ACCOUNTS initial beta test

Hello again volunteer advisors and beta testers for the new Software4Nonprofits ACCOUNTS program.

I am excited to tell you that I have a very preliminary version ready for you to do your first testing on! It contains what I consider to be the absolute minimum features worth testing, namely setting up your chart of accounts, and entering journal entries. (No register windows or reports yet – soon!) But I think I should get something out there sooner rather than later, to make sure I am on the right track. (I have called this version number 0.20,  because it is only one fifth done – probably much less!)

Other features that are already in this first beta version include the ones copied from DONATION, like all of the backup/restore functions, a program entry password, email sending configuration, and checking for updates (which will work with the beta version).

In ACCOUNTS, you can create additional databases for additional organizations, and switch between them, with new File -> New and File -> Open menu options. The file naming is very different from DONATION, instead using a more Word-like metaphor, of having each organization’s filename based on its Organization Name, with “.S4A” (Software4nonprofits Accounts) as the consistent file extension.

You can also adjust what different accounting entities and reports are named (like Equity vs. Fund, Income vs. Revenue) with the Maintenance -> Entity Names window.

You can get this version from the following web page:

If you have a little bit of time, please download and install it, play with it, and let me know your reactions (good or bad), with as many details as you have time to send me!

Some warnings:

  • Don’t bother putting much data into it (i.e. don’t enter your whole chart of accounts!) because some future beta versions will not be compatible with the current database structure, and you will have to start over entering data from scratch. (Mind you, some future versions may also allow you to import your chart of accounts from existing program.)
  • There is nothing on the main window yet, only a menu, because I have not yet decided what should go there. (Ideas are welcome.)
  • Only the pretest.htm page on the new sub-web-site for ACCOUNTS (under…) is there, so some hyperlinks in the program, like to show you the Pricing page if you are requesting a license key and you say you haven’t paid, won’t work.

Speaking of which, feel free to request a license key for any organizations/databases you set up in the program. (No payment required!) I will send you one that is good to the end of this year.

The Help for the new features (and ones adapted from DONATION) is pretty much all written, so another thing that would be very “helpful” <grin> would be any reviewing you want to do of the Help. There’s even a Help page on Accounting Concepts, that certainly needs a good review.

Many thanks!

14 thoughts on “ACCOUNTS initial beta test

  1. Dan – it asked me to choose whether my account #s are 4 or 5 digits long, and which account # to start with. I selected “4” and “1000”. It told me that my first account # had to start with a 3 and must have the specified number of digits.
    I then went into Maintenance-> Chart of Accounts — the General Fund was there with a 4-digit number (3000). So I tried to change it, and it told me I had specified that my account #s should have 0 digits.
    The program appears not to be reading the selected entries for the chart of account options.

    • Thanks, Lis. That happened if you pressed Cancel in that Main Options window (for the # of digits in the account numbers) rather than OK, a reasonable action. The good thing is that once you closed the Edit Chart of Accounts window and re-opened it from the main menu, that problem went away.
      I have now fixed that and sent it up as version 0.20c. You can upgrade with Tools -> Check for Updates.

  2. This is not really a bug, but a suggestion.
    In setting up the chart of accounts, if I have a top account (“expense2”) and a sub-account to it (“expense3”) – and subsequently edit expense2 to make it a sub-account of expense1, then expense3 should automatically become a sub-sub account (still subsidiary to expense2). As is, I had to then go in and edit expense3 to make it a sub-sub account.

    • I’m pretty sure that is fixed now by version 0.20d, which you can upgrade to with Tools -> Check for Updates. Whichever accounts were confused in that way may still have to be re-edited to fix them though. Some other potential problems with the account hierarchy are also fixed by this update.

    • This one seems to be a specific problem on this machine, probably unrelated to the ACCOUNTS program per se; he has the same problem if he tries to re-install DONATION. I’m working on it with him.

  3. Another user found a bug in 5-digit account numbers in version 0.20d, you got confusingly incorrect error messages preventing you from entering any account number over 32767 (and thus, no income or expense accounts). Fixed in version 0.20e, just released. (Kudos to any smarties who can tell me WHY 32767 was the boundary!)

    • You are on the right track, John, but actually a “word” is usually considered to be 2 bytes in Windows programming, which holds up to 32767 in signed integers. The problem wasn’t the actual storage of the account numbers (which are stored in a 4-byte integer, room for 10 digits!) but one place in the program where I was converting it to a 2-byte integer before checking that it was valid.

  4. Showing my age here, but a “word” in 360 Assembler language was 32 bits (4 bytes).

    • I’m sure you are right John! But in the Intel architecture used by Windows, words have always been considered to be 16 bits; and they call a 32-bit integer a DWORD (double word). So we can agree to disagree on this one!

  5. Dan.. no problems to report. I set up a chart of accounts using 5 digit account numbers and some sub accounts and sub-sub-accounts. did a JE or two. I guess it worked as there is no way (that I found) to verify that the transactions were recorded in a meaningful database.. but I suspect that is just a reflection of where you are!!


    • Thanks, David. Some reports should be out by the end of this week, or perhaps early next week. And boy, programming these reports, with two levels of sub-accounts, is not easy! (I do have a basic balance sheet, income statement and trial balance done already.)

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