|★ APPLICATIONS ★ BUREAUTIQUE ★ BUSINESS CONTROLLER|8000Plus) ★|
|Business Controller||Applications Bureautique|
There are accounts packages for the PCW that start their manuals with a crash course on double entry bookkeeping. If there was ever anything in the world more likely to put people off put their accounts on a PCW it must be a crash course on double entry book-keeping.
Everyone knows that double entry accounts are a good idea but it is not everyone that has the time or the inclination to learn the theory. Anyway, computers are supposed to be clever enough to produce double-entry accounts by themselves without the user having to swot up on accountancy theory.
On the other hand there are the people who have a good grasp of accounts but have just bought a PCW for the first time. They could be more confused by the computer jargon in the manual than the accountancy jargon.
It would be unfair to say that Digita's new Business Controller is designed specifically for these two groups but it is probably these people that would feel the investment of nearly £ 100 in this package was justified.
The importance of manuals
It often seems to be forgotten but the manual for accounts programs is as important as the program itself. If the user finds the manual difficult to get to terms With or even over-simple and condescending they will not get full benefit from the software.
Digita have got round this by dividing up the manual into sections directly suited to different users' needs. Most important is the section for your accountant which allows him to extract the information from the figures for his needs, but there are also sections for beginners (including a glossary of computer terms) and quick start section for “experts”. There is a tutorial and a thorough reference section.
Before you start you have to run a configuration program which decides everything from size of paper you will use for reports to whether you want your accounts worked out in Profit and Loss or Income and Expenditure form, and whether the books are for a limited company or a partership, and so on.
The operation of the program is also simple enough for the beginner although it provides enough sophistication to allow you to grow into it. The automatic double entry accounts are carried out by a series of prompts and balances that keep you going until you get it right.
Take a batch...
In a serious effort to cut out mistakes the program uses a batch system. Before you start to list your entries you sort them into batches - all the cash expenditure, for example. You count the number of entries in the batch and add up the total money involved. You can enter up to 100 transactions in one batch.
Before you start to enter data you are asked for this total and how many entries you will make. The program then checks if there is enough room on the disc to take this information.
Before you actually do commit this information to disc you have to balance the real figures against the ones you gave at the beginning so you can easily spot mistakes. This does make the entry of data considerably longer and more tedious than with a lot of programs but, then again, looking for mistakes later can be even more tedious and time consuming.
If a mistake does slip through there is a good audit trail facility which will find you a specific entry or series of entries in a number of different ways - by date, account number or reference. Then you can put it right using the journal section.
One feature of the program is that data can be spread over several discs with the program keeping track of the situation and prompting you when to change. This is a vast improvement over the systems where you have to decide in advance how many entries you are going to make in a given period.
There are one or two inventive touches that are pleasing. For instance you can give each of the function keys the name of a company you deal with regularly so that the name can be produced at the touch of a button instead of laboriously typed out several times a day.