|★ APPLICATIONS ★ BUREAUTIQUE ★ COMPACT ACCOUNTS|8000Plus) ★|
|Compact Accounts||Applications Bureautique|
This is a very comprehensive and professional package which has been in use on a wide range of micros for a number of years at many times the price now being asked for it on an Amstrad. This wide usage could prove very useful-data produced on the PCW could be transported subsequently to bigger machines as the suite is currently available for most 8 and 16 bit computers, all using the same data format.
And there are other ways in which the package offers great flexibility. You can set up and run more than one company from the same set of programs using different data discs. And you don't necessarily have to link the different parts of the package right from the start. If space was short it would be possible to run say the purchase and nominal ledgers linked, with the sales ledger and invoicing separately linked together and to update the nominal by journal entry from the batch audit trails produced. Fuller integration could follow later.
Unfortunatefy the sheer size of the package could cause problems. Intended originally for larger machines, tt is supplied for the PCW on no less than FIVE discs and runs in Mallard Basic. This makes its operation slow and cumbersome at times.
Another drawback is that although the discs supplied can be copied the system will only run using the original set of discs. If any individual programs are corrupted the situation can probably be saved by “pipping” over from the backup copies - otherwise a new disc will have to be obtained from Compact at a nominal charge.
A consequence of this attempt to avoid piracy is that the programs have to be run from the A drive, not the M drive. On an 8512 this is not too serious a problem as data can be directed to drive B, But with a single-drive 8256 your data is held during normal operation in drive M. Although this gives a speed advantage, a machine crash or power failure will mean losing your entire session s work.
Fortunately the huge manual includes a 28 page section specifically addressed to operating the system on PCW machines, both single and dual disc, The software too includes routines to automatically back up discs at the end of the day and to set up the system at the start of a session - for example the PCW printer is automatically configured for continuous paper, a nice touch missing from most of the other packages.
Another excellent facility is the ability to create data files from alt sections of the program for output to Supercalc 2. Multiplan, Wordstar and New Word. In other words you can move figures from your accounts directly into a spreadsheet or a letter.
This offers virtually all the features any small to medium-sized company could want:
This is broadly similar to the sales ledger with the addition of a payments facility with an option to print cheques or just remittance advices on preprinted stationery. There is also a superb prepayment facility to spread costs from an invoice over up to 36 periods with the charge being automatically posted to the nominal ledger at each month end.
There is no option to enter a payment due date or to note discounts available but it is possible to print creditors' lists for overdue balances only or the accounts may be identified within up to 100 classifications for selective reports.
Invoices or credit notes can be produced on preprinted stationery using the sales ledger details with an optional link to a very comprehensive product file - this gives facilities for profit and turnover reporting on a customer or product basis.
The invoice is built up on the screen with full editing facilities available and Is immediately printed. At the end of a batch the audit trail is printed and all ledgers updated.
Standard discounts may be set up on the product file and either accepted or amended during the invoicing production - there is however no provision for settlement discount which could only be entered as text.
This part of the system is again powerful and flexible. You can lay out a nominal ledger using any number of numerical account codes and with a facility to group the accounts in up to 100 user defined headings.
Reports are available in either full or summarised form with full quarterly, monthly or annual budgetting. Full journal posting routines with transaction descriptions are supported with a facility to set up standard monthly journals-these could be used to cover standing orders, for example.
Any account can be displayed on the screen or printed and a full transaction listing can be produced at any time.
An excellent, fully professional package. The main drawback is that it's almost too big to run comfortably on a PCW. Even on an 8512, much cumbersome disc-swapping is involved. Probably best for someone planning to upgrade their hardware in the forseeable future.