SD Microsystems has updated its popular book-keeping package. John Taylor puts it through its paces.
General Ledger 6128 is a computerised book-keeping program for the Amstrad CPC from SD Microsystems. Many small business owners will already be familiar with version one of General Ledger. Version 6128 is similar in operation; but there are a few minor changes and added options. The new major addition is a computerised Standing Orders option to deal with regular monthly outgoings and direct debit.
General Ledger 6128 comes with a program to convert version one files over to the new format but files must be structured the same in both programs for this to work. Many small businesses may already be using the whole range of Small Trader modules from SD Microsystems. If so, General Ledger can be completely integrated. The manual fully explains the best way to combine all the programs in the system. This is only SD Microsystems'opinion; users will have to tailor the system to suit their own needs but it is nice to know that help is at hand.
General Ledger 6128 is a menu driven program, entered by personal password for security. To help users learn quickly, there is a sample file provided on disc, although this is a sample program, to use it is best to experiment for a while before starting work. There are ten menu options, F1-F0 and these are arranged in likely order of need. Users must first enter their bank balance before moving on to set up the ledger via option F1, the Account Code/Utilities option. This option contains 50 preset codes which are divided into specific categories/ For example, codes 6-9 represent Direct Costs and can be given headings to suit the user's particular need.
Once the ledger is structured to fit the business, it is time to enter the data. Users must decide how long their trading period is going to be, perhaps a month and then start the ledger at the beginning of a trading period. This is not an absolute necessity but it will help to integrate the system more smoothly, particularly if the trading period begins at the start of the new financial year. Data entry is very easy indeed. Option F2 brings two windows onto the screen. The first window lists the possible transactions. The user must select one and then enter the date, the rest of the required data, including the amount, which heading it belongs with and which V.A.T. code the entry has. The only thing to remember is that entries can not be changed so everything must be double-checked before the data is confirmed.
General Ledger 6128 can create several different types of report depending on what sort of overview the user needs. Obviously, at some point a complete report listing all transactions is going to be necessary. General Ledger is perfectly capable of this. General Ledger 6128 also has the facilities to generate reports detailing Bank transactions as well as V.A.T. and Cash summaries. Users can focus on just one account file from codes 1-30 to see what entries have gone into the file, although this report does not specify entries which have been posted from the file. Separate listings can be given to show all the receipts and payments in a given file. General Ledger can provide a Trial Balance as well as the all-important Trading, Profit and Loss Account. All these reports can be sent directly to the printer.
General Ledger also provides the facility to make a Year To Date/End Summary. Users must remember to use this option only after all files have been cleared from memory and also to enter files into the summary in strict chronological order. This is the only instance where the data must be entered in a sequential order. When inputting entries into the ledger, there is no need to make additions in any particular order. The ledger is capable of sorting by date via option F8. Sorting is through all entries but users may specify the transaction number to start with and so avoid wading through all the entries in the file.
Ease of use is what the customers of SD Microsystems have come to expect and this program is not likely to disappoint in that respect. The manual is particularly helpful, with full explanations given in plain English.