New Features in Solar Accounts

We're constantly adding features to Solar Accounts based on feedback from our users. Below are some of the changes we've made over the past year. Got an idea for a feature in Solar Accounts? Feel free to let us know!

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May 2017

Version 4.7.1:
Import Bank Statement Files (Online Only)
You can now import transactions from a .qif or .ofx file. Solar Accounts remembers your preferred tansaction for each line description in the file, so if you import another file with a similar description it will prompt you to create a similar transaction.

January 2017

Version 4.5.1:
Stay Offline Forever (Online Only)
You can now set up your business in 'offline mode' and continue storing your data offline indefinitely. This feature is designed for users who do not want to place their financial data in the cloud.
File Backup in Offline Mode (Online Only)
When working in offline mode, you can backup your data to a file. To create a backup file, click menu File > Create Backup > On This Computer:

December 2016

Version 4.4.2:
Store Data Offline For Up To 24 Hours (Online Only)
After logging in, users can take their data offline and so work without needing an internet connection for up to 24 hours. While offline your data is not automatically backed up or available from other computers. To go offline, click menu File > Data Location > On This Computer:

November 2016

Version 4.3.4:
Avoid Duplicate Invoice Numbers (Online Only)
Previously two users creating invoices at the same time could accidentally create duplicate invoice numbers. In such cases Solar Accounts will now prompt the second user to change the invoice number.

August 2016

Version 4.3.1:
Now Faster and More Reliable to Send an Email (Online Only)
Previously it could take a long time to submit an email message, sometimes leading to timeout errors - particularly with a slow internet connection or when using a large logo image on invoices. This problem has been fixed.

May 2016

Version 4.2.7:
Warning If Email Cannot Be Delivered (Online Only)
When opening a business, Solar Accounts notifies the user of any emails which couldn't be delivered within 2 days.
Better Support for 'Retina' Displays (Online Only)
Previous versions were designed only for displays with low-DPI ('dots per inch') so text fields could be the wrong size on newer high-DPI screens like Apple's Retina display or Microsoft's Surface tablet. The problem has now been fixed.

January 2016

Version 4.2.5:
Email Status Window (Online Only)
To see the delivery status of each window, click 'Email Status' from the Tools menu.
Improved Email Deliverability (Online Only)
Our email server now uses a dedicated IP address, which improves the rate at which your Solar Accounts emails are delivered successfully to the recipient.

September 2015

Version 4.2:
Faster Login (Online Only)
Business data is now cached on client to make it faster to log in. This cache is encrypted with your password so the cached data cannot be read if your computer is stolen.
Bug Fixes (Online Only)
Importing invoices or payments now keeps any existing repeating schedule. And Solar Accounts can now save delivery notes to a spreadsheet.

May 2015

Version 4.0:
Solar Accounts Online is Now Live
After much testing, we are now ready accept 'real' data from users for the online version of Solar Accounts. This page describes some of the benefits of switching from the offline version. Note that from now on we will only add new features to the online version, not the offline version.

April 2015

Version 4.0 alpha3:
Simpler Method to Send Emails (Online Only)
By default, Solar Accounts Online now uses it's own email window for sending emails (although you can still use Outlook if you prefer). This avoids the problem of needing to install a separate email program.

March 2015

Version 4.0 alpha2:
Notes Field for Every Transaction (Online Only)
The new Notes field provides a way to record more detail than the standard Journal Memo field.

January 2015

Version 4.0 alpha1:
Solar Accounts Online - Alpha Version Released
This is our new 'cloud' version of Solar Accounts which stores business data in our online servers rather than in a file on the user's computer. Features strong security and ability to share business data with another user. The alpha version is available here
Activity Statement for Customers (Online Only)
We've added a new type of customer statement called 'Activity Statement' which shows a list of that customer's invoices and payments, and a running balance.

October 2014

Version 3.9.3:
Prevent Data Loss Caused By Sudden Power Failure
Some Windows users have reported that their session data was lost when Solar Accounts was not shut down normally. This release aims to fix the problem by changing the underlying process for saving data to the business file.
Better Suppport For Dropbox
Some users have found that their 'cloud-sync' drive such as Dropbox or OneDrive is not compatible with Solar Accounts - this release is designed to fix the problem. (However, you will still need to be careful to avoid file conflicts that occur when two users edit the same file on different computers without synchronising the Dropbox folder)

September 2014

Version 3.9:
Inactive Customers and Suppliers
Old customers and suppliers can now be removed from the customer and supplier lists - just tick the 'Inactive' checkbox in the customer or supplier window. To see inactive customers or suppliers select 'Show Inactive' from the Customers or Suppliers list options menu.
More Payment Frequencies
Repeating frequencies no longer need to repeat every period. For example, you can repeat every second week or every third month. To set this open the invoice or payment window and select More Options > Repeating Schedule.
Easier To Cancel Repeating Transactions
When you choose not to create a transaction which is due, you will now be given the option of cancelling the underlying payment schedule.
Transaction Filter Dates Are Saved
The invoice and transaction list filter dates are now saved between sessions. In addition, the report parameters are now saved on a per-business basis, not globally.

September 2013

Version 3.8.1:
Search Invoices By Description
To search for an invoice, quote or credit note containing a particular description, tick the 'Advanced Filter' box at the top-right of the invoices list, then set the filter to 'Where Desc. Contains: ...'
Create Payment Directly When Editing Invoice
You can now create an invoice payment when editing an invoice without closing the invoice window. To do this, click More Options > New Payment.
VAT Treatment Defaults To Previous Treatment
When selecting a customer in the Invoice window, the VAT Treatment (under More Options) is set to match the previous VAT Treatment for that customer.

August 2013

Version 3.8:
Custom Columns for Lists
You can now add custom columns to the Customer list, Supplier list, Invoices list and Purchase Invoices list. To do this, right-click on the body of the list and select 'Show Columns'.
New 'Sales By Customer' Report
This new report shows all sales for each customer, even where the sale transaction is a non-invoice sale. Similarly, there is also a new 'Purchases By Supplier' report.
Better Support For Hire-Purchase Agreements
Hire Purchase agreements can now be recorded as a Purchase Invoice, even if you are VAT-registered and normally use the 'cash method' for purchases. For details, see our help topic on hire-purchase agreements.
Description Column in Customer Statement is More Informative
The customer statement now shows the customer purchase order and the description for each invoice (instead of the memo field).
Tick Multiple Items in Bank Reconciliation Window
Holding down the shift key will now allow you to select multiple row with a single mouse-click in the Bank Reconciliation window.

April 2013

Version 3.7.8:
Print and Email Directly From Transaction and Customer Windows
Transaction and customer windows now include a 'More Options' button which allows you to directly perform actions such as printing and emailing, instead of having to close the window first.
Keep Payment Window Open After Save
If you are entering payments in bulk, you can now keep the window open when the payment is saved. To use this feature, click More Options > Window Options > Keep Window Open After Saving.
Date Range for Customer Balances Report
You can now set a date range to filter transactions shown in the Customer Balances report. Click the 'Configure' button next to the report title to set the date range.

March 2013

Version 3.7.6:
Use the Most Recent Credit Terms as Default
When creating an invoice, the credit terms will default to the most recently-used credit terms for that customer or supplier, if available.

February 2013

Version 3.7.3:
Sort Transactions By Any Column
The Invoices and Transactions list can now be sorted by any column - just click on the column title. Additionally, the Account Activity and Bank Reconciliation lists can now be sorted in reverse date order.

January 2013

Version 3.7.2:
Better Support for Mac Retina Displays
Font sizes are now printed and displayed in the invioce template correctly when using a Mac 'Retina' displays. In addition, shortcut keys such as Select All (Command-A) and Undo (Command-Z) now work in text fields.
Remember Previous Folder When Exporting and Importing
Solar Accounts will remember the last folder used when exporting and importing files, and will use that folder as the default in future.

September 2012

Version 3.7.1:
Print Customer Statements as a Batch
To print multiple statements at the same time, hold down the shift key while selecting rows in the Customers list, then click menu File > Print.
Filter By Financial Year
The transaction filter option 'This Year' now filters by financial year instead of calendar year.

August 2012

Version 3.7:
Currency Per Business File
Each Solar Accounts file now has a distinct currency, so if you manage multiple businesses in different currencies you don't need to keep changing the currency setting.

July 2012

Version 3.6.1:
Solar Accounts now supports Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
If you are running Solar Accounts on a Mac and have upgraded your operating system to OS X Mountain Lion (version 10.8) you should also upgrade Solar Accounts as described here.

Version 3.6:
Advance Payments
The Type field in the Money Received window now includes 'Advance Payment'. This is useful when you receive a deposit in advance of supplying goods or services. VAT is accounted for at the time of payment as required by HMRC.
Repeating Invoices
Invoices can now be set to repeat periodically: Click the Options button in the bottom-left of the invoce window, then select 'Set a Repeating Schedule'.
More Repeating Frequencies
The frequencies for repeating transactions now include Daily and Yearly (in addition to Weekly and Monthly).
Due Date Can Be Added To Invoices
The due date of an invoice can now be added to the invoice template. To do this click menu Setup > Invoice Template, then set a text element to [Due Date] including square brackets.
Solar Accounts Now Recognises Customers Entered By Surname
Some users enter customers as "Smith; John" so they are listed by surname. Solar Accounts now recognises this format and will print "John Smith" on invoices and statements. In addition, text in square brackets will not be printed, so "John Smith [Cardiff]" will be printed simply as "John Smith".

March 2012

Version 3.5.1:
Hide Reconciled Transactions in the Bank Reconciliation Window
You can now hide previously reconciled transactions in the bank reconciliation window by clicking toolbar button Options > Hide Reconciled Period.
Search for Transactions By Amount
You can now search the invoice and transaction lists for a transaction that has a specific amount. Tick the 'Advanced Filter' checkbox at the top-right of the list for this option.
Support for Microsoft Outlook on Mac OS X
To set Microsoft Outlook as the email program used by Solar Accounts, run Mac Mail then click menu Mail > Preferences. Select the General tab and set the Default Email Reader field to 'Microsoft Outlook'
More Invoice Template Variables
The invoice template now includes variables for customer fields such as [Customer Email], [Customer Salutation], [Customer Notes], etc.

November 2011

Version 3.5:
Support for Jobs or Departments
Each transaction in Solar Accounts can now be associated with a particular job or department - click the Options button in the bottom-left of the transaction window. The 'Profit and Loss By Job/Department' report shows the income and expenses for each job or department. Also, the Transactions list can be filtered to show the transactions for a particular job or department.
More Options When Adding an Element to the Invoice Template
When adding a new field to the invoice template, you now have the option of including a black border and title. You can also add a secondary logo to the invoice.
Default Date Can Be Based on the Most Recently Entered Date
A setup option now allows you to use the most recently entered date as the default for new transactions. (Click menu Setup > Transaction Defaults > Default Date)

August 2011

Version 3.4.2:
Print Multiple Invoices as a Batch
Invoices can now be printed as a batch - hold down the shift key to select mulitple invoices, then click menu File > Print. This also applies for quotes, receipts and payment notices.
Option to Not Update Invoice Price
When the user selects an item from the description drop-list, the default behaviour is to update the Unit Price column based on the most recently used price. This can now be turned off by clicking the Options button in the bottom left of the invoice window.

July 2011

Version 3.4.1:
Solar Accounts now supports Mac OS X Lion (10.7)
If you are running Solar Accounts on a Mac and have upgraded your operating system to OS X Lion (version 10.7) you should also upgrade Solar Accounts as described here.

April 2011

Version 3.4:
Invoices with Zero Amount
Invoices with zero amounts can now be saved in Solar Accounts. This might be used, for example, to indicate that an item or service was free.
Hide Columns on Printed Invoices
The invoice template can now hide table columns - this is particularly useful for businesses which aren't VAT-registered and don't want to show the VAT column. To hide columns click menu Setup > Invoice Template, then double-click on the main body of the table.

March 2011

Version 3.3.4:
Print VAT Return Summary
When completing the VAT return guide steps, the VAT return figures can now be printed as a summary. In addition, the VAT Return Detail report is saved to a PDF file rather than printed.
Warning When Opening Out-Of-Date File
If Solar Accounts detects that the file being opened does not include the most recent changes (eg. an old backup file) then Solar Accounts will offer to switch to the most up-to-date file.

January 2011

Version 3.3.1:
Solar Accounts Now Runs On Apple Mac
Solar Accounts now runs on Apple Mac OSX 10.5 and 10.6 in addition to Windows XP, Vista and 7. Files created with the Mac version can be edited in the Windows version and vice-versa. You can download the Mac version here.

Version 3.2.4:
VAT Changes In Line With UK VAT Rules
The default rate for VAT in Solar Accounts has been changed from 17.5% to 20% (existing uses can update the default rate as described here).

November 2010

Version 3.2.3:
Improved Emailing
When emailing a customer statement, the email address of the customer is used and other fields populated with the email template. Also fixed a bug where emails were not currectly sent in Outlook 2010.

October 2010

Version 3.2.2:
Profit and Loss Report Now Supports 12 Periods
The Profit and Loss report can now show monthly figures for a full year. Click the 'Configure' button next to the report title to set the report periods.
Print Reports in Landscape Page Orientation
All reports can now be printed (and exported to a PDF file) in either portrait or landscape page orientation.

July 2010

Version 3.2:
Customise Invoice Template
Solar Accounts now allows users to add, remove and re-position elements on the template for invoices, receipts, statements and other documents. To do this, click 'Invoice Template' from the Setup menu.

May 2010

Version 3.1:
Better Support for Recovering EU VAT
Prior to version 3.1, Solar Accounts allowed non-UK VAT to be included on the UK VAT return - this has now been corrected. Existing users may need to adjust their next VAT return as described here.

Version 3.0:
Delete From Invoice Description Drop-List
You can now delete items from the description drop-list in the invoice table - just right-click on an item and select 'Remove From List'.

April 2010

Version 2.9:
Better Support for the Construction Industry Scheme
We've added two reports showing your CIS deductions. Also, it's now simpler to record CIS deductions if you are VAT registed. See our CIS help page for details.
Edit the First Financial Year
If you have incorrectly entered your first financial year start date, this can now be corrected by clicking menu Setup > Financial Year > Edit the current financial year.

February 2010

Version 2.8:
Repeating Payments
The Money Paid Out window now allows you to specify a repeating monthly or weekly schedule (click the 'Repeat' button at bottom left). You will be prompted to create any payments which are due whenever you open your data file.
Delete User Activity History
You can now delete all entries from the User Activity history list (click menu Tools > User Activity > Delete All). This can reduce your file size and decrease load time.
Customer or Supplier Reference on Invoice Payments
In the Invoice Payment window, placing your mouse over the Invoice number will reveal the reference number from the customer or supplier. The printed payment notice also includes this reference number.

January 2010

Version 2.7:
VAT Changes In Line With UK VAT Rules
The default rate for VAT in Solar Accounts has been changed from 15% to 17.5% (existing uses can update the default rate as described here). Also, the EC Sales List report now includes supplies of services (as well as goods) to EU customers.
Fixed Problems With Unit Price
Previously, the system sometimes set the unit price on an invoice line to four decimal places even if it had been entered as two decimal places. This problem has been addressed in the latest release.

November 2009

Version 2.6.2:
Recent Files List
When you choose to open an existing file, Solar Accounts now displays the last few files that were opened - you don't have to hunt for your data file in the file window.
Better Installation by Standard Users
Previously, some Windows users who did not have administrator rights on their computer could not install the software. This problem has been addressed in the latest release.

October 2009

Version 2.6:
Support for Quotes and Purchase Orders
As requested by many users, we've added support for producing Quotes and Purchase Orders to Solar Accounts. To create a quote, click menu File > New > Quote. To create a purchase order, go to the Purchase Invoices list and click New > Purchase Order.
Search Transactions by Journal Memo
Transactions can now be searched by memo. To do this, tick the 'Advanced' checkbox in the Transactions list, then set the filter to 'Where Memo Contains...'.
Grouped Fields in the Customise Invoice Window
The field names listed in the Customise Invoice window are now grouped by document type (Invoice, Quote, etc).

September 2009

Version 2.5:
More Options for Customer Opening Balance
When creating a new customer (or supplier) with an opening balance, you can now specify the date and VAT rate of the opening balance invoice - just click 'Edit Balance' in the Customer window.
Printed Receipt Now Shows Paid Invoices
The receipt printout now lists the invoices that have been paid and the balance of each invoice.

August 2009

Version 2.4:
More Currency Options
Solar Accounts now supports any currency symbol, and can use the 'European' currency format (ie. using a comma for decimal place). Click menu Setup > Currency to set currency options.
Import Data from CSV File
Data from CSV files can now be imported into Solar Accounts as described in this help topic. Exporting data to a CSV file results in a file which can be imported back into Solar Accounts.
More Customisation of Statements and Receipts
All text on customer statements, receipts and payment notices can now be changed by clicking menu Setup > Customise Invoice > Field Names. This is useful for translating the document into another language.
Keyboard Search for Customers and Suppliers
Typing a name in the customers list or suppliers list will now search for that name.

June 2009

Version 2.3.5:
Export Invoices to Excel
Individual invoices, receipts and delivery notes can now be saved as an Excel spreadsheet. To do this, click menu File > Export To > Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet.
Calendar Drop-Box for Date Fields
Every date field in Solar Accounts now has a drop-down button allowing you to pick a date from a simple calendar.
Print Blank Invoice Lines
Older versions of Solar Accounts would remove blank lines when the invoice was printed – this problem has now been fixed.

May 2009

Version 2.3.4:
New 'Invoices Summary' Report
We've added a new report showing the invoices for each customer and supplier during a given period. We've also split the customer and supplier reports into two groups.
Accounting Report Parameters Saved
The parameters for each Accounting report are now saved on exit and re-loaded when Solar Accounts opens again.
Window Sizes and Positions Saved
Solar Accounts now saves the size and position of windows. The columns widths in transaction windows are also persisted.
Edit Opening Balance of Income and Expense Accounts
We've simplified the set-up process by allowing the opening balance for all accounts to be directly edited.
New Video Tour
We've added a video tour to our website demonstrating some of the features of Solar Accounts. Check it out here.

April 2009

Version 2.3.2:
Free-Text Field on Invoices
Each invoice now has a free-text section to add details such as accepted payment methods or bank account details. Click the 'Other Information' button next to the comments field to access this feature.
New Nominal Ledger Report
The list of reports now includes a Nominal Ledger report showing transactions for a particular period grouped by account.
Table Column Widths Automatically Saved
Column widths for all main tables and reports are saved on exit and re-loaded when Solar Accounts starts.
Send Emails Using Outlook 2007
To ensure email messages are sent correctly, Solar Accounts now automatically adds the text 'smtp:' in front of email addresses when using Outlook 2007.

Version 2.3:
Solar Accounts is Now More Robust
The latest version of Solar Accounts better protects your data if your computer crashes or the program closes unexpectedly. We recommend users of older versions upgrade to minimise the chance of data loss.
Blank Lines Allowed in the Payment Window
In older versions users would sometimes have to enter a zero amount to exclude the line from the transaction. This has been fixed to allow for blank lines.

March 2009

Version 2.2.9:
Customise Font and Color of Invoice Text
You can now change the font and color of elements on the invoice. Select 'Customise Invoice' from the Setup menu to access this feature.
Print Reconciliation Window
Click the Print toolbar button in the Bank Reconciliation window to print the reconciled transactions.

February 2009

Version 2.2.4:
Print Receipts and Payment Notices
To print a receipt or payment notice, select a Money Received or Money Paid Out transaction in the Transactions list, then click menu File > Print.
Directly Adjust VAT Amounts on Invoices
Some users find the purchase invoice in Solar Accounts doesn't exactly match thier supplier's invoice due to rounding of VAT amounts. This can now be corrected by clicking the VAT link in the invoice window then editing the VAT amount.

December 2008

Version 2.2:
Delivery Notes
We've added support for printing delivery notes. To print a delivery note, select an invoice in the Invoices list and click menu File > Print > Delivery Note.
Configurable Payment and Receipt Accounts
The default account used when paying or receiving money can now be specified – click menu Setup > Default Accounts then enter the account name.
Mini Page Preview in Print Dialog
When printing or saving Solar Accounts now displays a small preview showing the first page of the document being saved or printed.
Save Lists and Reports to Excel™ Spreadsheets
All lists and reports can now be saved as a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel™ format – click 'Save As' from the File menu.
Configurable Email Template Text
The default text used when emailing an invoice can now be changed – click menu item Setup > Email Template.
Auto-suggest Invoice Description
When typing into the Description field on an invoice line, you are now presented with a list of previous descriptions. Selecting a description populates the unit price and tax rate.