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If you're a businessman and you didn't buy your PCW as a wordprocessor the chances are that you bought it to run some sort of accounts program. But many people find it's easier to find the right computer than to find the right accounts package. Anagram Systems have produced a series of packages to handle all sides of the sales, purchase and stock control including Sales Ledger, a program to handle sales records and invoice printing.

The first thing to decide when putting your business accounts on to your PCW is how seriously you are taking it. You can get a simple program that can be picked up in an hour (sometimes quicker if you read the manual). At the other end of the market you can get a system to do the same thing in three modules, each module taking a fair amount of getting to grips with.

At the end of the day the question must be, "will the extra time spent at the beginning bring you rich rewards in time and money when this sophisticated system is running smoothly."

Anagram Software's Sales Ledger must rate at the complex end of the market. The program works well and does what you want it to do but it makes little concessions to beginners.

If you opt for a sophisticated package you have to be prepared to put in the effort. This is certainly one occasion where reading the manual is worthwhile before starting. Before you can use the program you have to prepare a data disc filled with blank files created by the program and without this disc it just refuses to start.

The manual takes the sensible route by starting off with a thorough tutorial going through the setting up of a system. This certainly gives you a good idea of the structure of the program and gets you used to the rather idiosyncratic keypresses although perhaps more explanation of the rationale rather than inviting you to memorise seemingly arbitrary keys to press might have paid dividends.

The system probably pays more dividends to someone with a grasp of accounts. The manual gives only a basic explanation of accountancy theory and uses accounting jargon widely.

The keys have been changed....

The first thing Sales Ledger does is reconfigure certain keys for its own purposes. This means if you leave the program to go on to another program you have to start up again -unless you are content with a being printed on the screen every time you press [ENTER].

Having used SETKEYS Anagram could have chosen a more rational approach to key-presses. On the PCW you seldom input information using the [f3] function key and it doesn't rate as the key your finger is most likely to find. Also having chosen [f3] was it not possible to standardise on [f3] rather than reverting to faithful old [ENTER] or even [f2] at other times?

These will seem petty niggles once you are using the program for a couple of days but even a little extra on-screen help could ease the initial difficulties always found getting into a new system.

Three little letters

On the other hand once everything is set up printing out an invoice is really quite easy. Before starting you call up a customer. This is simple needing only the first three letters of the customer's name to give you the right one or a choice of customers with similar names. When you start to fill in an invoice you already have many sections filled in from details already entered.

Sales Ledger handles details like discounts and VAT well. It checks entries while you are entering any information and if it doesn't like your answer it won't let you continue until it does, cutting out many simple errors. It also gives you the choice of changing any details after the invoice is printed before storing the information on disc.

The program doesn't keep a permanent record of transactions on disc so you need to use the extensive report printing options. Instead it compresses details removing all old entries (an invoice and payment that tie up for instance) leaving room on disc for new business.

One useful function is the quaintly named "Aged Debtors" report which tells you month by month how long you have been owed money.

Customers can also be classified according to their area code - a series of codes that you set to suit your own needs. Divide up all your customers up geographically into sensible areas or dividing the business up between salesmen so see quickly who is selling the most. These all have to be set up before you use them but it will probably repay the effort.


★ PUBLISHER: Anagram Systems
★ YEAR: 1987
★ AUTHOR(S): ???
★ PRICE: £86.25


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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.