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Specialist Accountancy Software

Updated 25/11/13

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Band 3

Costing more than £1000. Analysis much better than Bands 1 or 2. Allow for some consultancy/installation costs. Ongoing support (preferably including upgrades) is a good idea, otherwise changes in requirements or regulations could be problematic. All are 'modular': Purchase and Sales Ledgers, and usually Cash Book, are separate. Prices are for single user unless otherwise stated.

AccountView Team 2 user Nominal/Sales/Purchase Ledger system for £1395, Project Costing £995. Unlimited number of companies, cost centre accounting. Loads of other modules, such as Activity Based Costing, Transaction Import (to link with membership, for instance). OLE Drag and Drop allows simple transfer of displayed info to Excel or Word, and has ODBC facilities too. A European package, which is able to meet Dutch, German and Belgium VAT regs. Seems worth a look.
- AccountView UK, 120 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1AR, phone 020 7477 6524, email: info@accountview.com. UK Web site
- See Resellers on Suppliers page.

Access Accounts - Horizons A fully featured package with good reporting, analysis and import/export facilities, but quite a reasonable starting price and winner of awards. As many chart of accounts (= companies) as you like, effective use of Windows and good drill-down. Latest versions run on 32 bit systems Windows or PowerPCs (Macs). Typical user: small to medium organisation with ambitions (as can build up facilities or move on to Dimensions - see High-End). £1495 for single user bundle, including Sales and Purchase ledgers, Nov 99, also 25% charity discount. Extra modules and users at £450 each, including Project Management, KPI. Also Transaction Broker module, allowing interfaces to be set up with just about anything. Crystal Reports Pro is extra.
- Contact Access Accounting for resellers details - Charity/NFP web pages. The Old School, Stratford St Mary, Colchester, Essex, CO7 6LZ, phone 01206 322575, email: info@access-accounts.com. Also Edinburgh office, phone 0131 317 7700, email: info@access-scotland.co.uk, and Dublin, phone 01668 4991, email: accessac@indigo.ie

Arrow Financials Comparable with Access Accounts, but claimed to be cheaper, starting at 400 per single user module with support charged at 12.5%. Fully scalable and upgradeable, ODBC and SQL compliant, can define own input and print screens. Used by a number of high profile non-profits in its native Australia. Suppliers Genesys Business Solutions say that, for example, "Arrow allowed [Australian Alzheimer's Association] to run multiple sub-organisation accounts, centrally co-ordinated but with the ability to track, cost and report at will." Genesys House, Sandbeck Way, Sandbeck Industrial Estate, Wetherby, LS22 7DN, phone 01937 586586, email Julian Taylor: julian@genesysgroup.co.uk UPDATE NOV 06 - genesys no longer seems to be in this business.

Pegasus Opera II, 32 bit software, with 2 analysis 'segments'. With a new new Advanced Nominal Ledger option (Mar 03) with nominal account, cost centre, project and department analysis, plus user definable views, this may now be a suitable product. Typical 10 user system £2500 for system manager, plus £600 per module (Mar 01). Phone 01536 495000, email: mailbox@pegasus.co.uk

Sage Line 100 Unfortunately this is not a big brother version of Line 50, but a completely different accounting package. It does have an import facility for Line 50 and increasingly the Windows versions look similar. Has greater analysis capabilities (3 character Department and Cost Centre codes, as well as alpha-numeric nominal). Some very good add-ons for the sector - see Membership software page. Note that a complete re-write of the program using Microsoft .NET architecture was announced March 03, which will have impact on the modules - it also adds the electronic eBIS-XML financial document exchange system. Typical user: medium-size organisation wanting safety but some flexibility. Financials 'bundle' starting from £2500 including Crystal Reports, 10% charity discount.
- See Suppliers page for specialist charity resellers, including Intelligent Solutions (have developed an Excel-based SOFA reporting facility), Avant-Garde.

High End

With a 2 user special 'bundle' for Great Plains Dynamics now starting at 4500, the cut-off from Band 3 is becoming less clear. At this level, it is important to know what modules include and which you are likely to need in the near future. They all require careful setting up to realise their potential and can be extensively customised for different users and areas of activity. Some larger audit firms have specialist consultants, although whether they liaise with their charity experts would need to be checked.

Access Accounts - Dimensions (the next step on from Horizons, under Band 3). From £3900. Client/server version with great flexibility in configuring screens, field names, etc.

Iris Exchequer A full suite of business modules including Commitment Accounting and e-Commerce. See their Charity page. Customers include The Samaritans, Wildlife Trusts, Compassion in World Farming.

OpenAccounts The package used by professional accountancy body ICAEW, PDSA, St Vincent de Paul Society, Hospitaller Order of St. John of God (Ireland) and others. Became part of COA, now Advanced Business Solutions- see their Charity/not-for-profit pages.

Microsoft Dynamics (previously Great Plains) Was somewhat taking over from Sun on the more sophisticated/medium to large charity requirements before it became part of Microsoft. Designed totally for the Windows environment and SQL based. Seven analysis segments, plus FRX drill-down reporting tool. Touchstone is a reseller - see Suppliers.

Navision Financials Used by Woodland Trust, Archbishops Council, Diocese of London, amongst others. Now part of Microsoft Dynamics, so these contact details may be out of date: Elstree House, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 1SD, phone 020 8207 4141, email: sales@navision.co.uk

PS Financials Charity users include Save the Children Fund, Women's Royal Voluntary Service. Stated strengths are: SORP and SoFA reporting, Automation of partial VAT recovery, Restricted and unrestricted fund accounting, Web reporting for trustees and remote users, Valuing volunteer input, Easy integration to membership, fundraising & other operational systems. Buy direct from the software authors. 7 The Forum, Minerva Business Park, Peterborough, PE2 6FT, phone 01733 367330.

SAP Business One (Baby SAP). Broadgate Infonet reckon they can supply a 2 user solution installed for under £8,000 to the Charity/Not for Profit sector (at Feb 09). SAP Business One can report on Restricted, Non Restricted Funds, SOFA and SORP, and has up to 5 different levels of analysis against one GL Code - project, cost centre, department, profit centre etc.

SunAccounts Very solid and well-respected package. Loads of analysis features, very powerful recording and reporting once you've got it set up, but does require that initial effort. Not for the novice. See Resellers on Suppliers page. Software house: SunSystems now part of Infor.

Well at the top end:

Agresso, now part of Unit4. Clients include British Museum, Salvation Army, Wellcome Trust, Age Concern, Jewish Care. Pricing - dependant on modules required, though typically starting at 50,000 +, for an integrated solution. Phone 01275 377340, email: sales.support@agresso.co.uk

Exact