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Pastel Accounting – Software Dinosaur « Free Tips DOT COZA

Pastel Accounting – Software Dinosaur


Posted on 24th March 2010 by Tony in Rant

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I have been a reluctant user of Pastel Accounting since 2007. This is because every bookkeeper, accountant and SARS themselves tell you that you need to use Pastel. The main reason (compared to quickbooks) is that you can’t edit transactions once they have been processed. It leaves electronic paper-trails, which apparently is what SARS likes.

Let me not beat around the bush. I hate Pastel. It is the most irritating and frustrating piece of software ever created – specifically designed to make the average user feel absolutely stupid and fuel the egos of aforementioned accountants and bookkeepers.

For instance, when you draw a statement for a client it is not chronological (as one would think) nor it is arranged in any way that resembles logical thought. This means that one has to “hunt” through a statement to pair up payments and invoices. Why?

But the reason for my rant of the day is this:

Last week some time (is it only a week, it feels like a year?) my trusty 7 year old XP computer was chomped up by a malicious trojan. The only reason I keep a Microsoft PC is because Pastel does not support MAC OSX or cloud computing (thin client/browser based). So in my otherwise perfect world AKA Mac-ville, I had to go out and buy a new PC – which came with Windows 7 Home Basic.

Install Pastel – sorry, we need to have Outlook. No, not Mozilla or a plethora of other email clients, it must be OUTLOOK for Pastel to work. R1700 later for the entry-level office-suite with Outlook … only to discover that my pervasive database doesn’t work on windows 7 (you did know that Pastel needs pervasive didn’t you? Stupid phleb for not knowing).

OK, so I need an upgrade patch … R960 for that. Extortion. After I pay the invoice I phone the Support Centre. Right, where’s the link so I can download it?

No, sir, we ship the produce on CD.

Say whaaaaaat?

4-10 day delivery. Besides the fact that today is 24 March. I have to send off invoices, I now have to wait for a frigging CD to ship? PASTEL PLEASE WAKE UP – IT’S 2010 not 1985.

If you want to run business (any business) on the Internet … consider:

  1. That your product works across all platforms.
  2. That (preferably it’s cloud based).
  3. People can pay by Credit Card.
  4. Delivery is immediate by download.

R6700 later and I am still unable to send off an email. That could very well be a new lounge suite (which I need) or a holiday to Victoria Falls (which I want).

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why we’re expected to use software like Pastel. Please, go and die gracefully like all the other dinosaurs.

  1. Holger says:

    Try Neville from http://www.accountingsoftwaresupport.co.za/

    24th March 2010 at 3:24 pm

  2. Willie says:

    It seems to me that the only people who are complaining about PASTEL are the people who were’nt educated in accounting.

    Why do you guys think accountant and bookkeepers charge so much ? Because they want to ? No , they charge so much because accounting and the use of accounting software is a speciality. One needs to be trained in the field.

    If I as a bookkeeper, would want to go and use something like photoshop or a program develpment suite, I would feel exactly the same as you people. I would think it is the worst program ever, because I have no experience in it.

    Just because you dont know how to use something to its full potential, does not mean it is a crap program.

    PASTEL is possibly the best account package that there is, hands down. And that comes from actual knowlage and experience.

    The only problem I have with it, is that it is not compatible with MAC. if PASTEL fixes that little problem it would be unstopable

    24th March 2010 at 4:14 pm

  3. Tony says:

    Hi Willie

    Thanks so much for your comment.

    The problem is that software packages like Photoshop is sold as a professional suite (with a price-tag to match!) while Pastel is not. The Start-Up package is sold specifically to small business owners who have ZERO knowledge of accounting, and is completely unmanageable.

    Also, NO WHERE on any of their boxes do they state that the software requires MS-OFFICE AND Microsoft Outlook to work.

    24th March 2010 at 5:44 pm

  4. Rena says:

    Hi, can someone please help me…

    My computer crashed. Luckily all my data could be retreived. I loaded Pastel Xpress again, but now (like Mxolisi Dlamini) I cannot open my company.

    I do have the data on a backup, but don’t know in which folder to put it for Pastel to actually see it.

    Can someone please assist with this frustrating problem?


    24th March 2010 at 10:17 pm

  5. Pieter says:

    Bwahahahaha at the reluctant millionaire, Steven Cohen. I’d be ashamed to ask money for the software you sell. Shame on you!
    We’ve been struggling with Pastel for months now. Besides it’s workflow, the interface the usability, the everything is just downright old and has been left in the dark ages
    You are not spending your money on upgrading your software for your userbase. SHAME ON YOU
    And NO, we won’t be trying out your web solution, we just want to get of this nightmare bus.
    Tony – Way to go, we agree with you and countless others. Pastel Sucks!

    24th March 2010 at 1:56 pm

  6. Tony says:

    Thanks for the comment Pieter.

    Since this post was written I have now completely outsourced my accounting and use snapbill.com for all the invoicing. Absolutely brilliant. It even integrates with most payment gateways to automate payments!


    24th March 2010 at 4:57 pm

  7. Thilo Naicker says:

    #Stephen Cohen ,
    I would really like to know if my Pastel V11 database was located in a Dropbox folder – would I have real time synchronisation .I have 3 separate site licenses , I don’t like Letsapp . Letsync , since it is not real time .

    What are my options


    24th March 2010 at 8:45 am

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