Accounting Software

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes – My parents are visiting because they attended our Gnomedex conference. Dad is an Accountant, and I thought it would be a fun twist to get his take on some technical issues… beginning with accounting software.

The first computer we had at home was an old Imsai. It was a huge machine, with two floppy drives. We had to install a program disc into one drive to run Dad’s accounting programs for work, and a data disc into the other drive. This machine, complete with software, cost around $20,000.00 back then.

The first spreadsheet program Dad remembers using was called Multiplan. Multiplan was developed by Microsoft, and was the basis for Microsoft Excel. Dad then used Lotus 1-2-3 for several years. Even though he’s used Excel many times, he just is more comfortable with Lotus. He finds that it is easy for him to write a macro for Lotus to perform functions for him… but not easy in Excel. Excel is not as user friendly, and Microsoft makes it hard to find proper help for basic tasks.

QuickBooks is not a program that Dad recommends. You should be very careful when using this software. If you make a change to a transaction that is a few years old, it will change everything up until the present, and not necessarily correctly. Quicken, on the other hand, is a very user friendly software for home users. It works well with Turbo Tax. The advent of programs like Turbo Tax has made people essentially lazy, much as the calculator made people forget how to do basic math.

Dad and I played around a bit with Apple’s Numbers 08. This is a spreadsheet program for Macs. The templates are good. You can find mortgage calculators, invoice creators, and even expense reports. Without delving too deeply as of yet, Numbers appears to be an excellent alternative to Microsoft Excel. Apple offers free video tutorials to help you figure out advanced functions.

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