The Book-keepers Forum (BKF)

Post Info TOPIC: Making THE move...how was your experience?


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 36
Date:
Making THE move...how was your experience?


Thank you John for your reply.
I am inclined to agree with you, but I will wait for Shaun to reply to see if there is anything to add to the list of disadvantages. Once the list is complete I will attempt to look at each one separately to see how they can be dealt with.



__________________


Forum Moderator & Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 11841
Date:

johnhemming wrote:

Happy new year to everyone.

I note that this thread has had a bit of a life. I have considerable experience of converting accounting systems, but am still not sure what the research is about.

I have also been writing accounting and commercial computer systems since 1981. This has been on midrange systems, mainframe systems, desktop systems and "in the cloud".

Over time I would expect pretty well everything to move to "cloud" based systems. What prevents it is that it is relatively difficult to write responsive software for cloud systems. Because the servers are some distance in time from the screens (clients) it is often not that flexible. Furthermore migrating software to the cloud really means re writing the user interface and often the business processing that updates the database. The database can remain the same, however. Historically progress has involved migrating through faster computers with it being possible to keep going with the same software. However using a browser interface to a central server is a completely different model.h

Hence often cloud software appears to be a step backwards. Over time, however, better cloud software will win out.

There are questions about things like access to data, but in the end those businesses that behave unethically will find that they lose business.




Happy new year John ya wee whippa snappa, lol.

Mine was 1979 started working on moving the Payroll Systems of the then National Coal board from punch card input to distributed terminals.

Mainly mainframe based although we also developed systems on ME29's and 8100's. Back them it was all hierarchic data in IMS databases. Moved some smaller stuff to Lotus 1-2-3 on these new fangled PC's and I took to spreadsheets like a duck to water.

When DB2 hit the market in 87 I was like a pig in muck. And from the moment I first used Excel in the early 90's I've loved the product ever since.

Letf payroll behind when I left British coal and moved to a management consultancy since when there has been lots of ERP development both from the design and coding sides.

I am not feeling the way that you do about the cloud. I've looked behind the curtain too many times and been horrified at what is generally hidden from view.

That business is not able to dictate what they need but need to build their businesses around what the software will give them I find a somewhat stange concept. 

I never truly managed to escape that world and have resolved myself to being back in it full time so I'm winding the practice down completely as all of the real money that I make is in corporate. Generally saving them from themselves.

Its always nice when you demo a system and they go through the shock of realising that they are looking at Excel yet in general they don't recognise it immediately.

My feeling in general is that business are getting tired of constant change often just for the sake of it and are now demanding stability of products.

Relational databases have now become the norm and its easy to move from one to another (its something that I've needed to do a lot). Whilst each have their difference syntaxes fundamentally they have to be the same to adhere to the blueprint set out by IBM.

Excel / VBA / User forms as become a tool of choice for many businesses with the only major issue being that anyone can get into it but not everyone should!

SSAS and SSRS are heading the way of the dinosaurs as both of them were always clunky bit of kit. Where Power BI and Tableau have made real headways into the market with Power BI being the first credible threat to the dominance of Excel.

All the best and happy new year,

Shaun.



__________________

Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 146
Date:

I started with the IBM GSD equipment System/34 and System/36 then AS/400 (which was a development of the System/38) which is now called iSeries.  I started with general ledger systems, then legal and then went into stockbroking.  I remained with that although I did very little RPG coding although I remained chair of the board of my company with there were lots of RPG programmers.   In the mid 90s I did quite a bit of cryptography using C++, C and Assembler and now I am coding in Java and Javascript. (and the associated CSS/HTML5)
I agree that Excel is a powerful programming environment.  In fact I use a VBA spreadsheet for my own investment management. (software originally written by someone else that I have taken on and made further changes to).
Shamus wrote:

That business is not able to dictate what they need but need to build their businesses around what the software will give them I find a somewhat stange concept. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is, of course, possible for software to be tailored even when on the cloud.  This, however, all comes down to what people are willing to pay.  From the software house perspective maintaining a single system is a lot less effort than maintaining lots of different versions.  In the end the clients have to pay for the maintenance costs.

However, I would expect people to gradually move to better cloud software.  

 



__________________


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 36
Date:

Hi Joanne!
Here's my thread...
and thanks in advance for helping out!

CB


__________________


Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 3551
Date:

Hi CB

You didn't really expect anyone to remember that you would be coming back mid Feb did you.  I only sussed what you were on about when I saw this thread.


For a research report I would be grateful to hear from those of you (preferably those working in or with SMEs) who have experienced planning and implementing the move to a new software, accounting or otherwise.

 

I use VT, more or less used it from the start and wouldn't consider anything else unless it was better.  That said, I have since tried Xero and Pandle and currently I'm looking at Boxio for cloudy stuff.  Come April I will also be dealing with Free Agent as one of my clients is moving on to it.


1. General comments: was your experience different to expected? If yes, better or worse, and why?  Picking Pandle as an example, it's good for inputting but now I'm doing the year end I'm not impressed.  VAT return reports are poor, had an issue where client is saying so and so is showing as outstanding, even though paid, but also showing paid in a separate section.  

2. In hindsight, what would you have done differently/better?  This particular client was using Xero, but it was completely ucked up, should have maybe switched her to VT  and found her an online invoice program, as I was doing everything apart from invoicing.
3. What were your contingency plans, and were they sufficient?  No contingency plan, client wanted cloudy, I chose Pandle
4. Was your planning based on any models, business or otherwise? What were they? N/A

 



__________________

John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 36
Date:

Thank you for your comments John!

I get the feeling that there is no "perfect" solution for anyone (never mind everyone!). There's always a downside.

I am curious to know if there were any particular challenges you experienced when implementing change of software?



__________________


Forum Moderator & Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 11841
Date:

see bee wrote:

I get the feeling that there is no "perfect" solution for anyone (never mind everyone!). There's always a downside.


Nope, VT is perfect.

PC based

Absolutely no cloudy stuff

can use it anywhere on any machine that you use

If you want you can work in Excel then upload in VT.

Easy to transfer start positions from other software

Easy data entry

Software learns from the user

Absolutely perfect.

Only challenge that you face with VT is getting the documents / evidence out of the business owner to input into it.... And apparently, one of the things that they don't tell you in advance when taking your financial qualifications is that holding them upside down from the upper floors of the office building by their ankles is frownded upon.... So they tell me this now and it's MY fault!

Shaun.



__________________

Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 8646
Date:

see bee wrote:

Hi Joanne!
Here's my thread...
and thanks in advance for helping out!

CB


 Unlike John, I didnt need a reminder as, apparantly, I have the memory of an elephant.

I do seem to recall you were going to id yourself and I did actually think you were re-thinking your questions, as my original point remains, erm, on point.

 



__________________

 Joanne 

Winner of Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 & 2017 

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

You should check out answers with reference to the legal position



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 36
Date:

I am glad you like VT!
However, is it suitable for SMEs, or only for micro-companies? How is it with integrations etc vital for growing companies?


__________________


Forum Moderator & Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 11841
Date:

see bee wrote:

I am glad you like VT!
However, is it suitable for SMEs, or only for micro-companies? How is it with integrations etc vital for growing companies?


Fine for SME's although most larger entities prefer to do their bookkeping in Sage and then transfer the trial balance to VT to produce the accounts.

Can quite happily handle multiple departments, divisions of a company.

Multiple people can be working on the same company sharing files via dropbox or over a Lan.

Easy to export to Excel for management accounts / benchmarking / dashboards, etc.

 

 

 



__________________

Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 3551
Date:

Shamus wrote:
see bee wrote:

I am glad you like VT!
However, is it suitable for SMEs, or only for micro-companies? How is it with integrations etc vital for growing companies?


Multiple people can be working on the same company sharing files via dropbox or over a Lan.


 Morning Shaun.  

I have the VT files on onedrive so they are on both my work computer and home computer. For sharing with different people though can you prevent a file from being opened simultaneously by two different people?  On the rare occasion I have opened it on one comp without realising it was already open on the other one I end up with a duplicate file with the file name appended with computer xxx

 

Morning CB.  Did a post yesterday answering your previous questions but it hasn't appeared, think I may have forgotten to press send!!

Cloudy is not my preferred way of working and currently I have only one client who is on Pandle.  It's quite a good program data entry wise and you can enter several entries then save as a batch, but reporting wise I'm not as impressed.  Maybe it's because I'm used to VT where the info is just a mouse click away whereas I'm having to click various menu's and then sift through to get what I need, but that's a downside for me.

Come April I will be using Free Agent for this client and I've seen good feedback for it and I'm also going to be looking at Boxio, which is free but will be handy for a couple of clients, as I want them to scan the receipts in as they get them, rather than me having a shoebox at the end of the year.

My client base is all micro businesses, but Shaun deals with SME's and larger corps and predominately uses VT where he can.



__________________

John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 36
Date:

Thank you for your replies.
Interesting you mention that on the rare occasion you end up with a duplicate file... and yet you don't like cloudy stuff.
I am not saying cloud doesn't have its flip-side (in my report I've actually identified 15 challenges to cloud ERP implementation), but for those that are anti-cloud I see it as ostrich-like. It's the way the wind is blowing, whether you like it or not. Even Sage who are notorious for releasing a poor cloud offering Sage Drive, recently released a report that cloud is the way to go. Maybe it's all just big talk and is the current buzz word "in the air", and someday everyone will yet see the "light of day" when the cloudy clouds go away. But until that day, we've only got history to rely on to predict the future. And history shows that the internet wins. What do you think?

I haven't used VT before so I can't comment on the particulars of the software, but Pandle is very basic - a benefit for the micros, and a downside for the slightly bigger ones.
In terms of your "shoebox" issue, have you considered hubdoc or receipt bank?


__________________


Forum Moderator & Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 11841
Date:

see bee wrote:

Thank you for your replies.

Interesting you mention that on the rare occasion you end up with a duplicate file... and yet you don't like cloudy stuff... You did read in my other posts that it was because of using the cloud that you can end up with duplicates.

I am not saying cloud doesn't have its flip-side (in my report I've actually identified 15 challenges to cloud ERP implementation), but for those that are anti-cloud I see it as ostrich-like.... Nope. Ostrich like implies not accepting change where we are quite happy to accept change where it is for the better, not just for the sake of it. Lets take this to real software. Something like SSRS is software designed for people too stupid to use Excel / SQL properly and as with cloudfy stuff I see no point to it. But conversely, Power BI which also crosses into Excels domain does many things better and I have no issue in embracing that software in either its desktop or cloud based guises (you develop on the desktop and publish online).

It's the way the wind is blowing.... Back to my first arguement (see previous page) . Companies are hiring me and others like me to move away from cloud based systems which are now widely recognised as having been a fad based on software companies looking to move to more profitable pay forever models without any concern for what the end user actually wanted.

whether you like it or not.... I don't care. I care only about my clients and what is best for theem. Not the software provider. Software providers would do better if they actually considered the customer first

Even Sage who are notorious for releasing a poor cloud offering Sage Drive, recently released a report that cloud is the way to go....Sage telling people that their crap cloud offering (the only software to ever get a negative feedback in the Aweb customer satisfaction survey) is the worth buying... Well, there's a shock!

Maybe it's all just big talk and is the current buzz word "in the air"... Yep

and someday everyone will yet see the "light of day"... Nope. Management who do not actually use the products will still fall for the promised productivity improvement hype and buy any old crap that their people are then forced to work with until the manager gets fired for buying it.

when the cloudy clouds go away.... Dropbox is great. That exists in the cloud. Power BI is great too. My issue isn't with the cloud. Its to do with the shit peddlers telling us that anything cloud based is the way the market is going where its obviously not despite the wishful thinking of the cloud pushers trying to find enough people stupid enough to not question the credibility of their statements.

But until that day, we've only got history to rely on to predict the future... Like outsourcing delivers productivity improvements. By the year 2000 nobody will be using paper. Nobody uses MS Paint so lets remove it. Everyone uses mobile phones so lets makes Windows 8 the same interface that they have on their phones.... You mean that sort of history that people should learn from?

And history shows that the internet wins.... Have IQ's dropped or something? Nobody has said anything about the internet. We are quite specifically questioning the credibility of cloud based accounting solutions

What do you think.... See above

I haven't used VT before so I can't comment on the particulars of the software... Pretty good when you choose to ignore market leading software used by many, many accountancy practices and consistently voted as some of the best software in the market on Aweb... I suppose that it would be very inconvenient to acknowledge it considering what you want your conclusions to be.

but Pandle is very basic - a benefit for the micros, and a downside for the slightly bigger ones... Never heard of Pandle. There is lots of shit software out there. Doesn't matter if its cloud or desktop. Thats not the thrust of this. The conversation here is purely whether one should adopt the cloud and we have one person argueing that the cloud is obviously the way forwards against a whole site of people who are telling you that you are talking bollocks.

Kudos for trying but whoever is sponsoring your report should maybe think that this thread is doing more harm to them than good as you are not now debating with gullible business owners but rather the people who actually use the software.

Have you thought of UKBF. Thats full of business owners rather than professional bookkeepers and accountants.... And ultimately that is what cloud companies are looking for. They want business owners to buy into the software to drive accountants down that road. Makes complete business sense in that why concentrate on selling software once to an accountant when you can sell it 400 times to their clients.... And that is what is really behind the cloud.

Only problem with that model is that accountants are quite willing to pay for software but end users want it for free as they see it as a necessary evil rather than a benefit to their business (pretty much how many of them see accountants!). That may complicate things a little in the above equation. Give it away 400 times or sell it once. So the model expands to take the market by giving away your software then crank up the price when it becomes difficult for users to move away from it.

Then there is the issue that these companies cannot work for nothing or they would collapse so instead there is the minimal charge now to win market share before increased charges later. Pretty standard market penetration strategy combined with a  disruptive (destructive) innovation approach. I am sure that you must be well read on the works of Christensen and Raynor considering the paper that you are putting together. but have you also read MaryAnn Gobble's article from Research technology management? And have you also considered that Christensen argues against how the market misrepresents the concepts on disruption that he espoused?


 



__________________

Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 3551
Date:

see bee wrote:

Thank you for your replies.
Interesting you mention that on the rare occasion you end up with a duplicate file... and yet you don't like cloudy stuff.

I didn't say I don't like cloudy stuff, I said I prefer VT, BUT (and this is what cloud accountants and software vendors don't get) surely you go with what the client needs?  The majority of my clients don't need cloud, so why should I force them to pay for it?  As already mentioned, there are a couple of clients who may benefit from a cloud platform, and the one that is on cloud at the moment will remain on it (because it allows her to input sales invoices on the accounting program)  But why should she pay £360 a year for it, when I can give her the exact same facility for £36 a year? (Free when she moves to Free Agent in April)


I am not saying cloud doesn't have its flip-side (in my report I've actually identified 15 challenges to cloud ERP implementation), but for those that are anti-cloud I see it as ostrich-like. It's the way the wind is blowing, whether you like it or not. Even Sage who are notorious for releasing a poor cloud offering Sage Drive, recently released a report that cloud is the way to go. Maybe it's all just big talk and is the current buzz word "in the air", and someday everyone will yet see the "light of day" when the cloudy clouds go away. But until that day, we've only got history to rely on to predict the future. And history shows that the internet wins. What do you think?

Do you know, we had this exact same argument with a cloud zealot about 3 or 4 years ago.  Nothing in that period has changed my mind regarding cloud, and I'm not averse to it, but I fail to see any benefit for me or my clients (excepting the ones previously mentioned)  


I haven't used VT before so I can't comment on the particulars of the software, but Pandle is very basic - a benefit for the micros, and a downside for the slightly bigger ones.

I wouldn't say it's very basic, but certainly it doesn't have the bells and whistles of Xero. If you don't need the bells and whistles though, job's a good 'un.


In terms of your "shoebox" issue, have you considered hubdoc or receipt bank? 

I looked at Receipt Bank a long time ago and I found it expensive and clunky, and at the time ate into my profit too much.  But I have a humanoid called Tracy who does the majority of my inputting now, and I get a cup of tea when I see her as a bonus.  RB have just gone bloody silly with their pricing since then.


 



__________________

John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 36
Date:

To be perfectly honest, once I hit the send button on that previous post I was thinking "what on earth have I just done?". That pretty much sums up my response, but for decency's sake I think it's better if I review the earlier responses on this thread before replying to avoid needless repetition.

I hope to be in touch soon!

With apologies if I've disturbed anyone's sleep,

CB



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 359
Date:

see bee wrote:

 needless repetition.

 


 Sums it up.

 



__________________

Caron



Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 3551
Date:

Oh I don't know Caron.  CB has a right to his opinion and I've enjoyed the debate to be fair.

It does however remind me of a similar debate we had 2 or 3 years ago and Mr Green (remember him/her Shaun and Joanne).  Similar views to CB but a lot more forthright in his opinion, and it did get a bit ugly towards the end.

CB comes across a lot less confrontational and I don't have a problem with him/her.



__________________

John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.

«First  <  1 2 | Page of 2  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us
Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  

©2007-2019 The Book-keepers Forum (BKF). All Rights Reserved. The Book-keepers Forum (BKF) is a trading division of Bookcert Ltd. Registered in England Company Number 05782923. 2 Laurel House, 1 Station Rd, Worle, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, BS22 6AR, United Kingdom. The Book-keepers Forum and BKF are trademarks of Bookcert Ltd. This forum is a discussion forum only. There will usually be more than one opinion to any question and any posting should not be viewed as a definitive solution. No responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any posting on this site is accepted by the contributors or The Book-keepers Forum. In all cases, appropriate professional advice should be sought before making a decision. We reserve the right to remove any postings which are offensive, libellous, self-promoting or engaged in covert marketing. We will not notify users of removals. The views expressed in the forum posts are those of the individual and do not necessary reflect or agree with those of The Book-keepers Forum. Any offensive or unsuitable posts will be removed by the moderators. Any reader of this forum can request for a post to be looked into by sending an email to: info@bookcert.co.uk.

Privacy & Cookie Policy  About