Your suggestions please

  piggy 22:06 06 Aug 2003

I would like to put my farm accounts on the computer, and have been looking at the various software available, I'm a one man farmer , registered for vat and have the usual purchasing and expenditure , preferably some thing reasonably simple. Your imput would be welcome.
Thanks, Piggy

  spuds 22:27 06 Aug 2003

Sage and Quickens are two of the better known programmes. Quickens can usually be obtained at a fairly low prices for a older but still fully practical programmes. click here may have some available. As you are in the farming industry, why not contact your local NFU branch, perhaps they have some good suggestions of possible good software at discounted prices.Even speak to your animal feed supplier, who may offer direction and help on this matter.

Not to sure now, but I think Sage and Quickens both have websites that offer trial downloads.

  Djohn 22:34 06 Aug 2003

If you have Microsoft Excel on your PC, then this will be ideal for your needs. The formula to make your accounts can be a little difficult if you have never used before. But once you have made a program, then protected it, it's as easy as just putting your income/expenses into the cells.

I use this to look after the accounts for a small social fund I run. As you enter the figures then the "Balance" and "Total" cells will increase/decrease as you go along, also takes care of all your banking withdrawals and deposits.

May be someone with knowledge of this program will offer to help in setting out, if they know exactly what fields you require. j.

  bfoc 23:41 06 Aug 2003

If so it would be best to check with them that whatever path you go down is acceptable to them. I have known of people who switched to computerised accounts and then found their accountant didn't accept them. They then had to either switch accountants or redo most of a year's accounts!

Also whilst it is perfectly possible to produce accounts in Excel, IMHO, the benefits of using a dedicated accounts program far outweigh any extra costs involved.

Apart from ensuring the program is compatible with anything your accountant may have (if you have one) the other features to look out for include:
Will it print Vat returns acceptable to the Customs and Excise? Does it allow for easy correction of errors when posting details of transactions? Will it be able to store enough details of your suppliers and customers? Can it handle VAT exempt, Vat inclusive and zero rated items easily. Will it allow you to analyse your different sales and purchase areas easily? Do the company provide good support, for how long and at what cost? Finally are you comfortable using it?

Sage and Quicken are well known names. I have used Sage in a number of different versions and it is very good. If you go down the Sage route though be sure though that you get the correct version for you, they have a wide product range. Another program is Tas books, but my experience of them is many years ago. However it does seem to offer a lot for the money!

Finally two warnings, first be prepared to run both your normal and manual accounts side by side for a number of months (at least 3 and preferably more) to ensure that if you do make a major error you have something to fall back on and secondly take back-ups after each entry session and store them safely away from the accounts machine.

Computerising your accounts really is worth it, but it is very important to do it properly from the start and to give yourself the time to get it right.

  Forum Editor 00:20 07 Aug 2003

and I have set them all up with Quickbooks as their accounting package. It is perfectly capable of running the accounts for a medium sized company, and will manage your VAT, plus a payroll - if you have one. It's an extremely friendly application, and I don't think you would have any difficulty with it at all.

You can check it out for yourself if you
click here

  piggy 05:52 07 Aug 2003

Thank you all for your help, now I have a better idea, my accountant prefers the sage route ( as he is a reseller ) bfoc's point about running the paper boks for a whileas well is something I will definatly do, many thank's for that, as always with this forum many heads are better than one !
Thanks again.

  spuds 21:50 16 Aug 2003

If you are still seeking an accounting programme, then try click here who have Quickens 2002 in stock at £5.99 + p/p.

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