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Post Info TOPIC: Start up business in Indoneisa - Quickbooks or VT or something else? (VT-STM)


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Start up business in Indoneisa - Quickbooks or VT or something else? (VT-STM)


Hi All,

I am new here and have joined as I need some advice on software, so I am hoping someone in the know can help me! I have been researching the best bookkeeping software to purchase, but there is so much information and so many reviews out there that I am finding it difficult to decide which software to purchase.

To give you some background, I am from the UK and living in Indonesia running a small scuba diving business. I am also planning to help a local small hotel/restaurant with their books and general management, and we have some projects in our business for which I want to keep a separate set of books.

So I am looking for:

a) a downloadable desktop software package - online options won't work for me as internet connection is not always available in these parts.

b) a software which I can use to handle more than one set of books at a time.

c) a software which I can use with the currency Indonesia Rupiah and US Dollars as we have both types of bank accounts for our business - It doesn't need to link to the bank accounts, as I can manually input the transactions.

d) a software that is simple and easy to learn as I do not have an accounting or bookkeeping background. I understand the basic principal of double entry bookkeeping, and I understand that I need to produce a trial balance, make adjustments, produce an Income (P&L) Statement, and a Balance Sheet at the end of each year.... but at the moment that is about all I understand so the software needs to be simple and straight forward....

e) Something reasonably priced - preferably a one off payment rather than yearly payments. Or something free if there is such a software that would do the things that I need? (Seems to be lots of free online versions doing this - but I need a downloadable desk top software)

All the reading I have been doing has made me think that I need to stay away from SAGE, and that Quickbooks or VT will be my best option. Is this the case? If so which would be better for my purposes? and which would give me more value for money (seeing as they both seem to be the same kind of price)? Which is easiest to learn given my lack of accounting background? Are there any other options which would provide me with what I need at a cheaper price? DO you know of any good and recommendable online training courses for either of these pieces of software?

Any advice that anyone can give would be most appreciated!

Thanks all!

Mo



-- Edited by Shamus on Thursday 8th of October 2015 05:31:48 PM



-- Edited by Shamus on Thursday 8th of October 2015 05:33:04 PM

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RE: Start up business in Indoneisa - Quickbooks or VT or something else?


Hi Mo,

I would say VT Transaction+ (I do not think that you will need VT Accounts for your situation).

My Reasoning.

You can have as many companies on it as you want. It takes the form of an initial screen here you choose the set of books that you want to work with and then it loads that one up.

Its downloadable. Even better. You download a fully functional demo for two months at the end of which you simply pay for it. There is an annual subscription to keep it up to date which is essential for VT accounts but with VT transaction+ after the subscription period it still works (it doesn't work after the trial period unless you purchase a subscription).

Is it easy to learn... I would say yes although it does divide those who use it into those who love it and those who don't like it at all with very few inbetween the two extreme stances.

I learnt the sofware by entering opening balances (using Opening balance contra's) then entering a years worth of data for a small company that I had previously had on Sage making sure that everything came out exactly as it did using VT as it did when using Sage (when pushed through to VT Accounts there are some small differences in the breakdown of the notes to the accounts but all totals and entries on the face of the accounts are the same).

I will say that the first time that I used VT things did not go smoothly (I think that I just have chosen a simpler company as my test one) and after much tinkering (which taught me a lot about the software) I just started again from scratch as I for one hate messy accounts.

With VT if you make an entry in error it is very easy to delete it or change it as many times as you need to. That is both a strength and weakness of the software as in the hands of someone not completely understanding double entry it would be very easy to mess up a set of accounts.

Personally I find Sage very frustrating for that reason as they attempt to make their software idiot proof rather than the VT approach of the company assuming that the people using the software are not idiots.

Both VT and Quickbooks can be one off purchases. QB has up to 99 clients, VT is unlimited.

I find VT much easier than QB but someone like Amanda on here would flip that the other way so it is very much down to personal taste.

worth notingwith VT is that if you can download your bank statements into Excel then you can use the VT Batch entry screen to load them which saves some time. Just set them up in Excel in the correct format, cut and paste all entries as one to the batch load screen and they're all entered in a single process.

VT does have multi currency support but its not a feature that I've used myself and from reading the help facility I think that you would need to do a lot of work with the setup for it to work as you need (individual accounts are by default in a single currency so you would need to multiply accounts for additional required currencies which I would hope would appear only in the notes to the accounts rather than on the face of them).

From reading it I would not put the MC facility as a selling point for the software although perhaps others who have already used it for MC may like to come in here and disagree with me?

On the training front, with VT as I say I learnt it myself using accounts prepared in Sage as a yardstick to know that I had done everything correctly. There are often multiple ways of doing the same thing and I would have money on it that no two people use VT in exactly the same way.

There is virtually nothing by way of official training available for VT and no books on the subject.

With QB there is training material out there but an awful lot of it is aimed at the American market. That may not be such a bad thing for Indonesia but in the UK the differences are for many just picking it up a real stumbling block.

Of course, there's always the option of supplying me with an all expenses paid trip to Indonesia as a VT tutor. lol biggrin

Hope that the above covers everything.I'm pro VT but not anti QB.

All the best with the new business Mo and hoping that you don't have too many issues with whatever software you opt for.

kindest regards,

Shaun.

p.s. welcome to the forum. whats the story with the business in Indonesia? Are you an ex pat or a local?



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Hi Shaun,

Thanks for your quick reply and helpful advice. I had been reading some of your posts about VT before I posted my questions, and you almost had me convinced to go with VT already. Now you have answered my questions directly that is great and I am closer to making a decision! :)

Thanks for the tips on importing bank statements and the info regarding there being no official training available for VT - I must say that worries me a little. Also thanks for confirming that VT Transactions + should be enough for my purposes as that makes the software cheaper, and good news regarding the free 2 month trial too. Seems like I should give it a go and see how I get on! If i don't like it then I can try something else and not buy it at the end of the 2 months i guess. I have a years worth of transactions recorded in an excel spreadsheet which I can play with, as this last year I have only been keeping very basic records of income and expenditure. I'd like to try and pull it all together and produce some year end books now, so I am bound to run into problems! haha... Wish I had gone down this route a year ago.... Can't do an all expenses paid trip to Indo, but might be able to offer some free diving for someone who wants to come out and teach me how to do bookkeeping and accounting properly!

I am an expat married to a local, and have been out in Indonesia for quite a few years doing different things. From Wales originally....

On another note, does anybody know anything about TurboCASH free accounting software? It has some good reviews and says it is comparable to quickbooks and sage. It also has a training manual which can be purchased for $25 which could prove very handy for someone in my position.... Would be cheaper than VT so preferable if it does the things I need it to do and is also user-friendly for someone with no experience like me.....?

Thanks,
Mo




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Hi Mo,

Ooh, you've almost got me at the free diving... Although you've got some sharks with particularly bad attitudes out there so may give that one a miss. If ever I do pop out that way I'll certainly look you up... Just don't let me marry any of the locals (a habbit I'm attempting to kick... Must remember a wifes for life, not just for Christmas).

I had a similar sort of setup and lived in Thailand for a while (Isaan region up North). My families from the valleys but I'm born and raised in England (so guess thats the last time we'll be talking then, lol).

On the VT front you could of course take the free trial of VT Accounts in order to learn the software as that comes with a copy of VT Transaction+.

VT Accounts exists as an Excel add on and I find it good to push the accounts through to a properly formatted full set even where I don't need to.

If you took that approach then at the end of the two month trial there is only any need to buy VT Transaction+ rather than the full VT Accounts but you will have learnt by seeing the accounts through to their end point which as I say can be a lot more useful than simply looking at the P&L and B/S in VT Transaction+.

You will be able to enter the transactions in no time from Excel. You could load them accross but getting the format of the batch entry screen right can be a bit hit and miss (once you have it perfect keep a worksheetwith the right formatting in it so that in future the loads are painless).

On the bright side though, if you make a mess you just delete the entries and do it again.

The screen that you will use most is the one that you get to from the P+R button (Payments and receipts). Following each save this screen learns from prior input so the more that you use it the more that it guesses what you want to do and fills out the details before you have to think about them. Thats particularly useful for recurring entries that occur on different days of the month.

On the face of it the software looks simple but the more that you use it the more that you will realise that this is software built by accountants for accountants and whilst I know that others will disagree with me I think that its market leading software not least as you always feel that it is helping you to achieve what you want to rather than some other software that feels as though you are little more than a data input clerk and at times that software sits between you and what you are attempting to achieve rather than helping you achieve it... Thats my main great love for VT as it always feels that you are controlling everything.

On the turbocash front it got mentioned a month or so back but that thread descended into a chat about cars rather than software.

Here's that link : www.book-keepers.org.uk/t55443567/turbocash/

And here's a more useful one : www.book-keepers.org.uk/t33597688/turbocash-anyone/

Hope that helps get you started Mo,

happy new year,

Shaun.

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Thanks again for the tips Shaun... Now I have found all the bad reviews on Turbocash and think i will be best off avoiding it....

One more question on VT Accounts - If there is no formal training of any kind available, how should I go about learning how to use it?

Thanks and once I download it and get started I will probably be bugging you with a lot more questions!

Happy New Year,
Mo



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Hi again Shaun,

I have downloaded VT Transaction + and VT Accounts and although I have only just got started I think I am going to be a lover of VT already! Seems so easy and logical and easy to edit! Thanks for the advice! :) Feeling happy!

Mo

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Glad that you like it Mo.

The thanks have to go to Bill (Wella) on here who was the one who introduced me to VT a couple of years back.

Now the thought of going back to something restrictive and unfreindly like Sage sends shivers down my spine.

Hope that you keep enjoying the software,

kind regards,

Shaun.

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Hi Shaun, or anyone else who might know the answers!

Thanks too to Bill! :)

As expected I have questions about VT which I would like to bug you all with! Hopefully someone can help....

I started business and therefore accounts on 1st Dec 2012. My opening balance is a sum of capital which I put into the business with which I used to buy some equipment and a car. I followed the steps for entering an opening balance REC CREDITORS: OPENING BALANCE CONTRA I have read the help topic too, but am still unsure if this is the correct way to record an opening balance for a new company? In the balance sheet it comes up in the assets side as Creditors, however I thought it should come up as Capital in the liabilities side.... If you can shed any light on how I should correctly enter this opening balance I would be most grateful!

I see that the transactions are displayed in order of entry. Is there anyway that I can get them in a report in date order rather than entry order?

Also, Shaun, you recommended that I get VT Accounts so that I can see the set of account through to the end. Can you explain in a nutshell what I can do/should do in VT Accounts? Which is presumably something that I cant do/shouldnt do in VT transaction +?

I can see the Trial Balance, P&L and Balance Sheet in VT Transaction +. I know I need to make some adjustments, but I havent ventured there yet.... bit scared of messing it all up and need to do some more reading of the user guide first... Is it that I should be making adjustments etc in VT Accounts and not in VT Transaction +?

I dont have to worry about VAT here in Indonesia. Are there any other reports that I should be producing for my end of year accounts in VT Accounts, that I cant get in VT Transaction+?

Also as VT doesnt have a fixed asset register and cant automatically calculate depreciation, I assume that I should keep my own fixed asset register in an excel spreadsheet? (or should I be doing something else?) Can anyone suggest a basic template that I could use to get me started on my fixed Asset Register?

Thanks for any further info anyone can give on this!

Thanks and sorry if I sound incredibly stupid regarding all this! I am new to double entry accounting and end of year reports,but I am trying to get to grips with it! :)


Mo


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Wasage wrote:

Hi Shaun, or anyone else who might know the answers!

Thanks too to Bill! :)

As expected I have questions about VT which I would like to bug you all with! Hopefully someone can help....

I started business and therefore accounts on 1st Dec 2012. My opening balance is a sum of capital which I put into the business with which I used to buy some equipment and a car. I followed the steps for entering an opening balance REC CREDITORS: OPENING BALANCE CONTRA I have read the help topic too, but am still unsure if this is the correct way to record an opening balance for a new company? In the balance sheet it comes up in the assets side as Creditors, however I thought it should come up as Capital in the liabilities side.... If you can shed any light on how I should correctly enter this opening balance I would be most grateful!

When first starting a business through VT that has brought forwards balances what we are attempting to do is enter the other side all entries on the last day of the previous period then recreate the yearend to make sure that it is the same as that filed.

The first step which I am sure that you have done is to enter a few year ends. Start with one year before moving to VT and create (say) five period ends (these are YET entries).

All of the brought forwards entries need to be created with somewhere to put the double entry. I create a set of journals for opening balances.

Here s a typical set of opening balances (all amounts changed to protect the business used as a basis) :

Mo1.jpg

And here's the resultant trial balance :

mo2.jpg

Note that I have highlighted some figures in red and blue. They don't really need explaining but I've highlighted them to show that they are linked.

Note espechially from the above that the Opening balance Contra is zero. Its only purpose was as a double entry to enter the opening balances which must of course balance.


I see that the transactions are displayed in order of entry. Is there anyway that I can get them in a report in date order rather than entry order?

The bit at the bottom of the initial screen is just an entry log. More of an audit facility than of any great use.

You will often find yourself working with VT data in Excel, to do that simply click view, spreadsheet. Then highlight, copy and paste to Excel where you can sort and manipulate the data any way that you wish.

More often you will be interested in specific balances from the top left corner ledgers tab. Click on any description field and you are given the entries that make up that total in date (not entry) sequence.


Also, Shaun, you recommended that I get VT Accounts so that I can see the set of account through to the end. Can you explain in a nutshell what I can do/should do in VT Accounts? Which is presumably something that I cant do/shouldnt do in VT transaction +?

For yourself I only recomended it whilst you are learning.

I recomended it as it's how I'm used to seeing accounts. The simple balance sheet and P&L available in VT+ is insufficient for my needs as I want to see the breakdowns in the notes to the accounts.

You may find that for yourself VT+is enough but for me I needed the notes.

I can see the Trial Balance, P&L and Balance Sheet in VT Transaction +. I know I need to make some adjustments, but I havent ventured there yet.... bit scared of messing it all up and need to do some more reading of the user guide first... Is it that I should be making adjustments etc in VT Accounts and not in VT Transaction +?

Do everything in VT Transaction+ and then repush through each time to VT Accounts.

Don't be scared to try new things and experiment. You can always just delete the entries that you've made.

Also, simply copy the .VTR file to another name as you could always go back to that if you lost your way

I dont have to worry about VAT here in Indonesia. Are there any other reports that I should be producing for my end of year accounts in VT Accounts, that I cant get in VT Transaction+?

VT accounts also has Corporation Tax calculations, Abreviated and full accounts, Professional formatting specific to the business type, accountants covering letter, etc. If you don't need any of that then VT+ is sufficient for your needs. as, as you have seen, that gives a trial balance plus basic B/S and P&L

Also as VT doesnt have a fixed asset register and cant automatically calculate depreciation, I assume that I should keep my own fixed asset register in an excel spreadsheet? (or should I be doing something else?) Can anyone suggest a basic template that I could use to get me started on my fixed Asset Register?

Here's a very simple one that I use.

Mo3.jpg

(dates and amounts have been altered so that they are not tracable back to the client).

It wouldn't be overly complex to add another column that calculates the carrying amount of any asset as at the current or previous period end but I find that for the most part my client keep assets until they're dead rather than selling them.

Note that in the UK the tax system makes it generally more beneficial to use your own car than a company one. Vans are different but up to now I just calculate the carrying value of those on the fly if needed rather than have it in the spreadsheet.

I may actually knock up a small formulae sometime soon as I quite like doing that dort of thing.

Thats what I do.

Thanks for any further info anyone can give on this!

Thanks and sorry if I sound incredibly stupid regarding all this! I am new to double entry accounting and end of year reports,but I am trying to get to grips with it! :)


Mo


Morning Mo (well its morning here anyway),

I've embedded my answers in blue to reduce the risk of missing anything.

HTH,

Shaun.

p.s. edited only to emphsise that dates and amounts have been altered so that the accounts cannot be identified back to any of my clients.



-- Edited by Shamus on Wednesday 8th of January 2014 10:59:49 AM

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Hi Shaun,

Thanks for your quick and helpful reply. Still trying to get my head round it all but sure I'll get there! If you do put together that formula for an asset register let me know!

I think I didn't explain myself properly when explaining what I wanted to do with the opening balance issue, or I have missed your point (which is probably more likely given my lack of knowledge of accounting!) :) .

I will try to explain again:
- I am NOT moving my company accounts from another accounting system to VT. I am starting a fresh brand new business set of accounts in VT. (The help you have offered, and the user guide always seems to assume that someone is moving to VT from another software package - I think unless I have missed the point!? In which case there is probably no helping me! hahaha..)
- Previously all I had was a journal in excel recording every inward/outward cash transaction made - and I have now manually entered all of these transactions from the business's very first transaction on 1st December 2012, up until now, into VT.
- Therefore I don't think I have any balances to bring forward. Correct?
- The first transaction was to put x amount of my own capital into a business account - and I am not sure how to record this, as when I put money into the business that cannot be counted as income. How do I enter a transaction where I 'inject cash into the business'? I entered this transaction as: REC - creditors: opening balance contra - but I think this is wrong!? Help! I am sure it is a simple answer, and that I just don't know the correct accounting terminology for such a transaction, hence can't find which Ledger/Account to post it in.....

Hope this makes sense...?

Thanks SO much for your help!

Mo

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Hi Mo,

the Opening Balance contra is ONLY for transferring existing balances to VT (I'm used to moving data from Sage to VT and don't get anywhere near the number of fresh starts that I would like.

For a situation where you are starting from scratch just go to P+R and start entering your cheques / receipts / payments using the correct dates (The default other side of the transaction is the current bank account).

For the deposit of personal funds into the business as you identify its a simple Rec (which you can do from the P+R)

Let me just find an example....

- time passes -

I'm back, did you miss me.

Here you go :

Mo4.jpg

Hope that helps,

kind regards,

Shaun.



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p.s. if you are a sole trader rather than limited that second line should be :

05/11/13 | Capital Account:Capital Introduced | Capital Introduced | | | 300 |

The basic difference there is that for a limited company the company owes money to the owner of the business (so its a creditor entry) but with a sole trader the owner is the business so its simply recorded as the owners capital.

p.s. amended just to add the explanation as to why the two are different. Sure you knew it anyway but there may be others who read this who do not.



-- Edited by Shamus on Wednesday 8th of January 2014 02:12:46 PM

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Yes I missed you! Thanks that is perfect. I think I am going for being a limited company! We officially are on paperwork, although the rules concerning such things are somewhat loose in Indonesia! haha... I will need to start giving the tax man some reports at some point though I am sure! The reason I am wanting to make sure I do my accounts in the proper standard way, is because we are looking for an investor to help us expand the business, so I need to be able to show interested parties our yearly P&Ls and balance sheets etc...

So another issue I am trying to figure out... Accruals and Prepayments...all the explanations/instructions that I can find in the notes/user guide are for recording transactions whereby the company has paid for something in advance, or will pay for it later in the next financial year. The nature of our business, selling dive packages, is that customers pay in advance before they visit us. How do I adjust for these prepayments received? For example I have a customer who paid in Dec 2013. They visited in Jan 2014, so all the costs of sales associated are in my 2014 set of books, whilst the income is in the 2013 set of books (and showing as a false profit at the moment!)....

Thanks again!
Mo

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With prepayments such as the one you indicate the sale is not recognised until the conditions of receipt are met at which time it is transferred to revenue.

The initial double entry would be :

Dr Bank
Cr Debtors:Prepayments

When the conditions of receipt have been fulfilled you reverse the prepayment out and recognise as revenue :

Dr Debtors: Prepayments
Cr Income: Sales (or Fee's as appropriate)

There are other more detailed ways of recording prepayments by allocating the money to the individuals account rather than a general prepayments account which will lose valuable reporting information.

The customer accounts are treated the same as prepayments and not recognised as revenue until you Dr the customer and Cr Sales.

Try it, create a customer, create a payment for them and then look at the P&L and B/S and you will see what I mean. The payment received is not recognised in the P&L but will appear in the B/S next to Prepayments.

Only Prepayments that are still open through the year end are shown as such in the accounts.

And now the bad bit...

In order to be of use to professional investors they will require that the person preparing the accounts is a member of a recognised professional body so you may find that the effort that you are currently going to is a false economy.

HTH,

Shaun.






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Hi Shamus,

Thanks for this response and sorry it has taken me awhile to respond! I have had a very hectic couple of weeks or more and not had time to put my head into learning accounts! :)

About the bad news and professional investors needing books produced by a professional - oh well! I will cross that bridge when I come to it! The effort I am going to can't be a false economy as long as I am learning something new and I am quite enjoying it...sometimes! :)

So I have tried your suggestion about how to deal with pre-payments and creating accounts for customers and that works fine and I can see how they are displayed in the balance sheet and not in the P&L - Thank you! It has sorted out my end of 2013 issue.

Now for 2014 and recognizing the prepayment as income. The bit I don't know who to do is 'reversing the prepayment out and recognizing it as revenue' - can you explain this process step by step for a beginner like me please? :)

I tried right clicking on the initial entry and clicking 'make reversal copy' but that didn't seem to do the trick as it didn't give me the option of recognizing the payment as income (however it did remove the amount from the summary customer account when I looked there..

Thanks for your anticipated help once again!! :)

Mo

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Hi Shaun - did you forget about me?

Sorry if my beginner questions bored you...

But Guess what - I just worked out how to reverse the payment and recognize it as revenue all on my own! So simple in fact and I am starting to love VT more and more each day! hehehe...

Thanks,
Mo

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Hi Mo,

sorry, in the UK the end of January is crazy season where we have to get clients self assessments filed with the tax authority by the 31st. I actually finished a couple of days back but sorry, I had forgotten about this outstanding message.

Glad that you have managed to suss it yourself, sometimes struggling through these scenarios is that best way of learning. I know that first time that I processed a set of accounts with VT I ended up tieing myself up in knots a few times but of course one can always go back a little and try it again.

For the rest of the year the madness is spread out a little more evenly so if I'm around I should be good for answers.

kind regards,

Shaun.



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