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Practice management software

22nd Jul 2013
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Over the past few days I spent a considerable amount of time reviewing practice management software that would work for us.

They are some exciting changes happening to our practice. I have sworn to secrecy so I am not able to say much at this stage. As a result of changes  I thought practice management software will be vital. 

I looked at:

  • One that ACCA use to sell
  • HQ for Accountants
  • PTP
  • TaxCalc Hub - not there yet in terms of  linking tasks with Tax/Accounts production
  • MB Practice  Manager
  • Workflow Max
  • Glide

None of them were suitable. I then thought about moving to an integrated solution like Digita, CCH, IRIS etc. I decided against it since we would be tied in to one provider.

In addition, I have never used an integrated package before, I have concerns whether the learning curve will just be too long. May be with the changes happening to our practice I will have no option but go integrated.

After looking at the above, I am left with the status quo being the best. This is:

At this stage of our practice the above combination is an ideal mix. Though there is a massive downside. This mix just cannot be sustained as the practice expands and number of people involved increase.

My combination just about works for three/four people. I hope soon one of software providers comes up  with a good solution for a one person practice that is expanding. In other words software that is adaptable to expand with the practice.

Have you reached your ideal solution? For the moment mine is just right.   

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Replies (73)

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FirstTab
By FirstTab
22nd Jul 2013 18:40

George

Best not to go into this morning's one (please).  It was withdrawn. 

I am editing my posts so you are getting duplicate emails. Sorry.

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By MissAccounting
22nd Jul 2013 21:05

What was wrong with the ones you have listed above?  Do you have a list of must have features?

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By Sheepy306
22nd Jul 2013 22:05

BTC
How about trying out BTC for the tax side of things and using their practice management software which brings it all together, BTC works pretty well with VT, that reduces your software list by 1. I find the tax software excellent and the PM side of things more than sufficient, although it probably isn't as flexible or comprehensive as stand alone PM software, but then you're also paying a fraction of the price. Haven't tried enough of the others to comment on them.

What's your thoughts on File Center? I trialled it last year and may try it again when I get chance later this year.

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FirstTab
By FirstTab
22nd Jul 2013 22:55

My perfect PM software

Thanks for the response Miss A and Sheepy306. 

My perfect PM software would be:

1) Cloud based

2) It would generate recurring emails to clients (like Boomerang) nofiying clients of VAT, Annual accs etc deadlines. 

3)  Be able to records whether all info requested by clients is now in. 

4) Manage the work load in the sense that work planning - who does what and when and is it done now? 

5) Inform me work is done and ready for me to revie

6) Send me a red flag email when deadline is approaching and work status is still not completed 

I am very happy with my current varied package. My concern is as the practice grows it just will not work. For example File Centre is excellent but ant staff can create folders. May be there is a way to stop this and I do not know. 

 

Sheepy306 -File Center is excellent. I have the professional version. It keeps my client records highly organised. I did put some thought into standardised file naming and directory structure. This has really paid off. 

BTC PM sounds good since it integrates well with VT. I am a loyal TaxCalc customer. Plus I really like TaxCalc software. At the moment BTC is no go for me.   

 

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By redman7
23rd Jul 2013 10:46

BTC

another thumbs up for BTC - it is not quite there yet but it will get there - I find it way quicker to use than taxcalc for CT600's, as for most companies I use the 'express' version - literally import the iXBRL file from VT, couple of checks and tweaks and done. You can do a CT600 in minutes for a simple client.

you can setup recurring tasks such as VAT returns etc - I haven't moved over fully to use this side of it as I still find excel quicker at the moment...

it is not the perfect PM system by any means, I'm not sure there is one, but for my own mini practice it is working very welll

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
23rd Jul 2013 11:32

Digita is very good First Tab and is going cloud based towards end of the year ( it may even be available now.) I understand what you say about integrated solutions but if they are the best why worry. It's a bit like complaining that you have a garage full of ferraris.

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FirstTab
By FirstTab
23rd Jul 2013 12:45

Digita

You made me laugh Glennzy about Ferraris! The way your mind works (also shown in your last blog) - brilliant! 

On Digita based on what you say I will look into this. If it takes the cloud or has taken it. That would get a massive tick.

In the main I have heard praise from Digita users. Chatman has a different opinion. He has used it. 

 

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By petersaxton
23rd Jul 2013 13:54

Glennzy & Cloud

Both you and me are Digita users.

Chatman has had problems importing CSV files into Digita Accounts Production and using Digita Backup - or rather he didn't realise he had to use Digita Backup because Digita uses SQL Server.

I have imported CSV files into Digita Accounts Production without any problems.

I was informed by Digita that Digita Backup was needed to backup data.

Have you had problems with either of the above?

If you want cloud hosting with Digita you can get it

http://www.digita.com/pro2011/software/virtual-office/default.aspx

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FirstTab
By FirstTab
23rd Jul 2013 14:13

Glennzy
Apologies I did not mean to say you know little about Digita. What I meant to say was chatman has used Digita as well and he has a different opinion. That's all.

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By petersaxton
23rd Jul 2013 14:19

Chatman is the exception.

I've used Digita for nine years and I've not had either of the problems that Chatman says he had.

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By petersaxton
23rd Jul 2013 15:12

Integrated

" I then thought about moving to an integrated solution like Digita, CCH, IRIS etc. I decided against it since we would be tied in to one provider."

I agree that could be a concern but I can honestly say that now all the Digita software is fantastic. I see that people who go for individual software quite often find they have to change because of a poor upgrade. I can say that Digita appears to be well past the stage of poor upgrades. They have a lot of user interaction to ensure they produce what their customers want.

"In addition, I have never used an integrated package before, I have concerns whether the learning curve will just be too long. May be with the changes happening to our practice I will have no option but go integrated."

What I like with Digita is that when you get the software you are provided with videos that show you how to do everything. There are many options and features but the more advanced features are hidden away and you can do the majority of accounts and tax returns very quickly. You can increase your knowledge when you have time. I purchased the software before Digita produced videos and I phoned technical support and they spent time going through what I needed to know to produce accounts and tax returns. Digita have a very good technical support website but you can always phone if you prefer. I don't usually try to learn something I rarely use but technical support are quite happy to go through it over the phone.

Digita has very advance software so you are obviously not going to knock off a set of accounts or a tax return immediately but after a few months you should be able to prepare most accounts and tax returns in 30 minutes. Digita Practice Management is very flexible so all the other requirements needed can be set up. Integration cuts down on time required and the likelihood of errors. Sales invoicing is an option in Digita Practice Management. I know some people don't like the idea of knowing how long a job takes but Digita Practice Management makes it easy to record time spent on the job using something like Calendar in Outlook. You can then use reports that show the profitability of jobs and clients. Obviously if you don't think it's useful to know profitability it's possible to not run the reports!

Digita have brought out a website builder http://www.digita.com/pro2011/software/web-builder/default.aspx

Digita have also got a web portal called NetClient http://www.digita.com/pro2011/software/net-client/default.aspx

What's not to love about Digita?

 

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KCL
By davidakime
23rd Jul 2013 22:00

Integrated all the way

I personally would recommend the integrated everytime, the time you will save (and therefore chargeable hours) will make up for any cost differences.

 

I love the Iris products. I may be a lone voice on here but they always come up with the goods and their ixbrl work just showed that they lead the way. There are differing offers too so if you are a small practice there will be something for you in there as well.

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By Old Greying Accountant
23rd Jul 2013 23:09

As Michael Stipe would say ...

... you're not alone.

IRIS is superb, it works off an SQL database so one entry for all modules, no trying to make sure numerous databases all in sync. The latest releases have even simplified client set-up further. As for companies, the direct link to Companies House meant I could download the company details, and the directors details and print out a 64-8 for the client to sign in less than 2 minutes!

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FirstTab
By FirstTab
23rd Jul 2013 23:24
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Replying to rob winder:
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By chatman
01st Aug 2013 10:57

Digita Video

FirstTab wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLkxhEU9ASJD2WKdu2kL3PXPKmQvNW4NIR&v=IhDbQe3rKvY#at=61

That first chap's a handsome devil.

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Replying to SNOOPDOG:
By petersaxton
01st Aug 2013 11:12

Yes

chatman wrote:

FirstTab wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLkxhEU9ASJD2WKdu2kL3PXPKmQvNW4NIR&v=IhDbQe3rKvY#at=61

That first chap's a handsome devil.

We agree on something!

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Replying to tonycourt:
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By chatman
01st Aug 2013 11:19

Two Peas in a Pod

petersaxton wrote:
We agree on something!

Funnily enough, I think we agree on everything except software.

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Replying to Angela Cottee:
By petersaxton
01st Aug 2013 11:45

We seemed to agree at the AccountingWeb meeting

chatman wrote:

petersaxton wrote:
We agree on something!

Funnily enough, I think we agree on everything except software.

but then we didn't discuss software.

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By EBS
24th Jul 2013 12:21

Another vouch for Digita

If you're still looking for input on Digita, the gist of it is that everything works through a Practice Management (PM) program, and any changes there pull through into all the other applications (Accounts Production, Personal/Trust Tax, and Corporation Tax).

There's a backup program called Digita Database that comes with your software and very easy to use. There is also a facility for setting tasks within PM to track deadlines or jobs assigned to different staff members.  

Inside the main PM software, clients are added separately as individuals, sole trades, partnerships, companies, trusts and estates. Directors are linked to their Company record, the same with partnerships, employees, trustees etc. You can also add contacts who may be perhaps potential clients, and if they develop into actual work their record can be switched to that of a client which then allows you to raise invoices for them.

Client records can be catagorised, for example identifying ex-clients, or those that you wish to receive newsletters/xmas cards. I haven't looked into automated emailing, it might be worth asking Digita directly.

There is time-sheet software within PM used by all staff members, and the WIP from this can then be used to raise invoices through the same program, there are also the usual reporting features on profitability, aged WIP etc. 

The other packages that make up the Digita suite all draw their data from PM and so the integration is extensive. For example, when accounts are complete, Corporation Tax can then pull through the final figures to form the CT return. Partnership Tax Return data feeds through to the individual partner's Tax Returns, and so on.

iXBRL can be generated at the click of a button from the finished accounts, and the Accounts Production software itself is very versatile and easy to learn.

Staff can be assigned different access levels, and best of all - huge saving on cost over IRIS (who I used to use).  Hopefully of some use, but if not perhaps for others with a similar dilemma. 

AJ

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FirstTab
By FirstTab
24th Jul 2013 17:19

Digita and Google Apps

Thanks you for an impressive response all.

Digita does get a massive thumps up from the users. Based on the response here are my thoughts/questions:

1) Digita appears to have very much Microsoft bent. How does it work with Google Apps. I no longer use outlook. Further, I do not intend to. 

2) Xero is coming up with final accounts addition for UK soon. This will put Xero in the lead, in the sense of a complete package for bookkeeping, final accs and PM through workflow max. Though one of the key downsides of Xero does it not deal with tax returns. Digita does.

3) Digita has a hosted package. This as most know is not the same as have a cloud built system like Xero.  Has anyone have the hosted package with Digita. What is that like?

 With Xero bringing cloud based final accounts inits portfolio, it may be worthwhile for me to pause on this and see how it goes.  

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By petersaxton
24th Jul 2013 17:46

"1) Digita appears to have

"1) Digita appears to have very much Microsoft bent. How does it work with Google Apps. I no longer use outlook. Further, I do not intend to. "

Digita has a good relationship with Microsoft. You do still use Windows don't you?

I don't see a problem with using Google Apps. As long as you can save a spreadsheet to CSV you can import TBs to Digita Accounts Production. Digita uses whatever email client you specify.

"2) Xero is coming up with final accounts addition for UK soon. This will put Xero in the lead, in the sense of a complete package for bookkeeping, final accs and PM through workflow max. Though one of the key downsides of Xero does it not deal with tax returns. Digita does."

Xero will take years to come close to Digita's Accounts Production. They will take even more years to have any kind of complete solution. Linking bookkeeping to final accounts isn't a big deal if it means there's no links to many other accountant based packages.

"3) Digita has a hosted package. This as most know is not the same as have a cloud built system like Xero.  Has anyone have the hosted package with Digita. What is that like?"

It's only just been released.

"With Xero bringing cloud based final accounts inits portfolio, it may be worthwhile for me to pause on this and see how it goes."

If you keep waiting for the next thing on the horizon you'll never progress.

Asking for an online demo of Digita software will at least give you further knowledge which you can consider when you see alternatives.

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By Old Greying Accountant
24th Jul 2013 23:38

Can anyone confirm ...

... whether Digita is truly integrated, i.e. does everything go in one database? My understanding is that the modules are linked but the databases for each are separate?

Just interested.

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FirstTab
By FirstTab
25th Jul 2013 00:12

Not integrated

I understand Digita is not integrated but this does not cause any problems. 

OGA - How long have you been using IRIS? What do you like about it? What do you think of their customer services and their price/price increases? 

Thanks

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By petersaxton
25th Jul 2013 03:19

Not "integrated"

in the sense of using one database. There's links between the programs which you have the option to update whenever there's a change.

If only one database is used how do you deal with somebody who only wants to buy one program? Do you have the one database with lots of the fields empty?

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By [email protected]
25th Jul 2013 09:04

online software

Have a look at the bestonlineaccounting website - might give you a few ideas and help you narrow the field.  First thoughts is that Liberty would be worth a look.

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By Old Greying Accountant
25th Jul 2013 11:05

@ FirstTab

... about 20 years, it is the full integration that does it. Customer service is good, prices are high but I judge value for money. Funnily enough talking to my account manager yesterday, told them the main price issue is the upfront fee to add licences, rather than adding to the quarterly fee - make it inflexible in peak demand periods.

@Peter - the point is the standing data is the same on each module, so you just need one set of data. Effectively yes though, but it is an SQL data base which is formatted in a different way, as far as I understand, to a traditional Access type database. So, you just use the bits you need, but there is no links to update if there is a change, you just see the same client screens which ever module you log in through - it is a biit like SAGE, the whole lot is there, but you just see the bits you pay for.

The invite is still there if you want to come see!

This is the IRIS client screen, accessable through any module, and pretty much any field can be used to search for through data mining. The basic data is also now acessible through the main menu

 

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By petersaxton
25th Jul 2013 11:34

Invite

Yes, I am very interested to visit. It's just that I have been snowed under for months. I have a deadline coming up this month and then I have some other accounts and tax I have to get done quickly and then I will contact you.

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FirstTab
By FirstTab
25th Jul 2013 12:01

Wow!

OGA - 20 years! 

Thanks for a comprehensive response. 

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By petersaxton
27th Jul 2013 11:17

Digita renewal

I've just had my renewal invoice and there's been very little change to the prices.

I've certainly never had any horror stories like Iris users.

I accept that Digita is more expensive than some other software but I am happy with the prices and what the software does.

 

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By chatman
30th Jul 2013 11:33

Cost of Digita

@FirstTab - Do you know how much Digita would cost you compared to, for example, VT and TaxCalc? And would you replace VT with another desktop bookkeeping package or would you be throwing in your lot entirely with Xero?

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By chatman
30th Jul 2013 18:13

Digita v Other Software

If I had never tried any other software, I would probably be very happy with Digita. You can produce accounts and tax returns with it, file online and back it up. However, having tried other programmes, I would never go back to Digita for the reasons I have posted on AWeb many times.

It would be good to hear from other people who have tried Digita, VT, TaxCalc, BTC, Forbes etc. on this thread.

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FirstTab
By FirstTab
30th Jul 2013 23:05

Cost

Hi chatman, our practice was due to go through a change - expansion. This will now not go ahead. This means for the moment no change in software for us. We will continue to use what I outlined in OP.

I think it is interesting what you say since you have experienced using both Digita and best of breed. 

Don't you think where the practice expands best of breed is no longer suitable in terms of keeping control of work? Integrated would be more suited? For 2-3 people practice best of breed is okay? 

I think Xero with final accounts will mean I will not move to integrated software. I will make do with Workflow Max. It will not be surprised when and if Xero comes with an Add on tax software in partnership with one  of the leading UK tax software providers. This will make Xero a complete package.  

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By chatman
30th Jul 2013 23:38

Best of Breed v "Integrated"

Hi FirstTab - For me, integration means how well your different programmes fit together and pass information from one to another. VTT+, VT Final Accounts and BTC integrate really well; importing TBs to the final accounts software, and final accounts numbers into the tax software works at the touch of a button, and even QuickBooks and Xero TBs can be imported very easily into VT. That is real integration.

And of course, I have no need to run a backup routine, as all my data files are backed up automatically.

For me, buying all your software from the same supplier has no intrinsic benefit. Why would it have benefits when a practice grows?

I use Xero, but I wouldn't recommend waiting around for modules that may or may not arrive when promised and may or may not be any good when they do. And what are you going to do with those clients for whom a desk-top programme is more suitable or who already do their own bookkeeping on another programme?

I haven't bought any practice-management software, so I cannot really comment on it.

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Replying to chewmac:
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By Old Greying Accountant
31st Jul 2013 15:03

Integration!

chatman wrote:

Hi FirstTab - For me, integration means how well your different programmes fit together and pass information from one to another. VTT+, VT Final Accounts and BTC integrate really well; importing TBs to the final accounts software, and final accounts numbers into the tax software works at the touch of a button, and even QuickBooks and Xero TBs can be imported very easily into VT. That is real integration.

That is not integration, that is compatability!!

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By chatman
31st Jul 2013 20:09

Integration v Compatibility

Old Greying Accountant wrote:
That is not integration, that is compatability!!

I disagree

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Replying to Alex_T:
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By Old Greying Accountant
02nd Aug 2013 11:55

True integration ...

chatman wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:
That is not integration, that is compatability!!

I disagree

... is different programs using a common database, when you have to shunt data around that is not true integration! IMVHO

For example, SAGE and Excel are integrated to a large degree as Excel with produce spreadsheets from data held in SAGE, and updates them as SAGE changes.

IRIS and Excel are not integrated, they are compatable (to the best my knowledge), you can print a report to Excel, but it is a dead link and you will have to re-do the print if you update IRIS.

 

 

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By petersaxton
31st Jul 2013 08:57

Quick or slow

"I think it is interesting what you say since you have experienced using both Digita and best of breed. "

It would appear that Chatman hasn't used Digita integrated software.

Chatman later said:

"I haven't bought any practice-management software"

The advantage of integrated software is that it saves a lot of time and risk of errors.

You mark your time in the same way as you mark an appointment in Outlook. Immediately you can see how profitable jobs are.

I love how with Digita it is so easy to take a trial balance and import it effortlessly into Digita Accounts Production and transfer data from Digita Accounts Production into Digita Personal Tax or Digita Corporation Tax. If a director changes their address it is a lot easier to ensure their address changes everywhere.

I suppose the disadvantage with Digita is that you have to open Digita Backup, select backup and select the program to backup but it takes a minute - with 5 databases it takes 5 minutes and I do it once a day.

If you use Outlook how do you backup your pst file?

I know some people don't use Outlook for email but I like to copy an email to a Task so easily.

 

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Replying to kaff:
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By chatman
31st Jul 2013 10:45

Outlook Backups and the Meaning of "Integrated"

petersaxton wrote:
If you use Outlook how do you backup your pst file?

You select it to be included in your automatic back up when you first set up your backup software, and then forget about it for the rest of your life. Simples. You can find your file in C:\Users\Chatman\Documents\Outlook if you use Windows 7; it is a bit harder to find in XP, but I found it easily with Google when I used XP. I recommend you do this straight away if you use Outlook Peter. You do have automatic off-site back-ups don't you? Won't work with Dopbox; you will need something like Mozy or, probably, SugarSync.

When I used Digita, they didn't have a practice management module, but they did use to describe their software as integrated. I think they just meant that it automatically shared some information between modules. I used their personal tax, corporation tax, and final accounts modules, and something I think they called Business Tax, which did things that most personal tax programmes do, such as calculating capital allowances, and they used to describe this as integration.

One thing I like about VT is that it has its own bookkeeping programme, VT Transaction+ which integrates with VT Final Accounts, so you do not even have to produce a csv file of the TB; VT just pulls it in automatically. This, for me, is a massive advantage. If you want to integrate anything, I would say make it your bookkeeping and final accounts programmes. I think this will save you more time than any other single thing.

The reason I found importing TBs to Digita accounts software difficult and time consuming is probably because I am so stupid, i.e. my fault, not Digita's. Fortunately, even my enormous stupidity does not seem to be a problem with VT, even when I am importing a TB from QuickBooks, Xero or elsewhere. Nothing ever seems to go wrong, and it is so quick, even if I have to create new accounts in VT, which was much more complicated in Digita (for this idiot, anyway, probably not for most people).

I tried out BTC's CT600 software recently, and it imports the XBRL accounts figures with one click.

When a director changes address, I change the address in my personal tax and payroll software and, if I am responsible for this, at Companies House. It happens very rarely and takes very little time. I imagine Digita would save me the Companies House part of this time if I used their company secretarial software, but I haven't bought any company secretarial software from anyone as I do not think it would be worth the cost for me. However, if there was something that integrated with my personal and company tax software (as I assume Digita does with theirs), for a reasonable price, I might consider getting it

Unlike some other Digita users, I never had any difficulty with running the manual backups, other than the five minutes you have to spend every day going through it, remembering to do so,and the potential consequences if you forget.

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By petersaxton
31st Jul 2013 11:56

"You select it to be included

"You select it to be included in your automatic back up when you first set up your backup software, and then forget about it for the rest of your life. Simples. You can find your file in C:\Users\Chatman\Documents\Outlook if you use Windows 7; it is a bit harder to find in XP, but I found it easily with Google when I used XP. I recommend you do this straight away if you use Outlook Peter."

That's not good enough. This is the way to backup your data. It all depends on your version of Outlook. I think you can copy your pst file with Outlook 2013 but Outlook needs to be closed.  It makes Digita's a breeze.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/287070

I use OutlookBackupPro which 

"You do have automatic off-site back-ups don't you?"

Yes, I back up to BT Cloud.

"When I used Digita, they didn't have a practice management module"

They had Contact Manager which was integrated with the other programs. I've had Digita for 9 years and it's been available all that time.

" I never had any difficulty with running the manual backups, other than the five minutes you have to spend every day going through it, remembering to do so,and the potential consequences if you forget."

I set up a Task in Outlook and when it pops up I change the date to the next date and then I backup. It's a lot more efficient than replying on your memory.

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Replying to Portia Nina Levin:
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By chatman
31st Jul 2013 12:18

@Peter - Your comments on my comments

petersaxton wrote:
"You select it to be included in your automatic back up when you first set up your backup software, and then forget about it for the rest of your life. Simples. You can find your file in C:\Users\Chatman\Documents\Outlook if you use Windows 7; it is a bit harder to find in XP, but I found it easily with Google when I used XP. I recommend you do this straight away if you use Outlook Peter." That's not good enough.
Why isn't it good enough Peter? It creates a backup of your Outlook pst file, and that is what you wanted.
petersaxton wrote:
"When I used Digita, they didn't have a practice management module" They had Contact Manager which was integrated with the other programs. I've had Digita for 9 years and it's been available all that time.
I accept they had a contact manager, but as far as I know, they didn't have a a practice management module. That's all I was saying. I'm not sure I understand where we're going with this point.
petersaxton wrote:
" I never had any difficulty with running the manual backups, other than the five minutes you have to spend every day going through it, remembering to do so,and the potential consequences if you forget." I set up a Task in Outlook and when it pops up I change the date to the next date and then I backup. It's a lot more efficient than replying on your memory.
I am glad it works for you Peter.
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By petersaxton
31st Jul 2013 13:03

"Why isn't it good enough

"Why isn't it good enough Peter? It creates a backup of your Outlook pst file, and that is what you wanted."

It won't backup all your data if Outlook is still open.

"I accept they had a contact manager, but as far as I know, they didn't have a a practice management module. That's all I was saying. I'm not sure I understand where we're going with this point."

You said: "When I used Digita, they didn't have a practice management module, but they did use to describe their software as integrated. I think they just meant that it automatically shared some information between modules."

Saying they didn't have a practice management module but omitting to mention that they did have a contact manager didn't give the full story. It was the contact manager that kept the static data and it was passed to the other programs.

"I am glad it works for you Peter."

It would have worked for you as well if you set up a task like I did rather than relying on your memory. I am a great believer in having a system rather than relying only on memory, 

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Replying to Slim Freddie:
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By chatman
31st Jul 2013 15:28

Nothing will automatically back up all your open data files.

petersaxton wrote:
It won't backup all your data if Outlook is still open.
I don't think anything will automatically back up open files. Do you have Outlook open all day, without ever closing it? I cannot think of any programme I have open all day.

petersaxton wrote:
Saying they didn't have a practice management module but omitting to mention that they did have a contact manager didn't give the full story. It was the contact manager that kept the static data and it was passed to the other programs.
The thread is called Practice Management Software; that is why I referred to practice management software. Also, I was responding to your comment about my not having used Digita integrated software. I assumed you meant that the PM software somehow tied everything together and that that was therefore what made it "integrated". I used some Digita software that they told me was integrated. That is all I was trying to say. It seems then, that you are saying that if you simply buy the Digita personal and company tax software, which I did, then this is not integrated ("It would appear that Chatman hasn't used Digita integrated software").

petersaxton wrote:
It would have worked for you as well if you set up a task like I did rather than relying on your memory. I am a great believer in having a system rather than relying only on memory,
Whilst I completely respect your belief that you know what works best for me better than I do Peter, I set myself so many reminders (I too am a great believer in having a system, and would never opt to rely on memory) that some of them get missed. Reminder management is something I do very badly. In this case, I opted for a system that eliminated the need for a reminder. In addition, as mentioned before, the possibility of forgetting to go through the manual Digita backup procedure for five minutes every day was not my only reason for not liking it.

Dumping Digita worked great for me. I would never suggest I knew what was best for others; I simply relate my experiences of Digita and other software.

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By petersaxton
31st Jul 2013 15:18

Iris v Digita

From my limited knowledge of Iris, I think the main difference between the two is flexibility.

Iris seems pretty good out of the box but more rigid than Digita. Digita seems very flexible but of course you have to spend time deciding what you want it to do and then telling it.

The only criticisms with Iris seems to be over the price increases and although they seem high I think it is pretty cheap per client given the time saved.

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By petersaxton
31st Jul 2013 15:51

"I don't think anything will

"I don't think anything will automatically back up open files. Do you have Outlook open all day, without ever closing it? I cannot think of any programme I have open all day."

I have Outlook open all day.

"The thread is called Practice Management Software; that is why I referred to practice management software. Also, I was responding to your comment about my not having used Digita integrated software. I assumed you meant that the PM software somehow tied everything together and that that was therefore what made it "integrated". I used some Digita software that they told me was integrated. That is all I was trying to say. It seems then, that you are saying that if you simply buy the Digita personal and company tax software, which I did, then this is not integrated ("It would appear that Chatman hasn't used Digita integrated software")."

If you only had personal and company tax software it isn't integrated. You needed Contact Manager (which I thought was given out free but I could be wrong) or Practice Management which was introduced later.

"Whilst I completely respect your belief that you know what works best for me better than I do Peter, I set myself so many reminders (I too am a great believer in having a system, and would never opt to rely on memory) that some of them get missed. Reminder management is something I do very badly. In this case, I opted for a system that eliminated the need for a reminder. In addition, as mentioned before, the possibility of forgetting to go through the manual Digita backup procedure for five minutes every day was not my only reason for not liking it."

I think you are wrong to think that I have a belief that I know what works best for you than I do. I still think that people can improve with advice from others. If you don't agree with this then I respect your right to be wrong.

The advice I gave you was how to avoid the problem you appeared to have about forgetting to backup Digita but now you seem to be making out it wasn't a problem.

Obviously you have had problems with Digita and it's best for you that you steer clear of it. Other people don't seem to have the problems that you have had. Only if FT decides to get Digita will we know whether he has the same problems that you have. The best way he could find out if he agrees with you or me would be if he asked Digita for a demo. He may chose a different way of making his decision though.

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Replying to Accountant A:
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By chatman
31st Jul 2013 20:28

More about Digita problems

petersaxton wrote:
I respect your right to be wrong.

That's good. Maybe I could start posting on technical issues then!

petersaxton wrote:
The advice I gave you was how to avoid the problem you appeared to have about forgetting to backup Digita but now you seem to be making out it wasn't a problem.
 

Sorry, I didn't realise you were trying to help me. Actually, I do not think there is any chance I will be using Digita again, for the many reasons I have given on AWeb, and I thought I had made that clear. I am not making out that using Digita software was not a problem for me, and neither have I said I was unable to use the backup software, or that I had forgotten to to use it. I mentioned the risk of forgetting to run it, which is a disadvantage even if that event never actually happened, that it was more work to do, and that some people, according to Digita, had done it wrongly.

It is difficult to say that other people have not had the problems I have had. We know that some people on AWeb have moved from Digita to other packages, because they have said so, and we know that people have had worse problems with the backups than me, because Digita has said so. Any implication that everyone loves Digita except me cannot be justified.

@FT - Have you tried VTT+ and VT Final Accounts? You cannot compare them to Digita without trying them.

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Replying to Accountant A:
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By chatman
31st Jul 2013 20:46

Backing up Outlook

petersaxton wrote:
I have Outlook open all day.

I can't help with that then. All I can suggest is that you close it when you go for lunch, or at the end of the day, and that you leave your PC on so that your backup programme can run at your pre-programmed time. If it works with SugarSync, then it would back up immediately you closed it, but it might not; I know Thunderbird and the new QuickBooks files don't.

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Replying to tom123:
By petersaxton
31st Jul 2013 21:25

Backing up Outlook

chatman wrote:

petersaxton wrote:
I have Outlook open all day.

I can't help with that then. All I can suggest is that you close it when you go for lunch, or at the end of the day, and that you leave your PC on so that your backup programme can run at your pre-programmed time. If it works with SugarSync, then it would back up immediately you closed it, but it might not; I know Thunderbird and the new QuickBooks files don't.

I am thinking about using Exchange Online

http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/exchange/microsoft-exchange-online-email-for-business-FX103739072.aspx

I know what might interest you, though!

DIGITA VIRTUAL OFFICE

http://www.digita.com/pro2011/software/virtual-office/default.aspx

 

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Replying to Fritzaccountant:
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By chatman
01st Aug 2013 09:45

Virtual Desktop

petersaxton wrote:
DIGITA VIRTUAL OFFICE

http://www.digita.com/pro2011/software/virtual-office/default.aspx

I did look into hosted desktops Peter, as I like the idea of all the hassle they would remove. Obviously I would not have used Digita as I had such bad experience with their sales and marketing people (who appear to have much more influence in the company than Digita's charming and competent technical people) but I did (and do) like the concept.

The thing that put me off was that you can't just access it through any old browser; you need an extra piece of software to do it properly. I liked the idea of being able to walk into an internet café anywhere in the world and start working, but it looks like that is some way off.

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By Old Greying Accountant
31st Jul 2013 17:21

My PC is on ...

... all day every day so I can remote access if required

Outlook is always open, as is IRIS as Practice Management drives everything.

Media Player is usually open too, plus IE!

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