Questions about town and parish councils
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0 votes
we have aa small council and part time clerk to be engaged after the last one left under a dark cloud  we feel a simple sofware package may help to keep track of payments and also assist with the AGAR each year does any one have any recomendations  on the subject or even thoughts
SEMATA seems to be one provider
by (1.1k points)

4 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
~A vote here for Rialtas Business Systems Alpha package which is specifically designed for small parish councils.  It's not exactly cheap but the support provided is very good.  However, don't forget that no software is going to cover for mistakes made by the person inputting the data, it won't flag up procedural errors your council has made (failure to authorise expenditure for example) but will produce the  relevant documents for your year end, VAT reclaim etc.
by (19.1k points)
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this does sound like worth a look at
you are right however garbage in garbage out  but with a computer even faster one of my accountnats had an entire department and we are talking over 100 staff sole job was to check spread sheets as once an error was made  it could be used for years with mounting problems we all trust software  but need to have a feel if the out put feels right as well great answer
0 votes
we use Sage which is not council specific but good for a universal accountancy package...
by (24.4k points)
0 votes
We have just switched to ADvantedge. Very good and scalable - have 1 module or all 11 or 12.
by (2.9k points)
0 votes
There is nothing special about parish council accounts despite what some of the software providers will tell you. I would use something that is used by thousands of companies large and small across the country/world such as Xero/Sage/Quickbooks. It will make auditing easier as firms are mor familier with these than something badged as 'designed for parish councils' which invariably are overcomplictaed and based on proprietary software.

We use xero and it is super simple.
by (140 points)
Actually, accounts for smaller local authorities can be a bit confusing.  Not because they're complicated but because they're not!  The 'income and expenditure' vs 'payments and receipts' option can confuse people used to business accounting methods and the VAT reclaim and AGAR are very specific to local authorities.  The specialist packages will produce these automatically in the format required for audit which is a massive saving in time at the year end.  Having said that, there's actually nothing wrong with a basic spreadsheet for a small parish council.
Both the AGAR output and the VAT info is easily setup as a report in xero.

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