There’s a refreshingly frank angle to Simply Books. The makers know that for most small businesses, doing the accounts is a necessary evil on a par with going to the dentist. So, they boast, not only will the package take half the time of its competitors to install, but it will be a whole lot easier to use–a bold claim when you’re battling excellent packages such as QuickBooks and Sage Accounting.
Bold but true. Not only is installation quick–about two minutes from feeding in the CD to starting to set up accounts–but it’s resolutely idiot proof. Hence instructions to “wait for the whirring sound to stop” and “press the big button”. The makers even provide a list of keyboard shortcuts to get you moving more quickly around the system.
Inputting information is made easy by the spreadsheet-style data entry pages–anyone who has used Microsoft Excel (or indeed an old-fashioned paper spreadsheet) will find the simple grid system easy to get to grips with. This also has the advantage of displaying all your previous entries, making it simple to find your place and input data direct from your cheque book, paying-in book or bank statement.
But just as important is what Simply Books leaves out. By designing the package around sole traders, the self employed and “very small businesses” they’ve stripped things to basics–for businesspeople who can spare a couple of hours a month keeping the books in a condition that will keep the VAT man happy. And with the reassurance of its accreditation by the Institute of Chartered Accountants, you know it will do just that. –John Rennie
No accounting knowledge needed
Probably the quickest, easiest and simplest
Saves time, saves money, saves worry
Transfers data to others easily
All you need for book-keeping and accounts