From the April/May 2010 Review of Small Business Accounting Systems (Locally Installed).
Formerly known as Premier Accounting, AccountEdge 2010 from Acclivity has been completely updated with loads of new features and functions. Many of you may be more familiar with the product’s previous name, MYOB. Acclivity purchased the U.S. development portion of the company in November 2008, releasing its new and improved product in February 2010, just in time for this review.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
Product installation was approximately 10 minutes, and setup was quick and easy, with no discernable problems. The main screen of AccountEdge 2010 contains a grid with large navigational icons at the top Users can access system modules through the menu bar at the top of the screen, which also provides access to lists, setup functions and reports. Clicking on a module displays a workflow interface with specific tasks detailed. Tabs are available at the bottom of the screen to access a to-do list, a find transactions function, reports and analysis. Each tab offers a lookup option. Data-entry screens are simple and uncluttered, with lookup fields and Help options available when needed. The AccountEdge user interface can also be customized to reflect personal preferences.
Various industry classifications are available, including agriculture, manufacturing, retail, services, and other. Users can also choose from 100 editable business templates during setup. And while the chart of accounts reflects the industry classification and business type selected during setup, all features work interchangeably with all business classifications and types.
CORE ACCOUNTING CAPABILITIES:
The AccountEdge GL includes the option to record journal entries, transfer money between bank accounts, set up recurring journal entries and view the transaction journal. The sales module handles all system receivables and allows for posting of payments, printing process invoices and printing receipts. Sales in the sales register can also be viewed along with quotes, orders, open invoices, and returns and credits. AP is handled under purchases, where bills can be paid and where both purchase orders and 1099s can be processed. The purchase register allows monitoring of all purchases, orders, open bills, and returns and debits.
Sales tax codes are set up under lists by entering the appropriate code, description, type of tax and corresponding percentage rate. The addition of new sales tax reports offers better reporting options. The company data auditor offers a company overview that provides general system information. A checkmark or a question mark will appear after running the review, noting where the user will have to research further. Also available is an audit trail report and a session report that will provide detailed system and user information. AccountEdge currently accepts multiple currencies, with new currencies and exchange rates easily set up and downloaded for accuracy. The program also supports a multi-user environment.
AccountEdge currently supports general sales functionality. Sales can be entered as quotes, orders or invoices, with users able to choose the layout of the entry screen. A POS add-on is available for Mac users but is not currently available for PC users. Various shipping methods can be used, but the program does not currently provide a direct link or direct integration with any shipping providers.
New customers and vendors can be added using the easy-add function, which is found in all relevant data-entry screens. Payroll is included with the program, but payroll tax updates require a subscription to the vendor’s payroll tax service. The Cards List is where all customer, vendor and employee information is entered and maintained. Users can easily enter and track as little or as much detail as they wish in this area. AccountEdge also offers a time & billing module, making it easy to track time units for accurate customer billings.
The Inventory module in AccountEdge is solid, with an option to build items as well as an auto-build feature. The module can also handle multi-location inventory maintenance and tracking. There are two costing methods available — average cost and last cost — with the ability to change pricing during the sales process.
Statements, invoices and purchase orders can all be emailed to recipients from directly within the program. The Direct Deposit and Vendor Payments add-ons add significant functionality to e-features. The new Web Store sync option allows users to sync store items manually or automatically, depending on products entered into the system.
The Analysis options are found in each data-entry screen and display varying levels of reports. While not Dashboards, they do provide much of the same information. Reporting options are excellent, with reports available in each of the system modules. The Index to Reports interface allows users to view each of the system reports prior to running. All reports offer advanced filter options and reporting fields to utilize, and users can easily export to Excel, email or fax reports, as well as convert them to PDF or HTML files. Users can add specific system security functions, such as turning on the audit trail. Several other security-related options are also available, and the user ID function allows restrictions on module or function levels.
Files can be imported using a tab-delimited or comma-separated file. Quicken files can also be imported. Users can also export a wide variety of file types including accounts, budgets, jobs and disbursements, using the same file format as when importing files. The new auto-match function allows for easy data import. As well, AccountEdge for Windows installs an ODBC driver, which can be used to access data through Excel, Access, etc.
AccountEdge offers complete system integration with all of the vendor’s add-on products, as well as other third-party software products such as payroll. Other products available include CRM solutions, custom reporting, and a sync product that makes it easier to share data between AccountEdge and other products.
The Accountant Link allows both importing and exporting of data between the business owner and his or her accountant. With product purchase, Acclivity provides the company accountant with a free copy of the software.
AccountEdge offers in-product Help throughout the program’s various data-entry screens. User manuals are also available to print or refer to as needed. Users can utilize Help to check for any system updates that might be available. These updates are listed on the website, but are not delivered automatically to the user’s computer.
Product documentation is also available on the vendor’s website, as are product upgrade instructions, how-to guides, FAQs and search options. Support is free for the first 30 days after product purchase. AccountEdge offers two support plans: one with telephone and email support; the other with just email support. All support is U.S. based.
SUMMARY & PRICING
AccountEdge is a true bargain at $299 for a single-user license. Additional workstation licenses are available individually or as a five-user pack for $499. This does not include the subscription to the payroll tax service, which is available for $249 for a single-user license or $299 per year for multi-user licenses, and includes updates and upgrades. AccountEdge appears to be a simple program under initial examination, but most would be amazed at the scope of features and functionality found in this product. AccountEdge is an excellent choice for the small but growing business, as additional licenses can be added when needed. AccountEdge 2010 requires very little up-front investment, and will pay for itself immediately.
2010 OVERALL RATING: