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Software for brand new practitioner

Hi,  I am looking into what software packages to use for my practice.  What would people recommend for someone just starting out?  Taxcalc and VT seem like a good value for money option for accounts preparation (taxcalc for all tax returns too), although I have never used either? BTC also seems like a possible option?  Moneysoft for payroll looks much better than Sage payroll.  I have not used any of these packages, so would like to hear people's opinions on them, and any other suggestions are welcome too.  Please let me know your favourite packages for: accounts preparation, all tax return, payroll and bookkeeping, I am looking for ease of use, value for money, and scaleability if I grow my client base quickly (which I hope to do!) Thanks!


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24th Nov 2017 21:05

Anything's better than Sage payroll.

Browse this forum and you'll find that VT, Moneysoft, Taxfiler and Brightpay are recommended time and again, though VT is losing support following the announcement that they're not going to bother with this MTD business.

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24th Nov 2017 23:45

Perhaps it would help if you were to let us know which software you have worked with in the past, and what you didn't like about it that makes you want to use something different in your own practice. Then we could point you in the direction that would suit you best.

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to Tim Vane
25th Nov 2017 08:21

Hi, thanks for your reply.
I have used Caseware and Sapa for accounts preparation. Caseware would be complete overkill for me just starting out, and too expensive. I have also found it to be really slow! Sapa I would be happy to use again, but from my research I am wary using sage products. For Corp tax I have used alpha tax before, which seems to work well. Personal tax we have used CCH. I haven't been involved with payroll before so have no experience with previous software. Thanks

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to Carter.account
25th Nov 2017 09:28

You're right - however much you liked those, there are cheaper options, more than likely perfectly adequate for your needs.

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to lionofludesch
25th Nov 2017 09:47

Do you have experience with any that you could recommend?

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By jcace
25th Nov 2017 01:22

BrightPay give you a free trial, if you fancy having a trial run of that for payroll. It deals easily with payroll, CIS, Auto Enrolment and links well with NEST. Great value for money.

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By Tornado
25th Nov 2017 11:15

"brand new practitioner"

What a great line. Were you unwrapped, plugged in and tested and found to be in good working order?

From someone who has been doing this for a long time to someone just starting out, I wish you the best of luck.

I agree with the suggestions so far. I use VT, IRIS Payroll and IRIS OpenTax but as OpenTax is being scrapped for 2018 and onwards, I am in the process of moving over to GBooks which looks good for a small practice. I will also be moving over to Brightpay for payroll.

GBooks is still work in progress as regards cloud book-keeping, but they are developing a product that will be very much created with MTD in mind, so it will have the advantage of being MTD first and not as an afterthought, like some other products.

GBooks is also a cloud based integrated suite so each module will talk with each other and can be accessed from anywhere through a browser.

Have a good look around before you make any decisions.

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to Tornado
30th Nov 2017 16:53

Even got the fresh out the wrapper smell still!

Thanks for the Gbooks suggestion, i like that its cloud based, and looks reasonably priced for what it is, and everything is in one package.

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25th Nov 2017 11:42

Like the user name, if you had made it possessive , inserted "advanced" and added an "s" on the end it would have been even better.

Should have added, currently use TaxCalc re both tax returns and accounts and Brightpay re payrolls. Use ICPA re PII and most publications I need online via them. (Except Whillan's as still need a hard copy)

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25th Nov 2017 13:14

Sage final accounts, line 50 and payroll as well.

Job done.

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to Kent accountant
25th Nov 2017 14:30

You OK KA?

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to Paul Scholes
25th Nov 2017 14:36

Yup...just dealing with the competition...

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25th Nov 2017 14:34

If you can work by creating a TB that needs little if any editing (something easy to achieve if your clients are on cloud accounting) then have a look at Taxfiler, this handles both the accounts and tax returns under one roof and costs £10 pm for up to 50 returns (including any related accounts).

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25th Nov 2017 14:39

No-one has mentioned tax filer. *edited to add, well they hadnt until I was in the middle of typing this*

Its hugely comprehensive for the modest fee.

Taxcalc are going very corporate now and reposition from a "light solution" to a "integrated package" with the prices being pushed up year on year, well over inflation. That said if you just use the standalone tax elements it is decent if a bit clunky at times with lots of empty screen to click through fi you are not interested in all the bells and whistles.

Tax filer has less handholding but is very nippy to use which is great for smaller returns, but you do need to know what you are doing, its probably easier for an assistant on tax calc simple step. The accounts prep isn't as sophisticated as other offerings, but does the job for small clients.

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