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Software Review

Updated 6/8/07

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This page is linked to Charity Tax Reclaims, which has info on other software available.


Gift Aid Processing

GATS. At only 59.98 (incl. delivery and VAT) Gift Aid Tax Software is a bargain for any organisation struggling to process the claims properly under the new rules. While the interface is a little crude in comparison with many other Windows-based systems, it is straightforward to use. We havent the time to enter loads of trial data, but it all appears to work! The only real bugbear is the error message you get when trying to move on to the next item/stage without having saved the current data being entered - it is not obvious that this is the problem but you will soon learn.

The suppliers are keen to get feedback and upgrade the system to meet real user needs. There have been two upgrades since we received the review copy in mid-June. This included are own suggestions of being able to enter an Accounts reference and an Appeal/Campaign reference - dealt with simply and neatly, and even adding a facility to allocate claims across appeals.

Many will find the facility to keep track of donors who have been sent declaration forms but have yet to return them a major improvement to a manual system. Others will be frustrated that they cant transfer member/donor data existing elsewhere and have to re-key it (we've mislaid the latest email from Cleaford explaining the issues, but we appreciate that this is not a facility that is simple to create). But the existence of such piece of software, requiring minumum computing hardware and expertise, should enable quite a few smaller organisations to increase their exploitation of the new Gift Aid rules. (See our Charity Tax Reclaim page for more info on the latter.)

We wish them well in developing, improving and getting a financial return on GATS. Review date: 10/7/00

Supplied by Cleaford Services, 46 Hazell Road, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7BP, email: cleaver@cleaford.co.uk

Update, August 07

Now £79.99, and see Gift Aid Software site for further details.

Cleaford Services Ltd have provided  their GATS Gift Aid Tax Software package to over 400 churches and charities since the current system was introduced in 2000.  They have now produced GATS version 3.7, which includes the changes to accommodate the new R68 Claim Schedule being introduced by HMRC.  The GATS R68 Schedule has been approved by HMRC – the old style of R68 forms will not be accepted by HMRC after December 2007, so charities are urged to upgrade by November.

As well as extensive help files explaining the new Accounting period procedure which must be followed for Gift Aid claims, Cleaford Services are now also offering that their technicians can log on to a customer’s PC (with permission!) to install the software and give a short, live, on screen introduction to its use.  Cleaford will also connect in order to install the upgrade for existing users, and explain the changes, or to give more generalised help on the software, moving to a new computer, etc.