New Video on Bank Deposits

Hello again ACCOUNTS advisors. I wanted to let you know that over the last couple of weeks, we have updated and re-recorded all of the introductory and training videos for our DONATION program on the Demos and Samples page on its website, at www.software4nonprofits.com/demos.htm. We haven’t yet done that for the ACCOUNTS videos, because they are less out of date than the DONATION ones were.

The videos for both programs are also now hosted on YouTube, and can be found there by searching. One great side effect of that is that previously, the videos didn’t work on most phones or tablets – now they do. The ACCOUNTS videos are on its Demos and Samples page, at www.software4nonprofits.com/accounts/demos.htm.

There’s also a new video posted on both the DONATION and ACCOUNTS Demos and Samples pages, on configuring and creating bank deposits in DONATION, and exporting them to ACCOUNTS or Intuit QuickBooks.

We’d be most interested in hearing what you think of the new and revised videos.

Thank you.

ACCOUNTS Marketing Flyer

Hi ACCOUNTS advisors. I’m taking a course on copywriting (writing for sales, marketing, etc.) and my current assignment is to write a 2 page sales letter, pamphlet or flyer. I’ve put together one for ACCOUNTS, with the main emphasis being on it solving fund accounting problems that traditional programs like QuickBooks don’t solve.

I’d be interested in any thoughts any of you have – Kwame and I like it, but of course we have a biased view as the creators of the program!

You can see it at Two page ACCOUNTS flyer.

You are also free to use this if you think anyone would be interested! I also have a 2-page flyer for both DONATION and ACCOUNTS, and another one for only DONATION, if they would be of any use to any of you.

 

ACCOUNTS User List on the Web

Hello ACCOUNTS beta testers and advisors.

I’m wondering whether any of you would be willing to be listed on a User List page, like the one for the DONATION program at http://www.software4nonprofits.com/userlist.htm.

What we list there is the person’s name and/or organization name, usually the general location (city or town and state or province) and optionally contact information (email address or phone number) if you are willing to be contacted for a reference for ACCOUNTS.

If you would be willing to be listed on such a page, please let us know, with the information you would like to have listed on it.

We are also of course also always grateful for additional testimonials for ACCOUNTS, which get listed on the Testimonials page on the website, at http://www.software4nonprofits.com/accounts/testimonials.htm. You can email anything you would be willing to have published to us. Testimonials are usually followed by your name and organization name, optionally your position there, and the organization’s general location. We do not generally put contact information on the Testimonials pages.

Thank you for considering this.

Memos on Transactions

Hello again ACCOUNTS advisors. Long time no communicate!

Someone has raised a question about memos on transactions. He was concerned when memos he entered on transactions (such as say a direct purchase entered on a bank account register window) didn’t show up with the counter account’s details for that transactions in a report such as Reports -> Details -> Transactions by Account.

The reason for this is that memos are attached to splits lines in transactions, not the transaction itself. Each transaction includes at least two splits (a debit and a credit, technically). With a purchase entered on a bank account’s register window, the memo you enter on the register window itself gets associated with the split line for the bank account (the credit), but no memo gets associated with the expense account you enter (the debit). You can fix that, by opening up the splits window and entering a memo there, but obviously that is extra effort.

The reason I designed it this way is that I think expecially for complex transactions with multiple splits, you might want a different memo on each split line, to better explain that particular line. (Plus, other programs seemed to do it that way too.)

The user who brought this to my attention has made a suggestion, which I’m considering, and want your opinions on. The suggestion is that when you enter what is apparently an overall memo for the transaction (because it is the one entered directly on the register window, or on a special purpose data entry window like Write Cheques, Enter Deposits etc.), but you don’t enter other memos for the counter account(s) / splits, that memo should get automatically copied to the other splits lines of the transaction.

I see this happening at the point that you choose to save any such transaction. If this change was made, there would also be one-time fixup of your existing data done by the new version of the program, to make it be like that. I.e. when the first split line in a transaction (which is the one you entered on the register window etc.) has a memo, copy that memo to any other splits lines in the  same transaction that are current empty.

Your thoughts? Any drawbacks? Thanks.

Account selection by Number

I have had a request from a potential user to be able to select accounts for transactions by typing the account number, rather than selecting from the drop-down list, or pressing first letters of the account name until it comes up (the two current options).

The problem with this is that it changes the account selection fields from ones you cannot type in, to ones you can type in. If you are going to be able to type in them, it only makes sense to change it to an “autocomplete” type field, like the Payee / Description fields, where you start typing an entry and matches come up. That would have to work whether you start typing a number, or start typing an account name.

There are a couple of problems I see with this, that I’d like your input on.

The first is that it could actually make the selection of some accounts by name much harder. Think about if you had three accounts named “General Fund”, “General Fund Income”, and “General Fund Expense” (or, obviously, anything other sets of accounts whose names all start similarly). As you started typing say “Gen”, “General Fund” would pop up. To get to one of the other two, you would have to click to the end of that field, or press the End key, and then continue typing. (Or, if you don’t figure that out, you’d have to type the whole common part, before you could start distinguishing it!) That’s confusing and slow.

The other problem is that suddenly validation is needed on the account entry, because you can type in something that’s not on the list. One option would be to ask whether the user wants to add that new account name (or number!), but there’s already a mechanism for that (the <Add New> entry on the list), so I’m not really inclined to add a 2nd way. So that means there has to be a message as they leave the field, saying something to the effect of “Sorry, that account isn’t on the list, please enter or select something that’s on the list”.

Now, one option is to stick with the current method (no typing, only first letters) for users who want to select accounts by name (which I think will be a large majority of users!) and switch to the autocomplete method for those who want to do entry by number. There would have to be an option added to Maintenance -> Main Options to control that switch. But I’m not crazy about the idea of their being two rather different data entry methods available for the same fields.

Thoughts? Thanks.

Comments on draft ACCOUNTS announcement?

Hello again ACCOUNTS advisors.

I have drafted an email announcement of the official release of version 1.00 of ACCOUNTS, to be sent out tomorrow morning (Thursday November 1st). It is at http://www.software4nonprofits.com/AccountsReleaseDraft.htm.

If you have any suggestions for improvements to this draft, they would be most welcome. It’s a tricky balance between too much and too little detail.

Many thanks!

ACCOUNTS Final Pre-Release

Hopefully, that is!

I have released version 0.99, which you can now get from the regular Tools -> Check for Updates menu option, or the DOWNLOAD page on the ACCOUNTS website, at http://www.software4nonprofits.com/accounts/download.htm.

Significant changes in versions 0.98 and 0.99 include:

  • “Prettied up” a lot of the reports (especially fixing some significant ugliness on reports like Income Statements and Balance Sheets, if you have chosen to display account numbers along with the names).
  • Restricted the assignment of (and reporting on) government form lines to accounts that you can post transactions to (ones with no sub-accounts).
  • Added a message about being printed from an evaluation version to the bottom of each report, until you have a license key.
  • Changed the Country/Language drop-down in the Organization Info window to be just Country, as I wasn’t doing anything with language distinctions.
  • A bunch of bug fixes!

As always, feedback would be welcome. If nothing major comes up, I plan to upload this as version 1.00 tomorrow, and then send the email announcing the release to all registered DONATION users on Thursday (November 1st).

Thank you.

ACCOUNTS Evaluation Restrictions

Hello again ACCOUNTS advisors.

I’ve been thinking about the restrictions of the evaluation version of ACCOUNTS, before you pay for it. Currently, that is only the 60-day time limit (with possible extensions). For the DONATION program, it is that, plus you can only create sample charitable receipts, not real ones.

I’m wondering whether there is anything reasonable like that that should be added to the limitations while you are evaluating ACCOUNTS, to help encourage purchasers.

One idea was a limit on the number of transactions you can enter. At first thought, that seems reasonable. But I worry about the organization that wants to do parallel running with their existing accounting program for a couple of months, to make sure everything works perfectly, before committing to a change.

Another thought was to put a “SAMPLE” watermark under all reports in ACCOUNTS when it is in evaluation mode, as is done with the sample receipts in DONATION. But that also seems like a bit much.

Any other bright ideas, or should I just leave it with no further restrictions? Thanks.

So would you switch to ACCOUNTS?

So with the official release coming up in less than a week, I’m wondering how many of you are thinking that ACCOUNTS is something you would actually switch to in its present form, from whatever you are using now.

If so, why? If not, why not? If you’re not sure, what are the considerations that are relevant to your decision?

(There are no wrong answers!)

Also, what is it that you are using now, that you either would or would not switch from?

Many thanks!

ACCOUNTS version 0.94

Getting closer and closer to version 1.0!

This version has a bunch of bug fixes, and various small feature improvements, like warning if you are about to record a duplicate cheque number. (And depending on how recently you last upgraded, you will see various other changes from other recent versions.)

Thanks in advance for any comments, testing etc. of the new stuff.

Just a little over a week until the release date! I’ve been working on the website, setting everything up to be ready to go live. Most of it is already the way I want it to be (including noting a 50% discount on the program’s Full License price until Jan 31, 2013), so if you want to take a look at that and give me any comments, that would be great too. It’s at www.software4nonprofits.com/accounts.

Thanks!