In IT, you must encounter many types of software. Graphic rendering software, desktop publishing software, Audio-Visual software. Those are all softwares that are high-end, and programmers are willing to join companies to help bring about the next best version.
And then, there is accounting software. Accounting software while being the lifeblood of the financial department, suffers from having software that utterly stinks from an IT point of view.
Case in point: Simply Accounting. To put it mildly, it’s a horribly designed program. Oh don’t get me wrong, if your company’s financial department consists of one person who uses it, then it’s no trouble at all. It will work, and it will work nicely.
But the minute you have to network that puppy, it will bring about grief, frustrations and bewilderment. In other words THERE IS NOTHING SIMPLE ABOUT SIMPLY ACCOUNTING!!
Here are my three biggest gripes with Simply Accounting;
1) The connection manager. Let’s start with simply accounting’s most irritating feature; the connection manager. This program has to be installed if you want SA to function on a server. It installs itself as a service (in windows) and like any good service on a windows server, you have to tweak it so it doesn’t misbehave.
At least in theory.
Of course, that is fine and dandy if you are using windows, but what if your server is *nix based? Tough luck buddy. They “have” a version of the Linux connection manager. But it suffers from a major problem. SA’s priorities are as such that it doesn’t particularly care if your servers are Linux as it’s connection manager isn’t all that well supported, and it seems to be for Red Hat systems and that’s about it (and development is somewhat dismal).
That’s too bad, since Ubuntu, a Debian based distribution of linux ranks slightly above Red Hat as far as the Linux server edition in use.
How to remedy to this: Just build up a window server dedicated to that task. It will work with Win 2003, which can reduce costs. Not much of a solution, granted, but in the light of this poor support, one can’t do much with it than grin and bear it.
2) There is a lack of backwards compatibility. Simply Accounting forces you to upgrade, and when it does, rather than run the file you were using, it forces you to upgrade it to the latest version of the format. Why is this even necessary? In an office suite, you have less problems opening files from the former version of the software and it’s a key point in business software: Compatibility. It’s what it makes it so that you can recover old files and enable you to work with them and update them.
No such luck with Simply accounting. It will force you to upgrade the format, and if you didn’t make a backup copy and it corrupts, you will be stuck calling customer support.
How to remedy to this: Make several backups. Backup regularly, and when it’s time to upgrade, you won’t have to worry about the potential loss of data.
3) Total disrespect of the customer. You want to see a clear example of a company that practically mocks it’s consumer-base, look no further than the support forums, where you will see a festival of customer frustration!!
How to remedy to this: Other than not buying that product? If you absolutely have to deal with that software, document everything, Have the client numbers and serials in your technician’s handbook and a hidden bottle of Scotch. For every functional solution you find on that forum, print it to PDF and then a hardcopy to your IT Handbook. They will save your neck!