CheckMark Software’s MultiLedger is a small business accounting system that supports PC and Mac systems, including cross-platform networked environments. The system comes with integrated modules for GL, AP, AR and Inventory, as well as an optional Payroll module. The core MultiLedger System costs $399 for up to 10 concurrent users; the Payroll module costs an additional $249
and includes one year of
federal and state withholding updates.
Ease of Use/Basic Functionality – 3.5 Stars
MultiLedger opens to the Command Center, which provides a grid of buttons for access to pretty much all of the program’s features. These features are divided into three main categories: Set Up, Transactions and Reports. Each category then has 12 feature buttons. Although I wouldn’t call it pretty, this unique navigation console provides an easy-to-understand starting point for accessing the program’s functions, whether entering transactions, managing payments, keeping an eye on inventory, performing bank reconciliations or accessing reports.
MultiLedger includes sample charts of accounts (COA) for construction, retail and service businesses that can be copied or modified as needed, or users can create accounts as needed by their business. Clicking New Company opens a window to name the data files for the new company, followed by a pop-up window that offers, “Would you like to copy an existing Chart of Accounts?” Clicking YES opens the folder “Program Files/MLedger,” as well as a list of sub-folders including COAs. You can select a provided COA or search for one you’ve previously created. Non-accounting users would greatly benefit from a setup wizard to assist with this process.
Data-entry screens are consistent throughout the system, aiding in learning navigation, but the data-entry windows don’t have a “save” or “OK” button; instead, users must close the data-entry window by using the X in the top right corner. This is not intuitive. On a more positive note, however, users can have multiple windows open at the same time. This enables the user to view multiple transactions, compare reports, or look at inventory and purchases on the same screen.
Available Modules/Customization for Vertical Industries – 4 Stars
MultiLedger includes GL, AP, AR and inventory functions that are integrated into the system, as well as an optional payroll module that includes good support for state and federal tax rate updates. The system does not really allow customization for specific industries, although three template charts of accounts, as mentioned earlier, provide sample account structures for retail, service and construction firms. However, because the system can be used with Macs or PCs, including cross-platform offices, it may garner the support of those industries that still have a heavy Mac presence, such as graphic artists and publishing companies.
Expandability – 3 Stars
Since MultiLedger can be used by up to 10 concurrent users with no additional cost, the system may be able to support a company for a longer period of time and through more growth and maturation than products with lesser support for concurrent users. Aside from the optional payroll module, the company does not offer additional accounting software, so extensive growth of the user company could require moving to a disparate system.
Reporting & Management Functions – 4.5 Stars
The program offers good numerical and graphical reporting, including a complete selection of financials, such as Chart of Accounts, Trial Balance, Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Transaction Journals, General Ledger Listing, prior-year comparisons and budget versus actual, as well as variable aging reports for AP and AR, current year payments, current year sales, sales staff reports, inventory and service reports, and mailing labels. The reports offer drill-down capabilities on GL, trial balance, and customer and vendor transaction detail reports. The system’s inventory module provides good support for multiple pricing levels, commissions and non-taxable items, and offers reporting specific to that module.
Audit Trail, Integrity & Accountant Control Tools – 4 Stars
The MultiLedger system includes complete audit trails in AP and AR that identify all adjustments made, and the system offers menu-level security that can restrict some users from entire feature sets, but not from specific tasks within these features. In other words, all users with payroll access will be able to see all payroll data. The system allows locking of files through a user-determined period to prevent posting of transactions to closed periods, and allows tracking of company departments or divisions individually.
Help & Support Options – 3.5 Stars
MultiLedger includes a traditional Windows Help utility as well as a link to the company’s web site for those seeking support. The system does not make use of right-click menus or offer content-specific help, nor does the system come with a tutorial. The company offers an online knowledgebase and a Hot Support Issues section, as well as downloadable program updates. Support is available through plans or on an as needed basis. CheckMark does not offer organized training programs, although user training is provided by some of the resellers of the software.
2005 Overall Rating – 4 Stars