Follow the trail
The smaller organisation can often work quite happily on the basis of the treasurer bashing figures in to a spreadsheet which replaces the manual 'cash book', showing expenditure and income analysed in columns, month by month. See Finance Resources Review for more help. Otherwise, use this page to find out your best starting place ..
- Accountancy Software Issues gives some background on what is different about sector needs, terminology, trends and dilemmas.
- We have divided our round-up of accounts packages into two: Entry level/low-end (up to around £1,000 basic cost), and Medium to High-end (low thousands and upwards). We try to give an idea of appropriate use, but ultimately you have to judge suitability. There is also a comparison table page, with further info (e.g. sample of sector clients, whether a demo CD is available) - this is quite a big table, so be patient with it!
- A checklist has been thrown together.
- An approach to Software Selection.
- See Case Studies list.
Community Accountancy Projects are useful resources, where they exist. One of the most active is Community Accountancy Self-Help (CASH) which operates in west London. Its web site includes a variety of factsheets which may be helpful.
- Sage Charity User Group. Sage Line 50 (which used to be called
Sterling) is perhaps the most widely used in the sector, with Line 100
less popular but growing (perhaps for the membership and other useful
add-ons available). The User Group is independent but serviced by Intelligent
Solutions, who are specialist Sage Solutions Dealers. See Suppliers
page for contact details.
- Sun User Group. Special Interest Group of Charity Finance Directors
Group - see Helplines/Professional
- Great Plains Dynamics. Charity User Group run by Tate Bramald - see Accounts Packages High-end info.
The Charity Finance magazine/Kingston Smith IT survey, undertaken April 1999 and published July with the magazine, found that Sage had over 40% of the accounts software market for those with turnovers up to £5 million, but no distinction was made between the rather different Line 50 and Line 100 Sage products (or indeed Instant Acounting). Sun was predominant in the £5 to £10 million range (over 30%), with a good showing in even larger organisations. Pegasus got an overall 6% share. On the other hand, 46% used none of these product ranges (no other packages mentioned in the survey report). Microsoft Excel spreadsheet facilities were used by a quarter to produce management accounts (as opposed to financial accounts used for audit purposes etc.) but Sun users didnt need to resort to such 'add-ons'.