Recommend "Double-Entry" Bookkeeping Software?

I would like to get an inexpensive bookkeeping program to maintain the books for a small but growing organization. Specifically it is a sports league in Canada, which receives revenue primarily through
membership fees but also through some limited merchandising and grants. The organization is likely to have one or two seasonal paid employees but the majority of the directors are volunteers.
I've looked at Quicken, QuickBooks, Peachtree, MYOB... So far it seems that all these programs cater to a user who does not know, or does not want to know, about double-entry accounting. They all seem to have modules which allow the user to enter a single side of the transaction and the program will enter the other side automatically. "It's just like writing a cheque!"
I do have some experience with accounting and payroll, and I like seeing both sides of the equation, and I like entering data as a series of debits and credits directly into a general ledger. Can any of these programs accomodate this or do they confine the user to using their "single-sided" modules? To word it a different way, can the user enter transactions directly into a G/L with debits on the left and credits on the right?
Can anyone offer any advice.
Shannon
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quickbooks...just enter journal entries if you want to see the debits and credots.....

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circlesky wrote:

I hate Quickbooks. I don't know Peachtree, but MYOB and Quickbooks both have journal entry functions.
I had the same problem, btw. I hate spending time trying to figure out software.
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I use QB for financial accounting, and only make journal entries. To do so effectively, you have to set the company books up from scratch and not use any of their predesignated accounts. Otherwise, they have them tied to other modules (like AR, AP, Fixed Assets, etc and so on forever and a day making it difficult to enter the data the way you want to do it.
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Paul Thomas, CPA
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Thanks for the replies.
It's good to know that Quickbooks and MYOB, at least, will allow you to make manual journal entries. (It is the basic versions that do this, correct? A person doesn't have to buy an extend-pack to get that function...) I am curious to know if other inexpensive programs allow a person to make manual journal entries as well.
Paul, Is it a fairly involved process to set up the company books from scratch? I assume that means setting up the chart of accounts, designating which are asset, expense accounts etc, and entering the opening balances. Is there something I'm forgetting?
Angrie, What problems have you had with Quickbooks?
Any other advice? Thanks.
Shannon
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I would think all of them do.
I use the 2007 accountants version.

It depends on how detailed you want to go. I have one non-profit I work with that we have set up a department for each committee to track revenues and expenses.
If you spend more time thinking about it in advance of setting things up, you'll save thousands of hours down the road.

Yes. All of them. Don't use any QB pre-programed accounts.

Do that through a journal entry, otherwise you'll mess it up.
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Paul A. Thomas, CPA
Athens, Georgia
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circlesky wrote:

Depends oh what you want to do with it, but Microsoft is giving theirs away for free, http://ideawins.com/ . And you can use it to simply record journal entries. :) If you want to track inventory with their inventory package you need to spend $150 on the upgrade though.

There's lots of templates out on the web, and most of the packages come with a rudimentary default set of accounts. I always just chuck most of the expense and income accounts right out and replace them with the ones that I need, but the balance sheet accounts are usually standard enough to just modify rather than start from scratch.
Is there something I'm forgetting?

Oh now you've gone and done it. :)
QB ticked me off years ago, when one of their automatic updates actually removed the ability to manually edit tax tables, which created quite a bit of frenzy on the payroll day. Of course their solution was to sign up for their brabd new Payroll service.
I swore I'd never go back.....but then I got a job at a small company that used it so I tired it again. Their payroll service was twice the price of most others, so we had to manually plug those numbers in, even though we had a 3rd party prepare it.
At that same company, we decided to open an account at a certain bank specifically so that the credit card activity could be automatically downloaded. But the support we got was just awful, especially considering that we paid for their premium support package.
Sometimes, I could run reports that didn't balance, but I had to work hard to do that. :)
Their biggest thing recently seems to be that they seem to have abandoned their "qif" file format with nary a word to their users. Lots of people depended on that in order to be able to import bank activity directly. A new file format has replaced it, but apparently QB phased out the qif long before the banks had the new file formats available.
I just checked, and Paypal doesn't have the new format available. Think about the number of small businesses that use QB and PayPal.
Another thing - I never got used to the fact that users could just go in and modify entries, with no audit trail. That created huge headaches for me, because I wasn't the only bookkeeper there. I'd find a mistake, then make a reversing entry, then the other person would notice the original error and just delete or correct it by changing it. So at the end of the month I was scratching my head trying to figure out what the heck happened. Although I may have read that they now have that structured differently.
If you "delete" a journal entry in Microsoft's program, it really generates a reversing entry, but it's shown as a "void."
Which is fine - as long as I get my audit trails. :)

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Paul Thomas, CPA wrote:

Exactly. And when somethings askew, you have to go back and check so many freaking things if you use their system.
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why don't you check out TurboCASH? it's open source, but don't let that throw you off.
TurboCASH is the first, and probably still the only, full-featured open-source accounting software, comparable to Quickbooks, Sage, Pastel, Peachtree, MYOB, and all of the other off-the-shelf, commercial accounting packages.
TurboCASH is much more than a simple 'home finances' or small business bookkeeping system. It aims at businesses with 1 to 5 accountants.
Commercial Small business accounting software providers typically release a low-end crippleware product for around 100 that excludes such basic features as cashbook and stock control. These products are usually no more than "brochures" inviting you to spend more on the the "pro" version. TurboCASH includes most functions a business will ever need: debtors, creditors, general ledger, full stock control, VAT accounting, invoicing, bank reconciliation, trial balance, balance sheet and income statements, full reporting and analysis, as well as multi-company and multi-user capabilities.
With commercial vendors there is always an excuse for you to spend a few more hundred dollars for this or that feature or extra addon.
TurboCASH is free to download, or you can purchase the CD which includes the plug-ins by clicking on the link below:
<a href="http://turbocashtraining.co.za/os/product_info.php ? ref=254&products_id=139&affiliate_banner_id=22" target="_blank">TurboCASH 3.74 USA Edition</a>
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http://turbocashtraining.co.za/os/product_info.php?ref=254&products_id=139&affiliate_banner_id=22
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Thanks for all the input!
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