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Moving away from sage

Moving away from sage

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Hi, I posted a question on here around July after being finally pushed over the edge by Sage.. I have only ever used Iris/Sage and was unsure which way to go..

After much thought, taking into account the feedback on here and testing out free trials I now use VT for accounts production, and BTC for tax.

I was initially a little unimpressed with VT - I didn't like the fact that it didn't really like journals with description on a line by line basis, I couldn't get a meaningful nominal ledger. But then I decided to utilise VT+ as my actual input method, once I had a TB I was happy with I then simply transfer to VT - quick and easy and no journals in VT. I then had a sensible nominal ledger in VT+, and I have actually been quite impressed with some aspects of VT+ - not least that it remembers what you have posted before. So, I used it to input directly from a clients cashbook on a month by month basis rather than totalling in excel as I would normally do. The next time I entered motor expense it knew exactly where I wanted them to go and auto filled for me, small things amuse small minds.

I find I need to be a little more 'careful' with VT as regards to presentation, but it is very easy to amend and the straight forward to use. The xbrl function also works very well.

Has it shaved loads of time in preparation compared with sage accounts porducition, probably not, but is it harder to use, no, do the accounts look cheaper - no - In fact, I nearly wasted hours altering the template to 'look' like sage accounts. I refrained, and how surprised was I when the client exclaimed how much easier they were to read than their previous accountants! (looked like iris accounts) - so not the format I am used to, but apparently better for the client, needless to say I have not touched the template.

A couple of quirks to bear in mind transferring to BTC, which may be down to my lack of knowledge - doesn't take out disallowable expenditure and I nearly had depreciation in as an expense on first tax return! But, works very well - I really like the practise solution program. I have used SPS, and had recently bought a tailored  accountants version of sage act which I was really dissapoointed in. I like the fact that the tax returns are stored on the database and I can pull up a list of progress on all clients tax returns.

Again, is it saving me preparation time, hard to say, I suspect it may actually, but only a little. Is it more cumbersome/cheaper - no way, I find the xbrl so much better and I really like the submission process. I have tailored the cover letter to be a signed declaration without too much trouble, though I dont think the standard letters will be so easy to amend. At the present moment I am keeping my letter templates outside of BTC, I will look into this when I have more time as that will enable me to store client letters within the practise solution porgram.

As for cost - well you don't need me to tell you that have at least halved my software costs and have the confidence that I am not going to get hammered as my practice grows.

 Downside, I have e-mailed a couple of queries to BTC, both small and not important. Have not received a reply to either e-mail. I have not chased up as not really important, they were just 'wonderings' however, does leave me a little uneasy about when I have an important query.

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By mja
10th Oct 2011 12:28

Microsoft Excel??

My reccomendation would be to hire a programmer and create Excel Spreadsheets  the way you want them to be (i.e. to suit your business)

It is much more flexible than using software like SAGE/IRIS etc.

Once you have your spreadsheets/software made you can adjust the limits e.g) PAYE limits and VAT rates yourself every year. Instead of paying annual subscription costs.

Thats what they do at the small practice I work at, luckily one of the accountants is very good with excel :) .

Paroll, VAT, Bank Accounts/Cash Books, Ledger Accounts, Trial Balances etc are all done on the spreadsheets and its soo easy to use.

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By kladski
10th Oct 2011 12:45

I am all for keeping costs down, but not at the expense of re-inventing the wheel! There are perfectly good programmes out there developed and tested at very affordable prices.

I thought I would add my feedback on just two of these products in case there is anyone else out there wavering on what to do...

 

Horses for courses I guess

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By Andrew Ross BTCSoftware
11th Oct 2011 13:16

Your concerns re BTC Support

Dear Kladski,

I am sorry to learn you are less than completely satisfied with the response of our support team. We work to a strict deadlines of responding to all support requests within 3 hours so this is clearly not good enough - however unimportant the issue. If you would like to call me on 0800 612 7650 or email me at [email protected] I will respond immediately.

Again my apologies,

Andrew Ross

 

 

 

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By kladski
12th Oct 2011 11:55

Just in case anyone reads through this in the future - I have been contacted by BTC support who were very friendly and helpful - all issues resolved and whiel she was logged on she kindly updated the version I was on so that I can now file my accounts direct to companies house. Very happy.

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By MissAccounting
12th Oct 2011 12:27

File to Companies House

Does BTC file the full or abbreviated accounts with CH?

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By kladski
12th Oct 2011 15:16

I haven't played with it yet - but per phone call today it was abbreviated we were discussing.

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By Andrew Ross BTCSoftware
13th Oct 2011 12:22

BTCSoftware & Companies House

Hi MissAccounting ,

PM Solution will file either the abbreviated or full accounts online to Companies House, although we find most users seem to prefer to attach the latter. Of course you will need to have set up a Companies House credit account for the purpose. You will find more on this here http://tinyurl.com/6cwnqos

Please call or email me if you have any more questions.

Andrew

 

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By Andrew Ross BTCSoftware
13th Oct 2011 12:25

PS

Sorry MissAccounting,

 

When I said "latter" I actually meant "former" as most attach the abbreviated version.

Andrew

 

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