Software quality and support issues | AccountingWEB

Software quality and support issues

Hi everyone,

I've just set this group up at sallyd's request and have posted this thread as a welcome/get to know each other introduction. Sally told me that at times PTP can be great, but with the way things have been going, "It would be good to bring all the positives and negatives of the ongoing changes together."

While nosing around to see who else might be interested/affected, I found a number of Any Answer threads in which points were made about product quality and customer support declining:

In view of these threads, perhaps members could give a brief summary of your experiences with PTP and an assessment of whether there is a major issue that needs to be addressed, and suggestions for how PTP/IRIS should go about it.

Don't forget that this is a good place for day-to-day queries, tips and information sharing too - if you have any points you'd like to share, start your own thread!



vince8 | | Permalink

I started using PTP in September 2008 when I set up my personal tax practice. I had used Pertax in the past and reviewed this and a few others before deciding on PTP, mainly on price but their demo's looked good. I took the view I was not paying for the cheapest but I was getting value for money. I very rarely have need to call them but when I do I get the help I require. They always call me during March to discuss my requirements for the new year, confirm my order and take my payment detail. This process is simple and I am not put under any pressure to buy added services. In fact for 2011 I have dropped the CGT software I had paid for in the past. I have received the download instructions for 2011 and a receipted invoice. I found the instructions simple to use and all my clients have rolled forward without problem. As yet I have not prepared a 2011 return for filing online and probably will not do so until June at the earliest.

All in all I'm happy with PTP and would recommend them to others.

Getting there...

mrshamilton | | Permalink

I have used PTP accounts platform previously so have converted to PTP accounts production.

I have filed several sets of iXBRL accounts and the only pain is sometimes I have found that I have made an error which production hasn't picked up so the client has signed the accounts, only for it to fail at HMRC which has meant reissuing the accounts to the client for signing before it will go through again.

I am getting used to it but would welcome more explanation on the ixbrl stuff like tuple groups, I have done the online training which is good, but it isn't enough for me to feel like I know what I'm doing with it!

Overall I feel it's worth persevering with and I will get used to it!

taxhound's picture

10 years

taxhound | | Permalink

I used PTP happily for 10 years, including accounts production and pc share register plus as well ast personal and corporate tax.  I began to get unhappy when I was put on hold for customer support for what I consider to be far too long (on a wretched 0845 number).  I became very very unhappy last autumn when it took over 3 weeks to get any sort of sensible reponse to help with installing the new accounts production software.  I was reasonably happy with the price - not the cheapest, but good software, but I'm afraid I have now ditched them in favour of Absolute as I feel a company which does not have a decent customer support department is no use to me.

Certainly since Tim Good sold out everything seemed to take much longer than before (ordering new software etc).  Maybe it is unreasonable to expect an immediate e-mail with a licence number on it if I ring up and order software from them, but it never seemed to be a problem in the old days.

Proper phone number!

vince8 | | Permalink

For information PTP are on 01753 212660.

Sole trader tax computations

Piglett | | Permalink

Like many I have been frustrated by PTP since it effectively became IRIS. The customer support is non-existant, their admin lousy but now I am used to the ixbrl accounts software I can see it does have its advantages. I did look at Absolute/Forbes when it first came out but didn't like the layout of the accounts - and anyway, there's nothing to stop Messrs Good etc selling the business again...

However my immediate problem is this - and it could just be me: The old PTP accounts included the sole trader tax computation but I can't find anything equivalent in the ixbrl version. Buried in the chart of accounts on the help pages there is reference to something called Business Tax, but it does not appear in the currrent PTP catalogue of products.

Has anyone else encountered this issue and found an answer?



Martin B | | Permalink

Has gone down hill fast in the past few years. I use Personal tax software and have reluctantly carried on this year becasue I am used to the software and did not want to learn a new package. For Corporation tax I decide to use Taxcalc which is excellent.

kevinringer's picture

PTP experience

kevinringer | | Permalink

Started using PTP individuals and partnership returns in 1998 after visiting several local practices so find out what they used and what they thought of it – PTP had the best balance of functionality and price. We went 100% efiling from the beginning (ELS 1998 to 2005, FBI from 2006). Started using CT return in 2004. Used to also use TaxFast and Tax Credit Planner – stopped the latter when a Windows updated “broke” it – wrote my own Tax Credit Planner which I’ve used ever since. I couldn’t fault PTP prior to the Iris takeover. Since then, PTP have suffered at times from personnel changes, and the longer time scales taken to get issues resolved. However in recent times PTP has returned to a level of support and issue resolution nearer to what it was in pre-Iris days – for example I can now phone support and the call is answered whereas for years it was voicemail only. PTP has been first class with the switch to iXBRL.


shenker | | Permalink

We have been using PTP from the start of SA. No problem with anything until last year when support ( not used often) began to go downhill. This year it is even worse. Had an issue with a rejection on an SA return - the automated voice said the wait time was 10 minutes. I was eventually put through to an agent some 24 minutes later! Unless they get their act in order I will seriously think of jumping ship.


markgosling | | Permalink

I am having difficulty migrating data from PTP platform to New PTP accounts production. Phoned help desk after 10 minute wait spoke to migration team, they transfered me to another team 8 minutes wait. They said I had to go back to migration tem. Another 12 minutes wait. They said they would get someone to call me back. Still waiting.

I also had major problems recently when transfering PTP from old to new laptop. Help desk gave me wrong advice, and was passed from person to person with long waits each time. Eventually someone who knew what they were doing, remotely took over my computer and fixed the problem.




sally1964's picture


sally1964 | | Permalink

I gave up on transfer.

I moved to Absolute. They did the transfer for me on mass.


Yes a few teething problems where i had odd account numbers butvery easy to sort out.

WIth people like Ashleigh (previously from PTP) they know both systems and can tell you where to find the equivalant on their system.

Much cheaper, havign been with PTP for many years I am now an Absolute convert.

They return your call quickly(unless its dinnertime!)





Support into the abyss

shenker | | Permalink

I called yesterday with a question on how to input  a figure for overlap relief into tax fast on a new case where it might be beneficial to change year end. I received an e mail today suggesting that I need to go back to the begining of SA and input the data!!!! Have PTP/IRIS been taking lessons from HMRC in being helpful? About to shut eyes and jump ship.

BTW we have been using PTP since SA came in.

sally1964's picture

You have my sympathy

sally1964 | | Permalink

You have my sympathy.

A helpline should be a helpline not just pass the problem back to you.

I would suggest you email Paul Onions as a director of PTP and ask for it to be resolved properly.





sally 1964 could i pm you please

shenker | | Permalink

sally 1964

shenker | | Permalink

Thank you so much for your suggestion . I have spoken to Paul and am reasonably happy with the outcome

jeremy.knott's picture

Why did Tim Good sell

jeremy.knott | | Permalink

I have used PTP for taxation for about 11 years and until last year it was fantastic

A couple of years ago on the strength of the tax software we changed to using the accounts software which was not as developed as Sage but easy and good.

However the move to iBXRL meant that tech support is now pretty much unavailable and the ultimate nightmare is that the partnership software does not work and we are promised an update by the end of June.

We are starting to lose clients as they seem it is simply not credible that a company who sells software cannot have a solution until months into the already tight filing window.

What are others recommendations?


-- Jeremy Knott


The Innkeeper | | Permalink

They seem to have been listening - phoned up earlier with a question on ct and got through virtually immediately. I have been in state of shock. Keep it up !! Must go and make a cup of tea to calm me down

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