Beta-Accounts (Clares) Review | Acorn User - Everygamegoing

Acorn User

By Clares Micro Supplies
BBC Model B

Published in Acorn User #049

Accounts Of Quality


This is the first module of an integrated accounting suite of programs from Clares which has continued its habit of producing high quality disc-based systems, and this is more user friendly then several comparable systems I have tried.

This first contribution consists of 31 files of which 24 are essential parts of the system and the remainder are samples. The 'invoice and delivery note module' and 'transaction file' provide delivery notes, print a sales ledger with VAT details and the record of transactions. All these work very well and produce a serviceable, if rather simple, form of output.

Clares intends to release three more sets of programs, providing 'accounts receivable and statement generator', 'stock control' and 'accounts payable and nominal ledger'. These, when taken together, will give a similar range of facilities to the other integrated packages, though what is different and potentially exciting is the plan to link the suite with Beta-Base from Clares and Ultracalc 2 from BBC Soft.

The idea of inter-compatibility between a range of accounting programs and a full database system is of major importance, as is the even more dramatic link with a high quality spreadsheet from another software house. Since only the first set is available and these links are not yet perfected, these claims cannot be tested, but if they work well Clares is to be congratulated.

This package consists of a single 80-track disc, together with a provisional 17-page manual, in a smart folder. Although the manual is reasonably easy to follow, it calls for a fair amount of basic knowledge about accounts and micros.

To make use of the package you need a good monitor (for the 80-column output), at least two drives and an Epson-compatible printer. A more serious limitation is that you can only use the planned customer file and the stock control module if you have dual double-sided disc drives. While the reason for this is understandable, the user needs to think about this carefully before buying the first part of the integrated suite.

It is not possible to calculate exactly how many transactions the system can deal with, but it should cope with most small business needs: Clares reckons that an 80-track disc will allow 3000 invoice and credit note entries plus 1000 payment entries per month.

Altogether this is a useful and sensible package which will be suitable for many users. It promises to have real advantages over some of the competitors if one accepts a rather simple presentation and limited manual and the need for dual, double-sided and probably double-density disc drives.

It would be better to make a final judgement once the whole series and their links to Beta-Base and Ultracalc 2 can be tested because that is the suite's strongest point.

Roger Carus