems with the most recent version 10.1. It would be helpful to know if we are the only firm having these problems or if other firms are experiencing similar issues.

We have also used the Tas Software Accounts packages for the past 13 years, so can offer help / advice on these products : TAS 1, TAS 2 and TAS 3.

sage (both bkeep/payroll and acs prodn etc) iris digita

PeterGrimley | | Permalink

 I would be interested in discussions re the above

cverrier's picture

Document Management

cverrier | | Permalink

I'd be more than happy to see this - I'd certainly contribute to threads where I have something to offer - mainly on Solution6/MYOB products, but also on other Document Management products.

 

Opera II & Document Management

Doug112 | | Permalink

Good morning,

My company supply Opera II and Document Management, would be interesed to hear thoughts from others.

Thanks,

Doug

Specific Threads

kazza | | Permalink

My main interest and knowledge base is SAGE

John Stokdyk's picture

Sage, IRIS and Pegasus discussion groups up and running - come a

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

Thanks for such an encouraging response. So far we have set up three new discussion groups and more are on the way - I'm checking around for more people interested in Document Management, and have floated the idea of a Cloud Computing discussion group. Here are the home pages of our first three software user discussion groups:

Other groups for software applications will be set up as interested members come forward, so keep your eye on the Discussion Group home page to see if your applications have such a forum. If they don’t, either let us know by commenting below or email techdesk [at] accountingweb.co.uk and we’ll get the ball rolling.
_________________________
John Stokdyk, Technology editor

John Stokdyk's picture

Cloud accounting and Document management too

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

Two new forums have just been added and are seeking new members. If you are interested in discussing either of these topics on a regular basis, pay a visit to the new disucssion group home pages for:

_________________________
John Stokdyk, Technology editor

TrevorJSmith's picture

Quick Books

TrevorJSmith | | Permalink

Does anyone out there use Quick Books? Whats the generally impression of QB by users, compared to the others?

QB is huge in USA, probably the main package used, but over here I hardly ever come across it.

Is it a good option to suggest to clients? and worth the time spent training and developing to recommend to clients??

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alexander Rosse's picture

Quickbooks - destined to go like the dodo?

Alexander Rosse | | Permalink

We tend to agree with what Rachael of edgeofmyseat.com [http://edgeofmyseat.com/]
said about Quickbooks and why she chose to move over to Xero. Check out her blog
on :
 
http://www.rachelandrew.co.uk/archives/2009/08/22/moving-accounts-from-quickbooks-to-xero/
 
She summarises really neatly the distinct advantage that Xero has over something
like Quickbooks
 
Xero is a 21stCentury "software as a service" as opposed to Quickbooks which has
been around for some time and frankly, just like Sage, its showing its age. We
have nothing against "ageing" we hasten to add! However, when companies such as
Sage start to act like the bankers you know it’s time to move on.
 
Xero's user interface and its fantastic API mean non-accountants can use the
software. It's a piece of cake. At Alexander Rosse we're campaigning against the
vast majority of dinosaur accountants who are just are not willing to move into
the 21stCentury
 
Xero's customer service and back up is very good. Nathan and his team at Xero do
a fantastic job.
 
Cost - dinosaur packages such as Sage, Quickbooks etc just cannot cope with
the cost and benefits angle of Xero. £189 per annum for a fully integrated
accounting software package!? In a funny way, we’re looking for the VAT change
back to 17.5% (rumours abound it may even go up to 20%...) as Xero will do this
and we all benefit. 
 
We are offering a free trial of Xero software until 31st Jan 2010 at http://www.alexanderrosse.co.uk/signup.aspx

Hope this helps. 

Quickbooks Pros and Cons

chatman | | Permalink

I use QuickBooks, but have not really compared it to much else except MORE, which I did not like.

Good things about QuickBooks:
1. Very easy to use
2. VAT filing works well (I understand QB 2008 was released before the VAT worked, but they eventually sorted it with an update)
3. Not cheap, but I understand cheaper than Sage
4. Exports reports to Excel

Bad things about QuickBooks:
1. Audit trail never used to work; not sure if if does now
2. Cannot export dates correctly unless you switch regional settings to US first; if you try to export without doing this, and then convert date formats, it does not work
3. Cannot import data without buying third-party Excel add-in
4. Help line only available for 30 days, although this is not so bad as the help line is awful
5. New versions can not read old-version files without making them unreadable by the previous version
6. Old versions cannot read new-version files so you have to keep buying the new versions to read clients' files.
7. VAT liabilities posted to Accounts Payable so you have to journal it back out again for statutory accounts.
8. New versions released without proper testing, causing chaos.

For a while, QB 2006 files could be read by QB2005, but Intuit released an automatic update to stop this. I threatened to publicise this on as many fora as possible and they gave me a free copy of 2006, but only after a lot of argument (and denial).

John Stokdyk's picture

Nice to see the QuickBooks crew has entered the fray

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

You're very welcome to join in, along with some Sage Practice Solutions users.

Give me a little bit of time this afternoon and I'll set up Discussion Groups for both sets of users. Other groups are also very welcome...
__________________________
John Stokdyk, Technology editor

John Stokdyk's picture

QuickBooks discussion group up and running

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

If you're interested in joining, you can find it here:

QuickBooks discussion group
__________________________
John Stokdyk, Technology editor

Just thought of another QuickBooks issue

chatman | | Permalink

QuickBooks SimpleStart uses an undeposited funds account, and it is impossible to receive payment for an invoice without using this account. This is irritating enough in itself, but when funds are transferred from this account to the bank, it is impossible to specify which account they should go into. Very irritating when you have more than one bank account.

I would only recommend on on-line accounting package for the fol

chatman | | Permalink

One who insists on using Macs and will not get a PC
One who wants to work on their data from different locations
One who cannot spend couple of days at a time without inputting, while their accountant uses their data file
One who needs several people to be using the programme at the same time

Otherwise something like QuickBooks seems the best solution to me.

Discussion groups for applications

Geoff Simons | | Permalink

This would be useful and I am interested - it could help in a number of ways.

Pegasus

Geoff Simons | | Permalink

Thanks Kenneth.  What I am about to post is a bit negative, but is how it is.  We implemented Exchequer last year (upgrading from Quickbooks) and encountered some issues e.g. ledger control accounts not balancing with the detail(!) and other shortcomings.  Also the Exchequer OLE functions carry similar overheads to XRL it seems.  Pegasus/XRL had been an alternative for us and I wondered if we had made a mistake, but your post has at least put my mind to rest on that.  It is disappointing to find out the reality can be that much-vaunted features have significant drawbacks, and that basic things like control accounts balancing are not a given.

Import to Quickbooks

mrtrub | | Permalink

You can import a CSV file to Quickbooks, but it is not that straightforward.  It took me several attempts to get it correct.  If you are having problems, e-mail me at mrtrub1944y@yahoo.com

   -- MoFromMelb

RichardWhight's picture

Exchequer

RichardWhight | | Permalink

Hi

I don't work for IRIS anymore but I am an Exchequer expert. I am very surprised to find that the control accounts don't balance. In my experience this only happens when people post directly to the control accounts (this is possible but not public knowledge of how to do it).

Can you tell me

1. How did you enter your opening balances.

2. Do you have entries on the Daybooks (as these are not yet posted to the trial balance).

3. Have you contacted support.

4. What reseller are you with.

5. Have you contacted support.

Thanks

 

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