From the April/May 2010 Review of Small Business Accounting Systems (Locally Installed).
A-Systems Corporation has been providing quality software products since 1978. Starting as a construction accounting software vendor, A-Systems eventually expanded its line of products to include a general accounting product called Visual Bookkeeper, which is reviewed here. Though in direct competition with industry giants such as QuickBooks and Peachtree, A-Systems offers its customers a more personalized, customized product. New features in version 10 include enhanced DataView functionality, a widely enhanced payroll module, and numerous updates in the GL module.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
Installation of Visual Bookkeeper was quick and problem free. The user interface is both easy on the eyes and on user sensibilities. A drop-down menu at the top provides access to all system modules along with management and setup activities. To the left of the screen is a vertical menu with icons representing modules.
One of the first things new users will notice is that all of the data-entry screens are very similar in appearance and functionality, with numerous tabs designed to provide easy access and quick entry of data. Fields contain lookup options and the ability to attach documents to the record. Data entry is performed using the batch system, allowing users to review data prior to posting. Company setup is simplified using the new Company Setup Wizard, and several other wizards are also available in various areas of the software, including chart of accounts setup and new vendor setup. Visual Bookkeeper does not currently provide industry-specific templates, but an optional Cash Register module can scan items and process payments. And as previously noted, the vendor offers a construction accounting product, as well.
CORE ACCOUNTING CAPABILITIES:
The GL offers the choice of a user-defined chart of accounts or the option to set up a new chart of accounts from scratch. Users can work in multiple periods, enter transactions in prior months and set up multiple companies. Sales tax functionality is set up in the AR module and is easily tracked. To review totals, users simply run the Sales Tax Summary report.
Visual Bookkeeper is very ‘accountant’ friendly, containing a powerful audit trail function that cannot be turned off. As a result, every transaction entered in the program is tracked and can be reproduced. Visual Bookkeeper does not offer multi-currency functionality at this time. The program is easily networked for multiple users, and transactions can be created at one location, exported, emailed and imported at the business’ headquarters to support multiple locations. The company noted that some users have set the program up as a hosted application on their own server and allow remote access to other users/locations.
Users can convert customer quotes directly into sales orders. In turn, those orders can be easily converted to an invoice. The optional point-of-sale module offers a cash sales function allowing users to enter cash sales by scanning a product or entering a product description. Visual Bookkeeper offers three menu views: Sale Menu, Drawer Menu and Gift Card Menu. Each menu offers different options at the bottom of the screen. Credit card payments can also be accepted over the Internet utilizing Mercury Payment Systems. At this time, does not provide does not provide direct integration with shipping vendors for printing FedEx or UPS shipping documents.