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Recent ABC6 enhancements and new functions

(many of these are suggested by people like you -- Thank you)

April 2019         Also see Bug Fixes

  • ABC is now approved by HMRC for Making Tax Digital (MTD) - VAT Returns.

Feb 2018

  • The ABC VAT Online, and the ABC Payroll RTI programs have been revised to match the changes to the HMRC website (Government Gateway) that took place 14th Feb 2018.

June 2017

  • The Nominal Ledger Opening Balances section has been rewritten and simplified. Hopefully easier to use.
  • VAT Audit report now includes option to sort in various ways.

Apr 2017

  • Enhanced message boxes with extra options including option to show More information about the error or message
  • More options for print on some reports.

Aug 2016

  • More filter options added to Stock Reports
  • Nominal Ledger TRANSFER (Journal Entries) improved to be easier to use.
  • Emailing Statements and Invoices made faster and more flexible.

Dec 2015

  • Clear old History. New function in Accounts Utilities > Rarely Used Functions. This allows you to clear out very old entries from your accounts files, including unwanted customer and supplier details. ABC will keep you safe and will not allow any unpaid or outstanding items to be deleted for example. Clearing unwanted old data makes your files smaller and could speed up some reports.
  • More validation on the entry of dates and Heading Code (Nominal Analysis codes).
  • An additional function in Check and Fix Accounts Files. ABC internally uses a system of bookmarks in the database. You never see these. Very occasionally a database error might upset the bookmarks. This Accounts Fix function simply deletes and then rebuilds all the bookmarks. You do not need to ever use this function unless you get database errors and ABC support suggests you reset the Bookmarks using this function.

Nov 2015

  • Purchase Orders (this is an optional extra module that most people do not have). A new field has been added to the purchase order Top/Bottom for NOTES. (This makes it the same as the Sales Invoice similar feature).

Sept 2015

  • Payroll: A new report has been added to Payroll to allow you to view or print any previous RTI submission. This allows you to see exactly what ABC sent to HMRC.

Aug 2015

  • ABC install and updates work with Windows 10.
  • The PAID REF(erence) field in Sales and Purchase ledger has been increased in size. Now if you mark 20 invoices paid with one payment, the money entry will show all the invoice numbers. This makes it easier if you need to check which item was paid by what.
  • When viewing the customer history grid, you can now drag a line down to make it bigger so that you can view all the text (for example if there are 20 invoice numbers in one field).

July 2015

  • Internal changes to speed up working across slow network connections (multi-user ABC). Mainly evident in Sales Ledger, Invoicing, report printing.
  • New features in Purchase Order Processing -- but not many of you have got that :-)
  • Stock Record now allows new system of specifying Item "Measure". So a stock item can now be "A 200m roll", "A 5Kg bag", "A box of 12"

May 2015

  • Backup and Snapshot now checks that no other user has the datafiles open, and warns if they do. And if you haven't made a Backup for a while, ABC will prompt you to do so when you exit.
  • Some more report options added. Your suggestions for further enhancements always welcome.

Feb 2015

  • Custom Statements now implemented. Now you can get us to create any design of statement you require. The options to select custom invoice or custom statement will only appear on screen if you have purchased a custom design from ABC.

Nov 2014

  • Extra option in Purchase Ledger report AGED CREDITORS. If you tick the box for Basic Totals, the report will ALSO calculate for each supplier the total Invoices minus the Total Money. If this figure is different to the normal total, it is shown with purple background on second line. ("normal" total takes into account part-payments, allocations, future pre-payments, etc. The "basic" total ignores all those and just looks at the actual invoices and money.)

May 2014

  • Exciting new feature: FIND ANYTHING (from Quick Access toolbar top left).
  • New options for printing the report Supplier History (eg. Show last 3 months only).

Feb 2014

  • Payroll now allows you send an EPS (RTI) at any time, for variety of reasons.
  • New option for Stock Entries -- Allow any date, or insist on current month only.

Jan 2014

  • More flexible Reporting options. Applies to most reports.
  • More options in Stock System, including which method to use for recalculating Cost Price when new stock is purchased.

Sep 2013

  • New facility for us to be able to customise Sales Invoices and Statements to whatever you may require. More details.
  • The FIND function in Customers. Suppliers, Stock, Headings has been streamlined. You can still find a customer or supplier from an invoice number, just type the number (eg. SL012345) into the normal FIND box.

Aug 2013

  • Backup now also backs up the Snapshots folder
  • Account Fix utility has new option to check VAT Codes.
  • Help System changed to work with Windows 8

July 2013

  • With each update of ABC6 there is now a What's New page that explains some new functions or changes in the software.
  • In the Sales and Purchase ledgers there is a new option to only show records where the current balance is not zero. To use this, tick the box just below FIND (at left edge of screen). Untick the box to see all records again.
  • CashBook entries on multi-user systems have been changed now so that only one person at a time can be entering CashBook Payments or CashBook receipts.

Mar 2013

  • Backup and SnapShot functions are now separate. Backup is now comprehensive and allows you to store many backups on an external drive or memory stick; each is placed in a folder named with the date and time. When you come to restore, you can choose which one to use. If you have an old backup you want to restore, we have temporarily left the old Restore Backup option in the Snapshot option.
  • When invoicing, you can now put FOC into the Unit Price column for an item you wish to take out of stock but give to a customer at zero amount (eg. a free sample). FOC = Free Of Charge.

Oct 2012

  • Payroll employee Record Card now allows you to edit the Date of Leaving.
  • Email from ABC can now use your existing email program (this is the default). The internal ABC emailer can still be chosen if you prefer.
  • In many places in ABC, if you Right-Click on a Heading Code in a grid, ABC will now display the Heading Description.

Sept 2012

  • Payroll Update-Accounts function revised to always allow you to choose which account month to post into.
  • New options added to Sales Invoice. You can choose to print or not print several columns on the invoice body. Stock, Heading, and Discount columns. Find check boxes for these on the Invoice OPTIONS tab.
  • Stock Find function improved.
  • When emailing Remittance Advice Notes, ABC will now remember the wording you used last time and offer this as the default to save you time.

July 2012

  • Nominal Ledger: User now has option to Show/Hide "future" items (Items with date in a future month). This is a tick box on the Heading Record Card. Reports like Profit/Loss and Balance Sheet will obey this setting too.
  • Payroll (on the PayRun screen) now always shows the Auto-Update option, so you can see clearly if ABC has been told to update the Accounts after finalising a PayRun.
  • The Currency Exchange Rate function has been made prettier and easier to understand. (Tools Menu, top right of screen in case you haven't yet discovered this feature of ABC).

June 2012

  • When entering money in Sales Ledger, the boxes for DATE and METHOD OF PAYMENT and BANK have been improved to interact more intelligently.
  • Month End changed to remove a couple of Tabs that were confusing people (ABC now simply does those tasks anyway, in the background).

Mar 2012

  • On startup ABC will attempt to remap any network drives.
  • Filing IMPORT function now allows for nulls in the incoming data.
  • Nominal Balance Sheet report has been rewritten to show subtotals and totals more clearly and to have option to show/hide details.

13 FEB 2012

  • The TAB key is now also enabled for all other ledgers.
  • Cosmetic changes to the printed Sales Invoice.

6 FEB 2012

  • When exporting a report to disk, SAVE AS will now warn if you are going to overwrite an existing file.
  • With Sales invoicing you can now use TAB or ENTER to move to next field
  • Purchase Orders have new functions, including Goods Received that can accept part deliveries.
  • Stock Price List report has new options to select Group and VAT choices.

24 Jan 2012

  • Running Total column added to Supplier, Customer, and Heading (Nominal) Records.
  • New icons added to the ribbonbars to improve appearance.
  • Filing IMPORT function added. User can customise the import of data."

Dec 2011 (v6.359)

  • Customer/Supplier Key Fields increased to 12 chrs.
  • SpreadSheet and Typing most-recently-used lists improved (better algorithm).

Nov 2011 (v6.357)

  • MAJOR ENHANCEMENTS with this update
  • Revised Stock Record card with extra fields
  • Revised Supplier Record Card -- easier to use. With optional Purchase Order Processing.
  • User option to start editing without having to press EDIT first
  • Payroll has new option to allow choice of posting Month

July 2011 (v6.352)

  • On the sales invoice print, there is a new option so you can choose whether to print the Analysis Headings on the invoice or not. You'll find this on the appropriately named Options tab page.

May 2011

  • The currency symbol and the word used for VAT (TAX) are now user definable, to allow ABC to be used in other countries more easily. The currency symbol now follows your local Windows setting. Change the TAX/VAT options with Accounts Utilities > Rarely Used functions > Edit VAT.
  • Printing Text-Only has been made more flexible. This option is intended for using pre-printed forms or letterheads, and can now work with laser, inkjet and dot-matrix printers. When the output is display in the report Viewer, click the TXT ONLY button instead of PRINT, and then choose the type of printer.
  • New fields ACCOUNT and FOLIO NUMBER added to Stock Transactions file. Increases flexibility of reporting for stock (inventory).
  • User definable "hints" (tooltips) added to the Select VAT Code grid. eg. if you are never sure what VAT Code to put for bank charges or postage, just hover the mouse over the HINT column to see your own notes.

Feb 2011

  • The Report Designer has been rewritten to give it more features. Now you can drag fields into the Column Title area and Report Footer area, have up to 9 Totals, and specify the number of decimal places more easily.

Jan 2011

  • A much requested feature, you can now use OPTIONS > FONT to set the font size for the ABC screen. This should keep those of you with tired eyes and small monitors happy. This is set separately on each workstation (for network users), so everybody can have their own setting.

Dec 2010

  • Auto Update system now available. You can tick or untick the AUTO UPDATE box on the Tools Menu (top right of screen). With Auto Update, ABC6 will automatically check the ABC website each time you start up ABC, and if a newer version of the program is available, will ask if you want to install the newer version.

Nov 2010

  • The Account Check (Account Fix) Utility has been given an additional tab page with the function to Cross-Check the Sales and Purchase Ledgers against the Nominal and fix any differences. This can correct any problems caused by (for example) a power cut during Month End.

Sept 2010

  • Spreadsheet now has a new Formula you can use. = VATpercent(x)
    For example, you could have a formula = C6 * VATpercent(1) / 100
    and this would take the value in cell C6 and calculate the VAT on it at the percent defined by Code 1 (currently 17.5% as of September 2010).
    Another example, = H13 * 100 / vatPercent(1) will give you the net goods value of the value in cell H13, at standard rate VAT (Code 1).
  • Sales Invoices no longer show the Heading Code in column 1. Several people requested this. Col 1 now shows just the Stock Code (if any).
  • Bank Reconciliation report no longer prints 0.00 if the value is zero. Several people requested this as they think it will make the report easier to read.
  • OnLine VAT Returns now working. ABC has passed the tests and is now recognised by HMRC as an accounts package suitable for sending OnLine VAT Returns. You'll find this in the same place as the printed VAT Return (ie. Nominal Ledger > VAT Reports).

July 2010

  • The input routines have been worked on. For example you can now enter a date as "23" and ABC will fill in the current month and year. And when selecting Stock in Sales Invoicing you can now type the first couple of charatcers of the stock code and ABC will display a list of matching items for you to select from.

June 2010

  • A new Custom Reports option available. If you have a need for a report that is too complex for the ABC report Generator, ABC Direct Sales can now easily produce a custom report for you. This will then appear on your Main Menu.
  • Using ABC across a network has been dramatically speeded up by rewriting some of the code.

May 2010

  • A new report in Sales Ledger to list all ProForma (held) Invoices.
  • The old Noticeboard has been revived, with a new feature.
  • ABC now remembers your settings for screen colours, etc.
  • SpreadSheet enhanced with new functions. There is now a Date cell type, and you can specify the number of decimal places for any type of numberic cell. Margins and option settings are now automatically stored with each Sheet.
  • Added options in Customer records. You can now choose not to print your Company Address at the top of Invoices (if you want to use your headed paper), and there is an option to print the word "COPY" at the top of any reprinted invoice.

April 2010

  • Nominal Ledger Opening Balances has been simplified. Now you can only have one set of Opening Balances, and ABC automatically creates it for you if it doesn't exist.
  • ABC6 now remembers the size and position you prefer for the main ABC window, and will restore this when you start up.
  • Entering unpaid bills no longer requires that something is entered in the Description Field (by public demand).
  • New functions in the SpreadSheet. Highlight a block of cells, then move the cursor to an edge so it changes to an arrow -- now you can drag the block somewhere else, or hold down CTRL and drag to Copy the block somewhere else. This will bring formulae and colours, fonts, etc to the new position, but you may still need to set cell types after this operation. Some more Import and Export options added. The above Drag/Drop function can be turned On or Off from the Edit Menu.

March 2010

  • Some internal components of ABC have been replaced to make the input routines smoother and more robust. You should not notice much difference, except maybe small cosmestic differences to the screens. We think it's an improvement.

February 2010

  • Change to Record Card editing. Click EDIT to start editing a Record Card, and now you can edit all the Tab Pages before you press SAVE (or CANCEL). Previously you had to SAVE each page separately.
  • VAT Audit report now shows the Heading Code on each line
  • Trial Balance report now has options to sort in different ways.
  • Nominal Audit and Heading History reports have options to sort in different ways.
  • Selection of Headings, Stock Items, VatCodes, Payment Methods, have all been made smoother and easier. For example, when selecting a Heading Code if you type a number or a letter, the cursor jumps straight to the first matching line.
  • Sorting options added to N/L reports Trial Balance and Heading History.
  • Customer Record card changed. Now shows more information on the first Tab Page. Also, resizing ABC resizes window contents.
  • Find a Record has been overhauled. The Find Grid now defaults to remaining visible all the time (previously it slid closed when not in use. And the Record Card is now synced to the Grid. The NEXT and PREVIOUS buttons have gone, but you can still use the little Forward and Back arrows under the grid for the same function.

December 2009

  • NL Trial Balance report has been rewritten to make it more clear.
  • NL Heading History report rewritten and is now about 30x faster.
  • Network users will benefit from the revised code that allows Workstations to start up more quickly.
  • Sales Ledger invoicing -- new functions to print unfinished invoices as Quotations, Delivery Advice, etc..

November 2009

  • The Filing Label Print function has been completely rewritten and improved. Now you can set the size of your label (including choose Avery Label sizes) and then drag Fields to position them on the label, and set the font and size and colour of each field. Even position a picture on the label. And you can choose which File to use and select a range of Records.

October 2009

  • We have added little popup messages to various parts of ABC. For example, after you click SAVE a little popup will tell you that the item was saved OK. You can ignore these popups and they fade away after a few seconds. But if you want to admire their beauty for longer and read the catchy little message slowly, just move the mouse cursor over the the popup and it will stay there as long as your patience allows. You can also drag the popup around the screen if you so wish.

September 2009

  • The Charts (aka Graphs) on the Customer and Supplier Record Cards have been improved. In the near future we will add a separate Graph option to let you see various forms of analysis of your business in graphical form.

August 2009

  • An exciting addition to the Report Preview window. Now you can view a report, and then click on options to change the sorted order, or show more detail or less detail. Not all reports have this feature yet -- take a look at Aged Debtors, List Customers, Trial Balance, and Nominal Audit List reports to see it working (look for extra buttons on the toolbar).
  • New CashBook function STANDING ORDERS has been added. This allows you to setup a list of regular transactions that you can view/edit or post each month.
  • When entering Unpaid Bills in the Purchase Ledger you can now UPDATE STOCK levels at the same time. To turn this function ON or OFF there is an OPTION tickbox on the Unpaid Bills screen.

Before April 2009

  • Further work on Aged Debtors/Creditors Reports and Trial Balance report allow you to reprint these for past periods. The Nominal Ledger Opening Balance function has also been improved.
  • Aged Debtors Report has an extra option for sorting into Account Key order.
  • The Nominal Ledger Opening Balance system has been improved. Along with this have been changes to Edit Heading Records (new features added, including Tools > Recalculate Balances), Year End, and Accounts Check. We think it is now easier to use.
  • New feature for the SpreadSheet allows you to import all your Customers, Suppliers, Stock Items, or Headings into the SpreadSheet (File > ABC Accounts Data > choose Customers, etc). To demonstrate what we might do with this, we arrange to colour-code some lines depending on various criteria. For example, Stock Items that are On Order will be shown with red background; Customers who bought from you last year but have not bought anything this year are highlighted, etc. We will expand this idea in future.
  • Minor changes to the SpreadSheet. The Options Menu now allows you to customise the way the cursor moves around the screen, and whether or not the cell content is selected when you go to edit a cell.
  • Bank Reconcilliation has been improved. The screen now also shows the batch totals of the items you have "ticked". And when you SAVE, the items that have been saved (and that do not match the criteria) disappear from the list.
  • At the Customer Record you can view their current balance or history. If you right-click on an Invoice there is now an extra option to reprint it as a Delivery Note.
  • A nice improvement to the Import function. Now it scans all drives on your network and displays a list of suitable ABC5 files for you to select from. The same improvement ha been added to the ABC6 Payroll
  • The "Import from ABC5" and "Clear the Account Files" functions have been improved to make them a bit more user friendly. Not something most of us will ever use more than once, but newcomers to ABC will benefit.
  • Recent changes have concentrated on the Network version of ABC6, and we have changed the way it is installed and updated. Hopefully you won't even notice this improvement.
  • One of our programmers had nothing to do over Christmas so you now have a neat new feature. At the top of the Main Menu you can select Help > Update ABC. This will check our web site and download an updated version of ABC programs if available. Now it is even easier to keep up to date.
  • Although no users have mentioned it, it appears that Windows Vista treats the cursor keys differently to Windows XP if you are trying to move from Field to Field on the screen. ABC6 has been changed so everything now works the same in Vista as in XP.
  • A new utility function has been added -- CHECK ACCOUNTS. This goes through all your accounts transactions files and puts the totals for each Customer/Supplier/Heading and Stock item into the appropriate Record Cards.
  • The data grids in Customer/Supplier and Headings records now remember any changes you make to column positions and widths. (At the top of the Window use Misc. > Save Grid Layout to store any changes you've just made to the layout.)
  • Filing Global Change has been implemented. This is quite powerful and allows you to change or delete Records in your own Files. (Can also be used on the accounts files if you know the special password). It has a SQL Wizard for selecting which records you want to change.
  • The Stock Sales List report has a new feature that allows you to choose a range of dates for the report. If printed as part of the Month End, the range is automatically set to this month.
  • The Customer Record card now has a new OPTION, where you can specify this customer is to be invoiced at zero rate VAT -- ideal for Charities or EU customers. Of course you can still change the VAT code on a line by line basis if necessary.
  • All the input screens have been made smarter and tidier. Tell us if you like the changes.
  • The Password system has been changed. If you set a password for the Stock System at level 2 or below, then this restricts viewing of Stock Records to the stock item descriptions and selling prices only -- cost prices and supplier details are hidden. This applies even when invoicing.
  • A new Accessory has been added to the Main Menu ACCESSORIES Menu (top of screen). The View Company Stats shows a quick summary of the company you are working on.
  • Bank Statement has been added to the reports ABC can print automatically at Month End.
  • Log On to ABC has changed. If you have more than one company set up in ABC you first choose which company to use, and then enter your password for that company. (Of course you can also choose not to bother with passwords if you prefer).
  • While producing a Sales Invoice you can now fully view or edit the Stock File (eg. to maybe add a new stock item).
  • Sales Invoicing CASH WITH ORDER has been implemented.
  • Statement Printing has more options.
  • Bank reconciliation now allows you to reconcile any of the bank or cash Headings.
  • The Nominal Ledger Opening Balance entry screen has been improved. It now sorts the Headings into order, only displays Headings that can be altered, and shows any unbalanced amount in red.
  • Aged Debtor report (Sales Ledger) now has option to show all the unpaid invoices instead of just a summary.
  • There is now a Bank Statements Report (CashBook Menu > Reports) which prints out all transactions Paid Out or Received by a bank.
  • Registration and Serial Number features now enabled.
  • Big changes to the way the Nominal Ledger (Headings) Opening Balances work. Now you can have several "sets" of Opening Balances (eg. one for each accounting year) and these are kept in a separate file. These can be edited outside of the accounts (eg. to match what your accountant tells you). You can also now set the Start and End of your accounting year. The combination of these changes means you can reprint reports like Trial Balance, Profit & Loss, etc, at any later time.This feature is something that accountants, rather than the average user, will care about.
  • The Nominal Ledger direct entry routines have been given their own section on the main menu. These include Opening Balances, Journal Entries (transfers), Entry of Stock Value and Wages Summary.
  • When you start up ABC the Noticeboard will automatically appear (you can turn this feature off or on from the Main Menu > Accessories menu. If you have several companies, there is a separate Noticeboard for each one.
  • Help is now available -- the Help system is greatly enlarged and covers all parts of ABC. Whatever you are doing you can usually select Help (or press F1) and a relevant Help Page will appear.
  • The Report Design function in FILING has been rewritten and is now much easier to use and more powerful. There is a SQL Wizard to help filter and select Records, you can group and sort and total, and now you can produce reports using data from more than one file (Table).
  • Filing -- Select A Database has been made more user friendly.
  • The ZOOM function (expand an invoice to show detail) has been enhanced to now include the Heading (Analysis Code) Number.
  • While looking at a Supplier Record's history you can now right click on an old Unpaid Bill entry and View/Print it. Although this is not seen by the Supplier, it may be useful for you to add notes about that order while entering the Unpaid Bill. This new function allows you to recall that information as required.
  • You can now print Letters, Envelopes, and Labels while viewing a Customer or Supplier record -- their address is automatically mail-merged into the document. The Envelope printer is also available at any time from the Main Menu > Accessories menu -- you can type in a name and address. Make all these items look more professional and personal by selecting a picture or logo, and ticking the box to have your Return Address also printed.
  • The area for editing your Company Parameters (Company Name, Address, Invoice Numbers, etc) has been overhauled and made more user friendly. It does nothing it did not do before, but it is prettier.
  • More Payment Methods added. Credit and Debit Card, Internet Banking and Standing Orders.
  • Password security has been added. at present it only works in sales Ledger (though you can set Password access for all areas of ABC). You can turn Passwords ON or OFF (Accounts Utilities > Edit Passwords).
  • New system for specifying the pictures you can have printed at the top of invoices, statements, and reports. A different set of pictures can be used for each company (if you several sets of accounts in ABC). When producing an Invoice or Statement, use the Option Tab Page to change the picture. To alter the picture (eg.your logo) that prints at the top of reports, from Accounts Menu select Utilities > Edit Accounts Parameters > Picture Tab Page.
  • The ABC Spreadsheet can now import Excel worksheets.
  • When you produce a Sales Invoice, if you include a Stock Item that is out of stock, the Quantity will be shown in red (on screen only) to alert you.
  • Supplier statements and history reports have gained an extra column that shows the Supplier's invoice number.
  • Transactions in Sales and Purchase Ledger have an extra Field that stores a "Paid Reference". For example, you can look back and see that Cheque 12345 was in payment of three Invoices, or that a particular Discount was associated with Invoice 5432 and Payment 97865.
  • Invoices and Statements can now have their own logo or picture at the top, and these are now much larger. Go to the OPTIONS Tab Page in either invoice or statement, and choose your picture. You can create your own picture files as .BMP, .GIF, .JPG, .WMF, or .ICO format. Best size is about 7cm wide by 3.5cm high, approx 72dpi. The default folder to store them is \ABC6\A_DATA (for company A). Max filesize is 50k, so JPG is probably best. Contact us if you need help producing your own company logo.
  • More Stock reports have been added, including a Valuation Report and a Blank List Report (useful for stocktaking). As requested, many of these have a Location Field that can be used to show where an item can be found.
  • Invoices and Statements now can include an attention grabbing border around a Message or Special Note you enter. Useful for Special Offers, Seasonal Greetings, or chasing overdue accounts. Choice of borders.
  • Statements have an Automatic Message function which will select one of three preset notes to print, depending on the age of the unpaid items (ie. 30, 60 or 90 days overdue). You can edit these messages, and add a choice of border if required.
  • Filing System now lets you set Record Cards to have Auto-Date Field (fills in Today's date when you edit the Record) and Auto-Number Field (Fills in the next number -- eg. useful for serial numbers, etc).
  • Customer and Supplier Record Cards The Misc Menu (at top of window) offers option SORT IN ORDER. This allows you to choose in what order you wish to step through records when using NEXT or PREV. ABC will remember the setting.
  • Stock Record Cards: The History Tab Page has an option to view Sales -- This will display every invoice line containing the stock item. ie. see which customers have bought this item.
  • Stock Record Cards: A new panel on the Options Tab allows you to set the type of recalculation to apply when Saving a Stock Record -- and you can tick a box to make this happen automatically from now on.
  • CashBook Reports:: An additional column has been added to display your own reference (eg. cheque number).