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Eating Dog Food and VT Accounts

7th Apr 2015
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I have followed the principle of "eating my own dog food" by using my main company's software solution as the primary software application for the administration and management of that business, as well as a number of ventures with which I have been associated for the past 15 years.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term "eating your own dog food" I would suggest that a search on Wikipedia will reveal much by way of explanation.

My own introduction to this term, however, goes back to the early 1990's and is related to the fact that Dave Cutler, of Microsoft fame, insisted that the couple of hundred people involved in the development of the Windows NT operating system work with computers running the daily build of Windows NT.

In making that demand the large number of small development teams that were involved are reported to have removed the problem of system crashes that had dogged the early development phase of NT. This has been explained as a combination of immediate, useful feedback on problems using the application and a degree of pride that each of the smaller development teams displayed in ensuring that their group were not seen to be impeding progress.

One consequence of my approach in this respect has perhaps been a somewhat blinkered focus on integration with a well known small business accounting solution. That has in turn caused me to provide my external accountant with a backup of my Sage accounts, along with lots of supporting documents, and he has subsequently "imported" that data into VT Final Accounts in order to produce my statutory accounts.

I have never queried that or even sought to try and discuss with my accountant how I might make that process simpler on the basis that I had no need to interfere with his activities, but in these austere times I think we all have to seek efficiencies where we can.

A decision made nearly a year ago to extend the functionality of my company's application, and broaden the number of options that potential clients might adopt in relation to financial reporting and management, was also given a degree of impetus recently with a client whose accountancy service also used VT accounts.

I am currently part way through a bowl of dog food that involves processing my company's trading activity for the last year, using a version that posts transactions to VT Transaction+.

So far the menu has covered processing sales invoices, sales credits, purchase invoices and purchase credits but I am having trouble in preparing dishes that address financial activities beyond these. This is mainly due to the limited amount of information that I have located in the public domain regarding recipes outlining technical aspects of integration with VT - and the authors of VT have not responded positively to some tentative enquiries seeking information.

I know that VT is well liked by many accountants and just wonder whether any of those who are members of this site might comment on whether I ought to persevere with this particular task as I do wonder whether I might be trying to prepare a meal that might have limited appeal for others to enjoy.

If there is some potential in progressing beyond the point I have reached, could I appeal for any guidance that members might offer on sources of information that are in the public domain that might assist me.


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Replies (8)

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By ShirleyM
08th Apr 2015 08:01

Maybe I am still half-asleep

I haven't got a clue what you are trying to achieve.

Are you trying to create software that extracts data from Sage in a format that will import to VT?

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Replying to geoffmw1:
By Tom Hartopp
08th Apr 2015 14:02

Sorry the blog isn't clear - I'm probably guilty of knowing what I'm saying but have obviously failed to communicate it to you.

My company has its own business process software (sales, purchasing, inventory, manufacturing, planning etcetera) that integrates with Sage by posting financial transactions to sales/purchase ledgers.

I have a version of this application that I am working on to post directly to VT Transaction+ (rather than Sage) but there is only a limited amount of information that I have found in the public domain to assist in using the "tool" available from VT Software to pass such transactional information.

That's it in a nutshell (I hope) - trust I may have explained that adequately.

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Replying to JBeetles:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
08th Apr 2015 14:32

Trial Balance

Probably all your accountant needs is to import the Trial Balance into his s/w. Whether he imports or re-types, the time-saving by importing isn't particularly great.

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Replying to SXGuy:
By Tom Hartopp
08th Apr 2015 14:57

@Trial Balance

Red Leader wrote:

Probably all your accountant needs is to import the Trial Balance into his s/w. Whether he imports or re-types, the time-saving by importing isn't particularly great.

Thanks for comment.

I believe I'm correct in saying that this would be the case that applies when using VT Final Accounts for statutory accounts preparation, but I may be exposing a level of ignorance in making that statement.

I am seeking to explore the features of VT Transaction+ an application that the VT User Manual describes as "fully featured accounting/bookkeeping package for Windows. VT Transaction+ can be used in a wide range of circumstances from small incomplete-records jobs to companies with hundreds of thousands of transactions".

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Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
08th Apr 2015 09:41

I prefer cat food

Dog food doesn't taste particularly pleasant to us humans.

Cat food on the other hand isn't too bad and can, depending on the quality, be passed off as pate... I've been told.

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By Flash Gordon
08th Apr 2015 09:46

I got bored once I realised he wasn't actually eating dog food. Why don't people actually speak English and say what they're talking about instead of dressing it up?

I'm currently tempted by my dog's Easter Egg - it looks very much like real chocolate (it's carob so safe for pooch) and I've not had an egg myself this year. And I'm often tempted by her food - she has Lily's Kitchen tins and sometimes it smells pretty good. They did a Christmas dinner version not last Christmas (they'd changed it) but the one before and that looked and smelt better than my Chrimbo meal.

But I'll ask my dog at dinner time if she has any software knowledge to share....

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By Victoria Frazer
08th Apr 2015 15:11

Universal Input Sheet

You can import lists of transactions in to VT Transaction+ using the Universal Input Sheet, the first option on the Transaction menu.

Please email us at [email protected] if you would like to discuss if it is suitable for the data you are trying to import.

Victoria Frazer

VT Software


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By Malcolm Veall
01st Nov 2016 05:26

Tom, I am sure that you will have moved on from this VT Trans+ linkage project now, 9came to this discussion from a Google search) - but I think that if you really want to build a useful linkage from your platform that will facilitate growth for Orbitall you should be looking at Xero / QBO rather than desktop solutions like VT / Sage?

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