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Let me tell you about the gormless software I use

You would think accounting software would be decent these days.

Didn't find your answer?

I have recently started a new job, with shiny 'cloud' software.

No doubt some bits of it are good, and suited to my new sector - but let me tell you about the bad bits:

1) You can only reconcile the bank once a month.

2) There is no means to enter a one off supplier payment

3) For suppliers that are paid by direct debit, every invoice generates a bank posting in anticipation of the DD being collected.

4) BACS payments generate a posting to the bank account for every supplier that is paid.

 

The last two, in particular, mean bank reconciliation is virtually impossible in a high volume transaction environment.

 

Who lets this junk get past the development stage?

I am sure I will sort out 'work arounds', but, really, you shouldn't have to!

Replies (14)

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By AdamMurphy
11th Sep 2021 13:47

Oh dear, the editorial team won't like you criticising cloud software!

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RLI
By lionofludesch
11th Sep 2021 15:20

It's not going well, then, Tom ?

Will you be looking for some alternative ?

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By tom123
11th Sep 2021 15:24

The shiny new software has only been in place for a year - so looks like I am stuck with it for the foreseeable!

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By tom123
11th Sep 2021 15:24

The shiny new software has only been in place for a year - so looks like I am stuck with it for the foreseeable!

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By DKB-Sheffield
11th Sep 2021 15:48

Hi Tom,

Sounds like a bit of a strange one! All of the 'lacking' functions* you have mentioned are available in any 'standard' accounting package I've worked with (cloud, desktop, cloud-server, even my in-house spreadsheet/ DBMS systems).

Is this a commercial "off the shelf" package or "bespoke" software? Is it perhaps an industry-specific package where 'accounting functionality' is a bolt-on (after thought) to an ERP/ MRP system?

If bespoke, I'd be inclined to ask your employer for the spec. If the developer has not fulfilled the spec (e.g. cutting corners to make the developmebt easier) it may be worth addressing them directly (although, good luck on that one).

If it is a commercial "off the shelf" product, has your predecessor configured it in such a way as to prevent or limit some of the functionality (i.e. they didn't want any employee to be able to run mid-month bank recs, or they have set up automated DD posting).

It may help if you name the software - even if it is a rare package? Someone may have the answers, information on how to reconfigure the system, or suggested workarounds!

* The one (partial) exception being the BACS run. Most software will allocated payments to suppliers and will list these as separate transactions (because that is what they are l, and the payments should be listed separately in the audit trail for compliance purposes). Some software will allow the consolidation of these payments into one figure for bank rec purposes (only).
The optional workaround would be to set up a 'BACS clearing' account, post all supplier payments to there and then journal the BACS payment to the bank on settlement. In doing this, the 'BACS clearing' account (which should reconcile to NIL) will hold the supplier audit trail, and the bank account will have a single figure!

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By the_drookit_dug
11th Sep 2021 16:10

What software is it? I've not been impressed with software for the independent schools sector. Accounts seems to just be bolted on to the main pupil MIS software as an afterthought

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Red Leader
By Red Leader
11th Sep 2021 18:42

It's generally the case. Sector specific software whose main aim is whatever is specific to that sector, often has [email protected] accounting functionality. The non-accountants like it but they don't have to deal with the accounting consequences.

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Replying to Red Leader:
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By Paul Crowley
12th Sep 2021 12:45

Agree
Try Evopos to get the full experience

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Replying to Red Leader:
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By thevaliant
12th Sep 2021 16:05

Agree.

A client who sells motors uses Pinnacle, which I think is a system for recording vehicle sales and costs; location of vehicle, VIN, Reg, all sorts of useful information.

The accounting system is bolted on as an after thought. It's blooming terrible.

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Replying to Red Leader:
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By Ken Howard
12th Sep 2021 16:20

Red Leader wrote:

It's generally the case. Sector specific software whose main aim is whatever is specific to that sector, often has [email protected] accounting functionality. The non-accountants like it but they don't have to deal with the accounting consequences.

I agree. I have a convenience store client who is part of one of the big chain buying groups and is virtually forced to use their stock control and till system. The till system doesn't have any functionality at all for remote access nor any ability to export/produce reports in csv nor pdf format - all it can do it print paper reports. So it's not MTD compatible, yet the "big name" buying group aren't interested in improving it. So, despite MTD rules, we have to take paper reports and enter them into a suitable book-keeping system for the VAT returns. There are hundreds of convenience stores using this system which are falling foul of MTD. But it's not just that, the system is poor anyway - it records "account sales" as deductions from cash sales in the cash control section, which is OK, but doesn't show payments by account customers anywhere on the reports, so the cash control can never balance. That's just one example. The till/stock side of it is fine, but the financial reporting and controls are awful.

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By Moonbeam
13th Sep 2021 10:40

I feel your anger and understand very well your bitter disappointment. I advised a client move to some expensive bookkeeping software about a year ago. The point was to enable staff to log in to projects and understand progress and costs better. From that point of view it was worthwhile. For the accounts side, although it's cloud, what we see is an adaptation of what looks like quite "DOSsy" software. It's unnecessarily complicated for the book-keeper, but because she's picked it up fast, there will only be a problem when she leaves and we have to train the replacement.
But even that is easier to use than yours, judging by your description.
I would suggest you contact someone senior at the software company, make your views known, and ask them how they are going to help you do your job in future.
I assume they've just got one programmer, who's far too busy sweeping up the bugs to spend time on improvements, and they're probably not making much of a profit.

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By Gone Sailing
13th Sep 2021 10:50

When I had a proper job in accounting systems, the developers either bled you dry and pocketed the proceeds, or ignored you.

Rule number 1: Never ever be an early adopter.

In the olden days we manually fed from the (usually necessary) business system to well grounded accounting software, and as time went by, built up the electronic feeds.

Interesting though, how much MTD might have put up a red light in those days.

Even now, eg. separate payroll software, one even supplied by HMRC!! Manual journals. Hmm.

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By tedbuck
16th Sep 2021 10:59

Not the least bit surprised at this - we use two or three of the main cloud providers and they are as said somewhat deficient in the ability to perform normal checks and difficult to correct when wrong entries made. Clients manage to enter stuff into bank accounts derived from bank feeds thus destroying the benefit of the bank feed and sales can easily be entered twice in some systems. They are generally too clever by half and make it too easy to enter data incorrectly. Vat input errors are very common due to the options given on entry remaining pre set to 20% VAT. They aren't good at coping with disbursements which isn't helpful either.

Still it will keep HMRC happy as it's digital.

Does anyone know a really good bookkeeping system that actually works? I have been waiting for the results of AW's poll just in case there is one out there that is some good.

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