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Reports in Solar Accounts

  • 48 posts
  • # 105669

Hi All,

I'm hoping to do my computerised exam using Solar.  

How did you all get on with the reports ie, there is no customer activity (detailed) or supplier Invoices (detailed) that dont include the payments.

Can I still pass the exam if the reports aren't showing the same information as long as im showing what they asked for if that makes sense?


Also how did you all deal with VAT on Sales & Purchases?   I split my VAT by creating a new Account, but this messed up my defaults, Did you all just leave it as one account or have I missed something?




  • 34 posts
  • # 105673

Hi Lisa,


I found it fine for the (2014) level 2 exam but not really up to it for the level 3 exam which has a computerised element (BA4 I think) - I scraped though the computerised element of that because the solar reports are quite plain - sorry can't explain it very well.  Solar has a free trial which i guess you could use for the level2 and then rethink come BA4.



  • 48 posts
  • # 105674

Excellent thank you.

  • 794 posts
  • # 105679

Hi LisaG,

There is a report in Solar that will show a Customer or Supplier Activity without the inclusion of the payments.

Go to 'reports' and select Invoice Summary for customers and Purchase Invoice Summary for suppliers. You can configure these reports for whatever period you require by selecting 'configure' when you are in the report summary.

Regarding the Vat - Solar has this already setup as Vat Liability in the Chart of Accounts. Just process the customer/supplier invoices and the software will do the rest for you.

I have used Solar for all my clients for the last 8 years.

There is no reason why you cannot use this for all your exams. Solar only setup the standard Chart of Accounts but you can adapt this to each different clients needs so it could be adapted also for exam purposes.


  • 75 posts
  • # 113087

MM Bookkeeping said:

 Solar only setup the standard Chart of Accounts but you can adapt this to each different clients needs so it could be adapted also for exam purposes.


Hello Marilyn,

I hope you are well. Sorry for reopening an old thread but I'm about to do BA4 on Solar, how did you rearrange the Balance Sheet layout as the package layout doesn't split the Fixed Assets from the Current Assets, nor does it list the Current Assets in order of liquidity. Did you number the Chartof Account (e.g 101 Stock, 102  Debtors, 103 Bank, etc) or did you do an export to Excel and rearrange (or do something else)?

Thanks in advance for your help.


  • 794 posts
  • # 113088

Hi Dean,

When I did the exams Solar was not available so cannot comment on the use for this.

However, I know others have used it and passed so it must be acceptable.

Anyway, all reports can be exported to excel so they could be adapted to your preferred layout.

The 'help section' within Solar explains how to do some things a different way to how I process items.

Not saying Solar are incorrect but for example I prefer to use journals (general transaction) for purchase of a motor vehicle on hire purchase.

You will have noticed that Solar lists everything in alphabetical order - I think this is easier than nominal codes - so again you may wish to amend the listing after exporting to excel.

Hope this answers your query but if not let me know.


  • 75 posts
  • # 113098

Hello Marilyn

Thanks for your reply and input. I'm going to rearrange the Excel export as it is only the Asset section that I think needs rearringing. I was going to use TaxCalc but I want to keep my audit trail workings as clear as possible and therefore want all of my account headings to be consistently named.

Take care


  • 141 posts
  • # 113099

I have been using Solar for the past 2 1/2 years for my practice and when it comes to the listing of fixed assets on my balance sheets I simply export to Excel and then break it down to suit my own needs.  All of the figures are already there, but I like to show the different items such as Computer Equipment, Motor Vehicles etc and then the breakdown of depreciation next to them with a net book value figure at the end.


Some pieces of software will do this automatically for you in the report, but those pieces of software seem to cost the earth.  I love Solar and can't think of an easier piece of software for bookkeeping if I am honest.


Marilyn - out of curiousity, have you switched to the online version yet or are you still using the desktop version?  I am curious as to whether there are any huge differences other than cost?

  • 75 posts
  • # 113101

Thanks Jennifer for your input, it's good to know how different people manipulate the reports.

I too am interested in the online version. I find the desktop version so user friendly and like the interface and ease of navigating. My only concerns with the online version is the features that it offers compared to other cloud software. Plus, I also like cloud based software in general but like the security of having my accounting software on a PC with a backup .slr file in the cloud as a backup. Maybe my thoughts are misfounded as I haven't yet tried the cloud version.

  • 141 posts
  • # 113102

I haven't tried the online version yet either Ben.  Most people on the Solar forum seem to indicate that it is pretty much exactly the same as the desktop version as far as layout is concerned.  I would much rather switch to the online version of Solar than go with a different software provider such as Sage or Xero if I can help it as I know it is so user friendly and does everything I currently need it to do, but I am putting this transition off at the moment until the HMRC issue more guidance around the whole 'Making Tax Digital' topic.  I don't want to switch to Solar Online if it isn't going to do everything I will need it to do in the long run as far at HMRC are concerned.

  • 75 posts
  • # 113103

Yes the Solar forum did seem to be a bit negative towards the online version with the question of loyalty to customers being bandied about. I'm going to have to give it a go as I do like Solar, but again with the points you've mentioned around the digital tax accounts, lack of feeds into Solar and as far as I can see no app, I hope it can keep up with the changes. For what I need now Solar is great but I've got to take a good look for going forward.

  • 794 posts
  • # 113106

Hi Dean,

Good luck with your exams - sure you will be ok and pass no bother!

Hi Jennifer,

I have not moved to Solar online yet as I am waiting for the details of HMRC and their Making Tax Digital fiasco!

I would prefer to stay with Solar but there are a few things that need to be addressed first:

Currently you cannot use bank feeds

If you give client access to e.g. process their sales invoices they also have access to everything else - not happy about this as they could mess up the accounts (whether by design or accident!). Would prefer if they could only get access to the sales invoicing.

None of my clients currently do any of the bookkeeping as I do it all for them so I don't charge any extra for the use of software (mainly because as you know it was a one off cost and I have been using for 8+ years). Once we are 'forced' to use cloud version then clients will have to pay the extra monthly costs.

One thing is for sure - I will not be using Sage!

I am thinking about looking at Accounts Portal - when I have time - doh! what's that?


  • 141 posts
  • # 113107

Sounds like me and you are in the same boat Marilyn, none of my clients do anything with their books other than produce their own invoices using Excel or word and they don't want to. I do everything. Sage is extremely expensive (and over complicated!) so I really don't want to go down that route. Bank feeds would be a great ad on but Solar are very reluctant to say what changes they are going to make moving forward, especially when it comes to MTD. I haven't heard of Accounts Portal so will take a look at that at some point... again, same as you, when I find time!

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