Getting Started with Quasar Accounting
Once again, starting form the Quasar installation directory, run the command quasar as follows.
A nice colorful splash screen will appear, checking for locale (language and location) as well as the server you are logging into. If this is the first time, you'll be asked to supply a locale (English: US is the default; I chose English: Canada). In the case of the server, people running Quasar Accounting locally will just use the default of localhost. After you click Next, you'll find yourself at the login screen for the company you just created (see Figure 4).
Figure 4 The client program can log in to multiple company databases from multiple hosts.
The User Name at this stage of the game is just admin and there is no Password. After you log in, you'll have the opportunity to change that as well as create new users with different privileges. More on that shortly. Choose the company you want (assuming thatyou created more than one) and click Login. The Quasar Accounting main screen (shown in Figure 5) will appear.
Figure 5 The main screen keeps common functions handy while providing a graphical process flow.
Start by taking a look along the top. The menu bar is fairly simple here. The basic modules (Card File, Ledger, Cheques, Inventory, Sales, and Purchases) are easily accessible through a single click from the main desktop. So are common functions such as journal entry or creating an invoice. The menu bar is primarily for setup, and this brings me back to users. Click on Setup, System, and then Security Types. This lets you define which functions certain groups of users can access (for example, Card File and Sales only). You can then add users and assign this security type to them. The System setup menu is also where you can change that default admin password (or lack thereof).
When any one of the six major modules is selected, a flowchart-like diagram appears in the center of the desktop. For instance, when you select Sales, the cycle generally begins with a quote, followed by an invoice, a journal entry, and eventually by (hopefully) payment from that customer—which also generates a journal entry. There's also a cash reconciliation function.
Reports are also close at hand with the most likely reports displayed based on which module you are currently using. The only qualm I have with reporting is the lack of graphical reports. Accounting is a numbers game, it's true, and pie charts are hardly a necessity, but we've all gotten to like those bright colorful charts. Speaking of reports, printing reports (and checks and invoices) uses whatever system printers you have defined. Should you decide to print to a file, the result is postscript. All of it looks clean and professional.
When it comes to entering data (perhaps you are writing a check), input fields provide easy access to stored information—press F9 and a list of vendors, accounts, and so on, will be presented. Depending on the nature of the data, if the information you need isn't already there, you can just click New and enter it on the fly.