Pastel Accounting Version 6
Pastelís newest edition to its range of e-commerce enabled accounting software is the Pastel Accounting Version 6. After the success of its predecessors, STEVEN CHIABERTA took this product for a spin to see if Pastel still has the pedal to the metal.
The Pastel Accounting Version 6 is aimed specifically at small to medium sized businesses. While this product utilises the standard features of many Pastel accounting products, it also adds a solid set of new features that are designed strictly for this target market.
Those who are familiar with Pastelís accounting products, will already be up to speed on the standard features of Version 6: The General Ledger, Report Writer, Cashbooks, Invoicing, Purchase Orders, Budgets, Suppliers, Sales Orders, Quotations, Customers, Multi-Company, and of course, Microsoft Office Integration.
The unacquainted will find a host of features such as cost codes, multiple delivery addresses and volume based price discount matrices. The built-in note utility allows you to record all contacts, notes and reminders, while a Budget Assistant enables you to generate this year and next year budgets and to report on actual-to-budget variances. There is a Control Centre that lets you monitor key activities such as cash balances and item quantities, and Financial Ratios can be used to analyse key areas in your business.
All of these applications will benefit SMEís and, fortunately, are flexible and relatively user-friendly.
However, perhaps the main attraction to this product lies in the fact that Pastel has made optional modules available that you can acquire as and when you need them. The great thing about this is that when you realise you need additional software, you wonít be forced to buy expensive new programs with fancy features that you never use. With this arrangement, you can buy only the modules that you need, gaining additional functionality while saving money.
These optional modules are highly scalable and very diverse. They include an Inventory Module, that lets you automatically create purchase orders, a Bill of Materials Module that enables you to create bills of materials with an unlimited number of components, and a Point-of-Sale Module for retail businesses. There is also an E-Commerce Plug-In, a Multi-Store Module, a Multi-Currency Module and a Multi-User Module.
Letís now illustrate the benefits of some of these modules. The Multi-User Module allows up to 100 users to work on the same company's data simultaneously. Multi-Currency processing allows you to define a currency (up to thirty currencies) for each customer, supplier and bank account. It can process revaluations that automatically update an exchange rate variance account. If, for example, your inventory required multiple inventory locations, you would add the Multi-Store module. Multiple stores enable you to control stock movements and quantities on hand through warehouses or stores that may be in different locations. As you can see, each module will be useful for particular business needs. We put the Pastel Accounting Version 6 through Gadgetís Five-Question User Test to see if itís as good as it seems.
Is it ready to use?
It is as ready to use as any other Pastel accounting product. Installation takes a while, then you are ready to roll.
Is it easy to use?
That depends on a) whether you know other Pastel accounting products or not and b) if you know at least a tiny bit about accounting. If you answered yes to both of the above, it will be a breeze. If not, you will struggle, and probably for many an hour.
Does it deliver on its promise?
Without a doubt. By itself it is a quality product and with the optional modules, there is very little that you canít do with it.
Is it innovative?
In terms of accounting products, the optional module idea is great. I think it will save time and money for SMEís. As for the rest of its features, while it has many of them, none are not particularly ground-breaking
Is it value for money?
At a recommended retail price of R3 900 for the base module, this product is a fair deal. The additional modules range widely in price from R837 to R2 223. Generally, these are reasonable, when considering that you pay only for what you need.
Author- Steven Chiaberta
Visit www.pastel.co.za for links to information on this and other Pastel products available worldwide.
Pastel Accounting Version 6 is available from Incredible Connection stores countrywide. Tel: (011) 788-4715