ABC is written and supported in the UK, and designed for UK peculiar VAT rules and accounting system. It makes a change from barely converted USA software that asks for tax rates and zipcodes.
There are various options for support of ABC and it is all handled in the UK. A free User Forum allows users to ask questions and make suggestions, and help each other. The ABC support staff does regularly contribute to the Forum. The forum is a useful place to start as someone else may already have asked the same question and received an answer.
Support by email is free and most emails are answered the same day. With really unusual problems it is possible to send a datafile to ABC and they will sort it out and return it.
An annual fee buys you telephone after sales support, and you are not speaking to a junior office assistant but often to a programmer who can resolve any problem you can throw at them. ABC claims there is no question about ABC that they cannot answer and although I have put that to the test many times, they have not yet been beaten.
Software updates can be downloaded free from the ABC website.
Bugs are rare but the program occasionally does crash (name me one that doesn't). However I have never lost any data. And most bugs get fixed the same day they are reported and an update is available on the website within days.
I've used ABC since 1989 and it has never let me down. It has evolved over the years. Some of my suggestions have been included in later versions of the program. If several users ask for some new feature, chances are it will soon appear in a free update.
It is a testimonial to ABC that many people are still using the old DOS ABC5 version that dates back to 1999. And still getting support.
I have used ABC for 5 years now. Prior to that I used SAGE. My previous accounting system was MYOB.
A typical silly little thing where ABC scores over its rivals is printing an address label or an envelope for the customer record on the screen. Just one or two mouse clicks. I have a separate label printer with a roll of labels connected to my PC as well as the normal inkjet and laser. ABC remembers that labels go to the label printer and letters go to the laser.
We send a standard mailmerged letter to a customer who phones up and places an order. With ABC this takes just a couple of keystrokes to print the default letter for the customer currently on the screen. A great timesaver.
Unlike many other accounts packages ABC allows me to add our company logo to the top of invoices and statements. These give a really good impression to my customers.
All ABC reports can be printed on plain paper. My company logo (or even a picture of myself) can be added to the top of the invoices and statements for a professional image. Different pictures can be used on the top of reports, invoices, and statements if required.
We use 3 part ncr-paper and have a big stock of pre-printed invoice forms. Most Windows programs are designed to only print on inkjets and lasers, but ABC also has an option for old dot-matrix printers. The dot-matrix printing can be customised by me to suit our preprinted forms.
Transitioning from ABC5 to ABC6 is quite painless. An import function quickly loads the ABC5 data into ABc6 and the job is completed in minutes.
One thing I immediately liked about ABC is that they still include a proper printed User Manual in the box. The User Manual is printed in full colour. I like the user handbook supplied with ABC, and actually found myself reading it in the bath the other night -- you can't so that with a CD.
I was reluctant to change from ABC5 to ABC6 (better the devil you know...) but now that I've done it I wish I'd changed ages ago. The ABC6 reports are so much faster and clearer. The ABC6 reports can be exported to disk as PDF files. My accountant wanted me to email him reports, and ABC6 allows me to send him PDFs with no effort.
The bank wants regular reports sending to them and we used to do this on paper. After changing to ABC6 I can email them the reports they want.
ABC can print cheques and remittance advice notes.
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