Why is QuickBooks' innovation best for businesses

Quickbooks 5.0: Bookkeeping for those who don't have a clue about it

MUNICH: If the leap into self-employment is already a risk, most young entrepreneurs freeze into complete immobility when they even hear the term "accounting". QuickBooks 5.0, the finance manager for small businesses, is the name of Intuit's software medicine that has declared war on "accounting paralysis". ComputerPartner took a closer look at the product. M doesn't have to be Arnold Schwarzenegger, but a little biceps should already be present when you head home from a trusted distributor with the professional version "QuickBooks 5.0 Plus" under your arm. The professional version, including packaging, manual and various brochures, weighs a whopping 1.65 kilograms. In addition, the enthusiasm of the accounting funkazes is slowed down a little by the mere sight of the 1,040 pages of the user manual. The simple installation ensures a boost in motivation, with the help of which it is possible to face the topic boldly. With a click of the mouse on the setup file, the matter is done.

A first window called "Create a company file" opens. Company name, address, industry, tax number or tax office are requested. In this phase, the user spends more time looking for his documents and tracking down the necessary data than with the automatic menu navigation of the program. At the end of this easy exercise, the software knows who and what it is dealing with.

Then the seriousness of the accounting begins. In the Windows layout, the financial expert presents itself in full size for the first time. In the middle another, clearly designed window. The so-called "QuickMenu", the most important tool of the software. The vertical menu buttons for company data, suppliers and purchases, payment transactions, employees and time recording, VAT and accounting and online. A click of the mouse and a previously opaque booking process dissolves graphically in favor. Invoices, dunning fees and cash purchases can be processed almost intuitively. The cash book and accounts can be managed just as easily.

The software for Windows 95 also did the conversion of VAT on April 1st from 15 to 16 percent with ease. The layman, be it a doctor, service provider or retailer, is well served with this way of keeping his bookkeeping. However, this impression is somewhat diminished by the "Reports" menu. The many graphics and tables that illuminate the cash stand under all conceivable aspects are nice to look at, but at least quite confusing for the beginner. After all, around 100 different possibilities smile at the accountant's accessory. On the other hand, they will be grateful when the program automatically calculates the unpopular input tax for them. However, consistent and continuous data entry is not only a prerequisite here! If this doesn't work, you can confidently continue to collect your receipts in the shoebox.

Meticulous and loving attention to detail are the attributes that every user will think of when leafing through the manual for the first time. Undoubtedly, just as many appreciate this as others are put off by it. Nevertheless, the big plus of the compendium is its clear structure. The attempt to write a manual for accountant dummies can also be described as successful. Even if you have to struggle with the technical terms every now and then or if you don't want the writing style to be quite so "bookkeeping". It is in the nature of things that dealers judge a software program according to different criteria. The dealer support from Intuit, which sells the software through Computer 2000 and Macrotron, is a bit meager. While the company emphasizes that it provides free point-of-sale materials, this should be the standard and no longer need to be mentioned. The product is a minus point on the hotline, because both dealers and users have to pay for this service. "We need to act here," emphasizes Sales Manager J├╝rgen Heim and adds that Intuit will generally think about product training.

The so-called "satisfaction guarantee" should make both the retailer and the buyer a little more friendly. The user can put Quickbooks through their paces for 60 days. If they are not satisfied, they can return the software directly to Intuit with a money-back guarantee without having to bother the dealer. The special treat for the retailer: he can still pocket the margin. In addition, he can post the full margins on the credit side, both with the full version and with the upgrade. (mm)