Must have Software in CA Office
Must have software for a Chartered Accountant / Company Secretary office. This list will provide a ready reference for which all software you have to get installed in case of new PC purchase or PC is formatted. I have also tried to bust some Myths about the software and answered to common doubts/questions about each particular software.
The article will be updated periodically to have all the latest versions linked from here.
- Update 1: December 2015
- Update 2: March 2016
- Update 3: May 2017
Microsoft Office 2013
MS Office suite contains the most popular software like – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, One Note.
It is must have for office, even if you think that you can manage with Open Source / Free alternatives like Apache Open Office, Libre Office, Google Docs, Trust me your productivity will drastically reduce if you are using these free alternatives. Moreover, the macros created (i.e. Income tax, VAT forms) for MS Excel will not work on free alternatives.
Have met few Chartered Accountants who are reluctant to shift to latest MS Office, stating the reason as VAT forms do not work. This is not true. I will recommend (for increasing productivity) using the updated MS Office 2016 and all the forms work. I have tested them myself and also in our offic, we have been using 2016 since Jan 2016.
MS office is available in 32 bits (aka X86) and 64 bit (aka X64). I will suggest for normal office usage, stick to 32-bit version. Opt for 64-bit version only if you have to work on extra large Excel file (i.e. more than 2,00,000 rows on a single sheet)
Microsoft has MS Office 365. If you like to be an early adopter of technology, subscribe for Office 365. I have been using it for 6 months now and found it to be SUPERB.
(aka Adobe Acrobat Reader DC)
Even though most of the latest browsers can open PDF file, I will still recommend using Adobe reader. Mainly because MCA Forms can be filled up properly only using Adobe Reader.
Word of caution when downloading Adobe Reader:
1. Download only from Adobe website and not from any other website. Other website, many a times ship with Malware or Bloatware.
2. When downloading from Adobe website, make sure you have UNTicked McAfee Security Scan. You already have a antivirus installed, you don’t need this.
Adobe Acrobat is a different software than Adobe Acrobat Reader. While Acrobat Reader is free, Acrobat is paid software. Generally Reader will suffice for normal office use. Acrobat will be helpful if you are looking for features like – Converting PDF Files to Word / Excel / Power Point, Running OCR to copy text from Scanned Images, Merge multiple PDF Files, and so on.
Yes, I am talking about Operating System. The next version of Windows after Win 8.
There are many many advantages to upgrading to Win 10.
1. Free antivirus (No need to buy antivirus, Win 10 comes with Windows Defender).
2. PDF Printer per-loaded (No need for Acrobat or Other PDF Printing software)
3. Faster booting
4. Tally ERP 9 (5.1.X version) runs smoothly
5. Better Network Management (No more Network Disconnection issues).
Have a doubt as to, will I need to format my PC and reinstall all the software again?
Simple answer: If you upgrade, all the software are kept as it is. No need to reinstall anything.
The icing on the cake is, this upgrade is free, so hurry up and upgrade today..
Win 10, like its predecessors, comes in 32 bit as well as 64 bit.
If your PC has 2GB RAM, install 32 bit, If RAM is more than 2GB, go for 64 bit.
Tally ERP 9
For small and medium size CA firms, accounting is synonyms with Tally. It has been in “Must Have” since early 2000. Tally’s latest software is Tally ERP 9, was released in 2009, since then new updates for Tally are called as “Release”. The latest release (as on 1st Dec 2015) is 5.1.3
Latest version of Tally comes in 32bit as well as 64bit versions. I could not find any visible difference in performance when using 64bit. Hence I would recommend installing 32 bit version.
Interested to know history? Click here
If you still using using Tally 9 or earlier versions, it is high time now to upgrade to Tally ERP 9. This article will help you in doing so – http://www.tallysolutions.com/website/html/tallyerp9/tally9-earlierusers.php
Office Management Software
Office Management software is gaining importance in recent times. This is predominately due to increasing in compliance and willingness among CA / CS / ICWA / Tax practitioners to increase office efficiency and output. Moreover, the clients now expect timely execution of the assignments from Professionals.
This is a category of software which helps in managing the office. Features of the software in this category include following:
- Task management
- Task Billing management
- Compliance management (Along with due dates)
- Client & Client Group Management
- Physical file & Client Records Management
- Time Sheet / Work Done (Of staff/articles)
- Office Contacts management
- Attendance recording
- Efficiency tracking
and some optional features may include
- Digital files management
- Email management
- Single place to store all digital files
Java and Flash
Even though internet explorer comes bundled with Windows OS, it may not have best user experience and older versions (versions prior to IE 9) has many other issues including security. Firefox is recommended over Chrome for a single reason, many tax (and ROC) websites are developed and tested using Firefox. Hence return filling work seamlessly on Firefox.
Be careful, Download only from Mozilla website and not from any other website. Another website, many a times ship with Malware or Bloatware.