First Look: ACCPAC's Latest Simply Accounting and Simply Accounting Pro

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted April 24, 2002
Wayne N. Kawamoto
Managing Editor, www.smallbusinesscomputing.com

ACCPAC International, Inc., a subsidiary of Computer Associates International, announced an aggressive U.S. pricing strategy in concert with the new release of its small business accounting software: Simply Accounting and Simply Accounting Pro.

The new versions of Simply Accounting and Simply Accounting Pro add many new features and productivity enhancements including the Daily Business Manager, a control center that consolidates daily tasks for simplified management, and a multimedia training CD that helps customers learn how to use Simply Accounting. In addition, Simply Accounting Pro now includes a fully integrated Time & Billing module.

The new Daily Business Manager focuses on the day's most important management tasks. From the control center, users can store notes and reminders and attach them to specific dates on the calendar. This may be ideal for tracking collections and tax filings and staying up-to-date with accounting tasks.

The Daily Business Manager scans the accounting database for time-sensitive issues and notifies the user of important accounting tasks that need attention such as payments due, discounts available to be taken, and checks and invoices to print and post. A 'batch processing' feature lets users process many transactions at once, instead of by repeated individual entry. According to the company, all tasks may be launched directly from the control center.

Building on the core management benefits of the Daily Business Manager, Simply Accounting 9.0 provides users with more reporting features to help business owners track the business and improve decision-making. The new Financial Ratios report provides a snapshot of company performance issues such as average daily sales, liquidity, and profitability. For improved security and audit control, transaction reports can now be printed with names of users who made the entries.

Added focus on flexibility and ease-of-use comes through a series of new features including pop-up calendars on date fields throughout the product; customizable data entry fields that can be used to store special information about vendors, customers, employees, inventory and projects; options to set up custom sales taxes; and the ability to link to a favorite currency exchange rate web site from transaction screens.

Simply Accounting Pro, the multi-user, multi-currency version, includes everything found in Simply Accounting as well as additional enhancements designed for the needs of larger businesses, particularly manufacturers and service-based companies. An entirely new module, Time & Billing, has been added for businesses that need to track time and bill clients accordingly. These include law offices, advertising agencies, accountants, and consultants. Time can be recorded by using the built-in timer feature, or through manual entry.

Inventory Management has also been enhanced in Simply Accounting Pro, with the addition of a Bill of Materials feature. Now, Simply Accounting Pro users can specify the components needed for assembling items, and have the system take care of the details with its auto-build functionality, a feature typically found only in high cost accounting applications.

Another new enhancement found only in Simply Accounting Pro is the ability to do multiple year reporting. The new version stores one hundred years of financial history for in-depth financial analysis while maintaining a lean data file size through automated archiving routines. This design ensures that historical data is easily accessible without negatively impacting overall system performance, a problem cited by users of competing systems.

Both versions of Simply Accounting ship with an interactive multimedia training CD that's designed to guide users through the product. The CD promises to provide an on-screen tutor who describes each step in setting up and using the product, and offers customers the ability to use the actual product as they work through the lessons.

The company says that the competitive advantages of Simply Accounting include:

7 A Payroll module that is operable right out of the box. Simply Accounting's payroll is designed to be fully accessible immediately upon installing the product, and the latest payroll tax calculators are provided at no charge on request with product registration. Users have the choice to enter payroll data independently or to subscribe to an annual payroll update plan that provides both software upgrades and payroll tax calculation updates.

7 Simply Accounting maintains a full-time audit trail and provides the user with an automated function for handling adjusting entries. There is no option to turn off the audit trail and risk accounting irregularities and the associated cost to recover.

7 Simply Accounting provides integrity checks through the product to ensure that accounting entries are done properly. For example, Simply Accounting prevents users from accidentally posting a transaction to a previously closed fiscal year.

7 Simply Accounting is designed with a simple home screen for easy access to accounting functions. Simply Accounting does not use a "flow chart" approach.

7 Simply Accounting provides the ability to flip between accounting terminology and non-accounting terminology.

7 Simply Accounting provides a multi-user implementation. Field level file-locking ensures multiple users can operate with minimal data lockout.

ACCPAC is marketing Simply Accounting 9.0 with a suggested retail price of $39.99, and Simply Accounting Pro 9.0 at a suggested retail price of $89.99. For more information, please visit the company's site at www.simplyaccounting.com.

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