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I have purchase VT FA recently and decided to call VT support for one-off telephone walk-through to get me started.

I'm aware of quality manuals and easy-piece of software, however I just wanted one-off comprehensive walk-through which I never hesitated and thought would be a problem.

Coming from SAPA where helpline is needed and constantly available, I fully understood that due to size of VT there are some limitations on support and I'm absolutely fine with that, but ,surely, one-off telephone call that will cover me for years shouldn't be a problem!

Anyway, this afternoon (14/02/2012), I called up VT support for help and my expected "intro" for which I didn't mind to give 1,2 or 3 of my included credits and asked a lady to take me through it as a new customer. Her response was that for the best results I had to play around with it. I said that I don't want to mess it up (i.e delete/insert row, ixblr etc). So she answered, reluctantly, couple of my basic questions and refused to go further saying that I should just read manual.

So, to conclude - good piece of software, but in comparisons to Sage,Digita very poor support for new customers.

I hope VT representative will read the post here and try to resolve this issue. Lack of "intro" and just one-call explaining basics is something very valuable in my eyes and eyes of other new practitoners. I would appreciate if someone from VT will call me back. My postcode is M259NF

Many thanks,


Replies (17)

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Image is of a pin up style woman in a red dress with some of her skirt caught in the filing cabinet. She looks surprised.
By Monsoon
14th Feb 2012 20:56

When I signed up to Digita...

... I had to pay for training; it didn't come with free support to teach me how to use it. Specific help with a particular function got support, but not a general walkthrough. I wouldn't expect what is essentially an in depth training session for free.

I ditched Digita and went back to VT, but that's by the by.

VT is significantly cheaper than Digita and others. That cost saving has to come somewhere. What's wrong with reading the manual?

Anyway, a free walkthrough, start with a sole trader:

Flie> New > Accounts workbook > choose type of company. Input details.

Assuming manual TB entry, go to the TB tab and enter the TB.

Go to the Add Ins menu, click "auto hide" button, then click preview. Voila, a set of accounts.

Never use File>Print in Excel when in VT, always print from the add ins menu.

The menu options on VT are pretty intuitive, so for example if you want to insert a financial row, you choose the insert menu. But really, the help file is great, and worth doing.

I understand that you didn't get the customer service you wanted, but I'm not sure your complaint was justified really - you bought inexpensive software and then wanted free training on it.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
By alexeytma
14th Feb 2012 21:02

Thanks Monsoon,

1) Digita offers now free 3 hour introductory (so, I was told by Sales couple of days ago)

2) Thanks for Sole trader advice, I know it's a cheap software, so I'm reasonable with support - I'm only asking one-off introduction - that's it! Not too much to ask

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By Tonykelly
14th Feb 2012 21:38

this is nonsense

To be honest with you, I think your complaints are a load of rubbish and not justified.

You can get started with VT in about 5 minutes if you read the manual.

The manual provides very clear and precise instructions to produce a set of accounts from scratch.

How do I know this? Because I did it myself last year. My own accounts software doesn't produce iXBRL accounts, so I imported the TB into VT and had a set of iXBRL accounts in less than half an hour. The second year will be much quicker as the comparatives and other data will be set up.


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By alexeytma
14th Feb 2012 21:51

Ok, you've got fair point.

i'm justing refering to one specific need that some users would appreciate - some sort of audio/video introduction!

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By CWservices6064
14th Feb 2012 22:43

I've used Sage and Iris accounts production products and I am very surprised that anyone who has previously used a computerised accounts production package and excel cannot use VT productively almost instantly. Fantastic product, easy to use and great price.

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Replying to Flying Scotsman:
By alexeytma
14th Feb 2012 22:49

I've figured out quiet quickly how to use it, but the point is that when that "walk through support needed" is wasn't available

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Replying to brian.barrett:
By Ken Howard
15th Feb 2012 08:14

nor was it promised when you bought it

alexeytma wrote:

I've figured out quiet quickly how to use it, but the point is that when that "walk through support needed" is wasn't available

Nor was it promised when you bought it.

VT is probably the easiest and most user-intuitive software I've ever bought.  It's been written to be easy to use and not to require initial training.  Hence the low price.  I've paid far more and ended up with something virtually impossible to use without hours of training.

A quick read through of the manual gets you up and running in minutes, probably quicker than phoning and having it explained noddy-fashion over the phone and definitely quicker than writing comments of fora.

Personally I hate videos and demos as I find they run far too slow.  Likewise I hate having to take training.  I prefer software that has been written properly to be user friendly in the first place,  If I get software that I can't use straight out of the box within 30 minutes or so, then I won't be buying it, regardless of what kind of training, videos, etc they provide.

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By FirstTab
15th Feb 2012 07:56

Fair point

I understand your point Alex.  I have spoken to other accountants who would have appreciated a few minutes introduction as well. This includes me. In the end I was okay with VT.

I have made the point before about just a few introductory videos on VT. The response from VT was they had no plans to do this. It would be done once, and used time and time again.

I think you make a fair point.



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By occca
15th Feb 2012 08:24


If this was part of the service then the cost would have to be considerably more - I don't know anybody who has struggled once they have read the manual

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By MissAccounting
15th Feb 2012 09:46

Dont really think your complaints are justified really given the price, read the manual as described and if you come across an issue then by all means give support a call.  Ive never had to call the support line once in about 6 years as I find the software so straight forward.


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By Mouse007
19th Feb 2012 14:45

Pass me your car keys

Now, I'm not sure what car you have, but to be honest I suspect I could jump in have a quick look around, check a few switches and press a few button without looking at any manual. Adjust the seat and mirrors and off I go.

In all fairness to VT it’s exactly the same, as it should be with any software these days. Indeed if I need training etc etc etc I don’t want to know, got far better things to do.

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By Flash Gordon
15th Feb 2012 11:15

Agree with the vast majority

Why would you expect someone to hold your hand and talk you through it when they've already spent time writing you a lovely, user-friendly guide that you couldn't be bothered to read?

Why would you expect someone to provide that for free, particularly seeing that the software is so reasonably priced?

Like Mouse (love the piccy!) if I needed training to use it I wouldn't buy it. I want software that I can use from the outset and learn as I go. Do you ring up Microsoft and ask them to go through Excel & Word with you?! Training videos never show you the bit you want but take ages showing you how to press the most basic of buttons. 3 hours with Digita? Would you want something that you need to spend 3 hours on before you could get started??

VT is one of the best bits of software around. And their customer service is fab. Hopefully when they read this thread (and they will because unlike most of the other big names they do take notice) they'll find out who you spoke to and congratulate them!


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By Moonbeam
15th Feb 2012 12:38

Support for Alexeytma

As a long time user of Sage, it took me a good half day to work out how to set up VT and every time I use it I learn something I didn't know before. I can see it's a good product, but it will take me time to get to be an expert user.

I've recommended VT to several intelligent business people, who told me they found it too confusing to get started. I might add that they would find Sage just as confusing in that case!

Although I agree with all the comments about pricing etc, I daresay some people would like a video they can look at on the VT website to start them off. That wouldn't have helped me, as I'm too impatient to spend the time watching such things.

As a tool for helping VT sell more I would have thought a short video on how to (say) make entries in a cashbook would encourage more people to buy. It seems to be the trend for people to add video to their websites, so I expect we will see a video on VT's website at some stage in the future.

No software company would ever spend very long giving detailed options over the phone on how to set up without a hefty fee.

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15th Feb 2012 12:41

Perhaps it says much about you rather than VT

Have used VT for many many years and have come accross many others in practice who do so as well. I have never had cause to use the support or know of anyone else who has.

Even clients can figure how to use VT in 1/2 hour provided they have basic knowledge of excel.

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By taxhound
15th Feb 2012 18:52

There did used to be...

There did used to be some links to 3 videos on how to use VT Transaction + on their website.  They were a bit corny, but very helpful to clients who were using it for the first time.  I don't know if these are still available - I do hope they have not removed them but they were always difficult to find as they were hidden away in the website somewhere.  I know the post was about final accounts and not transaction + but it was helpful.

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By alexeytma
15th Feb 2012 19:52

Thanks for those who understand. Some people learn better visually and by ear rather than reading text and manuals. Buttons in FA such as easy/full tagging and basics in vtt+ can't always be figured out instanteniously. 

And what about dyslexic accountants who require extra support (not myself), anyway I'm convinced there are accountant that couldn't figure out all VT features within very short period of time.


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By timiambeing
17th Feb 2012 11:30

More support for Alex! :0)

Alex - you are fighting a losing battle here… let me explain...

VT is a spreadsheet based product, unlike the vast majority of commercial software designed for ease of use by non-spreadsheet literate folk. Sage, Digita and many other well used products are database applications, designed by developers to include data entry forms for ease of use.

Now accountants as a breed usually adore spreadsheets! So as you can see Alex when you take a spreadsheet based system and give it to your average accountant he/she will love it and grow very fond of it's familiarity :0)

I on the other hand find spreadsheets the least friendly way to do anything for which a sensible piece of form based database software has been properly designed. It wasn't until I decided to start looking for accountants software (accounts production/tax filing) that I realised how many spreadsheet based solutions still exist out there! Amazing - but understandable.

Now, I am not immune to all the VT support to be found on AccountingWEB so after I have put to bed these couple of bookkeeping jobs I have to do today I shall download VT and have a go - and I promise to report back on this thread what I thought. I also have PTP (Adobe based I believe) to play with so we shall see how that fairs. All in all I think 'ease of use' is a subjective term that must take into account your prior skills and learning - I am a programmer familiar with VBA and I have been involved in IT for many years - so lets see how I get on with this VT everybody defends so vigorously :0)

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