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Which LTD co accounts & tax software?

Which LTD co accounts & tax software?

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Hi, Good afternoon.

I am in the process of evaluating with a view to purchasing Limited Company year end accounts and CT production software.

My Contenders:

Accounts = VT, TaxCalc, Digita, Keytime, Caseware, Gbooks, Forbes, First Choice final accounts

Corporation tax = BTC, TaxCalc, Digita, Keytime, Caseware, Gbooks, Forbes

Any help and opinion regarding the above providers will be greatfully received. Thank you.

Background information: I am a small sole trader practitioner. Client type * Small 1 or 2 director owner managed business (mainly cash with a few invoices) * Turnovers ranging from £10k pa up to £100,000 pa * Non complex requirements

Question: Which accounts & CT production software would you recommend and why please? Thank you!

Replies (38)

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By carnmores
03rd Aug 2013 14:48

do you prepeare LLPs if so how many partners

Digita will more or less do everything , i am using it today for a small company's accounts and a 20 person partnership and have no complaints , its really the rolls royce service so it maybe too comprehensive for you , i really like the look of gbooks but havent tried it yet mainly because i dont like what you can do on the trial. i also use absolute / forbes for accounts AND CT which is simple but a lot of the bods on here swear by VT.

i looked at taxcalc at the accountex exhibition and if you want a good combined scalable  package that may be the answer

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Replying to chris000000:
By The Don
04th Aug 2013 18:18

What sort of price?

Hi, Thank you Carnmores for your opinion. Its appreciated.

Just out of interest, what sort of price are we talking about with Digita for accounts & CT production? Don't they price based on clients? Thanks

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Replying to chris000000:
By The Don
04th Aug 2013 18:38

VT or Forbes for accounts?
I have heard good things about both - but which would you choose for year end accounts, VT or Forbes?

Thanks

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By Flash Gordon
03rd Aug 2013 17:57

VT & BTC

I'm in similarish circumstances to you and I use VT & BTC. They do exactly what I want, quickly and with no fuss. The price is good, the support (not that you'll need it) is excellent and they're both companies who actually actively care about their customers. VT accounts can be imported straight into BTC (literally one click) and the whole process is a piece of cake.

Unless you have a burning desire to have fully integrated software (with the associated price tag) then go with these two for best of breed. Simple, decision made, buy the software now online and you can have produced your first set of accounts & CT600 by 7pm tonight!

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Replying to bernard michael:
By The Don
04th Aug 2013 18:26

VT&BTC
Hi Flash, thank you for your advice.

It seems from your comments that you think for someone in my situation the VT&BTC combo is a bit of a no brainer.

I have heard some good things regarding VT and spoken with Andrew Ross @ BTC - who is very helpful.

Its just I am not one for doing complicated software. Or software which requires lots of support. Or software which makes easy tasks complex ( Sorry Sage - Yes I am not a fan!)

Q: How straightforward would it be for a maverick like me to install, learn and prepare small LTD co accounts & CT return please?

I also like the fact that VT now has Companies House filer

Thanks

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Replying to Adam12345:
By ShirleyM
04th Aug 2013 19:10

In that case ....

The Don wrote:

I have heard some good things regarding VT and spoken with Andrew Ross @ BTC - who is very helpful. Its just I am not one for doing complicated software. Or software which requires lots of support. Or software which makes easy tasks complex Thanks

You won't find better than VT/BTC combination. I have used VT for 3 years now, and have never needed to contact support (although I hear it is good). I have been using BTC since April, and have contacted them twice. Both queries were resolved very quickly which I think is extremely good going for a new user without any prior experience of using the software.

EDIT: we have a discussion group on here for VT users which is worth viewing, and Philip Hodgson of VT Software often answers any queries we have. It would be nice if we could have a discussion group for BTC users, too. (Please take note AWeb).

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Replying to Ruddles:
By The Don
04th Aug 2013 20:10

VT/BTC
Thanks Shirely M.

It is good to hear of some positive experiences in a world so full of false promises!

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Replying to Ruddles:
By redman7
10th Aug 2013 04:39

BTC discussion group

ShirleyM wrote:

 It would be nice if we could have a discussion group for BTC users, too. (Please take note AWeb).

Shirley, I'd like to get a BTC discussion group as well - I tried to get some momentum going in the below thread...

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/anyanswers/question/fao-btc-users-practice-management

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By skhan
03rd Aug 2013 23:50

VT / BTC

Combination is awesome

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By taxhound
04th Aug 2013 16:51

BTC/VT

I used to use PTP for many years, but changed due to various "customer care" - or lack of - issues.  I moved to Absolute, which I think is the same as Forbes under a different badge - and found it a real struggle - lots of issues to deal with, constantly calling the help line, although in fairness, they were very helpful, but nothing flowed nicely and it was not always easy to work out how to do something.  Also, I did not like the look of final accounts and tax returns.

Switched to VT and BTC and am living happily ever after now... (although having said that, I do get frustrated with BTC's corp tax comps for big companies - not particularly intuitive, but I only have to use it for a handful of clients a year.  The rest can all be done quickly and easily using the "express" version of the software).

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Replying to DJKL:
By The Don
04th Aug 2013 18:35

VT&BTC
Thanks TaxHound,

Re: PTP

Every time I have had to speak with someone at Iris it has been a nightmare, even really simple questions.

No doubt their software is quality, but their support, well. I was brought up with, if you haven't got anything good to say about someone, better not say anything at all.

So if you had to choose between VT or Forbes for year end LTD co accounts - which would you choose please?

Forbes seems to be more money than VT - but I have heard good things about both

Whats your thoughts

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Replying to Ruddles:
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By taxhound
05th Aug 2013 18:31

@ Don Definitely VT and BTC

Thanks TaxHound,

Re: PTP

Every time I have had to speak with someone at Iris it has been a nightmare, even really simple questions.

No doubt their software is quality, but their support, well. I was brought up with, if you haven't got anything good to say about someone, better not say anything at all.

So if you had to choose between VT or Forbes for year end LTD co accounts - which would you choose please?

Forbes seems to be more money than VT - but I have heard good things about both

Whats your thoughts

 

Don

Definitely VT and BTC

I no longer use PTP (although it was good, but customer service became a nightmare) and I really did not get on with Absolute/Forbes and found myself changing again after less than one year, which was a right pain in the whatsits.

I am a happy BTC and VT user now.

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By Flash Gordon
04th Aug 2013 19:16

@The Don

Installation - your first piece of cake. In fact you'd have both installed before you'd finished drinking your cuppa and eating your cake.

Ongoing use - you just use it without thinking. If you're a Moneysoft payroll user then it's as simple as that. (And if you're not you should be). I don't like software where I have to struggle to install it (yes I'm also thinking of Sage). You'll have no issue. Have another piece of cake.

Ease of first time use - you'll probably find it so easy that you'll be wondering what you've forgotten to do. On VT the first time you might not realise you have to enter shares on a different page to the TB. And that's pretty much it. No really it is. Plonk your entries into the TB and into the info page, choose the policies to include (one button), autohide the blank rows (another button) and preview the accounts. Sorted. BTC is equally simple. I've only ever had one query on BTC (on when the updated version would appear when I wanted to get a set of April year end accounts done ultra quick) and one on VT (re when they were going to include a new feature). And Andrew was very helpful when I was thinking of buying. I've not had any technical or 'how do I do that' issues with either bit of software. I wouldn't change if you paid me - they're both well worth their price because of their simplicity and the time they save me. You'll be finished so quickly that you'll have time to finish the rest of that cake off.

 

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Replying to psimonparsons:
By The Don
04th Aug 2013 20:19

VT, BTC, Moneysoft
Hi Flash,

Re: Moneysoft. I have tested the software before and yes thumbs up! However I don't get involved with Payroll - I outsource - at good rates. After all, I only stick to what I know and within my circle of competence.

Re: Your piece of cake and cuppa tea analogy - that's good to hear - no in fact its great!

Suppose I best get the kettle on with some Victoria sponge ready for VT & BTC

I have read some of your previous posts regarding being a previous TaxCalc user.

In a nutshell please......why BTC over TaxCalc.....thanks

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Replying to DJKL:
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By chatman
04th Aug 2013 20:27

Why BTC over Taxcalc.

The Don wrote:

In a nutshell please......why BTC over TaxCalc.....thanks

BTC can import your accounts figures from the xbrl accounts into the CT600 and Taxcalc couldn't when I used it. I also understand Taxcalc makes it difficult to export your data for import to any other system.
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Replying to DJKL:
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By mumpin
04th Aug 2013 20:32

@ Chatman

I don't understand how BTC can be cheaper than Taxcalc.

Taxcalc Prosuite (also does CT600's) £400 + Vat.

BTC PM Solution AND CT Solution = £790 +Vat...

Am I missing something?

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By chatman
04th Aug 2013 20:04

VT and BTC
I have only ever used VT, Taxcalc, BTC and Digita. For ease of use, I found VT and BTC stand out head and shoulders above the rest. It's the cheapest combination too, and there was no difference in the capabilities of any of them.

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Replying to uktaylor:
By The Don
04th Aug 2013 20:27

Digita
Hi Chatman,

Thanks for your comments.

I must say regarding Digita from what I have seen in terms of demo their software looks really intuitive and streamlined - however - for a small fish like me - they are asking champagne money.

What also appeals to me, and I stand to be corrected, is that with VT, BTC, TaxCalc - unlike Digita - what you see is what you get. Dosent Digita charge per client number? Bit off putting really.. a bit of a disincentive to grow client numbers

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Replying to Sheepy306:
By petersaxton
05th Aug 2013 08:15

Disincentive?

The Don wrote:
Hi Chatman, Thanks for your comments. I must say regarding Digita from what I have seen in terms of demo their software looks really intuitive and streamlined - however - for a small fish like me - they are asking champagne money. What also appeals to me, and I stand to be corrected, is that with VT, BTC, TaxCalc - unlike Digita - what you see is what you get. Dosent Digita charge per client number? Bit off putting really.. a bit of a disincentive to grow client numbers

It wouldn't be a disincentive for me. I'd rather have fees of £1,000 and pay £25 extra in software costs. The licences for clients are in bands anyway.

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By chatman
04th Aug 2013 20:31

Digita v others: usability and price
Yes Digita pricing is very opaque compared to the others. I found it the least intuitive of all the packages I used, the slowest and the most cumbersome.

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By ShirleyM
04th Aug 2013 20:57

@mumpin

I don't think anyone said BTC was cheaper than TaxCalc, but with BTC you can pay monthly, their PM solution works, CT preparation is much quicker. You don't have to buy the PM solution from BTC, you can just get the tax software as standalone, but the PM is extremely good value. Read the numerous AWeb comments on TaxCalc and you will see why many (including me) have moved to BTC.

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Replying to James Green:
By The Don
04th Aug 2013 21:19

BTC / TaxCalc
Thanks ShirelyM,

A good point to mention re: BTC option of pay monthly.

Indicates they are in touch with reality and understand the demands on a small business cash flow.

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By mumpin
04th Aug 2013 20:58

i think chatman did...

, I found VT and BTC stand out head and shoulders above the rest. It's the cheapest combination too,

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By Flash Gordon
04th Aug 2013 21:23

Re Taxcalc

BTC is quicker, easier and the support (not that you'd need it) is great. Taxcalc, for me, was less obvious, slower to manoevre and the support was crap. Andrew at BTC is one of those (like VT) who take notice of what's being said on AWeb (he's probably blushing by now!). Taxcalc only seem to take notice when they're getting compliments - if you actually have a question you'll be waiting a long time. If you find a product that does exactly what you want, at a decent price, and where the company producing it recognizes that its success is reliant on pleasing its customers and accordingly acts on that, well then it's a no-brainer. 

 

 

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By The Don
04th Aug 2013 21:33

Keytime, Caseware, gbooks
Question 1:
Are their any advocate of Keytime, Caseware or gbooks? (both accounts & CT)

Question 2: Also - not being a techy - I wonder if anyone can shed some light on this for me - I am using Windows 8.

Question 3: Will VT / BTC run on windows 8 - Is see TaxCalc does

Whats the consensus of opinion regarding Taxcalc accounts production please? Looks interesting if nothing else.

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By carnmores
05th Aug 2013 07:24

functionality usually relates to price

Digita acspro  does almost everything and i doubt if there is another package to touch it , as one of the first users i possibly pay less. you can also get a £65 pm package from them that does personal corporation tax and acs and a few other bells and whistles.

 

for personal tax i try and keep all my clients on HMRC system if at all possible so i only need partnership tax and CT , tho i could use HMRC CT as well its just a bit clunky.

you could also look at topup tax which is marketed by Absolute, its a good product and cheap

it all depends on how many clients you have and if i was starting again from scratch i thinki would look at gbooks first as a cloud solution

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By nmprobinson
05th Aug 2013 09:10

VT and BTC...

...another vote here for VT and BTC.  Great pieces of software.  Saving my practice time and money.

Speak to Andrew Ross at http://www.btcsoftware.co.uk/.

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By Christopher J Thacker
05th Aug 2013 19:31

VT and BTC

Dear All,

I would support everything that has been said about VT, BTC and Moneysoft Payroll. I have also used Money Manager 6 Book Keeping for some years and find it excellent.

Prior to VT and BTC I used the old PTP - nice, but when it went to IRIS it became too expensive and not nearly so good as it was. I tried IRIS for one year but far too expensive for the small practice. BTC went way beyond the call of duty to help me out when a particularly unusual problem arose.

So VT/BTC get my vote every time.

 

 

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By Sameera Nathoo
09th Aug 2013 21:42

gbooks

Has anyone used gbooks? 

Is it user friendly for accountants?

also, is it user friendly for clients who use the clienthub?

Thanks

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By Fred Smith
10th Aug 2013 17:28

VT

I used PTP account production for 3 years with no problems then in Apr13 the upgrade failed and I could not get the package to work even on a brand new computer and numerous calls to their support desk.  I read the above and am now happily using VT accounts on a 60 day free trial.  PTP seems to be over engineered.  VT does the job.

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Replying to carnmores:
Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
10th Aug 2013 19:25

Similar experience with PTP

Fred Smith wrote:

I used PTP account production for 3 years with no problems then in Apr13 the upgrade failed and I could not get the package to work even on a brand new computer and numerous calls to their support desk.  I read the above and am now happily using VT accounts on a 60 day free trial.  PTP seems to be over engineered.  VT does the job.

PTP Accounts Production was fine in the pre iXBRL days when Tim Good ran it. I had terrible problems in December last year and this July with failed updates. In the end, after many calls, PTP / IRIS Support had to remotely install them. The problem really comes down to the overly complex SQL database, which has just been ported over from the more complex Iris.

On the advice of this forum, when RTI came along, I dumped Sage Payroll from April 2013 and replaced it with Moneysoft. The only regret is not doing it sooner.

My next software move in the coming 12 months is to dump PTP and replace it with VT and BTC.

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By chatman
13th Aug 2013 19:23

SQL Database

Locutus wrote:
The problem really comes down to the overly complex SQL database

Yeah, I wouldn't use accounts software that uses an SQL database again; it just seems too resource hungry for your average PC.

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By Tosie
11th Aug 2013 07:56

V T Tax calc

I cannot understand why people say Tax Calc support is crap. I have used it for about 6 years and have always had excellent friendly support.Although in this time I have only had to ring about three times. Once when I was changing computers. They explain things in language that I can understand and on one occasion the support person  stayed behind after hours to ensure that I was on track.

I am a fan of both VT and Tax Calc.

My only worry about VT is that it is so good that they will  put their prices  up. The company house filing takes about 2 minutes awesome.

 

 

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By The Innkeeper
11th Aug 2013 11:15

@tosie

Don't worry - just had my renewal invoice in and it still the same price. If VT can keep the price constant for so long the other providers must be ripping us off big time

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By DavidGilligan
11th Aug 2013 11:37

VT & BTC

Another vote for that combination. Have only recently bought BTC which seems to be very good. Am also a long time user of Moneysoft payroll.

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By Sameera Nathoo
11th Aug 2013 17:29

BTC
Which version of BTC corporate tax return do you guys use? they also have a simpler version.

Thanks

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
12th Aug 2013 14:27

@Redman7 & @ShirleyM - pushing at an open door

Apologies are due to Redman7 for missing the previous post asking for a BTC discussion group. With ShirleyM seconding the suggestion here and the flood of BTC users who have come forward on this thread the demand is self evident.

The level of response on this thread is quite a strong indicator of BTC making serious inroads into the market, so we'll be watching with interest to see what their numbers look like in the Software Satisfaction Awards survey. As well as the satisfaction ratings themselves, the relative volumes of users each year can tell us which software companies are gaining and losing momentum among AccountingWEB members. But that's another story that we'll return to in a month or so.

In the meantime I've posted another Any Answers to alert other members, so if there are any specific questions you might have about how the group would run, what it might and might not cover, feel free to extend the discussion there.

I'll drop back by this thread to let you know when we've built the new group.

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By Sameera Nathoo
11th Apr 2014 21:34

Anyone using Forbes tax software?

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