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The end of the road for TASBooks?

The end of the road for TASBooks?

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This afternoon a nice lady from TAS offered me an upgrade from TASBooks to Sage 50 as TAS are no longer going to do any more work developing TASBooks and there are issues with Windows 10.  This really looks like the end of the road for TASBooks. Having been  a user for 15 years I deeply regret having to look elsewhere for my accounts software.  The reporting is excellent and if you make a mistake most things can be undone with the minimum of pain. It is however getting really expensive (over £1000 a year). 

I am neither an accountant nor a book keeper but run a medium size shop and do my own accounts - because it is important for me to keep my eye on what our business is doing and believe it or not accounts do just that.  At the end of the month/year I know exactly how we are doing compared with last year/month 10 years ago etc both in terms of turnover, profitability and costs. For me accounts are a business tool and give me the answers to what I want to know about my business rather than just collecting information for tax and VAT purposes.

Last year, because it had become so expensive, I had a look at a couple of the cloud packages and wasn't that impressed.  One thing that stuck out is that TAS attaches a cost of sales to each sales invoice and as we have an EPOS system we know exactly what this is so sales income and GP figures are accurately reflected without having to make separate ledger entries.  I would be loathed to let this go.

The things I really like about TASBooks

Good flexible reporting which can be easily exported to Excel

Drill down facility to individual transactions makes spotting dodgy entries easier

Recurring cash and nominal journals

Assets register to deal with depreciation.

Easy correction to errors

What doesn't really float my boat is

Integration to bank accounts

Packages that do too much of what I am not interested in.  ie that include stock/invoicing/manufacturing in their standard product rather than in add-on modules.

Has anyone any suggestions as to where I should look for comparative software?

Replies (22)

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By petersaxton
12th Apr 2016 20:47

QuickBooks is my suggestion for desktop software.

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By FRAS
13th Apr 2016 10:23

Tasbooks not closing

I just spoke to my Account Manager at Tasbooks as we use it for the past 5 years and I am about to renew our software at the end of April 2016. They assured me that they are not closing the system at all and they will continue supporting it as long as customers wants to use it.I suggest you speak to someone more senior at Tasbooks as it is great software especially for retailers as one can easily import sales from an EPOS system or excel without using Journals to record sales.

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By adam.arca
13th Apr 2016 10:18

See also the thread under TAS Books discussion group where there are a few interesting comments.

Basically, I don't think TAS Books is in imminent danger but Sage (who own TAS of course) seem to have finally made the decision to kill off TAS in the medium term and the call you have had to "upgrade" to Sage software is the opening manoeuvre in that campaign: a couple of my clients have had identical calls but have made the decision to stick with TAS for the time being.

As for desktop alternatives, TAS is one of the big three mass market options, the others being Sage and QuickBooks. There are of course other desktop offerings, both established like Pegasus and more boutique options but I don't know much about any of those.

Personally, and as a TAS user myself, I wouldn't go QuickBooks: it tends to be a love it or loath it thing with QB and I'm in the latter camp partly because look and feel are so radically different from TAS. To be honest, my personal opinion is that Sage probably is the better option of those 2 alternatives for TAS users although you will still find it handles a lot of thing differently (I now feel almost dirty having recommended Sage!),

 

 

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By DBell
14th Apr 2016 09:32

TASBooks not closing

Just to echo [email protected] point - TAS isn't closing, at least any time soon. The thread in the TASBooks discussion group thread - bit.ly/TASForever - has feedback from senior staff at TAS who say "we will continue to support TAS as long as customers want to use the software".

There aren't any major issues with Windows 10 as far as I'm aware, I've been using it since it came out with no issues, and supporting a lot of sites with it also...

 

Disclaimer: I run a software company that offers TAS add-ons and provides TAS support so I'm pretty biased!

 

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By Euan MacLennan
14th Apr 2016 09:57

Sage vs. TAS

I have never understood why Sage, having acquired TAS Books many years ago, did not incorporate the TAS relational database structure into Sage (Line) 50 to replace Sage's archaic "flat file" database.  The relational database is what gives TAS the flexibility to amend existing postings.  With Sage's traditional database, you have to input a correcting journal and a replacement journal and let them flow through the system to achieve the desired result.

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By Cloudcounter
14th Apr 2016 10:33

Rule number 1

Never believe anything a Sage salesperson tells you about software not working unless you give them more money

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By ColinNibbs
14th Apr 2016 13:26

Run the business

Why on earth are you spending so much time and effort on accounts when you should be running the business? A good bookkeeper will do what you want, and more. At the moment, you can't see the wood for the trees.

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Replying to doubletrouble:
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By DSP Financial Management
14th Apr 2016 14:19

Small Business Owners who manage their accounts

ColinNibbs wrote:

Why on earth are you spending so much time and effort on accounts when you should be running the business? A good bookkeeper will do what you want, and more. At the moment, you can't see the wood for the trees.

Are the very best clients in the long run. We then sort out their statutory and tax reporting responsibilities, from a position that they are very familiar with.

That comment is absolute bull-poopie. Folks who own and run successful small businesses want and need to be in control of the basics.

I'm totally in agreement with Howard, I have seen in the distant past, a couple of serious problems in £10 - £15m sized companies controlled by family directors, where a few of them hadn't a clue how to retrieve information, or even produce a sales invoice off the accounting system. 

Thankfully, that attitude is less prevallent in small businesses today.

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By Howard Marks
14th Apr 2016 13:42

@ColinNibbs

What a load of old claptrap!

 

The OP very clearly has an excellent handle on his books, I can't for the life of me understand how he 'cant see the woods from the trees'.

 

Heaven forbid an accountant/bookkeeper not be required.

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Replying to Wilson Philips:
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By ColinNibbs
15th Apr 2016 17:05

How not to run a busienss

Howard Marks wrote:

What a load of old claptrap!

 

The OP very clearly has an excellent handle on his books, I can't for the life of me understand how he 'cant see the woods from the trees'.

 

Heaven forbid an accountant/bookkeeper not be required.

It is one thing to know your figures when you run a business, and to understand how they have been arrived at. It is something completely different when the business owner does all the figures himself, when the time spent could be more productively used.

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By Brend201
14th Apr 2016 15:04

Move to QuickBooks

I was an enthusiastic user of TAS from 1998 when I bought it for £100.  I recommended and helped to install TAS in many organisations over the years.  I was able to write reports in the nominal ledger report generator, a great function.  However, a colleague in a large firm recommended QuickBooks to me in 2006/7 and I immediately agreed with him that QB is much better than TAS.  I have recommended QB to many users (and have been using it regularly myself) since then.  

For a TAS user, there is not such a big difference in moving to QB as it is broadly similar in approach.  The flexibility is much better.  Drilldown is good and error correction is much easier than in TAS.  Reporting exports are much better than in TAS - you get print formatting and formulas in the tables.  You may need to switch off the stock module but I suspect that you will be able to get around that easily.  

Very importantly, QB desktop costs much less than TAS or Sage 50 (and there is no great requirement to pay an annual support fee).  The only drawback is that Intuit are not pushing desktop now, the big focus is on QB Online, but I believe that you can still buy the desktop version.  Go for the Pro product.

I know that you don't like online software but I have recently seen the US version of QB Online and it is fairly good. Of course, you are committed to a monthly payment for as long as you want to use the software.  I suspect that the desktop version won't be available much longer.  

I wasn't aware of the QB "love it or loathe it" divisions but, obviously, I am in the love it camp.  

Good luck in continuing to keep on top of your accounting - I suspect that most of the posters here are very impressed.

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By Alf
15th Apr 2016 09:42

Sage

Having used both Sage and TAS in a number of settings, I much prefer Sage. I agree that there are shortcomings eg regarding corrections and drilling down but it is better than TAS in that running nominal ledger reports for specified date ranges is much better in Sage, day to day entry of transactions is much quicker and slicker in Sage (eg in TAS when inputting a customer receipt you can't see what is outstanding until after the entry is posted) and TAS is no longer being improved at all. From memory exporting to Excel is also better in Sage.

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By razertoo
15th Apr 2016 10:44

TAS

I have used TAS Books for ever and feel that it is the best one out there. I will be devastated if Sage decide not to continue with it and my hatred for Sage accounting software ( I find it sooo cumbersome) will see me moving to a competitor, probably QuickBooks.

 

Just a quick note to the OP. £1000 seems excessive for what I assume is a single user product. I pay only slightly more for the multi-user, multi-company network version and that also includes rubbish Sage payroll (also majorly cumbersome). But then I do lambast them every year for the long wait for telephone support as soon as payroll year end is imminent. 

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By lockco.aol
13th Feb 2018 16:13

Well nearly 2 years on and your predictions for TAS seem to be right. Sage has said that TAS will not support the new HMRC VAT portal. When I emailed them to ask whether TAS would support MTD they failed to reply. When I telephoned them to ask the same thing I was told that no decision had been made. Its not looking good for TAS and Sage seem to be about to let a lot of people down.

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By greenlady
16th Mar 2018 09:46

This is the only discussion I have found for Tasbook orphans..and I wondered if anyone had found an equivalent alternative -without paying a fortune for SAGE 50?
I have spent ages slogging through Quickbooks, Xero, Liberty and others, and it has made me realise how much TAS offered.
So far I have found :
Batch inputting - SageAccounting, none of the others
COS/Inventory automated journal when invoice raised (don't need to track inventory) - Sage50, Quickbooks plus
Multiple delivery addresses - some are very clunky and need to set up subcustomers
Also, goes without saying need to be automated VAT submissions/MTD
So...has anyone found the magic package. The closest I've got is Quickbooks plus for functionality. Sage looks most like TAS but is very expensive. If anyone could help I would be very grateful - and it would save my sanity.

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By Karin
18th Jul 2018 18:49

Did you ever get any help with this? I do my husband’s books using TAS Books 1, on XP. Started with TAS for DOS! It really is a very small business. Sole trader , no employees. It is however VAT registered so I’m advised we have to be DTR compatible. I’ve looked at Quick Books and Sage 50, both of which will incur extra expense. I can’t persuade my husband to retire even though we’re both fast approaching 70. So I need to find an easy programme to use if there is such a thing.

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Replying to greenlady:
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By Karin
18th Jul 2018 18:50

Did you ever get any help with this? I do my husband’s books using TAS Books 1, on XP. Started with TAS for DOS! It really is a very small business. Sole trader , no employees. It is however VAT registered so I’m advised we have to be DTR compatible. I’ve looked at Quick Books and Sage 50, both of which will incur extra expense. I can’t persuade my husband to retire even though we’re both fast approaching 70. So I need to find an easy programme to use if there is such a thing.

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By Anton Gibbs
14th Aug 2018 12:09

I spoke with sage on Thursday 9th Aug 2018, They informed me that there are plans in place to update TAS for MTD, fingers crossed ! like many others on this thread, I have yet to find a better accounting package overall.

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By Dieselshunter
01st Sep 2018 09:57

Found a reply to a query about MTD for TASBooks on the Sage website. It says they will provide a solution to add on to TASBooks to make it MTD compliant, which should be available from September. The bad news is they want £300 a year for it, ongoing.

If you do quarterly returns that's £75 per VAT submission then!

Dunno about others here, but I think I know when a vendor is telling me they don't want my business any more.

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By greenlady
04th Sep 2018 17:17

Hi Karin
I jumped to Quickbooks in the end.. Not as much functionality as TAS and took a bit of getting used to, but now I'm ok with it. ~There are even features that are quite nice - I was able to send a quote whilst on holiday. Couldn't have done that in TAS. I think I'd recommend it - especially the basic QB. Note - don't go for QB plus, as you can't downgrade to QB. But, whatever TAS says, I'd move now and not wait..

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By mickeyparish
10th Apr 2019 17:01

As a user ot TAS, I was worried that they are not supporting MTD. However there is a company ( Infoplex ) who make many add on modules for TAS and their module for MTD seems reasonably priced. We have purchased it, but not run it yet. We have multi warehouse, multi currency, and unlimited assemblies as part of our add on modules, all of which are refinements not offered by Sage, which is why we never migrated. TAS lives on !

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By millieireland
18th Nov 2019 14:24

We are a very small company with one employee. We are working off TAS Books 2 v3 on Windows 7.
We are worried because I presume we will have to change to Windows 10 in January and afraid that TAS Books 2 wont work on Windows 10. We love TAS Books 2 and have no problems with it so don't know where to go from here. Any help/advice?

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