DacEasy Accounting 4.3, DacEasy Instant Accounting 1.0. (accounting software) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by Kathy Yakal
DacEasy Accounting is kind of like the Volvo of inexpensive accounting software. It's not glamorous, and sometimes it's kind of hard to drive, but it's reliable. It works. It's not an overpriced luxury car, but neither is it a Yugo.
DacEasy introduced a sportier, lower-priced model in the spring of 1992. DacEasy Instant Accounting, available in both DOS and Windows versions (bundled in the same package for less than $50), isn't as powerful or feature packed, but it's a good entry-level product for the individual or small business looking for an accounting package that can be learned quickly and easily recalled upon use.
The recent upgrade of DacEasy Accounting contains the same 12 integrated modules found in earlier versions: General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash Management, Billing, Inventory, Product Assembly, Purchase Order, Budgeting, Forecasting, Graphics, and Report Generator.
Version 4.3 uses the same menu-driven DOS user interface with lookup windows for easy access to lists of such things as customers, vendors, products, and services. New features include a dramatic increase in print speed, the ability to print multiple copies of the same invoice, the ability to keep two full years open at once, online help screens that explain error messages, footer text for invoices and purchase orders, and expanded address fields. Many other functions have been enhanced to make the product more flexible.
Entering transactions is easy. You pull down the menu you want (using either the keyboard or mouse), select the activity you want, and fill in the blanks in the dialog box or on the form provided (check, invoice, and so on). You can enter an unlimited number of transactions (including automatically recurring ones), add customers or vendors on the fly, and run a wide variety of reports, like Trial Balance, Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Aging, Payments, Products and Services, Price Break, and Product Activity and Alerts. If you want a graphic representation of a report, you can generate any of nine types of charts and graphs.
DacEasy Accounting can be used as a stand-alone. But if your needs are sophisticated enough, you may want to consider purchasing one of the program's add-on products: Payroll 4.3 ($99.95) or Point of Sale 4.3 ($149.95). DacEasy Accounting and Payroll can be purchased as a bundle; this Bonus Pack retails for $199.95.
Instant Accounting's operations are divided slightly differently, by Customers, Vendors, General Ledger, Invoicing, Bank, Financials, Reports, Period End, and Backup/Restore. The DOS and Windows versions are practically identical in both appearance and functionality. You click on the module you want (both mouse and keyboard are supported in the DOS version), and the work area for that function appears, with icons representing the options available there. For example, in the Vendors module, you can scan the activity there, create a new record, write an invoice or debit memo, make a phone call or send a fax, write a letter or report, or print labels.
The two programs offer a similar core of features. You can use them to build databases of customers and vendors, write checks and send invoices, set up and track budgets, and compile and print reports. Each includes a sample chart of accounts, step-by-step written documentation, and online help; and both are based on double-entry accounting principles simplified for users who aren't financial professionals.
Instant Accounting was designed with the absolute novice or occasional user in mind; it's easier to navigate than DacEasy Accounting, and it's much less expensive. It's an excellent choice for someone who runs a small business and needs quick access to financial information. Instant Accounting's user interface is one of the most attractive and intuitive I've seen in any accounting software product.
DacEasy Accounting is more of a workhorse, though. It's not as pretty, but it can service much larger businesses with far more complex needs. The growth and flexibility provided by the add-on modules make it one of the most reliable products of its type.