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Is Digita Accounts Production Software fit for purpose?

Is Digita Accounts Production Software fit for...

We have just finished inputting data for our first limited company accounts on Digita Accounts Production Software, ready to export to XHTML/iXBRL. However when we tried to export them to XHTML/iXBRL, the export failed and the error message indicated that there was something wrong with the XML coding in the accounts.

We called Digita Technical Support but to our surprise all support calls were and still are being diverted to an answering machine. The outgoing message said we should either email our query to their support team or try to find the answer to our query by reviewing the support page of their website. We followed their advice and reviewed their support page but we could not find the answer.

We then emailed the error message to Digita Technical Support and we got an automated email saying that we "may find the answer by reviewing their ‘Known Issues and Assistance Guide" or by watching their "Training Videos”. This was obviously a cop out as their guide and videos do not cover this query.

We have been waiting for two days now and no one at Digita has contacted us.

Has anyone else had this experience with Digita? Is Digita Accounts Production Software fit for purpose? Should we ask them to refund our money and move to Iris or VT Software?

Any advice will be greatly received.

Thank you.


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By happy
01st Jun 2011 11:28

No problem with VT

I bet someone from Digita will call you now!

But as a very happy VT user VT is working without a problem as ever.


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01st Jun 2011 12:13

two days is nothing!

I emailed, phoned, on 20th May and got a reply this morning after a moaning email last night.......



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01st Jun 2011 12:16

two days is nothing!

I emailed, phoned, on 20th May and got a reply this morning after a moaning email last night.......



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01st Jun 2011 13:16

we had a lovely letter from Digita today apologising and explain

which i thought was decent of them

have you watched the webinars that may help you resolve your problem , is it to do with nominal code structure?

if you give me a clue what your problem is i will see if i can help

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By newmoon
01st Jun 2011 13:31

Digita support seems to be rather stretched.

We have had the similar problems getting through to Digita Support, and your best option is probably to contact your accounts manager and have a bi of a moan.

Having said the above we aren't having any problems with producting XBRL accounts (touch wood!), and are successfully filing then along with corporation tax returns.

We have had one or two error messages when doing the online filing with HMRC but have managed to trace these to something we've missed on the accounts, and the file successfully.

What we find annoying though, is the extended time it takes to prepare the accounts, with the slowness of the XBRL Limited Company Full Accounts (UK GAAP) template to load, then an equally long wait to get to the print set-up, and the software requiring you to go back to the Summary page and clear the update warning at the top right of the page every time the smallest thing is altered. It's tedious, and requires patience if your trying to get something done in a hurry! It also probably adds 10 minutes to the time to get to printing accounts.

We received a letter from Digita this morning, with details of various training videos and webinars on the subject.  

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01st Jun 2011 14:49

getting there

Hi Carnmores thanks for the offer, they got back to me this morning with the amendment (unable to delete an accounting period which had gone wrong!) I also got my letter today which I think needed to be sent. I had pleaded as the accounts were required urgently for mortgage purposes, so an 11 day wait did seem a bit much.....There support has always been excellent so the current situation seems worse than it is, if you know what i mean!

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By Monsoon
01st Jun 2011 15:38

I'm so glad I moved back to VT from Digita!

But for the short time I was with Digita their support was great. Sounds like they are having trouble with iXBRL and the amount of support it generates. Hope you all manage to get it sorted soon.

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01st Jun 2011 16:18

Dont get me started...

its driving me potty.  My assistant hides under the desk when I am finalising a set of accounts there is so much frustraction involved.

The error strewn and slapdash approach to templates which is all about taking proper care, and nothing at all to do with iXBRL (why the heck do so many of the notes break over pages, just piss[***] poor) would be more bearable if the whole thing wasnt crippled by the sheer slowness of changing the smallest thing. Its always been an 'issue' editing the templates, but now its got beyond a joke and we have spend a long time developing our own templates.

To be fair to them, the do get back eventually and it does file online prefectly well. They do also have a record of sorting out problems.

However for a tool that is supposed to save you time its what the young people would call a "fail".

NB re the letter I would have been more impressed if they had just apologised for making a mess of it, and sent everyone a gift to say 'sorry we screwed up' rather than try and pretend otherwise.

If my renewal was coming up I would be jumping ship, as it is I will give them until the end of the summer, if its not sorted then Im not paying them another penny.

Shame, it was a nice bit of kit before the 'upgrade'.

Re converting to VT - can you just drop the TB in, cut and past style? The one thing that puts me off moving is dealing with all the comparatives again, it would tie my assistant up for ages keying it all in again.

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01st Jun 2011 19:53

Digita have messed up

It's not acceptable.

Digita should have acted sooner. I phoned Digita at 9 am this morning and got a recorded message saying that they don't open until 9 am. I phoned again at 9.01 am and got a message saying all their technical support people are busy answering other calls! Digita technical support is in a mess and I think they will be losing a lot of customers. I can't wait a week everytime I have a set of accounts to submit.

I've watched all their webinars and read all their FAQs. I still get different error messages and their's nothing I can do other than phone and then wait a week.

I am looking at alternatives to Digita because I need software that works.

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By stiga
02nd Jun 2011 09:45

Clunky but it works for me

Having chased chased Digita in March I got the software on 1st April. Took a couple of days to get to grips with the changes. Phoned the help desk with some issues and had an instant response, even got a call back from development team asking if eveything was ok.

I must admit the new version is really clunky, but I am running it on an old non spec PC. Have produced xbrl accounts filed them Digita Corp tax with no problems.

Looks like users are now starting to use  the system in volume and the helpdesk cant cope.


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02nd Jun 2011 10:01

Phone call this morning

I had a phone call this morning.

It seemed like the client was acting as if the problem was caused by the accounting period being set up before the upgrade to the iXBRL version but I know I only set up the new accounting period on Monday.

The technician was very knowledgeable and helpful. She went through some things to ensure that I wouldn't have certain problems in the future. Maybe this is what Digita should do? Rather than firefight when something doesn't look right if they spend an hour ensuring that the changeover won't lead to problems then there will be no need for their customers to phone up when there's an unusual message. It would mean training a lot of extra staff on a limited number of areas but as long as they passed customers over when something different appears to be wrong there isn't much of a risk.

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02nd Jun 2011 13:49

Nice to know its not just us!

 I too felt that the letter we received was missing a word - "sorry".  The posters above are right it isn't so much an ixbrl problem as a problem with producing accounts in the first place.  We are avoiding upgrading some clients just so we can get accounts to them without delays.  We have gone from perfect accounts at the touch of a button to having to spend a significant amount of time 'editing' them to get what we want.  We must have 4/5 support calls owing from last week and I sent an email which still hasn't been responded to, even by my account manager.  Makes you feel like a bit of a mug to be honest!

BTW does anyone know why it groups 'other debtors' and 'other creditors' and if there is a simple way to get back to showing accruals, tax and social security etc separately?

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By Flash Gordon
02nd Jun 2011 16:53

VT - another vote :)

I've just read all the above posts and am so glad that when I gave up on PTP that I went to VT. I'd looked at Digita but VT is soooooooo simple. None of that waiting for ages milarky, I just press the button for ixbrl accounts and b*gger me, there they are. Not sure about cutting and pasting a TB as one poster asked but as the accounts headings are on the screen in front of you (as opposed to having to put in a code and hoping its the right one) its a piece of proverbial to type in comparatives. Literally a couple of mins work.

I've no idea what VT support is like because I haven't needed it! A quick download of the software, maybe half an hour getting used to it, then wham, bam, thank you maam you've got your first set of accounts. Lubbly jubbly :)

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02nd Jun 2011 17:02

I'll vouch for Flashs' comments

It takes a couple of minutes to set up comparatives on VT and is soooooo simple. I've used VT for just over a year and have never had to contact support!

Tip: I think they offer a free trial period now and no, I am not on commission.

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02nd Jun 2011 22:19

Digita Accounts & IXBRL

I have just filed our first set of accounts that we initially created in the pre ixbrl version and had to go through the conversion process and i am glad to say everything went well.

Inititally I did not understood the conversion process and a quick email to my account manager was all that was needed.  I was directed to the 7 training video's which seem to answer most of my issues.  I did have to watch video 3 "upgrading client" two or three times to make sure i understood it properly, i thought they were quite good.  The only only thing that held me back was the mapping conversion profile file which was not provided with the video's and had to be requested, again my account manager promptly sent me the relevant file and after that i way well away.

The only thing i can fault digita with is that maybe they should have had more training material with the updated software but i bet they will have learnt from this and make sure that they quickly put this right for the future.

From what i understand where other software tag the final accounts report digita tagging works at the nominal code level and hence is more complicated.  I guess in the short term their approach may involve more time and a longer learning curve but in the long term when HMRC dictate more tagging, i trust the digita team when they say that their apprach will be less painful.

Ok i spent an extra couple of hours figuring out what i had to do but i did learn a bit more about the accounts software from the training video's which will save me time in the future so i was not too bothered.

We also created a fresh set of accounts in the ixbrl version and apart from a few minor hicups all went well, and again my account manger responded quickly with a query that i had and i was able to complete the accounts ready for filing.

And yes the final accounts report does take slightly longer and may need looking at. 

I have always found the digita support team very good.



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By lisa65
03rd Jun 2011 09:11

Should we stay or should we go?

Thanks to all those who taken the time to share their views and experiences so far. We are quite relieved to know that we are not the only ones who are unhappy with the service (or no service) we have received (or not received) from Digita since we signed up in February this year.

We have upgraded to the latest version (Digita Accounts Produciton 5.0 build 3316) and this is the error message we get when we try to export the accounts to iXBRL:

One or more errors caused the export to fail:

Template 'Small companies exemption', line 2, column 306:

The concept 'uk-direp:AccountsAreInAccordanceWithSpecialProvisionsCompaniesActRelatingToSmallCompanies' already has a fact with the same context but different value. Period = 'Current Period', first value = 'These accounts have been prepared in accordance with the provisions applicable to companies subject to the small companies regime', second value = 'The Directors' Report has been prepared in accordance with the special provisions in Part 15 of the Companies Act 2006 relating to small companies.'. Template 'Small companies exemption', line 2, column 306:The concept 'uk-direp:AccountsAreInAccordanceWithSpecialProvisionsCompaniesActRelatingToSmallCompanies' already has a fact with the same context but different value. Period = 'Current Period', first value = ' ', second value = 'The Directors' Report has been prepared in accordance with the special provisions in Part 15 of the Companies Act 2006 relating to small companies.'. Template 'Small companies exemption', line 2, column 306:The concept 'uk-direp:AccountsAreInAccordanceWithSpecialProvisionsCompaniesActRelatingToSmallCompanies' already has a fact with the same context but different value. Period = 'Current Period', first value = 'and in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities (effective 2008)', second value = 'The Directors' Report has been prepared in accordance with the special provisions in Part 15 of the Companies Act 2006 relating to small companies.'. Template 'Small companies exemption', line 2, column 306:The concept 'uk-direp:AccountsAreInAccordanceWithSpecialProvisionsCompaniesActRelatingToSmallCompanies' already has a fact with the same context but different value. Period = 'Current Period', first value = '.', second value = 'The Directors' Report has been prepared in accordance with the special provisions in Part 15 of the Companies Act 2006 relating to small companies.'.

Can you help?

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03rd Jun 2011 09:35

Contact account manager

Don't try to understand the error message.

I got an error message that was quite specific and you thought it could have been resolved by investigating.

The technician said the problem was due to the accounting period being prior to the v5 upgrade although I had only added the accounting period a day or two earlier. There may have been a problem with the nominal list used.

I had to make sure the default orginisational code list was compatible with iXBRL and export the journal to csv, delete the accounting period, add the accounting period and import the journal.

I would phone your accountant manager and tell them your problems.

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By lisa65
03rd Jun 2011 10:32

Account manager

Thank you for your advice Peter.

I know this may sound stupid but I don’t think we have an account manager as such. The software was supplied to us by Kat Bond (Sales Consultant). Since then we have had a letter from Peter Greenslade (Client Services Manager) enclosing the latest version of Digita Accounts Production and an email from Julie Hufton (Digita Finance Administrator), acknowledging receipt of our settlement of their invoice.

Is Kat Bond the person we should be calling?


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03rd Jun 2011 12:51

Just ask

I don't know.

I think your phone calls get directed to your account manager but you could just ask to speak to your account manager.

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By malc901
17th Jun 2011 12:10

Expanding other debtors and creditors

I'ts quite easy to expand the debtors and creditors, I've just done it. Open the report in edit mode and immediately cancel it to avoid a long wait. Go to the debtors in the report tree and let it refresh then put the mouse over the debtors paragraph and click on the edit section tab that appears on the left. This opens a window that allows you to ammend the section contents.

I'm just a Digita user who is very frustrated with the new version. I met some of the Digita team this week and they are working hard to get their support back to normal and said they will be releasing an upgrade soon that will address some of the speed issues. A lot of the problems were caused by HMRC changing the specifications right up to the last minute then refusing to delay the implementation of XBRL. Apparently they will not be able to do anything with the additional information until they upgrade their systems in a couple of years time.

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By tabrop
15th Jul 2011 08:34

And I Thought It Was Just Me!!

We have had nothing but trouble since the switch to Accounts Production 5.

It doesn't matter what type of customer, Limited Co, Partnership or Sole Trade we have encountered ongoing problems with all. There appears to be no business focus at Digita to the irrecoverable time we are racking up because of their product. The bottom line is that in my view the product is not fit for purpose, it has increased our production time by twenty to thirty minutes per job (time we cannot recover from the client), and the slow respose of issues with the help line has given rise to our invoicing being upto two months out of line with our forecast, has anybody tried to explain to their bank manager why the move to ixbrl should cause a cashflow problem?




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20th Sep 2012 16:54

Feel the same

Good afternoon.


We are having the same issues. Been with Digita for three years and a fantastic product but the occasional issues are becoming a problem for us.

If anyone has an alternative, please let me know.

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