Tally.ERP 9

You bank and pay utility bills from home, why not do your business accounts? Or call up a stock status report and print a copy from wherever you are? Tally.ERP 9 has been designed with you in mind. Powerful connectivity makes information available with your staff, CA and other professionals, round-the-clock, in any place. It's also quick to install and allows incremental implementation-a novel capability that lets you activate just as many of its functions when required, even across locations.

At Tally, we have a hard-earned reputation for empowering businesses with stable, effective software products and Tally.ERP 9 takes this further. Tally.ERP 9 has all the features required for high-performance business management including remote access, audit & compliance services, an integrated support centre and security management, all focused on delivering peace of mind. It is a complete product that retains its original simplicity yet offers evolved capabilities like statutory processes, payroll, excise etc. Whatever the demands, Tally.ERP 9 makes life a lot easier. With an ideal combination of function, control and customisability built in, Tally.ERP 9 permits business owners and their associates to do more.

Advantages of Tally.ERP 9:
  • Powerful remote capabilities that boost collaboration
  • Easy to find qualified personnel
  • Easy to customise
  • Low cost of ownership via quick implementation, Tally Integrator, Support Centre
This first series of Tally.ERP 9 introduces several new capabilities. These are supported with seasoned and high quality sales & support partnerships, a revamped education model and improved development tools.

We have taken great pains to retain the essential look and feel as well and the user experience of the previous versions of Tally (6.3, 7.2, 8.1 & 9). Yet Tally.ERP 9 is a culmination of years of research & development – and with a development team of about 200 people.

Tally.ERP 9, Series A, is geared to meet three objectives:

One is saving you time that you can invest elsewhere, including in growing your business (there is a direct correlation between the time top management invests in strategy and business growth). This is achieved via remote access capabilities and the integrated support centre to enable many time saving processes like remote audit & compliance and anytime, anywhere access to your live business data.

The second is to enable timely & affordable access to experienced professionals like Chartered Accountants (who wish to offer such services). Since these professionals can now access your data remotely, from anywhere in the world, as well as address your queries via the integrated support centre, both the cost for such services and the time taken to resolve business problems will come down.

Finally, new features in Series A, notably in taxation for industry & professionals and cash accounting etc., deliver technology support for more of your business processes.

Design & Tally.Net

On a broad level, Tally.ERP 9 comprises of:

  • The product itself
  • A set of capabilities (enabled via the Internet) by a service called Tally.NET
This 'two component' architecture was chosen as this delivers an unparalleled model, best understood as follows:

Data Design

  • Your business data stays with you, locally, and is never stored on Tally.NET servers or on systems accessing that data via Remote Access.
  • Information in the form of queries and support issues logged via the integrated Support Centre are stored on the Tally.NET servers – as this data is not specific to a company in Tally.ERP 9 - and you have access to all this data from all your branches.
  • Account specific data - serial numbers, licenses and their status, version information across sites, specific configurations and restrictions are also stored on the Tally.NET servers. Among other advantages, this relieves you from maintaining your own central administration database.
Security Design

  • Every Tally.ERP 9 connects to Tally.NET as a client, not as a 'server' listening to requests. This design makes your systems hack proof and secure.
  • Remote user identities are maintained at and authentication is provided by Tally.NET. You decide which user gets what level of access to your data; this information is stored with the company data. Data when moved between systems will carry these restrictions, embedded within.
Deployment Design

  • Take the example of an office with multiple users (Tally.ERP 9 Gold). You require that specific program extensions, customizations and programmed controls be used by everyone in your office. With Tally.NET you configure a deployment package and apply security restrictions. These packages and security controls are deployed automatically to all users. This central deployment architecture can be extended across all your locations!
  • Remote users also get these deployed to their copy of Tally.ERP 9 automatically, for the period of remote access. This ensures that customizations are automatically available to all users having authorised access.

Principal of Functionality & Key Characteristics

Functionality is - what you need the software to provide. We at Tally have never looked at providing functionality with this simplistic approach. The 'how' and 'why' are of overriding importance - and this is how we deliver features with high usability.

Following are some of the principles that drive the design of Tally.ERP 9:

Exceptions are the norm:

Pause and consider your organisation. You have laid down defined processes and procedures - so why do so many things land up on your table? Generally, within a defined framework, there will often be some need for a deviation. Software programs are great at supporting rigid, well defined processes - and break down (or become complex) when managing these deviations. Principle: design to manage exceptions - defined processes will automatically be supported.

Solutions bring problems:

Especially with IT solutions! Some of your business problems are managed by a software solution and how many software problems do you now have to manage? Database administration, performance tuning, service packs, drivers, software conflicts, IT professionals - the list is endless. Principle: solving a business need should not add new problems - these must be solved as well.

Knowledge is not known:

A lot of knowledge is contextual - when the situation arises we know how to respond. Therefore, no matter how much of analysis is done, it is hardly possible to comprehend the full range of the simplest of business process. In a purchase process one may follow the order, receipt and payment for one item and just a payment for another (say a consumable). Months can go by in needs analysis and yet things will be missed out. Principle: Do not make an assumption that any system setup will not undergo change.

Change is constant:

An old phrase by now, the accelerated rate of change throws up additional challenges. You place an order for 'A' and receive 'B'; order 'x' pieces and receive 'y'. Tax structures and percentages change at random, people leave organisations without notice. Principle: design to support extreme variations.

Good is 'bad':

What's essential for someone's business can be a hindrance to you - and every business, even in the same business space, has subtle differences in what data is captured, what reports are needed and what kind of control is needed. Principle: build in common functionality and build these well, and deliver capabilities that permit extremely easy extendibility and customisability.

Building Blocks: Masters, Transactions Link Masters

How do we achieve our design principles? Let's start by looking at the two building blocks used in software (this parallels life):

  • Masters: Masters are what we get when we ask 'with whom?' With whom do we do business? Our customers and suppliers. 'With what?' - As in what do we transact with - services & inventory. 'Using what?' – give us taxes, units of measure, currency, batches. All these become 'masters'.
  • Transactions: What do we do with masters? We transact – sales, purchases, receipts, payments - these are the 'transactions'; records of the business activities we perform.
When transactions are recorded, they create links - as in making a payment for purchase #72. The purchase reference #72 links these two documents, so we can get to know the payment status for that document, and know for which documents we have made payment. These links are called 'link masters'.

Neither masters nor transactions are truly in the hands of the software product - in the sense that these are defined by business practices. What must be captured, what is mandatory and that business transactions need to be recorded are not subject to 'design' ('how' these are done, is another matter!) What is unique is in the way these interactions are recorded, managed and reported upon.

The 'magic' of Tally is in the Link Masters - here, data of which transaction is linked to which document is maintained. The transactions themselves do not carry this information - effectively each document is an 'island' in itself, making it easy to alter, delete or insert at will - without the need to check if other transactions it refers to, exist at any time. This design permits all the flexibility required, supports incremental implementation and permits transactions to be recorded in any order (pay for purchase #72 first, then enter purchase #72).

While generating reports and totals (any totals) the above approach requires immense computing power to 'stitch' transactions together. We have developed proprietary, extremely high performance data storage & retrieval mechanisms to deliver these at very usable speeds. This architecture also allows you to mark transactions as 'optional', perform scenarios, synchronise data with branches, potentially recover from system errors, correct any errors in any transaction - anytime, report on ‘group’ companies and so many capabilities unique to Tally.ERP 9.

Silver Edition

Where a single computer with Tally.ERP 9 is adequate for your operations, the Silver edition is what you need. A ‘user’ in this context is actually a computer system.

This edition comes with all the features & capabilities including Tally.NET and services like Remote Access.

With Silver you can manage as many companies (business entities) and personal books of accounts as you need.

You can also create as many users as you need, and provide each with the appropriate level of security. Your only restriction is that these users will all need to access Tally.ERP 9 from the system on which it is activated (licensed).

Since Silver supports Remote Access as well, you can authorise access to your Chartered Accountant, who with his Auditors’ Edition of Tally.ERP 9, can remotely provide audit, compliance and advisory services.

Similarly your Tally Service Partner can, via Remote Access, answer your queries and provide support.

As a Silver user, you can create one Tally.NET identity, which you can use to login to your own system from home or while on the move. Other users of Tally.ERP 9 can also grant access to you by authorizing this Tally.NET identity.

Gold Edition

Where more than one computer needs to have access to Tally.ERP 9, a Gold edition is what you need. Any number of users can simultaneously have read and write access. Note, that there can be some degradation of performance with a large number of users and we have found that the Gold edition is usable with a maximum of ten users. (Series B will deliver the Diamond & Platinum editions with support for hundreds & thousands of users).

Like with Silver you can manage as many companies (business entities) and personal books of accounts as you need. You may also create as many users as you need, and provide each with the appropriate level of security.

With Remote Access, you can authorise access to your Chartered Accountants, who with their Tally.ERP 9 - Auditors' Edition , can remotely provide audit, compliance and advisory services.

Similarly your Tally Service Partners can, via Remote Access, answers your queries and provide support.

As a Gold user, you can create ten Tally.NET identities, with which your mobile users can login to your system from home or while on the move. Other users of Tally.ERP 9 can also grant access to you by authorising these Tally.NET identities.

It is easy to migrate to Gold from Silver - contact your Tally Partner. Your license will get updated to Gold and you can now access Tally.ERP 9 from multiple systems without the need to make any other change!

Tally.ERP 9 Auditors' Edition

Available exclusively for practicing Chartered Accountants, this edition comes will all the advantages of the Gold edition and with several extras!

These extra features are not available to Silver & Gold users:
  • Computer aided audit
  • Automatic scan of every ledger & voucher. These get flagged as 'potentially incorrect' with an indication of what that error could be. Send your clients these exception reports & get their clarifications
  • Scrutinise records as per type of audit or compliance you are undertaking (focused audit)
  • Filter out transactions you want to physically audit (for random audit)
  • Generate annexure for Section 44AB; Form 3CD Annexure Clause 16, Clause 17(h), Clause 21, Clause 24(a & b), Annexure II & Clause 27
  • View & verify tax liability via an all-in-one dashboard
With Remote Access these too become possible:
  • Overcome the shortage of article clerks by utilising existing resources better
  • Provide instant assistance & training to your article clerks
  • Monitor the quality of their work
  • Save on travel time and costs
  • Help clients file various tax returns by verifying documents quickly
Special Tally.NET features are also available:
  • Example your client has given access permission to you for audit and other purposes. You wish to assign this company to an article clerk who has been assigned a separate Tally.NET identity. Now your client need not give additional permissions to your article clerk – you can make this assignment yourself – making it easy to manage different articles as well as manage hires and exits easily
  • If you actually visit the clients location and log in with your identity - all Auditors' Edition features will be automatically available at this location as well - meaning that Remote Access is not always needed
  • You can login to your system or a clients system from an educational version of Tally.ERP 9 (from anywhere) or even from a regular Silver or Gold edition - you will get access to all Auditors' Edition features

Upgrade from Prior versions

Migrating to Tally.ERP 9 from any prior version of Tally is simple - these tools are either built into the product itself or available as migration tools that are installed along with the product.

Typically, there will be no need to make any changes to the data post migration - and the transition time could be just minutes - a few hours at most.

Getting a bit more specific, Tally.ERP 9 will migrate all data from Tally 7.2 onwards, without any assistance. If you have an older version (6.3, 5.4 and so on) you will need to bring your data to 7.2 and then migrate (our Sales & Support partners will be able to help you). In any case these tools are available at no extra cost.

In a few cases you might have customised or extended Tally – this would have been done with one or more TDL's, most likely built by one of our partners. Tally.ERP 9 comes with a TDL conversion tool that will attempt to convert such TDL's. Note, the word 'attempt' – since both the product and the TDL language evolve, there is a small possibility that the conversion may not succeed. In such cases you would need to contact the author of the customisation and make the necessary changes to the TDL. We therefore recommend that where customisations exist, there be a simple pilot undertaken to assess impact.

Account Management is now a major feature available in Tally.ERP 9. As part of the 'Control Centre', you have a powerful way of managing your deployments. Included is serial number management.

Migrating from other products

When moving to Tally.ERP 9 from other software (legacy) products you have two choices:

1. Only relevant masters (Ledgers, Items and so on) are posted
2. Masters and transactions are posted

The first option is the simplest - you 'cut over' to Tally.ERP 9 by ensuring that all opening balances and open dues (bill numbers, due dates & amounts) are available; here you continue to keep your previous software only to review old transactions.

The second option ranges from simple to very complex depending on how current transactions are stored and managed – yet you may choose to go with this option for several reasons and this is fully supported.

In both cases, what is required is that data be extracted from the legacy system and be made available in a specific XML format, which is then imported by Tally.ERP 9. These formats are available from within our product itself: all that is required is that you create a master or a transaction (in Tally.ERP 9) with a sample of the data you will provide and export these. The exported XML is in the same XML format that is required for import!

As before, it is best to plan this as a structured exercise along with your chosen Tally Partner, to ensure that your business is not impacted in unplanned ways.

Accounting

All your accounting requirements are supported. And more. Accounting, also known as bookkeeping, is the recording and classifying of financial transactions into the books of accounts and associated registers.

Let us look at the some of the 'needs' for which businesses maintain books of accounts:

  • To fulfill legal requirements - records as per standards and practices
  • To pay taxes to various bodies - statutory needs
  • Keep the business running - manage receivables & payables, cash, bank.
  • Keep a watch on the pulse of the organisation - key performance indicators
  • Respond to queries - to locate the right transaction immediately
We have been perfecting this 'simple' recording - accounting - from over twenty years. All this to deliver better, faster and more flexible ways to fulfill your needs, not just maintain books of accounts. A few examples will illustrate:

  • With the entry of a voucher (this is what we call all accounting transactions) all books of accounts, all reports, all totals & sub-totals are updated instantly. There is nothing more that needs to be done - whether you are inserting a forgotten entry, or correcting one
  • Taxation requirements of all the states of India are available, in the prescribed formats
  • Supporting tasks like reminder letters, delayed interest, ageing, bank reconciliation
  • One single dashboard to look at all important business ratios
  • Drill down from any report, even the Balance Sheet, right to any voucher or filter and search
  • Data entry in the language of the users choice - and report in any other language (from the languages supported)
  • Mark vouchers that are draft as 'optional' and convert these to final- with one button click

Financial Management & Controls

Tally.ERP 9 comes with rich features & financial reports that give you the necessary management and control of your business. A few of these are listed below:

  • Funds Flow & Cash Flow reports – help you locate bottlenecks
  • Bank reconciliation - keeps your bank books in sync, and identify unclear instruments
  • Customer Credit Limits - to limit risk of default and large losses
  • Budgets - keep tabs on projected expenses against actuals
  • Mark vouchers post dated - these will reflect into the books of accounts only on/after that date
  • For needs where reports have to consider a transaction that has not happened (say salaries for this month that get paid the next month) vouchers (called 'reversing journals') can be marked to 'disappear' for reports post a specific date
  • "Scenario" management - helps you with your business forecasting and planning. You can use optional, reversing journals and memorandum vouchers, to aid in recording provisional entries that are useful for interim reports
  • Multiple inventory valuation. You can decide one valuation method for the business, and be able generate financial reports using any other valuation method - as the statutory method may not be appropriate for your needs, your bankers and for other decisions
  • Cash balances can go negative - you can get warned if this is about to happen, or see reports and make the necessary corrections
  • Several business exceptions are available (negative stocks, negative ledgers) - for you to exercise control over these activities
  • A one-screen business ratios with drill down right up to the transactions - help you to correct course frequently
  • Item wise & document wise profitability statements to control revenue leakage and inappropriate pricing
  • Internal audits are supported with audit controls - authorised users can mark vouchers as 'audited' and can get to see reports on changes made post audit, and the name of the person making the change

Inventory Accounting & Management

If you deal in goods, of any type, you'll appreciate the Inventory capabilities in Tally.ERP 9.

You can comprehensively record all types of inventory transactions, using goods receipt notes, delivery notes, stock journals, manufacturing journals and physical stock journals. All stock movements are fully recorded and maintained in stock registers.

Developed for all manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers or traders a small list of features are briefly described below:

Manufacturers:

  • Bill of materials and Manufacturing Journals, to record material conversions
  • Compound bill of materials support, for units that contain assemblies
  • Multiple locations (godowns)
  • Excise for manufacturers, including all documentation and invoice
  • Costing for jobs
Distributors & Wholesalers:

  • Multiple price lists, with effective dates of applicability
  • Use multiple units of measure (say KG's & grams)
  • Dual units of measure (say KG's and bags, to support variations as happens in commodities)
Traders:

  • High speed billing, with support for POS printers
  • Bar code support
  • Automatic application of taxes
  • Service billing & service tax
  • Integrated sales return in bills
  • Print bills (and any other document) in the customers language
Common:

  • You can choose to de-link the computed inventory value to automatically appear in your financial statements - and enter this figure manually.
  • Stock ageing reports, to identify slow and non-moving stocks
  • Invoice profitability reports to keep a pulse on sales
  • Multi-currency transactions - buy and sell across the world - with integrated forex gain/loss calculations
  • Physical stock take records to adjust physical vs. actual stocks
  • Maintain batch & expiry details

Purchases & Payables

Tally.ERP 9 delivers the entire purchase cycle whether the need is the complete purchase order - goods receipt - rejections & returns - advances, debits & payments or a single payment entry, fulfilling all needs.

To ensure that you have the right stocks and minimize carrying costs, Tally.ERP 9 delivers the following to improve purchase orders:

  • Define Re-order levels as a definite number or based on consumption
  • Define minimum quantity to order as a definite number or based on consumption
  • Pull up a report that shows the stock position, including complete details of open purchase orders, sales orders that need to be fulfilled - check on past purchase history, and then place orders
  • Optionally stagger delivery dates in the PO
When receiving goods:

  • Make entries in accordance with supporting documentation, including errors your suppliers could have made (say of multiplication & round off)
  • Incorporate additional costs
  • Automatically manage input taxes
  • Flexibility allows receipt of goods, quantities and rates different from that ordered - since this is common in real life
  • Record samples & free items (using different 'actual' & 'billed' quantities)
  • Multiple receipts for one order or one receipt for multiple orders, or against verbal orders
In case there is a need to add other costs (say coolie and cartage) these additional charges can be apportioned to the cost of goods purchased.

Supplied goods may not match your needs and these are managed by the 'Rejections Out' inventory voucher. Supplier dues, input taxes and inventory positions are updated.

Suppliers often indicate likely profits, which may not be met. In case such assurances are made, you can look at Item profitability reports, and get the facts right. You could then negotiate a rebate and record this as a debit note.

Keep tabs of how much is due to whom, when. Manage advances, payables & post dated checks. Ensure there are no errors in payments - print checks from Tally.ERP 9.

Sales & Receivables

The lifeline of a business, efficiencies in sales operations, both of goods & services, directly impact growth and profitability. The need to optimise and keep a close watch here requires exceptional capabilities from your business IT system - and Tally.ERP 9 meets these demands.

The sales process is supported with the following documents:

  • Quotations - records of quotes
  • Sales orders - accepted customer orders
  • Deliver Notes - documents that accompany goods
  • Sales Invoices/Cash Bill - to record the sale
  • Credit Notes - for financial adjustments
  • Rejections in - for goods returns
  • Receipts - for advances and receipts
Do you have cash sales (sales across the counter)? With support for Point of Sale printers, bar codes and receipts in multiple tenders, you POS enable your business at no additional cost. Product sales may come with added services - and the integrated product & service billing will close this.

Enforce credit limits, where needed. Along with the Payment Performance of Debtors report you can identify persistent problems and take necessary business decisions. Interest for delays & reminder letters aid in collection.

For businesses engaged in Excisable goods, you get full support for Excise for Traders & Manufacturing Excise - matter of fact a business could be both!

Make multiple deliveries from one order, or one from multiple orders – this common need is available across all documents of the sales process.

Do you have multiple classes of customers? You can easily setup multiple prices (even in advance and specify the date from which they are effective).

Discounts against the line, or for the document, additional charges as a percentage or lump sum, automatic round off of bill totals, automatic computation of VAT & Service tax, returns & exchanges are all available.

Need to verify that you are making the desired sales margins? Item wise and bill wise profitability reports will help you keep tabs.

Payroll

The management of payroll goes all the way from a simple payslip to full statutory compliance and with tens of associated processes and variations - including loans and advances, interest, full and final settlements, declarations, taxes including FBT, deductions, reimbursements, ad-hoc payments and etc.

The base functionality available now is adequate for most organisations with a few hundred employees:

Rewritten ground up in Tally.ERP 9, Payroll now also comes with:

    Employees Provident Fund Computation & Support:
  • 12A
  • Form 5
  • Form 10
  • Form 3A
  • Form 6A etc.
    ESI Monthly Statements:
  • Payment Challan
  • Form 3
  • Form 5
  • Form 6
  • Register 28PT Computation Report
  • PT Monthly Report
... and more

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