Guides

Experiment with a test business

Whether you are brand new to Manager or a seasoned user, consider creating a test business. Rather than risk mistakes with your real accounting records, experiment first with a test business to try out new features. You can create as many businesses as you want in Manager, regardless of whether you are using the desktop, server, or cloud editions. You will never be charged extra for more companies.

Setting up the test business

On Manager’s home page, click on the Businesses button in the top menu bar. Then click Add Business and select Create New Business in the dropdown box:

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Enter the name of your test business and click Add Business:

A Summary page for your test business will appear with a minimal set of tabs enabled and a few sample income and expense accounts:

The test business will also appear on the home page with any others you have created:

Note
An alternative to setting up your own test business is to import one already set up. Follow the procedure outlined in another Guide.

Using the test business

Your test business will be maintained in a completely separate data file from any other business. Nothing you do in the test business will affect anything in your real business(es). But your Preferences will apply to all businesses. With a test business, you can:

  • Explore new tabs to decide whether to enable them for a real business
  • Learn how automatically created accounts (such as Billable time - movement or Fixed assets - loss on disposal) function
  • Enter test transactions to see which accounts are affected
  • Create sample reports to determine which formats are most useful
  • Switch between accrual and cash basis accounting to see their effects
  • Investigate complex charts of accounts, incorporating groups, special accounts, custom control accounts, etc.
  • Test the utility of custom fields
  • Develop new custom themes
  • Practice backup and restore operations

When using your test business, here are some helpful tips:

  • Check your Summary frequently to understand effects of individual actions
  • Keep the number of transactions small so results are easier to spot
  • Consider deleting all transactions in a tab or entries in a field to see how Manager handles the absence of data

Of course, there is no danger of making mistakes as there would be if you experimented with a real business. In the worst case, you can get rid of the test business by deleting its file. And you can always create another test business.

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