Just before you get the link for your free professional accounts software, I’d like you to ponder if Accountants still speak in plain English, or if they have in fact learnt a special foreign language?
You know what I mean? – they look human, make human noises and talk in sentences littered with recognisable English words, but somehow, with a few rare exceptions, you just can’t make sense of what they’re saying…
They Probably Created The Accounting Software Too…
It comes as no surprise then, that accounting software can be so complicated for us mere mortals. Sage in particular horrified me. Rather than being user friendly, it seems to have been designed to be complicated and user-hostile, with lengthy training even for qualified accountants.
This doesn’t matter if you have a great accountant looking after you (like my friends over at WKH, or the wonderful Rod Wilson, the Really Wicked Accountant). But if you’re a small business that does your own accounts, it’s truly horrible.
In the past 10 years, most software has become much easier to use. Business accounts packages need to catch up. Especially Sage.
Last week I was excited to learn that Microsoft have entered the small business accounting world. They are giving away, for free, a great package – Microsoft Accounting Express.
It seems to do everything most small businesses will need, and with a familiar, friendly Outlook feel to it. I’m not doing an extensive review here, but if you have no accounting software in place for your business now and run everything off Excel spreadsheets or in shoe boxes full of paper, download it and have a go.
I created an invoice within an hour of downloading and installing it. It’s really easy.
Say Your Prayers for Sage…
This same strategy by Microsoft, of giving away great software destroyed Netscape Navigator, the world’s top Internet browser 10 years ago. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is the clear number 1. Microsoft Office destroyed WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 by being far easier to use and offering great linkages between the programs.
Netscape no longer exist, Lotus was swallowed up by IBM and WordPerfect was bought out by Corel, the graphics people.
These were the software giants of their day and Microsoft out-smarted and out-muscled them.
I think that Sage need to really wake up and smell the coffee. Microsoft wants their customers and has billions of pounds available to enter the market on a huge scale. I just hope that Sage realise and do something useful about it, rather than sticking their head in the sand.
The Coach Gives His Verdict…
In the business coaching world, one of the first tasks my clients need to do is get control of their financial position. This is a great, coaching friendly tool that impresses me because of it’s power and it’s free price tag.
Recommended for businesses without accounting software who feel the need for more than a shoebox or Excel spreadsheet. Your accountant probably won’t like it because it’s free. You will love it because it’s so easy to use.
You can also upgrade it for £150 to the full version that gives you even more functionality. But to be honest, for a small business this will be pretty much all you need.
Visit this link for your free copy or click on the image above – Download Office Accounting Express
DISCLAIMER! I am not your accountant and on this page I have expressed a personal opinion in the form of a review. Selecting software to run your business is an important decision and needs to be taken with the appropriate advice. Obviously I will not accept any liability for your accounts or business systems as a result of this article!