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looking for software recommendations

Tax and accounts production software

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we are a group of 6 companies which will grow in the future. We regularly have to produce our statutory accounts on word so i have suggested accounts production software to our financial controller.

We need to tag the accounts our external tax advisors don't do this for us. 

I need to be able to pick up TB's easily and quickly and transfer these to some tax software. Currently the company uses excel!

In the past we have sent our tax comps to an external company but we would like to take control ourselves and just ask our advisors to check our workings. 

I'm looking for recommendations. At present the group companies are either small or medium companies. 

 

Replies (21)

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By Tim Vane
30th Jun 2020 16:32

VT Software Final Accounts.

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By VP
30th Jun 2020 18:12

The above gets my vote too.

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By Jfg
30th Jun 2020 19:00

And mine, used it for years and it is first class and absolutely unbeatable for the money

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By Swandan83
30th Jun 2020 20:33

Another vote for VT

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By Jimess
02nd Jul 2020 10:29

VT is my suggestion too

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Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
30th Jun 2020 16:43

Before last week, I'd have been promoting Keytime (part of the Iris Software Group). It's been a great asset in my practice, for the last 12 years or so. In all those years, I've never hesitated to add my voice in favour of the various modules.

However, direct experience of some of the contingent, within the Iris brand, over the last week, has brought about a complete change of tack, on my part. Arrogance, rudeness and an absolute lack of acceptable behaviour has brought me to the point of giving notice that I will be cancelling my licence, as soon as the opportunity arises.

In the fullness of time, I'll also be seeking similar answers. It's a regret that there aren't many none Iris options, these days.

I may just follow Tim Vane's advice and take up the VT Software route. Unless, of course ................

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By Paul Crowley
30th Jun 2020 17:48

You are not the only one who considers IRIS approach to be inappropriate

The product is good for a practice of a certain size, but customer relations are shocking.

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By qadri23
02nd Jul 2020 12:41

Hi Chris

I am at odds with Tax calc, great tax module, but company practice management module is incomplete, to say the least. I am trying to find an alternative to Tax Calc, as a small practice (around 250 off clients) we need decent practice management and Time&Fee module.

Rather trying to create efficiencies for practices Tax Calc have started sneaking in useless add-ons to make you part with your cash. They have been promising Time&Fee module since 2015, but to this date nothing on the horizon, Frustrating.
I was planning to switch to KeyTime, but after reading your comments I will stay away from them!

Ideally, I am looking for a cloud-based product, I have taken a demo from Capium, in my humble opinion it seems it’s an unfinished product, and a long way to go before you can run a decent size practice.

Tax filer (although part of IRIS) appears to be a good candidate but missing practice management and Time&Fee modules.

Not sure if anyone uses Gbooks and let us know how it is in action?

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By ann1987
09th Jul 2020 14:37

Interetsing - this was partially why I asked. I use Taxcalc for my CT for other clients. Most are small so the full tax returns rarely get used. I need a return where I can drop in reports from my dynamics and attach them so that we have the workings.

With the final accounts we need to be able to drop our TB's from Dynamics into a format which can then produce our statutory accounts and tag them. We have to have the facility to add notes ( quite complex ones ). My impression was that Taxcalc isn't quite completed. I have been with them for years when I had my practice. As a tax manager in industry it doesn't work.

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By sallyrichardson
02nd Jul 2020 09:42

You can copy and past TBs from Excel into Taxfiler. It's now part of Iris but they support people are still very nice... at the moment.

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By Rgab1947
02nd Jul 2020 09:44

Wow, 6 companies and you do it all in-house and from the wording mainly Excel?

Talk about making a rod for your own back.

Not clear but I would with haste convert the whole accounting to a cloud based accounting software (QuickBooks/Xero)

Most AP software will import direct from those 2 making AP a doddle. I have used Keytime (good product at the time but Iris....), Digita (Very good but all desktop) and currently Capium (it has it quirks) fully cloud.

No faffing with iXBRL and you can give an external accountant/tax guy access so not emailing TB's. Off course all the packages mentioned will give TB and a click with drill down facility.

Excel... do they still use a quill?

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
02nd Jul 2020 10:17

That surely depends on business size and type.

We for years ran our group via excel, mainly cashbook driven and for the larger beasts we have no vat concerns.

Well written monthly sheets in excel, linking to summaries /analysis sheets and to an ETB do work and for some of our business entities excel sheets all linking is still how I operate (Though I am currently migrating three of our business entities (two companies and a partnership) to Landmark software which integrates property/tenant management with accounts; three down two to go.

Re final accounts and tax, I post the ETB into Taxcalc Accounts Production and link through to the Tax part of same.

Frankly if I was going to use accounts software I would always try to acquire something that was bespoke to the running of the particular business involved, so Landmark once set up , with lease details updated, batch creates rent demands, repair invoices re say a roof can have pictures added and stored against particular property database showing what was done and where, logging of EPCs against properties, rent review prompts, lease end prompts etc, the software is not mere accounts production.

Maybe it will come as a shock to accountants in practice but there is far more to running most business entities than the accounts, pure accounts/tax /payroll/vat possibly takes me five hours a week, the rest of my time is dealing with all these other sorts of matters plus more, so a stand alone software package just for accounts is really not very exciting, something that will allow me to manage so much more, an overview of the entire business from my desktop, is exciting.

So if I were the OP I would more look at accounts software that also assisted day to day business management rather than merely final accounts/tax, and that will depend upon what the business entities do.

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By qadri23
02nd Jul 2020 10:26

Hi DJKL

How do you keep a tap on deadlines? what about time and Fee?

I am also a victim of Tax Calc, their Accounting and Tax modules are just amazing, hence decided to stay on for many years, but now start missing deadlines etc, so time to move on!

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By 2003bluecat
02nd Jul 2020 10:40

qadri23 wrote:

Hi DJKL

How do you keep a tap on deadlines? what about time and Fee?

I am also a victim of Tax Calc, their Accounting and Tax modules are just amazing, hence decided to stay on for many years, but now start missing deadlines etc, so time to move on!

We use TaxCalc for accounts and TRs and Accountancy Manger for deadlines and time logging. I'm sure it could be more seamless (particularly if they integrated better) but having previously used Excel spreadsheet for deadlines and time sheets it's a big improvement. The automatic emails to clients are useful too.

One thing we've found with Accountancy Manager is that it takes a while to get fully integrated. Not through their set up of the software necessarily but more from a changing habits point of view. After all these things are only as accurate as the information you put in.

Final point, accountancy manager may seem expensive to some but for us it's more than worth it, depends on each practices use case and needs.

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Replying to qadri23:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
02nd Jul 2020 23:00

I am no longer in practice, I had a P/T one up to last September.

For the last nearly 23 years I have been FD of a property group and more recently also co manage it with a surveyor, as the owners are effectively retired.

Re Tax Calc, when I used it in practice I never had enough clients to worry re deadlines, time and fees were just joted on inside cover of files as just me , but back then I was 5 days a week with the main job and practice was just evenings/weekends so was not vast.

I do still use it re the various business entities we have, though even that is diminishing, now down to three active Limited Companies, two dormant Limited Companies,one LLP , one Partnership and two FURBS (effectively trusts), so not difficult to keep track re what needs done.

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Replying to qadri23:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
02nd Jul 2020 23:01

Duplicate

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Replying to Rgab1947:
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By NewACA
02nd Jul 2020 12:11

To say Excel is dinosaur for bookkeeping, is to mis-understand excel.

If a user has poorly formed excel spreadsheets that aren't fit for purpose, then yes, Xero is better. But if you've got an excel spreadsheet that is designed for ease of use, entry speed, and produces all the main reports you'd expect from accounting software: P&L , B/S, aged debtor/creditor reports, VAT reports etc, then from a compliance point of view the bookkeeping takes 50% less time that using something like Xero in most cases. We only use Xero for clients that want more reporting, than what we need for year end compliance.

To talk about excel in general about being good or bad for accounting purposes, is to ask how long a piece of string is.

In the old 1997 version of Excel, there is a cell that, if you put the correct data in, turns excel into a flight simulator computer game. For later versions of Excel, Bill Gates asked the flight similuator code to be removed, as it used up too much space. That was in there just to show the power of Excel. It can basically do anything you want it to, that can be done on a computer.

So Excel is exceedingly powerful, but very few users know how to write proper spread sheets and do the necessary VBA coding.

I took two weeks to write my spreadsheet 1o years ago, that reaps dividends now, at we can do bookkeeping at £59/hour on, and be compareable in price to bookkeepers using Xero. Our year end accounts work is quicker too by about an hour (on say a 11 hour accounts prep job), as it was designed by us to make our lives easier, but Xero is about being "beautiful", not fast for the accountant or bookkeeper.

Not to mention of course all the xero fees that we have saved over the years. I think I paid £150 for MS Office on a few machines 5 years ago last time.

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By ann1987
07th Jul 2020 16:48

We have accounting software we are on Microsoft dynamics BUT the reporting team produce the accounts on word and I have inherited the tax on excel. I like to streamline my life so now that my role is tax only I am taking the excel model in hand but helping a colleague at the same time.

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By ann1987
07th Jul 2020 16:50

PS I used to be a trainer for Quickbooks so I am a fan of that

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SamPayne
By SamPayne
02nd Jul 2020 13:45

BTCSoftware - Great support, and the software does everything we need it to. Can't recommend it enough!

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By qadri23
07th Jul 2020 16:52

Can BTC produce invoices/bills from timesheet?

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