About using Reckon and its Internet connectivity

Lookin Member Posts: 6

Hi to the community, would someone who is using this app help me out; I'd like to understand if the app needs internet connectivity once its set up and running and to what extent it needs it.

I want to use it for basic book keeping such as cashbook with expense tracking and incomings and outgoings, customer invoices, bank ledger, debtors ledger and one man pay tracking and reporting.

I'll be using Windows 10 on a PC. I'm planning to download the trial version and muck around with it but thought someone here could help me.

So I prefer to have all my data saved on my local machine, not in the cloud such as iCloud or OneCloud and certainly not AWS cloud. My questions:

* Can this app be configured to save all data on the PC only?

* Is it easy to configure it that way?

* How does it do it? i.e.: does it have local files or a data base of some kind and where does it save it?

* When you run it does it automatically open your files where you left off or do you have to do a file/open type of step?

* Once its setup does it ever need connection to the internet (apart from updates) and what for?

Thanks in advance for all help!


  • Kris_Williams
    Kris_Williams Member Posts: 3,293 Reckon Accounts Hosted Expert Reckon Accounts Hosted Expert

    Can’t be used on a local PC to my knowledge

  • Lookin
    Lookin Member Posts: 6

    You're kidding? That's disappointing! Are you sure?

    Does that mean that while I'm using it they require me to maintain an internet connection to their online services?

    And, if so, what for?

  • Lookin
    Lookin Member Posts: 6
    edited February 2021

    So I just went and read their privacy policy. If my PC and data is exposed to the web then I need to understand the protections that are in place. But after reading it, I'm not exactly sure that the policy protects our privacy at all!

    They state several times in the policy that they may collect all kinds of information, including personal, private and financial through several channels and methods and they then explain who they will share it with.

    For example, they state that personal, private, financial, analytics and licence information that they collect may be given to any or all of the following:

    * Members of our "Reckon Partner programme",

    * Bank or financial institutions who provide the bank feeds,

    * SuperLink who transmits the superannuation payments details to Westpac,

    * Researchers and analysts,

    * Contracted service providers,

    * Parties wishing to be resellers,

    * Credit reference bureaus,

    * Other departments or entities or subsidiaries within Reckon Group,

    * Direct marketers,

    * Third party technical support services located outside Australia,

    * Overseas recipients,

    * External service providers,

    * Liquidators or administrators,

    * Purchasers of any part of our business assets,

    * Third parties who reside outside Australia,

    * Third parties who may not be regulated by the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act,

    * Overseas subsidiaries in New Zealand,

    * Microsoft in Singapore,

    * Microsoft in Sydney,

    * Third party suppliers located in India or Nepal,

    * Supplier of Virtual Cabinet in the UK,

    * Facebook,

    * Computershare Limited,

    * Amazon Web Services

    And they also state that:

    * Members of our Reckon Partner programme may perform searches of the database,

    * Third party service providers may store or host the data, which may include personal information they have collected on our behalf, outside Australia,

    * De-identified information is sold to third parties,

    * Partners will also have your information and they may from time to time contact us.

  • Kris_Williams
    Kris_Williams Member Posts: 3,293 Reckon Accounts Hosted Expert Reckon Accounts Hosted Expert
    edited February 2021

    i have been using Reckon Hosted for years and know of many others and have never heard of any adverse effects. I’m sure that list would be very similar to most other online sites you use. This is why you need anti virus and internet security, so your data isn't exposed to the web

    Choose one of the desktop versions that does stay on your PC

  • Lookin
    Lookin Member Posts: 6

    AV and a firewall wont protect you from data leakage if you've given Reckon One access to the web!

    But putting that aside, what desktop version? Is there a version I can use that doesn't require an internet connection or use of web services?

  • Kris_Williams
    Kris_Williams Member Posts: 3,293 Reckon Accounts Hosted Expert Reckon Accounts Hosted Expert

    Go to the Reckon website and look at the business range, Reckon One and Reckon Hosted are the two online ones

  • Rav
    Rav Administrator, Reckon Staff Posts: 15,392 Community Manager Community Manager

    Hi @Lookin, I'll just echo what @Kris_Williams has outlined above.

    Reckon One and Reckon Accounts Hosted are both cloud services. They both require an active internet connection in order to function as a cloud service.

    If you're looking for something local then the Reckon Accounts Business (Desktop) range of software is a local installation on your PC and the data is stored on your PC itself. As such, you need to ensure you make your own file backups and its recommended to do so regularly. I'll link info to our desktop range below -

    ℹ️ Stay up to date with important news & announcements for your Reckon software! Click HERE for more info.

  • Lookin
    Lookin Member Posts: 6

    thanks, I will check it out properly and let you guys know what I think.

    But just by way of an initial observation based on the page in your link - what’s up with the prices! $555 for the basic package! or $650 for a copy with the basic payroll module?! per annum!! sheesh!

    I mean I guess Reckon can charge what they like based on the market but obviously there isn’t much competition in this space!

    Its not like basic accounting is complicated, I mean I pay less for Windows itself, or office!

    All I can say is that this app better knock my socks off!

    I’ll report back once I’ve checked it out.

  • Lookin
    Lookin Member Posts: 6

    So I downloaded and installed Reckon Accounts 2020 as a trial version.

    During installation it gave me a trial key which I had to input during the installation process. I could specify the installation path, however the directories must already exist otherwise you cant proceed. So you have to exit out of the install, go and create the directory and come back.

    Even though I specified an install path, it still installed some components to the c: drive, such as Quickbooks in Common Files under program files(x86).

    The install takes about 800MB but also adds about 60MB to the registry, which is not trivial. I will do an analysis of the registry changes later. It also installed MS flash player which is now deprecated and no longer supported. I don't know what Reckon uses it for, but I consider Flash to be a security vulnerability.

    I noticed that many of the installed files are dated from 2006 and 2007 and this turned out to be consistent with several of the help files which include statements such as "In Reckon Accounts 2008/2009 you can...". This suggests to me that the Reckon product is probably based on much older versions and has probably been developed over the years in an incremental manner. No doubt there's a bit of spaghetti code there!

    On first run it threw an error message c = 343 due to QBW32.exe trying to update a protected directory; documents. I granted it access and moved on, but clearly the program is not designed with this Windows behaviour in mind, otherwise it would handle it more gracefully.

    Given all the above, I think that the installer and many parts of the program are fairly old in design.

    I then opened the demonstration company file so that I can learn about the app and had to grant it some further privileges. The "demo" is literally just a company file with lots of transactions and data pre-populated, but there's no actual demo script or anything. You just start poking around.

    It also prompted me for a licence code, even though I had already input my trial key during installation. Further the trial key doesn't fit into the licence code windows. Eventually I just cancelled out of that and it seemed to continue running without any issue.

    Observations so far:

    Clicking on help in settings always generates a script error, but the help window does display anyway. It looks like the old style of Windows help, with topics on a left pane and narrative in the right. This is consistent with the rest of the interface which has a kind of Windows XP style to it, I guess. But it looks clean and functional, so that's a minor point.

    I wont try and describe the UI in detail here, as I assume you're all familiar with it, but for confirmation purposes: I'm seeing a windowed environment, where each functional module is accessed from the main window. The main window appears to be a container for the currently opened company file. (Presumably you can configure more than one company file if you need).

    The main window acts as a type of switchboard window, or home window, from where you access each of the key functional modules, such as Supplier, Customer, Employee, Banking and Company modules. When you run a feature from one of these modules it opens as a sub window within the main window. These windows can all be minimised, maximised and resized and dragged around as you need, so long as its within the main window. This appears to be a very familiar UI, its classical MS functionality going way back, such as we see in Excel for example.

    I noticed right away that there are quite a few features related to cheques. i.e.: write cheques, print cheques and reporting such as missing cheques and there are cheque references on many forms and there are pay cheque processing options and so on. I suppose we need these for the rare odd cheque that comes in, but AFAIK cheques are obsoleted with digital payment processing. 

    Issues that I'm currently trying to resolve:

    I also couldn't figure out yet how to enter a miscellaneous expense cash payment. When I go to the register and enter the detail it always defaults to CHQ in the type column and I cant see any way to change it.

    The payroll feature seems to be built on printing cheques via a scheduled pay cheque run. I don't understand this as typically we pay employees via EFT to their bank.  The whole payroll feature seems useless due to this. I assume that I don't actually need to run a pay cheque run, so maybe I can ignore it. But then I'm not yet sure how to process the pay run.

    The Invoices feature allows me to customise my own TI template, but I couldn't see any way to change the layout to landscape, it seems to default to portrait.

    When viewing a TI that had been paid I could see the payment value that had been applied but I couldn't see any way to jump to the payment record itself.

    There are lots of reporting options and nooks and crannies to explore and I will keep tinkering but I have to admit that so far I don't see $650 per annum value here. It all just seems dated and basic.