Accountz Business Accountz Basic review
In theory, small-business finances should be simple.
As long as you understand the tax rules and double-entry bookkeeping, you can fairly easily set up an Excel workbook to keep track of your money. However, if you make a mistake, it can be tricky to get your books to balance. And once things are in a mess, getting them out of a mess can be a real nightmare.
Business Accountz Basic is a bookkeeping program for small businesses that's designed to automate the process of keeping your accounts in order. The philosophy behind Accountz is simple. The program uses standard double-bookkeeping, as you'd expect, but you don't have to make double-entries manually. Instead, you specify which nominal accounts you're transferring money from and to; Accountz does the double-entry work and maintains the Chart of Accounts (CoA) behind the scenes.
Compared to some big-name competitors, Accountz looks sparse. The initial setup wizard asks you lots of questions, the answers to which it uses to create your CoA. There's no list of template company types to choose from, as there are in other accounts programs (some competitors have template CoAs for almost every conceivable type of business). However, this isn't a problem. The auto-generated CoA was perfectly adequate for our needs, and you can manually add nominal accounts later on if necessary.
Instead of the almost ubiquitous flow-chart layout, the program shows a range of tabs, each associated with a logical bookkeeping function, including a Sales tab for entering details of income, Customer and Supplier tabs to keep track of those you do business with, and so on. Initially, we were a little sceptical about this, but we were soon won over. Small business owners, in our experience, like simplicity, and it doesn't get much simpler than this. Made a sale? Enter the details in the Sales tab. Bought something? Enter it on the Purchase tab. There's very little room for mistakes or misunderstandings and no steep learning curve.
However, Accountz does more than simply keep an accurate CoA. If you're VAT-registered, all you need do is enter your VAT details during the setup wizard and Accountz will calculate how much VAT you owe as you go. The program also allows you to create reports, called filters, and then print or export them as CSV files (which you can open in Excel). Profit and loss reports can be created by specifying start and end dates in the CoA or by using the Year End wizard.
We did have a few issues with Business Accountz. We occasionally found ourselves entering dates or transaction amounts, only for this data to disappear when we moved on to the next line in our journal. It would also have been good to be able to export reports in formats other than CSV; as presentable PDFs, for instance.
Generally speaking, however, we really liked Accountz. The interface is nice and plain and the program as a whole is easy to get to grips with. As long as you use it religiously, keeping your transactions up to date and properly recorded, you'll easily be able to track the profitability of your business and calculate your end-of-year tax returns - or simply hand a copy of your CoA to your accountant and he or she can do it for you.
Newer version of Business Accountz Basic
In October 2010 a new version of Business Accountz was launched with a free update for all existing users.
Business Accountz Basic now has predefined reports for Profit & Loss, Trial Balance and Balance Sheet to print and save directly from the software.
There is also now a very powerful filter and report builder to tailor to your requirements.
By RHarris on 3 Jun 2011
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