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Manx Tapes
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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Mike Wright
Chris Bourne

IN THE August issue we reviewed an accounting package from Manx Tapes. That package was an early pre-release version and should not have been reviewed. Many improvements have been made.

Classic Book-keeping (Series 250) is a complete double-entry accounting system, including general, sales and bought ledgers and journals, for the 48K Spectrum, one microdrive and an 80 column printer. Lists of customers and suppliers, statements of accounts and trial balances are also produced.

The size of the system is approximately 200K spread over 17 programs. It is provided on three microdrive cartridges, and three further cartridges are required for holding data. Another program, entitled Series 500 and priced £69.00, is also available. It requires a second microdrive but it can handle a greater number of transactions.

An extensive manual is included, with a sample printout showing the setting up and running of the system for one month for a small manufacturing company.

On loading you must press CAPS SHIFT and CAPS LOCK to enter Capitals Mode. As all the entries are made in capitals a simple poke would have done that and given you one less item to think about. The system is run from a six-option main menu covering installing the system, making the prime entries, posting the ledgers, preparing statements, extending ledgers and annual closing entries.

The first option leads to a sub-menu to set up the control codes, the account headings, the opening balances, names and addresses and the opening aged balances. Having installed one part of the system you are returned to the main menu rather than the install menu, though a return to the install menu with an option to return to the main menu would make the system easier to use.

Data is entered as either cash received, bank payments, petty cash payments, sales journal, purchase journal and journal entries. Data for the cash received list consists of the date, a reference, customer's account, gross payment, discount, net amount and the general ledger code. Similar data is required for all other entries. All monetary entries are made in pence, avoiding the use of an awkwardly situated decimal point. An amount can also be attributed to more than one account.

The on-screen instructions refer to multiple coding being set to 10 cycles but no explanation is given there or in the manual, and you are left to find out by trial and error if that is satisfactory. At the end of a run of entries an analysis summary is printed showing the breakdown of amounts between the general ledger account codes.

Once the data is entered it needs to be sorted before it is posted to the appropriate ledger. Each set of data must be sorted individually.

Data will usually be entered at the end of a month but can be entered in batches, and then you must be careful to mark the final batch. Failure to do so causes the program to crash later by trying to read a 'write' file.

Statements of your customers' accounts can be prepared using option 4 of the main menu. That allows you to enter your trading name, telephone number and address, along with any terms you may wish to include on the invoice, before statements are printed for all accounts. Those details must be entered every month.

This is an extremely complex and comprehensive package which will produce valuable records of your business, although, perhaps because of that complexity, it is not as user-friendly as it might have been.

Mike Wright

Publisher: Manx Tapes, Garey Veg, Glen Auldyn, Ramsey, Isle of Man
Price: £46.00
Memory: 48K